Every journal depends upon its editorial board for its success. The Editor-in-Chief (EIC) is typically a highly experienced scientist responsible for driving the strategic direction of the journal in collaboration with the Editorial Board members. EIC is the figurehead of the journal and is responsible for supervising all facets of the peer review process for the publication of manuscripts ensuring timely peer review and quality publication. The EIC is also in the optimal position to have broad oversight of the review process and is the decision-maker in situations of ambiguity or conflict. The role of EIC is essential for the publication of scholarly, peer-reviewed journals.

Prerequisites to engage as an Editor-in-Chief

They should guarantee the quality of the journal and elevate the significance of published articles to the corresponding community. EIC is selected based on-

  • Have at least 75-100 publications in National or International peer-reviewed articles in the same or related discipline of the applied journal.
  • An academic rank above Professor or equivalent.
  • Relevant working experience in the related areas of the applied journal.
  • Growing profiles on Scopus, Web of Science, and other prestigious databases.
  • Research performance indicators such as total citations and h index.
  • The Editor-in-chief should sign a consent letter to confirm the acceptance of the EIC post with the designated journal.

Roles and Responsibilities of Editor-in-Chief

  • They are responsible for raising the journal’s profile and ensuring that content published meets the editorial strategy and policies of the journal, as stated in the journal’s aim and scope.
  • Drive the evolution of the journal and executing the goals defined in the journal’s development plan. Implement strategies such as cover new subject areas not previously included in the aim and scope, cover new geographical areas for increasing the number of high-quality submissions, usage, citations, and other measures of success for the journal.
  • Raise the profile of the journal through active promotion and soliciting high-quality papers for publication. Act as the senior authority on all matters of editorial policy, decisions, and scope should be unbiased, confidentiality, and fairness.
  • Select and invite appropriately qualified scientists to serve as editors in the editorial board, ensuring there are an adequate subject representation and geographical spread.
  • Provide updates and write reports on journal matters.
  • Provide policy advice to editors in case of any publication misconduct or arbitrate over disputed decisions.
  • Handle the peer review of papers, select appropriate reviewers, and based on the received reviews and their own opinion, to make a decision for publication of the manuscript.
  • Deal with manuscripts and all other issues promptly and with appropriate communication with the journal editorial office, authors, and reviewers.
  • Directing the overall strategy of the journal in co-operation with the publisher.
  • Reviewing and deciding upon submitted manuscripts to ensure sustainable and timely copy flow.
  • Promoting the journal, commissioning content, and fielding submission enquire as appropriate.
  • Periodically, EIC should investigate and monitor the editorial board member’s activity to see who is contributing to the journal.
  • To provide extra support to board members handling a large number of submissions.
  • To remove any inactive board members or those that have decided to retire from the board, EIC should always aim to send a letter of appreciation.

The Editor-in-Chief is not just responsible for constructing the editorial board, but also for engaging with the board once it is in existence. EIC should keep the board members informed about the latest developments on the journal and solicit ideas for future improvements This will help in creating a collaborative community, which is engaged in creating an excellent journal with impactful research.

Unexpected Circumstances

On a rare occasion or due to certain circumstances, an EIC needs to step down unexpectedly. In these situations, the EIC should contact the journal as quickly as possible to discuss options.

Accordingly, a circumstance may arise where an editor wants to resign or retire, in which case the EIC will facilitate the recruitment and onboarding of a new editor. During this period, the EIC is expected to communicate with the outgoing editor’s editorial board members and advise the new editors for the editorial board.