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Stipend and Benefits
The editor position is an immensely rewarding one and provides editors with skills that are important for any career path. UMBC is renowned for its research opportunities and by working in research publication, the UMBC Review editors can experience the behind-the-scenes aspect of research. As a bonus, the editor position includes a $1,500 stipend, and the editors receive exclusive access to an office and its resources on the first floor of Sherman Hall.
Positions and Division of Labor
There are two positions: the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Editor and the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Editor. The editors may split the papers according to expertise in order to facilitate the work; however, both editors are responsible for all papers in the end. If an editor is unavailable during a semester due to studying abroad, the other editor(s) serve to fill that void. Diversifying the editor positions by discipline might not be possible every year, but it is highly desirable as it mitigates some of the barriers that are inherent of an interdisciplinary journal.
Duties and Responsibilities of the Editors:
- Responsible for advertising and spreading the word about the UMBC Review. This is mainly done through utilizing personal networks and reaching out to departments and programs. Editors may also provide workshops and/or web page updates.
- Identify and engage off-campus peer-reviewers for submissions.
- Decide which papers are to be published, keeping in mind peer-reviewer comments as well as the goals and requirements of the UMBC Review.
- Provide authors with an editing plan and work closely with authors and mentors to prepare papers for publication. Edit the accepted papers and catch errors in the text of the paper as well as in formatting and citations.
- Remain in contact with the authors, reviewers, faculty mentors, design editors, and proofreaders in order to ensure all details are given the appropriate attention.
- Work closely with the design team, as the papers are handed back and forth, to ensure typesetting is completed smoothly. Look for any errors as design editors proceed. The editor should ensure that the accepted authors get to see their work regularly and are pleased with the progress.
- Attend URCAD in order to distribute the final product and recruit authors and new editors for the next year. Work to distribute the new edition of the UMBC Review to the appropriate people.
Proper writing skills, superb organizational skills, excellent communication skills, and overall timeliness and diligence are a must for this position. Candidates should consider what commitments they will have to juggle with the editorial position and how well they think they can perform all of these tasks. Being an editor is not an easy task, and if you have any concerns about your obligations or abilities, we highly recommend that you take the time to speak with the current editors to assess whether this position is right for you. Candidates must be willing to commit many hours to the UMBC Review.
- May – August: Conduct an intensive and varied publicity and recruitment campaign to solicit 30 or more high-quality manuscripts from students in a variety of disciplines. This requires frequent communication. Editors contact faculty mentors and undergraduate researchers directly, alongside broad publicity to attract the attention and interest of more student authors.
- Early September: Read the priority review submissions and provide initial feedback to authors before the final deadline. Identify peer-reviewers for promising paper.
- Mid-September – Mid-October: Read all the submissions and comment on papers’ likelihood to be accepted. Identify peer-reviewers for papers submitted by the September deadline and send papers to peer-reviewers for feedback
- Mid-October – Beginning of November: Participate in the All-Review meeting where editors and the faculty mentor make the final selection of articles for the journal. Take into account outside reviewer comments. Decision letters should start going out at the beginning of November.
- November – December: Work on revisions with authors over multiple rounds (usually three) of edits. It is the responsibility of the editor to become skilled and experienced as a manuscript editor. This includes a training session with the mentor and staff liaison, self-study, and practice. It is important to become a skilled user of appropriate discipline-specific style guides, too.
- Mid-January: Hand off the final manuscripts to the design team. All textual editing should be complete. Deliver any necessary materials (ex. pictures, graphs) to the design team.
- Mid-February: Receive the first pass of the book and mark it for mistakes.
- Beginning-mid March:
- Receive the second pass of the book and complete the second round of edits
- Send the manuscripts to the respective authors for their and their mentors’ approval
- Begin the search for new editors
- End of March: Receive the third pass of the book and check for mistakes of previous passes to be fixed. Approve the final version of the book.
- April: Be present at URCAD, staff the UMBC Review table to hand out books and answer questions about the process. Most importantly though, URCAD is the time to recruit new potential authors for the subsequent edition. After the general session at noon where the editors are recognized, the editors will trade off staffing the table to get potential candidates for submission from the people who step up to the table.
Meetings and Expectations
Editors have to hold frequent meetings with each other and with the faculty adviser. The time, location, and frequency of the meetings will be determined by the editors and the faculty adviser. During these meetings, the editors will update the faculty adviser and each other on the progress of that week along with fend any questions or concerns that may come up. While it is an option to decrease the frequency of the meetings after the designer hand-off, that is for the editors and adviser to decide.
As can be seen by the timeline, the editor position is a year-long position that demands attention and time to put in the necessary work. Besides having good communication skills that editors will employ when emailing authors, advisers, and reviewers, any interested candidate should be prepared to read and make educated comments on the manuscripts that will then be taken into editing. Another important expectation of the editor, is to train new editors on the process and serve as “senior editor” in that subsequent year, if non-graduating. This is not always possible with the student’s schedule due to other commitments, but it is highly encouraged that the accepted editors continue with the UMBC Review until graduation.