When I first applied to edit a journal, it was in part about thinking that I would really enjoy some of the tasks – reading submissions and reviews, putting together issues, and engaging with cutting edge work in the field. That is what I’d enjoyed about editing books before I became a journal editor – that, and creating space for interesting conversations between scholars and research I found interesting. Three years and two journals into it, I think about editing more as a duty than as a privilege – something I am sure many editors come to feel.
I don’t mean I don’t like it anymore – quite the opposite – the more I edit, the more I enjoy it. I mean that editing a journal is not primarily a cool supplement for one’s own research or a privilege imbued with the power to discipline the discipline. It is, or at least it should be, a service performed for the authors and consumers of the content of the journal. It seems appropriate, then, to think about what that service entails. What should I expect of journal editors to whom I submit? And what should authors expect of me? What is involved in taking editing seriously?
I’ve had a lot of opportunity to think about that in the last couple of days. Here’s my .02.