SSA Seeks New BSSA Editor-in-Chief

7 July 2020 – Today the Seismological Society of America announced its search for the next Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA), its flagship, peer-reviewed international journal. The journal is key to the Society meeting its core mission to advance earthquake science worldwide and to support the assembly and distribution of quality science.

SSA has initiated the search to replace the retiring current Editor-in-Chief Thomas Pratt, who began his five-year term in 2016. During his tenure, Pratt cultivated several special issues on the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake, 1967 Koyna Earthquake, the 2019 Ridgecrest Earthquake Sequence, induced seismicity and more planned for 2021. The leadership transition is scheduled to take place during Summer 2021.

First published in 1911, BSSA is the premier journal of advanced research in earthquake seismology and related disciplines and has an impact factor of 2.274. BSSA publishes original papers advancing our understanding of seismology and seismic hazard analyses, as well as review articles summarizing important research topics. The journal’s format allows papers to fully explore research topics in detail. The journal unveiled a full redesign in 2020.

Role and Responsibilities of Editor-in-Chief

The BSSA EIC is fortunate to work with a dedicated volunteer editorial board, which the EIC oversees and recruits.  The EIC’s primary responsibility is to ensure the quality and timeliness of the content published in the journal and to make the final acceptance and rejection decisions on submitted papers. The EIC is also supported by a deputy EIC who focuses on the development of special issues. SSA supports the EIC through a network of paid contractors and staff.

Specific tasks of the EIC include:

  • Oversees the work of the Editorial Board;
  • Recruits deputy editor and associate editors as necessary, with advisement by the chair of SSA’s Publications Committee;
  • Works with SSA staff and contractors to establish an efficient editorial work flow;
  • Oversees the peer-review process to ensure that it is effective, fair and timely;
  • Does an initial screening of submitted papers, assigning those suitable for BSSA to associate editors;
  • Makes final decisions on acceptance or rejection of peer-reviewed papers based on the recommendations of associate editors and/or reviewers;
  • As warranted, communicates directly with authors of rejected papers, establishes procedures for reconsidering editorial decisions, and refers any disputes to the Publications Committee;
  • Reviews and decides on all comments, replies, and errata;
  • Determines line-up of articles for each issue;
  • Works collaboratively with press officer to promote papers published by BSSA;
  • Selects cover art for each BSSA issue;
  • In collaboration with the deputy editor, proposes special issues to the Publications Committee Chair;
  • Establishes editorial policies and guidelines and regularly reviews these with the publishing management team, revising as necessary.

Role as Liaison

The Editor-in-Chief is an ex-officio member of SSA’s Publications Committee, which works with SSA’s publishing director, executive director and Board of Directors to make policy decisions that affect the overall direction of BSSA and that have a financial impact on SSA.  In the role of liaison between BSSA and SSA, the Editor-in-Chief:

  • Participates in conference calls and email discussions with the BSSA publications team including the chair of the Publications Committee, the managing editor, executive director, publishing director and headquarters staff;
  • Prepares an annual report on journal statistics and the activities of BSSA;
  • Represents BSSA at the meetings of the Publications Committee and the Board of Directors every April and recommends policies that could improve the journal.

Candidate Profile and Nomination Process

The BSSA EIC is chiefly responsible for the content and quality of the journal. As editorial leader, s/he ensures the journal’s continued importance and service to the community by recruiting the best papers and maintaining the quality of the peer-review process. S/he will serve as an ambassador for SSA.

The EIC must 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.

The EIC position is a volunteer position that serves at the pleasure of the Board. SSA anticipates a five-year agreement and will provide a modest annual honorarium.

SSA will accept nominations, including self-nominations, through October 2020. The transition to a new EIC for SSA is scheduled for the summer 2021. All communication regarding the position should be directed to Doug Dreger, chair of the SSA Publications Committee, who heads the EIC search committee, at