I am apparently considered a good and competent referee and I get many requests to review papers to the point where I have to reject several (about a third) of requests.

I also have to prioritize refereeing with many other duties (teaching, research, etc.), so my question is: Is there a likely payoff of writing (many) good reports for a given journal in the form of eventually being asked to become associate editor?

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    If you have specifics about your subfield that might help people to give you specific answers. Also, specifics about the journal's structure and organization would help (e.g., how do they choose editors? is it a society's journal or who oversees the journal?). Linking to the journal would let someone else find these specifics (but also might give away your identity). – Richard Erickson Sep 28 '16 at 15:55
  • Yes (probably after a period on the Editorial Board), but only if there is an Associate Editor vacancy or gap in your area of expertise in the editorial committee. – Significance Sep 28 '16 at 23:39
  • @RichardErickson: My subfield is mathematics. One of the journals to consider is run by a society, the other not. – MKR Sep 29 '16 at 11:39
  • My experience is with the the life sciences, so I cannot offer specific advise. I would suggest doing your leg work for the journals and seeing how they choose associate editors. All else being equal, the society journal would befit you more professionally because recognition from the journal (e.g., becoming an editor, reviewer) also raises your profile in that society. Also, some journals have editorial meetings at their national meetings. Those meetings might also help you to network and boost your profile. – Richard Erickson Sep 29 '16 at 15:44

Based upon my own experience as reviewer (i.e., a sample of n = 1), yes.

Here is my experience: I review for several different different journals, but have reviewed extensively for one journal. This journal has acknowledged me as an Exceptional Reviewer and I have been asked to apply to be part of the Editorial Board. For this journal, the editors vote on membership to the editorial board. Additionally, editors are usually selected from the board.

The answer to your question depends upon your subfield and the journal for which you are reviewing (e.g., is this a commercial journal or a society journal; also what is the journal's organizationally structure and how are editors select?).

I would suggest focusing your reviews on this journal (i.e., decline reviews from other journals and accept reviews from this journal if you are limited for time) and possibly dropping the Editor-In-Chief (or head editor) an email expressing interest in joining the editorial board. If it is a societal journal (i.e., published by a scientific society), I would also make sure my membership was current and possibly start raising my profile in that society (e.g., serving on committees, networking at their meetings, etc).

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