Associate Editors (AEs) play a key role in peer-reviewed publishing, supporting the journal Editor-in-Chief (EIC) and Deputy Editor-in-Chief (DE) as subject experts on various topics. AEs oversee assigned manuscripts, moving these papers through review and revision. AEs are responsible for assessing manuscript quality, obtaining peer reviews, requesting revisions where appropriate, and making recommendations to the EIC about acceptance or rejection of a manuscript.
The main responsibilities for an AE are to:
- Manage the review process, working with the EIC to ensure that manuscripts move through review and revision as efficiently as possible: identify appropriate reviewers, obtain reviews and make a recommendation to the EIC based on the reviews and the AE’s own assessment of the manuscript.
- Communicate with the corresponding author about manuscript revisions, reviewing the revised manuscript before making a final recommendation to the EIC.
- Serve on the journal’s Editorial Board to uphold scholarly standards and provide input on journal policy and scope.
- Identify topics for special issues (called Special Section for BSSA), which the AE may guest edit, and recommend to the EIC.
- Attract new authors and submissions; promote the journal to colleagues and peers.
- Assist the editor(s) in decision-making over issues such as plagiarism claims and submissions where reviewers cannot agree on a decision.
SSA and the Editor-in-Chief of BSSA thank you for your voluntary service to the global seismological community by serving on the BSSA Editorial Board as Associate Editor. Below, we specify SSA’s expectations, professional ethics policy, compensation, and terms of service. Kindly review these carefully, and then sign this Associate Editor Agreement.
SSA seeks to produce the best author experience and to be competitive, attracting and publishing the highest quality manuscripts that cover the breadth of seismology BSSA aims to provide a first decision to authors within 35 days after initial submission. In order to facilitate an efficient peer review process during their terms, AEs are expected to:
- Respond to the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) or Deputy Editor (DE) promptly (within one working day) if you are unable to handle any manuscript assignment due to a potential conflict of interest (see below), unavailability, or any other reason;
- Identify three to six potential reviewers promptly (within four working days) by inviting and/or selecting alternate reviewers within the Editorial Manager system;
- Respond to the EIC, DE and/or Managing Editor promptly (within one to two working days) regarding any delays in the peer review (such as a need for additional reviewer suggestions);
- Recommend a decision to the EIC or DE promptly (within four working days) of receiving two reviews, providing thorough and thoughtful comments for authors and editors;
- Determine whether a second round of peer review of a revised manuscript is necessary. Revisions should only be sent for an additional round of review if a reviewer’s detailed expertise is needed. In such cases, the revision should be sent back to the reviewer within two working days of receipt.
- Recommend a final decision to the EIC or DE within five working days of receiving the revision or re-review comments. If, after one major revision, significant work is still necessary, editors are encouraged to utilize the “reject and resubmit decision” rather than to continue with multiple rounds of major revision.
- Keep contact information and availability up-to-date in the Editorial Manager system;
- Handle approximately up to two new submissions per month, on average; as the influx of submissions on specific topics cannot be predicted, irregularity in the number of new papers per AE to handle per month is to be expected.
Professional Ethics Policy
SSA revised its professional ethics policy in 2022 to include disclosure statements for volunteers who perform key roles for the Society. Please complete this online form as part of confirming this agreement.
Conflict of Interest Disclosure
SSA’s conflict of interest standards for journal editors is based on the standards and best practices developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Under these guidelines, a conflict of interest (COI) is defined as a set of conditions in which professional judgement concerning a primary interest (such as validity of research) tends to be unduly influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial or material gain).
Please identify any potential conflicts of interest by completing the conflict of interest form. You will be taken to the conflict of interest form after submitting this form.
Additionally, AEs should be strongly aware of potential bias during peer review. In addition to any financial ties, such biases may occur when the AE and authors share the same institutional affiliation, have a history of professional collaboration or competition, or have a personal relationship. Whether real or perceived, such situations can compromise the authors’ and readers’ perception of the objectivity of SSA’s peer review. To avoid this, AEs should immediately notify the EIC if they are assigned a manuscript where there might be any perceived conflict of interest.
The Associate Editor position is a volunteer position and does not receive direct compensation from the Society. SSA believes that volunteer professional service is part of the professional responsibility and strongly encourages employers of volunteers to consider such service by their employees as within the scope of their employment.
SSA does provide a modest honorarium of $500 per year, usually dispensed each August.
SSA does make available a total of 10 grants of $1,500 each to help promote the journals to the community. Current AEs are eligible to request one grant each year to offset cost to attend a relevant scientific conference in exchange for encouraging submissions from the meeting’s participants. The grant request is done through a simple online form.
We know that there are many demands on your time, and the Society want to respect your time and interests. SSA requests a commitment of three years, subject to renewal, if there is mutual agreement.