Description of the role of the Editor(s)-in-Chief, International Journal of Epidemiology (IJE)

Editor(s)-in-Chief, International Journal of Epidemiology (IJE)


The International Epidemiological Association (IEA) is seeking new Editor(s)-in-Chief for its influential flagship journal, the International Journal of Epidemiology (IJE). The IJE, owned by IEA, is published by Oxford University Press (OUP).

IJE is one of the most highly respected and cited journals in the field of epidemiology. Its Impact Factor increased from 4.5 in 2006, to 9.2 in 2014, and it is currently ranked 2nd in the list for all journals on Public, Environmental and Occupational Health. Around 130 original articles, together with editorials, commentaries, letters and commissioned content are published annually, in six issues. The Journal receives over 1,500 article submissions a year.

This is an exciting opportunity for an outstanding scientist(s) to take this successful journal onto the next stage in its development. Applicants should be specialists in epidemiology or public health with an international reputation and editorial experience. Applicants can be based anywhere in the world. Joint applications are welcome. The successful candidate(s) can propose their preferred editorial structure. The successful candidate(s) are expected to start their editorial tenure, overlapping with the current IJE editors, beginning in August 2016, and to take over completely on 1 January 2017.

The editorial office budget shall be set by agreement between the IEA Council and the Editor(s)-in-Chief; the contribution from IEA will not exceed US$170,000. The Editor(s)-in-Chief will work in close collaboration with OUP, which provides the editorial office with technical support for manuscript tracking, managing submitted articles, and preparing articles for publication. The editor shall have reasonable tenure in office and IEA Council will evaluate the Editor(s) at three yearly intervals.

Applications should include a covering letter of no more than two pages (500 words) with a summary of your qualifications and experience; a concise curriculum vitae of no more than four pages; a two page statement of your vision for the Journal, and confirmation that your institution would support you taking this role

Description of the role of the Editor(s)-in-Chief

The Editor(s)-in-Chief (Editor) is appointed by the IEA Council (Council) and is responsible to Council for the academic quality of the IJE (Journal). The editorial office budget shall be set by agreement between Council and the Editor. The Editor(s) will work in close collaboration with the publisher (Publisher), currently OUP. OUP’s ScholarOne manuscript tracking system assists the management of submitted manuscripts and OUP provides technical support for preparing articles for publication.

The role of the Editor(s)-in-Chief involves:

  1. Responsibility for the academic quality of the Journal and for ensuring that it represents the full breadth of epidemiology, reflecting the interests and objectives of the IEA.
  2. Responsibility for ensuring that content of IJE is accurate, credible, authoritative, relevant to the Journal’s scope and mission, readable, and comprehensible. The Editor is responsible for setting and communicating Journal policies regarding authorship, conflict of interest, ethical conduct of research, and academic misconduct, with support from the Publisher.
  3. Recognizing that scientific and editorial ethics are founded upon integrity, competence, and a responsibility to protect the communal and public interest, the Editor shall strive to advance the reporting of science in ways that ensure the highest standards of reliability, accessibility, openness, and integrity of the scientific enterprise. The Editor shall promote the broader ethical and communal interests of science in the public domain.
  4. Responsibility for selecting manuscripts that are original and important contributions to knowledge. Published manuscripts are expected to present valid and reproducible results in sufficient detail for readers to assess the validity of the inferences drawn. Published manuscripts are expected to refer appropriately to previous work.
  5. Responsibility for commissioning material in accordance with agreed editorial policies.
  6. Responsibility for appointment of the Editorial Board, in cooperation with the IEA. Major editorial appointments and agreement on overall working processes, roles and editorial structure are subject to final approval from the IEA.
  7. Responsibility for selecting all materials for publication in IJE, including articles, commentaries, editorials, and reviews. The Editor should use the expertise of the Editorial Board, other peer reviewers, and editorial staff in critiquing and selecting manuscripts for publication. The Editor may delegate manuscript selection to editorial board members or other members of the editorial team. However, the Editor remains the final arbiter for all material published in the IJE.
  8. Ensuring that peer review and other related publication assignments are undertaken by qualified specialists, and that these specialists disclose relevant conflicts of interest as part of the regular review process.
  9. Bringing public attention to the scientific content of IJE through dissemination of information to the media, working in collaboration with the Publisher.
  10. Responsibility for clearly defining and implementing IJE’s ethical standards, in collaboration with the Publisher. The Editor is not responsible, however, for investigating, judging, or punishing the author for ethical lapses, other than deciding if authors should be barred from submission to the Journal when academic misconduct has been documented. The Editor shall establish the Journal’s policy on notifying an author’s institution of failure to comply with the Journal’s ethical standards. The Editor is also responsible for working with the Publisher to inform readers and secondary services of work formally found to be plagiarized, fabricated, or falsified.
  11. Responsibility for establishing procedures to help maintain Journal quality, identify errors and problems, detect trends that reflect deterioration in quality, and in collaboration with the Publisher implement corrective actions as needed. The Editor, supported by the Publisher, shall monitor the number and types of errors that appear in the Journal.
  12. Responsibility for monitoring editorial processing timelines, using information provided by the Publisher. This shall include monitoring acceptance and rejection rates of specific types of manuscripts, managing the inventory of accepted manuscripts, tracking reviewer performance, and turn-around times for every stage from manuscript receipt to publication.
  13. Acting professionally, without prejudice or conflict of interest. The Editor will not allow their editorial judgment to be influenced by political, commercial and other considerations that are beyond the scope of each scientific report and analysis of possible impacts and applications
  14. The Editor will not disclose confidential information unless authorized by the source of that information, or if there are allegations of misconduct that require access to that confidential information, or if the Editor is required by law to disclose that information.
  15. The Editor shall refrain from using confidential information for personal gain, and shall take reasonable steps to ensure that such information is not used for the advantage of other parties.
  16. Conducting at least one Editorial Board meeting annually during which the Editor will provide the Editorial Board with an update on the Journal, identify and discuss areas in need of performance improvement; and explore ideas for editorial development and potential enhancements to the print and online Journal.

