Academic journal article Sociological Focus

Sociological Focus's Editorial Assistant: Moving on and Moving Up

Academic journal article Sociological Focus

Sociological Focus's Editorial Assistant: Moving on and Moving Up

Article excerpt

In the spring of 2004 Paula Dubeck and I started looking for a graduate student to assist with Sociological Focus. We talked with previous editors about the duties-which are legion-and the type of person most likely to perform them well-someone with mild OCD. One previous editor, in particular, told stories of hiring and then having to fire assistants because they just weren't up to the task.

So it was with trepidation that we scrutinized the hies of current and incoming graduate students, weighing their merits. We talked with other professors in the department to gauge who might have the right personality-ready to get things done but flexible enough to juggle unexpected problems.

By early summer we had hired our first choice, Mike Wehrman, and jumped into the process of taking over the editorship of the journal. The various transition tasks demanded strength-there were dozens of boxes filled with back issues of the journal; creativity-he was to design an electronic manuscript and reviewer tracking system; and meticulosity-data had to be accurately entered so that we could track our entire process.

In addition, Mike was to be first line to respond tactfully in handling complaints from subscription services, emotional outbursts from distraught authors, lame excuses from late reviewers, and tired evasions from the editors. …

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