Advice To A New Journal Editor

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Timothy F. Slater


Astronomy, Earth Sciences, Journal Editor


On April 14, 2017, the scholarly discipline-based education research community lost all-too-soon one of its innovative thought leaders, Ronald C. Clute (1944-2017).  After a successful career in traditional University academia, Dr. Clute (Ph.D. Notre Dame) became one of the first highly successful alternative academics, alt-ac, by starting and nurturing the Clute Institute as a family-run, academic publishing company that today serves as a national model for helping scholars distribute their work internationally.  Always generous with advice, some of the most important ideas he shared with new editors were to: (i) Invest in authors with great ideas, even when the writing is lousy; (ii) If a submission isn’t a great idea, don’t bother already too-busy reviewers with it; (iii) Plan on revising authors always being slower at responding than reviewers; (iv) Allocate more time to growing and nurturing your reviewer pool than you think; (v) Increase submissions by being visible at meetings and talking to presenters and (iv) run a formative review process that makes papers better rather than a summative rejection service.  These ideas are offered in respect for his longstanding work.


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