The editor in chief and managing editor are two completely separate jobs that sometimes have overlapping tasks. These two titles are used interchangeably because the authors and readers of scientific journals and even other types of journals do not know their differences.
However, the truth is that they are two different jobs. It can be said that the editor is like the CEO of a company, whereas the managing editor is like the chief operating officer. Top journals usually have both of them, but smaller journals may not have a managing editor.
The Role of the Editor in Chief
The editor in chief is in direct contact with the manager of the publication, and is responsible for applying the desires and opinions of the board of directors as well as proprietors of the journal. It is her/his job to determine the atmosphere, orientation and policies of the journal. The editor in chief designs the overall format of the journal and assigns the rest of the work to the journal’s reliable staff.
Major and Minor Decisions
The editor in chief has the final say regarding the journal’s internal affairs. She/he is the one who finally confirms the content of the journal and the approves the output of the journal. An editor in chief continually receives reports from the journal sections and studies them to identify and address the journal’s needs. She/he meets with the editorial board on a regular basis and responds to the needs of the audience by identifying the key issues. Other tasks of the chief editor are estimating the overall budget, making sure that it is provided, and also estimating the budget of various departments based on their needs and outputs.
Responsibilities of the Editor in chief Outside of the Company
The editor in chief has contact not only with the board of directors of the publishing house but also with other agencies and departments. She/he is the one who deals with the problems outside of the journal and sometimes has to travel for this purpose. The chief editor is the representative of the journal outside of the company and has to attend various meetings and events.
The required skills of an editor in chief:
- Excellent writing and editing skill
- Ability to listen and interact effectively with others
- Knowledge of status analysis and quality control processes
- Ability to judge and make decisions in times of crisis as well as other times
- Ability to manage time and complete tasks on schedule
- Knowledge of communications and media and laws
- Knowledge of legal issues
- possession of an open mind and creativity
- Ability to withstand pressure and stress and deliver good performance in harsh conditions
- Ability to manage human and financial resources
- Familiarity with the needed software and the internet