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There have recently been significant changes in the Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions’ (JCEHP) Editorial Board, a body comprising the consulting editors, Editor-in-Chief (EIC), and associate and assistant editors (see JCEHP's masthead). The changes involve the structure of the Editorial Board and the personnel who serve on the Board. This editorial addresses what has changed and why, and how these changes will affect various stakeholders. It also foreshadows changes yet to come.

First, who is affected and how? For authors, the changes mean faster turnaround times on manuscript submissions and improved feedback from peer reviewers and editors; for readers, they mean increased quality in the articles published by JCEHP and topics that are more tightly linked to major theoretical and practical issues and problems in the field; and for JCEHP's deputy editors (which include Assistant Editors, Associate Editors, Web Editor, Reviews Editor, Book Review Editor, and Managing Editor), they create new opportunities for involvement in the journal and afford them greater influence over its content and direction. As a result of the changes, the journal will benefit from the talents and wisdom of a larger group of editors. For the field of continuing education in the health professions, the results will be new opportunities to learn the editor's craft. Finally, for the EIC, it means having more time to devote to maintaining and enhancing the quality and influence of the journal and taking a more proactive stance toward the content of the journal by inviting and commissioning manuscripts.

Why Now?

  1. Top of page
  2. Why Now?
  3. Changes in Editorial Board Structure
  4. Changes in Personnel
  5. Biography

One of my major goals has been broadening participation in the day-to-day work of the journal. There are several factors that have made this the right time to redouble that effort, some of which have made the changes more feasible and others that have underscored their necessity.

  • Adoption of the ScholarOne Manuscripts system for online submission and management of manuscripts. ScholarOne allows several geographically dispersed people to collaborate on the editorial process.
  • Steady growth in the number and quality of manuscripts submitted to JCEHP. The increase in submissions has been difficult for the existing editorial staff to handle.
  • Increased emphasis on interprofessional education. JCEHP's editors are seeing more manuscripts that involve educational initiatives, multiple professions, especially nursing and pharmacy, many of which are authored by investigators outside the medical education field. As the number of manuscripts submitted from other professions increases, it becomes more important to offer opportunities for senior investigators in these fields to participate in editorial decision making.
  • The profound influence of journal editors on the direction and quality of scholarship in a field. An EIC is hired to enact his or her vision for the journal and bears ultimate responsibility for the quality and content of their publications. However, editors must also serve the interests of authors and readers. Involving these stakeholders in editing the journal is one way to ensure that this happens.

Changes in Editorial Board Structure

  1. Top of page
  2. Why Now?
  3. Changes in Editorial Board Structure
  4. Changes in Personnel
  5. Biography

In consultation with JCEHP's associate and assistant editors, several changes have been made or are in progress:

