Process and Structure

Editorial Committee

The Editorial Committee of the Code4Lib Journal (C4LJ) collectively manages the entire business of the Code4Lib Journal, editorial as well as business functions. New members to the committee are approved by a majority vote of the existing committee.

Coordinating Editor

There will be a rotating Coordinating Editor (CE), by volunteer. A Coordinating Editor will serve until the publication of an issue, at which point a new volunteering Coordinating Editor will serve. The CE is generally responsible for trying to make sure nothing slips through the cracks, and the issue gets out. But the CE isn’t just responsible for the issue, she’s responsible for loose ends tying for the period of her tenure.

Editorial Process

We will generally use an editorial process, not a blind peer review process. (We may add a peer review process for a subset of articles at a later date, if there is interest.) A discussion of peer review is in the Editorial Introduction to issue #10 by Edward M. Corrado: The Code4Lib Journal Experiment, Rejection Rates, and Peer Review. In a June 6, 2012, post on his blog, long-time editorial committee member Jonathan Rochkind wrote Code4Lib Journal and “Peer Review”. A more in-depth description of the editorial process can be found in a December 12, 2012, article from In the Library with the Lead Pipe: Open Ethos Publishing at Code4Lib Journal and In the Library with the Lead Pipe.

Soliciting Submissions

Submissions can be solicited by the Editorial Committee (EC) from specific people; solicited with an invitation on a topic; or submitted solely at author’s initiative. The EC will maintain private forums for discussion of submitted articles. Other business of the journal that’s not about specific articles will be conducted in public forums such as our public listserv and wiki pages.

Submission

A submission can come in the form of a complete draft, or a proposal in the form of an abstract. Submissions will be forwarded to the entire EC. A provisional vote will be taken within a month of submission, hopefully sooner. Not all editors need to vote on every proposal, but for a submission to be provisionally accepted at least two editors and a majority of those voting will be in favor. A provisionally accepted article will have an editor assigned to it, and a target issue. There will generally be an issue-specific deadline for complete drafts, if the original submission was just a proposal.

The assigned editor will work with the author to get the article ready for publication. The assigned editor will mediate all communication between author and the EC, such as requests for changes, and generally keep track of the author.

Provisional approval does not commit C4LJ to publishing the article or set a date when it might be published, but it does signal to the author that C4LJ will likely publish the article provided the necessary changes (if any) are made and space allows.

Complete Draft

After the first complete draft is received, it will be forwarded to the entire Editorial Committee. The assigned editor has the responsibility to review it and decide if he or she recommends it as a finished product to the Editorial Committee. [See our content evaluation guidelines.] The assigned editor will work with the author(s) on any changes, taking into account any suggestions or comments from other editorial committee members. When the assigned editor recommends the article as finished (which could be with no changes at all, or could be after changes), the Editorial Committee will take another vote to approve the finished product for inclusion. Again, at least two committee members must vote yes, and more vote yes than no, for approval for publication.

More Specific Coordinating Editor Responsibilities

The Coordinating Editor will:

  • Keep track of each article in the pipeline, which editor is assigned, and what the deadline is.
  • Recruit editors for each article as necessary, by cajoling, begging, or other mechanism to be determined later by the Editorial Committee.
  • Keep track of votes on each article.
  • Make sure no articles fall through the cracks, and that we don’t reject any articles through being too busy to notice they’re good.
  • Communicate rejections with the author.
  • Publicize Call for Submissions and Table of Contents.
  • Set deadlines and help us keep them.
  • Writing the introduction for the issue you are coordinating.
  • Help identify other tasks that need to be done, and recruit editors to do them.

More specific editorial committee responsibilities

All Editorial Committee members will:

  • Read, discuss, vote on, and be assigned articles.
  • Proofread and comment on draft articles edited by other Committee members.
  • Solicit articles and recruit authors
  • Take a turn as Coordinating Editor, as they have time.
  • Helping to do what needs to be done as it comes up.
  • Share responsibility for making and keeping C4LJ a great publication.

Iterative Process

This process is subject to review and alteration by the Editorial Committee, once we try it out.

More detailed information for editors