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Editorial Responsibility: Managing the Publishing Process to Do Good and Do Well

  • Herman Aguinis (a1) and Sofia J. Vaschetto (a1)

Abstract

Journal editors serve a vital role because they are the gatekeepers of new scientific knowledge. Given the workload and time pressures associated with their role, editors face an important ethical dilemma: Should they allocate sufficient time to the editorial role or should they focus on their individual research performance, which is an important determinant of salary increases, promotions, and other financial rewards? We borrow from the macro-level corporate social responsibility literature to conceptualize editorial responsibility in terms of the triple bottom line of economic, social, and environmental performance. Our thesis is that there are recursive relationships among the economic, social, and environmental editorial performance dimensions such that editors who do good (i.e., social and environmental performance) also do well (i.e., economic performance). Thus, we bridge micro and macro domains by adapting a macro-level theory to the individual level of analysis and also bridge science and practice by discussing the impact of journal editors and scientific journals on a broad set of stakeholders including universities, research consumers, and society. We also offer suggestions to guide future research on whether the three editorial performance dimensions are part of a virtuous cycle that develops over time through mutually reinforcing feedback loops.

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