  1. Revised deputy editor roles and titles. Deputy editor positions have been restructured to achieve two goals: increase their involvement in the day-to-day editing of the journal and provide a career pathway within the deputy editor title series.
    • Assistant editor. The role of assistant editors will continue to be receiving peer reviewers’ assessments of manuscripts, conducting their own review of the manuscript, making recommendations to either accept or reject, preparing a draft letter to the corresponding author, working with the corresponding author to revise the manuscript if accepted, and determining when the manuscript is ready for final review. The major change is that assistant editors are now expected to edit four manuscripts per year, greatly increasing their involvement.
    • Associate editor (new position). In addition to doing the work of assistant editor, associate editors will select and recruit reviewers for manuscripts following initial approval of the submission by the EIC.
    • Senior associate editor (formerly associate editor). Senior associate editors will continue to provide advice and counsel to the EIC on a broad range of issues including editorial policy. They may also carry out the duties of an assistant or associate editor.
    • Specialist editors and editorial assistant. The roles of the book review editor, Web editor, and editorial assistant are unchanged.
    • All deputy editors provide input on journal policy and may serve as guest editors (eg, for a supplement or theme issue) or acting EIC on a manuscript for which the EIC has a conflict of interest (eg, the authors are from the EIC's institution). They may also suggest invited works, theme issues, articles for From the Archives topics for editorials, and peer reviewers. Assistant and associate editors receive a small stipend for their service to the journal.
    • Managing editor (new position). The managing editor works directly with the EIC and editorial assistant to ensure the timely and efficient flow of manuscripts through the system. Major responsibilities include the initial screening of new manuscripts, providing input on initial decisions (reject versus send out for peer review), and drafting initial decision letters. Over time, the managing editor's role is expected to expand to assigning manuscripts to assistant editors and assisting with reviewer selection and recruitment.
  • 2
    Added a senior associate editor position. The number of senior associate editors has been increased from three to four. This change allows for better representation of geographical regions and health care professions.
  • 3
    Developing an undergraduate/postgraduate internship position. There are very few opportunities for students and trainees to gain firsthand exposure and experience in journal editing. The intern will be able to observe the inner workings of a journal, explore editing as a career option, and enhance his or her chances of obtaining an entry-level position. The intern would also learn about writing for publication in scholarly journals, how to improve the quality of his or her own research, and critically appraising the scholarly literature.
  • 4
    Revisiting the composition of JCEHP's group of consulting editors. Consulting editors serve as peer reviewers and ambassadors for the journal. Given the importance of interprofessional education and the multidisciplinary backgrounds of authors who submit works to JCEHP, increasing representation from nursing and pharmacy within the ranks of consulting editors will be a priority. Broader geographic representation will also be a goal, especially for countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, which are the source of an increasing number of works published in JCEHP (see TABLE 1).
Table 1. Number of Manuscripts Submitted to the Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions through ScholarOne Manuscripts by Country, January 19a–November 22, 2013
CountryTotal
  1. a

    JCEHP went live with the ScholarOne online manuscript submission system on this date.

United States47
Canada22
United Kingdom12
Australia10
Iran, Islamic Republic of7
Italy6
Turkey6
China4
India3
New Zealand3
Saudi Arabia3
Serbia3
Spain3
Taiwan3
Germany2
Sweden2
Armenia1
Belgium1
Brazil1
Croatia1
Greece1
Ireland1
Israel1
Japan1
Jordan1
Korea, Republic of1
Lebanon1
Malaysia1
Netherlands1
Nigeria1
Peru1
Poland1
Portugal1
Switzerland1
Thailand1
Total155

Changes in Personnel

  1. Top of page
  2. Why Now?
  3. Changes in Editorial Board Structure
  4. Changes in Personnel
  5. Biography

Lori Bakken, PhD, has accepted an appointment as a consulting editor for JCEHP. Dr. Bakken is on leave from her tenured faculty position at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and currently serves as Director of Teaching and Education Outcomes Assessment at the Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Dr. Bakken has extensive experience developing and evaluating research training programs and is a program evaluation expert.

Gabrielle Kane, MB, EdD, FRCPC, University of Washington, has been promoted from assistant editor to senior associate editor, joining Dave Davis and Jocelyn Lockyer. Dr. Kane is a highly respected leader and researcher in continuing education for physicians.

Jocelyn Lockyer, PhD, University of Calgary, a senior associate editor for JCEHP, has assumed the responsibilities of assistant editor in addition to her other duties.

Laure Perrier, MLIS, MEd, has stepped down from her post as JCEHP's Web editor. Laure served several years in that capacity and was a highly valued and knowledgeable source of information on all things digital. She also edited JCEHP.com. JCEHP's editorial staff, owners, readers, and contributors are indebted to Laure for her many contributions and commitment to the journal. Her absence will be keenly felt.

Tricia Tooman, MS, has joined the Editorial Board in the role of managing editor. Ms. Tooman earned her Master's degree in continuing and vocational education from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She has extensive experience as a researcher in continuing education for the health professions and has been the lead or contributing author on several articles published in peer-reviewed journals. She lives with her spouse and two children in Anstruther, Fyfe.

Thomas Van Hoof, MD, EdD, University of Connecticut, has accepted an appointment as a consulting editor. As a physician faculty member of UCONN's School of Nursing, Dr. Van Hoof brings an important interprofessional perspective to the Board. He is recognized as an excellent educator and scholar, with a special interest in academic detailing/educational outreach as an intervention to facilitate practice change.

Biography

  1. Top of page
  2. Why Now?
  3. Changes in Editorial Board Structure
  4. Changes in Personnel
  5. Biography
  • Dr. Olson: Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions.