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Our editors ensure that their journals continue to evolve and have an impact on their research field .

By their very nature, journals are continually changing. Editors need to stay up-to-date with developments in the field and ensure that the needs of their research community and readership are met. In parallel, the publishing landscape is also one that is rapidly changing. It is key for a journal to stay on top of new developments and be aware of what changes might mean for their publication.

The role of the editor


Plays a vital role in the direction of the journal. They are responsible for choosing editorial board members and accepting what is published in the journal. The Editor-in-Chief will also work in partnership with a Cambridge Editor (and Society Partner if applicable) to explore and implement initiatives for the journal to help ensure its continuing success.

Supplement Editors 

May be necessary for a journal that publishes a large number of funded supplements. Their role is to solicit content and then oversee its peer-review process.

Social Media Editor 

A role to promote key content from the journal(s) on social media. This can include information about journal initiatives and papers, and researchers promoting their own work. The social media editor will often have a working knowledge of the subject area of the journal, in order to build a journal community through sharing articles and news items that are relevant and engaging.

Editorial board formation

An editorial board should be made up of a diverse group of individuals whose expertise spans the journal’s scope, geographical author and reader coverage, and potentially methodology as well.

Different boards have different selection processes but here are some ways you can put yourself forward for board membership:  

  • Specialise in an appropriate discipline or area of research covered by the journal 

  • Be well-informed and have fresh industrial, policy and academic perspectives which will help the journal grow 

  • Be a recognised figure within your field 

An editorial board member’s typical duties may include:  

  • Actively solicit submissions and invite reviews  

  • Review and handle papers for the journal  

  • Represent the journal at conferences and reporting back any key talks that may be of interest to the journal  

  • Promote the journal to peers and through their networks  

  • Advise on ideas for scope changes and Themed Issues  

  • Suggest potential contacts for additional editorial board representation or key papers likely to be highly cited.  

Selecting an editorial board

There are many factors that go into making an effective editorial board member, you may want to consider:

  • The individual expertise exhibited by candidates
  • The current scope of the journal and if there is a plan to change it
  • Broad representation in terms of location, gender and racial/ethnicity balance, other aspects of identity relevant to the disciplinary community, and perspective. Read the COPE guidelines on diversifying editorial boards
  • A range of career stages on the Board
  • Candidates respected and well-connected in the academic community

Engaging an editorial board

An engaged Editorial Board is key to the success of any journal, here are some ways the Editor-in-Chief can do this:

  • Keep in regular contact via email or meetings
  • Assign key roles to individuals who are interested in certain aspects of being on an editorial board (e.g. social media, commissioning content, etc.)
  • Have clear goals for the journal which are communicated to the board (e.g. contact x number of people for submissions).
  • Empower the board to solicit content and connect the journal with key readers or authors.
  • Communicate new journal developments to the board
  • Encourage the board to discuss any changes to the journal e.e. new scopes, initiatives such as themed issues or networking opportunities
  • Ensure the board is promoting the journal