American Sociological Association

COP 2014 08 (Aug) Action Items

Action Items from the Committee on Publications Meeting

August 17, 2014

Hilton Union Square, San Francisco


Elected members present were Jennifer Barber, Erin Kelly (Chair), Cecilia Ridgeway (Past ASA President), Mary Romero (ASA Secretary), Vincent Roscigno, Steven Vallas, and Amy Wharton. Incoming elected members Kathleen Blee and Douglas Hartmann also attended as observers.

Editors present for the open session were Lee Clarke, Gilbert Gee, Neil Gross, Karen Hegtvedt, Larry Isaac, Tim Futing Liao, Kathleen Lowney, Holly J. McCammon, and Rob Warren. Incoming editors Syed Ali, Michael Sauder, Richard Serpe, Jan Stets, and Stephen Sweet also attended as observers.

Present from the Executive Office were Sally T. Hillsman (Executive Officer), Karen Gray Edwards (Director of Publications and Membership), and Janine Chiappa McKenna (Journals and Publications Manager). Thomas Mankowski and Eric Moran from SAGE were also present.


The Committee voted to:

  • Approve the agenda. Carried unanimously.
  • Recommend to Council new editors for the new unnamed open access journal. Carried unanimously.
  • Appoint subcommittees to review applications for editorships to the American Sociological Review, Sociological Methodology, and Sociological Theory. Carried unanimously.
  • Allow the Journal of World-Systems Research to move to Creative Commons licensing. Carried unanimously.
  • Decline the proposal from the Political Economy of the World System Section to move the Journal of World-Systems Research’s content from its current location to a University of Pittsburgh platform. Carried unanimously. [The Committee subsequently agreed to ask the ASA Executive Office and Budget Committee to consider this piece of the JWSR proposal as an issue more in that Committee’s area of oversight.]
  • Approve changes to the author guidelines for Sociology of Education and Teaching Sociology. Carried unanimously.
  • Recommend to ASA Council to permanently increase Social Psychology Quarterly’s page allocation from 390 to 420. Carried unanimously.
  • Request that individuals who are applying to be editor of an ASA journal in the fall of a given year refrain from submitting to that journal after December 31 to avoid the potential conflict of having a new editor publish his or her own paper. The Committee also discussed that any submissions by an incoming editor prior to January 1 would need to be reviewed by a deputy editor selected by the outgoing editor. Carried unanimously.
  • Recommend to the ASA Executive Office and Budget Committee that the Executive Office hire a full-time social media position to support the journal editors. Carried unanimously.
  • Approve a proposal from the Journal of Health and Social Behavior to create a moderated blog. Carried unanimously.
  • Approve nominations for new editorial board members. Carried unanimously.


Open Access Editors. The Committee recommended Lisa Keister and James Moody as the inaugural editors of ASA’s currently untitled general sociology open access journal. ASA Council confirmed the appointment.

Journal Editor Subcommittees. The American Sociological Review subcommittee is the following: Larry Isaac, Holly McCammon, Mary Romero, Vinnie Roscigno (chair), and Amy Wharton. Erin Kelly (chair), Annette Lareau, and Tim Liao comprise the Sociological Methodology subcommittee. TheSociological Theory subcommittee is composed of Kathleen Blee (chair), Neil Gross, and Douglas Hartmann.

Proposal from Political Economy of the World-System Section. The Committee approved the Journal of World-Systems Research moving from standard copyright to Creative Commons license. The editors wish to move the hosting site to a system affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh rather than to the HighWire platform, where the other ASA journals are hosted. The Committee decided against that part of the proposal in part because it is free to use the HighWire platform and because doing so would allow the journal to use the SAGE manuscript submission system already used by other ASA journals. The committee did not move to require a transition to the HighWire platform and SAGE manuscript submission system but encouraged that out of a sense that doing so would benefit the journal and its presence in the larger social science public arena.

Policy Changes for Editor Applicants. Journal editor applicants will be requested to not submit while an application is under review because in the past editors have published their own articles during their official tenure, although those manuscripts were accepted by a previous editor. The Committee also discussed having a deputy editor make the decision in these cases, with a note that the decision was made by deputy editor, or request the author to withdraw the submission after becoming editor, but ultimately decided to request applicants refrain from submitting from January 1 until the new editor is announced. Anything in the pipeline once the editor has been announced needs to be moved to an independent deputy editor, assigned by outgoing editor, for all subsequent decisions.

Social Media Executive Office Staff.  The Social Media Subcommittee reviewed its report, which recommended that an ASA staff position be created to provide training and support to editors on social media and work with editors to develop protocols on social media. This person would need to have familiarity with copyright and permissions, and he or she would gather information on effectiveness of ASA’s social media efforts. The Committee discussed making all journal social media efforts aligned and unified in one office, rather than each office doing its own social media. The position would also include social media for other ASA activities, not just publications.

SAGE Contract Renewal. The Committee discussed the core dimensions of the SAGE contract renewal: more flexibility in small page increase requests; an increase in the income guarantee, supported by institutional subscription price increases; and a signing bonus.

Long-range Planning for the Committee and the Publications Program.  The ASA Executive Office and Budget Committee (EOB) and ASA Council requested that once a year the Committee dedicate time to discuss the Publications Portfolio. The idea came from EOB’s and Council’s discussions on the journal proposal from the Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the thought that the Committee should be thinking of ASA journals that could fill voids in subject areas before other groups or sections propose new publications. The Committee also discussed potentially expanding existing journals rather than developing new journals.

Editorial Office Funding. The Committee discussed a memo sent to EOB regarding providing additional editorial office funding. All editors have different circumstances and funding is different at each institution. The Committee reviewed its previous discussion over the current established budget guidelines and discussed how public recognition of editors is needed (such as the editors’ reception held at the Annual Meeting). Sometimes unexpected financial needs come up after editors take office and new and current editors should feel that they can make requests for funding, if needed.

Archive Discussion and Update. ASA submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation for funds to transfer the boxes to a research archive. The process is not just about digitizing the materials; it is also contacting authors and reviewers to get permission to include their materials in the archive and then turning the materials into an ASA-owned research database. The two processes (the digitization and obtaining permission) will go forward simultaneously. The Committee discussed why ASA Council changed its decision from destroying the materials to obtaining permission, saving them, and creating the archive.

The Subcommittee on Future Policy for Archiving provided an update—they created, edited, and condensed a draft survey, which went to Committee members for review. The survey could be incorporated into the SAGEtrack manuscript processing system and then authors and reviewers could either opt-in or opt-out within a certain time period; any opt-outs would create dummy files.