How to become a journal editor?

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In our newest “how can we help you?” thread, a reader asks:

How to become a journal editor? Is the correct answer: “become famous and be invited”? Is the more detailed answer: publish in the journal, review for the journal, guest-edit for the journal, get invited to serve the editorial board, get invited to become AE and eventually get invited to become the EiC?

I have the luck of being invited to the editorial board of my favourite journal (after publishing, reviewing and editing special issues for the journal – and other journals). I have met the EiC, and the line of communication is open. Can I simply express my interest to the editor(s) – perhaps after serving the journal well from the board position? I guess it is the EiC who nominates associate editors, but when it comes to nominating EiC, does, for instance, the publisher have an opinion/veto etc.? I think the discussion on this might be useful for others as well – given the large number of submissions any decent journal receives, it would be good if more people were willing to become editors.

These are excellent questions, and I’d love to hear from readers in the know.

As an aside, it’s worth noting, I think, that Thom Brooks started the Journal of Moral Philosophy when he was a graduate student–which turned out pretty well, to say the least (even though, if I recall correctly, Brooks has said that he was discouraged from doing so by those “in the know”!). Sure, Brooks may be the exception to the rule, but I tend to think it’s always worth reminding ourselves that there are common and uncommon ways of doing things, and sometimes uncommon things can be worth doing (case in point: I’m pretty sure that no one I know would have encouraged me to develop a philosophy blog like the Cocoon, but it’s turned out okay too!).

All that being said, I’d love to hear readers’ answers to the OP. How can one become a journal editor? What are the most common ways that it occurs? What can one do to put oneself in the best position to become one? And what other (perhaps less common) ways exist?

Originally appeared on The Philosophers’ Cocoon Read More

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