SSA Seeks Editor-in-Chief for The Seismic Record

The Seismic Record, launching in early 2021, is an open-access, online only journal, publishing high-quality short form papers in seismology and earthquake science. The journal will advance seismology through prompt publication of high-impact articles of significance in the field. The Seismic Record will be an outlet to cover recent events and current topics of strong significance, warranting rapid peer review and publication. The Seismic Record will ensure rigorous peer-review with a time from submission to publication of approximately two months. The journal will cover the entire spectrum of seismological science, publishing papers on a myriad of basic, applied and theoretical science problems related to earthquake hazards, earthquake engineering and public policy issues requiring rapid dissemination. The Seismic Record will publish research focused on all scales of seismological advances from planetary/global to local/geotechnical scales, solving problems related to structure and dynamics of the Earth, earthquake source physics, theoretical and cross-disciplinary topics.  The journal will consider articles of no more than 3500 words (excluding references) with a maximum of five figures and/or tables and no more than 30 references.


The Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of The Seismic Record will be responsible for the editorial direction of SSA’s open access, short-form, rapid publication journal. The EIC is expected to have a broad knowledge of seismology and earthquake science and will be committed to executing on SSA’s vision for the new journal.  The EIC will endeavor to establish The Seismic Record as an authoritative and relevant resource that will enhance the SSA’s journal portfolio while preparing it for consideration for inclusion in the relevant abstracting and indexing services.


The EiC will be the chief ambassador for the journal, responsible for structuring and overseeing the performance of the Editorial Board working closely with the Editor-at-Large and Deputy Editor-in-Chief. The EIC will cultivate a diverse and global Editorial Board of Associate Editors with subject matter expertise and will be responsible for making final decisions on acceptance or rejection of peer-reviewed papers based on the recommendations of Associate Editors.

To achieve the journal’s ambitious time to publication of 8-10 weeks, the EIC will be expected to interface with the journal’s online submission and peer review system on a daily basis to move articles forward by making editorial assignments and/or decisions on manuscripts.

Additionally, the EIC of The Seismic Record will be responsible for:

  • establishing an editorial infrastructure with well-defined peer review procedures to ensure rapid and fair peer-review;
  • setting standards for desk rejections and/or transfers to BSSA and SRL as appropriate;
  • recruiting Associate Editors to serve on the Editorial Board, with advisement by the head of SSA’s Publications Committee;
  • overseeing the work of the Deputy EIC and Associate Editors;
  • developing a pool of reviewers representing the broad scope of seismology;
  • delivering adequate inventory of high-quality manuscripts to publish quarterly issues per an agreed-upon schedule;
  • maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of manuscripts in peer review and corresponding with authors, editors, reviewers and readers regarding peer review and/or manuscript decisions;
  • escalating any disputes with authors and incidences of error and/or allegations of misconduct to the SSA Publications Committee;
  • working collaboratively with SSA’s press officer to promote articles;
  • selecting images to feature on the journal website.

Qualifications and Required Skills

SSA is seeking an EIC with the energy and vision to establish The Seismic Record as an authoritative and respected peer-reviewed journal covering the broad scope of seismology and earthquake sciences. The EIC of The Seismic Record will:

  • be a member of SSA;
  • be an active researcher and recognized expert in the seismology and earthquake science community with a broad knowledge of the field;
  • have a background that reflects high standards in research and publication;
  • be in a position to attract respected experts to serve on the Editorial Board;
  • possess editorial experience and an understanding of the online editorial process;
  • be fair and trustworthy while possessing the ability to make difficult decisions;
  • be committed to equity and inclusion in all aspects of the publishing process;
  • be interested in the evolving business models and relevant technological advances in publishing;
  • demonstrate strong leadership, organizational and communication skills, with a focus on service and positive author experiences.

The EIC of The Seismic Record is a volunteer position that serves at the pleasure of the SSA Board of Directors. SSA anticipates a five-year agreement beginning in Summer 2020. SSA will provide a modest annual honorarium. The EIC will be an ex-officio member of SSA’s Publications Committee, working with SSA’s publishing director, executive director and Board of Directors to make policy decisions that affect the overall direction of SSA’s journal portfolio and that have a financial impact on SSA.  In the role of liaison between The Seismic Record and SSA, the EIC will:

  • participate in conference calls and email discussions with The Seismic Record’s publications team including the chair of the Publications Committee, the managing editor, executive director, publishing director and headquarters staff;
  • prepare an annual report on journal statistics and the activities of the journal;
  • represent The Seismic Record at the meetings of the Publications Committee and the Board of Directors every April
  • recommend policies that could improve the journal.

The EIC will be well-regarded in the seismological community and have excellent credentials, exceptionally good judgment, strong communications skills and must actively support the ethical standards described by the SSA Professional Ethics Policy.

All queries, nominations and self-nominations should be addressed directly to Doug Dreger, Chair of the SSA Publications Committee, at  SSA encourages the community to submit nominations by 30 June 2020.