The Role of the Managing Editor
The role of managing editor varies in different journals, however, she/he is responsible for the day to day work of the journal and must report to the chief editor. The managing editor defines the work processes and makes sure that they are followed.
She/he should manage the budget and staff and also try to prevent any problems. Moreover, if any issues occur, managing editor is the one who is responsible for resolving that issue. The managing editor needs to have strong communication skills and the capability to make plans. Interaction is the key characteristic of the managing editor. The duties of a managing editor are briefly explained below.
- Management Planning
The managing editor prepares the work plan to communicate the objectives and strategies to staff members (i.e., the editorial board, authors, graphists, and layout artists). She/he determines deadlines and keeps track of all the tasks so that they will be completed and delivered on time. The managing editor can also set deadlines earlier to prevent possible problems of late delivery so that the journal does not suffer from the probable shortcomings of its staff. Hence, it can be said that the managing editor is responsible for the schedule management of the journal.
- Task Assignment
The managing editor is responsible for assigning various tasks to the right people, determining the importance of the material, and deciding about the page layout. She/he oversees the prepared material and organizes the scientific and technical editing processes. Furthermore, a managing editor must organize the proofreaders, chief editors, and editorial assistants and also approves the texts from a technical point of view. Editors are referred to the managing editor if they have any questions.
- Staff Management
As a senior member of the editorial board, the managing editor plays a key role in recruiting and training new members. She/he has to make sure that each employee has a standard workload. Managing editor also helps newcomers to overcome challenges and enhance their skills.
- Managing the Process of Accepting Articles
The managing editor is the first one who reads the submitted articles and reviews them to make sure that they have adhered to the standard format of the journal. Moreover, the managing editor must consider grammatical issues. If an article has problems in this regard, the managing editor will return it to its author to revise it. Managing editor should also follow the processes an article goes through, from acceptance to publishing.
Required skills of a Managing Editor:
- Writing and editing skills
- Good working relationship
- Decision-making ability
- Time management
- Organizational skills
- financial and schedule Management
- Communication skills
- Familiarity with the needed software and internet
The editor in chief and managing editor work together to ultimately meet the demands of the journals’ audience. Both of them attend different events and try to present a positive image of their organization. The editor in chief makes the major decisions and delegates them to the managing editor and oversees her/his performance. Recruitment and dismissal of the staff are their joint tasks, but the chief editor has the final say. Overall, the managing editor is responsible for the executive tasks, while the editor mostly makes decisions and supervises.
What Should Journals Without a Managing Editor Do?
Smaller journals might not have a managing editor and only have a chief editor. In such cases, the chief editor supervises the editors’ and editorial assistants’ work and sometimes edits articles as well. In this kind of journal, chief editor is responsible for both of these positions. Therefore, she/he has to fulfill both the executive tasks and the daily work of the CEO regarding publishing and staffing. Since the journal is smaller, the responsibilities of the chief editor are limited, so she/he can handle both of the aforementioned tasks. Sometimes the chief editor assigns some executive tasks to managers of different sections and asks them to write work reports.