One essential task for every editorial office is to develop good working relationships with their colleagues and to assist them in their editorial office tasks. It is also important to stay informed of changes to the editorial board and to ensure that updates are made to editor and editorial board listings online and in print. The editorial office administrator is often a key contact for new editors and/or board members who may need assistance in learning the journal’s workflow and the editorial office system.
The editor-in-chief is the lead editor and ultimately responsible (usually by a contractual arrangement) for the academic content of the journal. His/her primary responsibilities usually include:
Directing the overall strategy of the journal (in cooperation with the publisher and the society, as applicable).
Reviewing and deciding upon submitted manuscripts to ensure sustainable and timely copy flow.
Acting as an ambassador for the journal, commissioning content and fielding submission enquirers as appropriate.
Depending on the size of a journal and its topic breadth, a journal may have one or more associate editors. The editor-in-chief delegates work to these associates and may deputize some decisions to them. The exact role of the associate editor will vary from journal to journal, and manuscripts will often be assigned to them based on the topic or country of origin.
A journal may also appoint section editors, who are responsible for reviewing only specific manuscript types, such as book reviews or brief reports. Often, these editors make final decisions on their assigned manuscripts, but the editor-in-chief may wish to review decisions for all sections.
The composition of a journal’s editorial board may have various objectives:
- to bring together a range of key individuals within the field who can advise on journal strategy.
- to act as a ready team of potential reviewers with an active interest in the success of the journal.
- to add credibility to the journal and/or celebrate important experts in the field. (in this case the editorial board member’s position is largely honorific).
Individuals should be made aware of their responsibilities when invited to join the board.
Editorial Board Meetings
Members of the editorial board meet periodically to evaluate the journal’s health and to discuss overall goals. The frequency of these editorial board meetings varies depending on the specific needs of a journal. Attendees of the meeting also vary from journal to journal.
Art director / creative director / art editor / design director
As you can see key creative person in the publications team can have many titles, but however you call it, its line of work is the same, although the title of art director is the most common one. Art director is responsible for organization and commission of all the art work that will be included in the publication. He has to deal with its own team of designers, he has to outsource photographers, commission images with picture editor, outsource illustrations if needed, basically he is responsible for all the creative aspects of the job.
His instructions to its designers, photographers and illustrators are vital. I have talked about art director – photographer cooperation and this is how he should deal with all of them.
He has to give clear instructions to its design team. Some designer oversees every aspect of the design process and some give more freedom to their team. It all depends who is on the team. Art director generally has one deputy and he will work most of the time with him.
Art director is responsible how the online newsportal is going to look like. The success of the publication also depends on the design. I have seen so many times how good journalism and good publications were ruined by poor design.
Their role is to design the publication under art director’s supervision and according to its instructions. Designers work closely with art director and their level of involvement and autonomy in designing material is determined by several factors.
The key factor is how much freedom will their art director give them, because some art directors like to oversee every detail of the publication design while others are happy to delegate work and check it once the pages are laid out. Senior designers have more freedom than the junior designers.
The number of pages and the time frame of publication determines the number of designers. When the time frame is short the designers will have more responsibilities and more freedom in their work.
Usually responsible for the commissioning of the imagery, negotiating prices for the images from the stock sites, commissioning photographers, works closely with art director and ensures that the quality of the photographic material throughout the publication is on high level.
This kind of editor is responsible for acquiring text articles from the outsourced writers, also is responsible for the quality of those texts. Copy editor is writing all the display copy like headlines and kickers.
Their role is to check all the text materials for correct grammar and spelling. Proofreaders also cut excess copy. They work closely with a copy editor.
This is the person that oversees the physical compilation of all the materials by setting a production schedule and makes sure that everyone sticks to it. He is responsible for the communication with the printing-house, he is setting the deadlines for the commission of the text copy, imagery, design, editing deadlines and so on.
Each publication has different departments, such as if you are working in fashion online newsportal then editorial team will have fashion editor and beauty editor. These persons are responsible for their departments (sections) of the publication.
They are responsible for acquiring and writing text copy, acquiring product images for their departments and they work closely with editor in chief, art director and production manager.
These are the key positions in every publication. There are other positions but they are determined by the size of the publication, for example daily newspapers have a much bigger team than the online newsportal, but even the smallest teams will have a majority of the positions explained in this article.