Getting the most out of your editorial board meeting

How to run an editorial board meeting

Editorial board meetings provide a chance for board members to make key decisions and discuss the journal’s progress. Getting everyone together is a great opportunity to spot areas for development and share ideas, but it’s up to the editor-in-chief to make the most of the opportunity.

Whether you’re new to the role or struggling to make editorial board meetings work for you, this post is for you. We’ll take you through the essentials for running an effective board meeting as well as sharing some top tips from fellow editors.

The basics: agenda template for an editorial board meeting

Planning is critical to a successful meeting. Prepare and share the agenda in advance and be sure to include these five key points:

  • Welcome and introduction, including member updates
  • Review of previous minutes, notes and actions
  • An editor’s report with an update on the status of the journal
  • A report on journal performance from the publisher
  • Discussion on milestones, anniversaries, events, and achievements

Top tips for a successful editorial board meeting

Now you have your key points for the agenda it’s time to make sure the whole meeting runs as smoothly as possible. To ensure every member gets the most out of the meeting follow these top tips:

Communicate regularly with your editorial board

Firstly, maintain contact with your board members throughout the year. This means they’re up to date on the journal’s progress before the meeting and you don’t have to spend time updating them on the basics. Communicate with board members to keep them engaged, ensuring they contribute ideas, generate submissions, and drive the journal forward.

Tie a board meeting in with a conference where the community meets

Meeting at a conference is a good way to encourage attendance by board members, especially if you hold it at lunchtime. The conference organizers can usually provide a suitable venue, making organization that much easier.

Make the most of the tools available

Free online tools, such as Doodle polls, are simple to use and can help you to check the availability of board members. Furthermore, Skype, or other online meeting tools, can allow editors who are not present to attend.

Take notes

Assign an attendee the task of writing and distributing accurate and actionable notes. Label actions for each board member, or Taylor & Francis; agree the notes and actions with your Managing Editor; and then share them with the board.

Editors tips for an even better editorial board meeting

We asked Graham Walton (Editor-in-Chief of New Review of Academic Librarianship) and Gary Downey (Editor-in-Chief of Engineering Studies) how they ensure their editorial board meetings are a success. Here are their suggestions:

  • Share a presentation or discussion with the board about a broad relevant issue of interest to the journal and its field before the meeting. Use this as a basis for relating it to the journal’s development. Alternatively, distribute the journal report produced by Taylor & Francis, and use this as a source for discussion.
  • Discuss with the publisher what they would like to get out of the meeting and how to achieve this.
  • Ensure that most agenda items benefit from input by the board.
  • Focus on sharing quality evidence-based data and manage discussions to extract actionable items.

And finally, make sure you think ahead and set aside some time at the end of the meeting to set a date for the next one.