6. International Journal of Epidemiology

General description

The International Journal of Epidemiology (the Journal) is the official journal of the Association. Its remit is to encourage communication among those engaged in the research, teaching, and application of epidemiology of both communicable and non-communicable disease, including research into health services and medical care. It also publishes papers describing new epidemiological and statistical methods for the analysis of data used by those who practice social and preventive medicine. In doing this, it is hoped that the Journal can inform policy on healthcare and public health worldwide.

The Journal is published six times per year by Oxford University Press (OUP; the Publisher), on behalf of the Association. The contract is reviewed every five years. The Journal is published both online and in print. Members have access to the online edition and may opt to receive the print edition at additional cost. 

The Journal is run by the editor-in-chief (the Editor), who is appointed by Council, subject to a written agreement. The editor appoints any co-editor, the deputy and assistant editors, subject to agreement by Council; and appoints the editorial board, considering a balance as regards gender, geographical location and subject. The editorial board comprises around 50 epidemiologists from around the world. Deputy editors are responsible for initial triage of the more than 1500 papers submitted to the Journal each year; along with the editorial board members, they also take responsibility for papers in their subject area, sending papers for peer review and making subsequent recommendations to the editor-in-chief. 

The Journal’s policies are set by Council considering the advice of the editor. However, the editor, working with the deputy editors, assistant editors and editorial board, has sole authority and responsibility for the content of the Journal in order to ensure full editorial independence.

The editorial office is funded by the Association and the budget is set by Council upon review and approval of a proposal submitted by the editor. The editor has the freedom to manage the use of the budget once awarded.

The term of office for the editor is three years, and a maximum of three terms may be served.

6.2 Appointment of the Editor

The text below comprises a recommended process, but Council is at liberty to amend it as they see fit.

One year before the termination of the term of appointment, or earlier in the case of resignation of the editor of the Journal, the President establishes a search committee for the editor’s replacement.

The Search Committee is composed of the Executive Committee and a maximum of two other members of the Association. The outgoing editor may not be a member of the Committee, but the Committee may seek advice from the outgoing editor.

 An announcement is given of the vacant post on the Association’s 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:

      a) professional career and status at national and international level;
      b) experience editing a journal of epidemiology or public health;
      c) experience in international collaborations;
      d) support available to undertake the editorial work;
      e) personal time available to carry the editorial work;
      f)  plan for operations within budget allocated.

Each member of the Search Committee scores each of these six items 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 preferred 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 should open an explorative negotiation with the first-ranked candidate to agree on the conditions of appointment; should these reveal insurmountable problems, negotiations shall be opened with the second-ranked candidate.

6.3 Role description of the Editor

The editor is responsible for the academic success of the Journal and for ensuring it maintains the highest possible academic quality, represents the full breadth of the discipline, and, as far as possible, that authors, editors and reviewers represent an equitable balance of gender, geographical location and subject area. The main responsibilities are:

   • To manage the content of the Journal in a manner that meets the aims stated above.
   • To appoint any co-editor, deputy editors or assistant editors, subject to approval by Council.
   • To appoint the editorial board with a view to achieving the diversity stated above.
   • To manage the peer review process in liaison with the publisher to achieve both quality and timely publication.
   • To manage the peer review office within budget.
   • To maintain an overview of the subject of epidemiology to ensure that the Journal develops appropriately as the discipline changes.
   • To obtain and assess a qualitative and quantitative annual report from the publisher.
   • To report annually to Council.
   • To attend meetings of the Executive Committee and Council as requested.