 IEA processes for Editor(s)-in-Chief

 The IEA Handbook (, p74) describes its processes for appointing a new IJE editor, as:

  • One year before the termination of the term of appointment or earlier in the case of resignation of the Editor of the International Journal of Epidemiology, the President establishes a Search Committee for the Editor’s replacement.
  • The Search Committee is composed of all the Executive Committee members and a maximum of two other members of the IEA. The outgoing editor may not be a member of the Committee, but the Committee may seek advice from the outgoing editor.
  • Announcement is given of the vacant post on the IEA website and in selected journals, inviting applications for the position of Editor. Members of the Search Committee may solicit candidates through personal contacts.
  • Candidates should include in their application a description of their
    • professional career and status at national and international level;
    • editorial experience; experience in international collaborations;
    • support available to undertake the editorial work;
    • personal time available to carry the editorial work;
    • proposed work programme, including estimated budget
  • Each member of the Search Committee scores each of these six items listed above on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). The average and range of the scores on each item are used as a guide to assess the merit each candidate in respect to that item. No formal combination of the six item scores is performed and the overall ranking of the candidates is obtained through discussion within the Search Committee. Candidates judged unsuitable are not ranked.
  • The name of the agreed upon candidate is submitted to Council for approval of the official appointment.
  • Not later than six months before the expected starting date of the new Editor the Executive Committee opens an explorative negotiation with the first ranked candidate to agree on the conditions of appointment; should these reveal insurmountable problems, negotiations are opened with the second ranked candidate.

The Editor(s)-in-Chief has the following responsibilities to IEA Council:

  • Providing an annual report to Council for its meetings and attending annual meetings of the full Council or the Executive Committee
  • Presenting to Council proposals for new Editorial appointments or changes in the structure of the editorial team (including appointment of Co-Editors). Formal appointments will be approved only after the Council had an opportunity to assess the proposed new appointments
  • Informing Council of any political, commercial or other incidents that could impair the scientific credibility of IJE
  • Reporting to Council any contravention of the guidelines described above
  • Addressing journal management issues jointly with a representative from Council and the Publisher

The Search Committee comprises the IEA Executive Committee, consisting of: IEA President (Valerie Beral, University of Oxford, UK), IEA President Elect (Henrique Barros, University of Porto, Portugal), IEA Secretary (Vinod Srivastava, University of Lucknow, India), IEA Treasurer (Lorenzo Richiardi, University of Turin, Italy), David Wegman (Harvard University, USA), and two additional members of the IEA, Peter Smith (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK) and Lixin Jiang (Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, China). In appointing the IJE Editor(s)-in-Chief, the Search Committee may seek advice from the current editors of IJE and editors of other epidemiology and related journals.

Applications close on 14 February 2016 and should be sent to the IEA Secretary, Dr Vinod Srivastava, Applications should include a covering letter of no more than two pages (500 words) with a summary of your qualifications and experience and confirmation that your institution would support your taking on this role; a concise curriculum vitae of no more than four pages; and a two page statement of your vision for the Journal, covering such topics as: why you are interested in being appointed to this position; your qualifying experience; how you expect to conduct the Journal’s business on a day-to-day basis; how do you see the future development of the Journal, and confirmation that your institution would support your taking on this role. Any conflicts of interest should be declared.

Further information about the journal (including data on trends in submissions, acceptances, commissioned articles, citations and downloads) is available, on request from the IEA Secretary. Potential candidates may wish to consult with the current IJE Editors-in-Chief (, or the Publishers (

Interviews are expected to be held in March 2016, with an appointment made in April/May 2016. The successful candidate(s) are expected to take effect from August/September. The new editor could begin handling new submissions starting in September 2016, to take over completely on January 1, 2017.