Associate Editor Agreement The Seismic Record

Associate Editors (AEs) play a key role in peer-reviewed publishing by supporting the journal Editor-in-Chief (EIC) as subject matter 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 of an AE include:

  • 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.
  • Attract new authors and submissions; promote the journal to colleagues and peers.
  • Assist the EIC in decision-making over issues such as plagiarism claims and submissions where reviewers cannot agree on a decision.

SSA and the TSR EIC thank you for your voluntary service to the global seismological community by serving on the TSR Editorial Board as an AE. Below we specify SSA’s expectations, professional ethics policy, compensation and terms of service. Kindly review these carefully and sign this Associate Editor Agreement.


SSA seeks to produce superior author experience and to be competitive, attracting and publishing the highest quality manuscripts that cover the breadth of seismology. TSR aims to provide a first decision to authors within 30 days of submission. In order to facilitate an efficient peer review process during their terms, AEs are expected to:

  • Respond to the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) within one business day if 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 within two business days by inviting and/or selecting alternate reviewers within the Editorial Manager system.
  • Respond to the EIC and/or Managing Editor within two business days regarding any delays in the peer review (such as a need for additional reviewer suggestions).
  • Recommend a decision to the EIC within two business 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 business days of receipt.
  • Recommend a final decision to the EIC within two business days of receiving the revision or re-review comments. If, after one major revision, significant work is still necessary, editors are encouraged to use 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 on average up to two new papers per month. The influx of submissions on specific topics cannot be predicted, and some fluctuation in the number of new papers per AE to handle each 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 real or perceived conflict of interest.


The Associate Editor position is voluntary and does not receive direct compensation from the Society. SSA believes that voluntary editorial service is a professional responsibility and strongly encourages the employers of volunteer editors to consider and recognize such service.

SSA does provide a modest honorarium ($500 per year).

SSA makes available 10 grants of $1,500 each to help promote the SSA journals to the community. Current AEs are eligible to request one grant each year to offset the cost of attending a relevant scientific conference in exchange for encouraging submissions from the meeting’s participants. The grant request is done through a short online form.

Term of Service

SSA requests an initial commitment of three years, subject to renewal by mutual agreement.