Building your editorial board

Editorial boards come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but most journals will have one. They are a key factor in creating a sustainable and successful publication.

As editor-in-chief it’s up to you to build and manage an effective editorial board. This post will help you build an editorial board that truly works for your journal.

Defining the role of an editorial board member

You first need to consider how you want your board to function. Here are some common journal activities that board members might assist with:

  • setting editorial policy
  • reviewing papers submitted for consideration
  • managing the peer-review process
  • submitting their own work
  • suggesting topics for special or themed issues
  • promotion within key communities
  • offering comments on published content, and suggesting future direction
  • helping to get high quality contributions
  • maintaining the ethical standards of the journal

It’s an honor to be on an editorial board, but it can also be a significant commitment. You therefore need to define the board member’s role and let future members know what you expect of them.

What makes a good editorial board member?

Once you know how you want your board members to contribute to the journal, you need to choose the right people for the job. You need to make sure anyone you choose is invested in the journal’s success.

If you’re starting a new journal, you probably already have a few names in mind for your board. Before you reach out, however, make sure any future board member meets the following criteria:

  • Research interests in common with the Aims & Scope of the journal
  • They want to get involved with journal activities and drive the publication forward
  • They’re well-respected in the research community

Board members also need to represent the research community. This isn’t only about research focus, but demographics as well. Having a diverse board is important for the exchange of ideas around the globe and is essential when submitting your Journal to the Thomson Reuters Citation Indexes. As the Thomson Reuters Journal Selection Process says,

Thomson Reuters editors look for international diversity among the journal’s contributing authors, editors, and editorial advisory board members. This is particularly important in journals targeting an international audience. Today’s scientific research takes place in a global context, and an internationally diverse journal is more likely to have importance in the international community of researchers.

Support from Taylor & Francis

Finally, we know that creating and managing an editorial board is a lot of work. So, if you need any help, then please do contact your Managing Editor. They’ll be happy to offer further guidance and can also provide data on the regional demographic of submitting authors in your research area. This will help you make sure your editorial board is truly representative.