I am a senior undergraduate student, and I received a mail from ACM about the openings for ACM XRDS student volunteer editors. What do these editors do? And what are the pros and cons for how would it affect my career in research?

  • 4
    What did ACM (whoever they are) say when you replied to their email, asking what volunteering would entail? – EnergyNumbers Jun 10 '15 at 13:24
  • 1
    @EnergyNumbers: Regardless of what ACM says, I think it's reasonable to ask this question here, to try to get an independent view of how the job works in reality. I assume ACM is the Association for Computing Machinery and in principle it should have been spelled out, but anyone who could answer the question would know this. And "how would it affect my career in research" isn't likely to be answered objectively by the ACM organizers. – Nate Eldredge Jun 10 '15 at 17:12
  • I might suggest revising the title to take out the word "feel like" which sounds like you are asking for emotional responses, rather than practical experiences. – Nate Eldredge Jun 10 '15 at 17:13
  • Cons: it will take your time away from research – Mikhail Jun 12 '15 at 6:19

While I don't know ACM XRDS in particular, in general the pros and cons of service of this type as a student are:


  • You will get to know the journal publication process well, which will help you with publishing your own work.
  • You will get to know your field more broadly, and likely pick up interesting networking connections.
  • You will get to affect (slightly) the scientific dialogue.
  • You will get a nice bullet-point on your CV.


  • It might be a lot of work, and thus might detract from your efforts on classes, research, other projects, or having a life outside of research.
  • You might discover that you hate the work, and be faced with a decision of sticking it out or quitting.

The likelihood of the cons applying depends very strongly on the particular journal, so I would recommend emailing a couple of the current editors to ask how much work it is and how much they are enjoying it.

  • If this is a honorary position, just go for it. You can quit any time. – vonbrand Sep 5 '15 at 16:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.