I'm a book reviews editor (volunteer role) for a newly established journal (running just for the last couple of years). The journal has a couple of chief editors, myself as the book reviews editor, and then an editorial board. I manage the book reviews (including soliciting, organising, reviewing, editing, etc) which are eventually sent off to the editors for approval. We've never (to my knowledge) have had an editorial board meeting. The editors meet every two months to discuss the journal (strategic and administrative), but I have never been invited to these meetings.

Not having worked with a journal in this capacity before (I have guest edited special issues, published, and done peer reviews), I'm unsure as to whether or not book reviews editors should be included in at least some of these meetings/discussions since they pertain to the shaping of future journal issues (and book reviews may be a part of that, such as limits on word lengths, which books to focus on, etc). However, as I'm quite new to this, perhaps it is normal for such editors to be excluded from bigger picture meetings/discussions?

I have this horrible nagging feeling that I'm being excluded purposely because I'm a young woman working with older men, but I think I'm just overthinking it due to my lack of experience in journal editorial practices.

Edit/Clarification : This is a purely academic role. The editors are not paid for running the journal.

  • This isn't really a question about academia. Try workplace.stackexchange.com
    – Buffy
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 11:04
  • The (few) editorial boards on which I've served and which had book reviews treated the reviews editor the same as associate editors, not chief editors. But these journals had only one or two "chief" or "managing" editors; maybe things work differently when there are enough chief editors to warrant actual meetings. Commented May 28, 2021 at 3:31
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    @Buffy I think this is a question about a volunteer role in an academic journal. I don't see what that has to do with the workplace. Commented May 28, 2021 at 8:08
  • @AnonymousPhysicist, it is about the internal policies and practices of a journal, not an academic institution. Would how Elsevier pays its editors be on-topic here?
    – Buffy
    Commented May 28, 2021 at 10:34
  • @Buffy I strongly disagree; academic editorial boards are academic institutions. In most cases, the publisher (Elsevier) does not pay them. I am under the impression that for scientific societies that do not have their own publisher, it is common for the society to select the editorial board of the society journal and then pay the publisher to do the publishing. Commented May 28, 2021 at 10:51

1 Answer 1


This is going to vary from journal to journal. Still, it's unlikely they're intentionally excluding you for nefarious reasons. More probably they're simply doing it because of inertia (it was always so, why change it?) or because they think you might not be interested (sociaca88 is probably busy and we're not paying her so we should try not disturb her, etc).

If you want to join the meetings, you can just ask. Be sure to mention "which books to focus on", which is a great reason for you to attend the meetings. They probably won't decline as well. Only caveat is there will probably be broad swathes of the meetings which are not relevant to you and might not be of interest to you.

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