Contemporary Economic Policy 2004-2005 Editor's Report
Martin, Wade E., Contemporary Economic Policy
Volume 22 published quarterly in 2004 was comprised of 48 articles from a variety of topic areas as defined by the Journal of Economic Literature classification system. Table 1 provides a distribution of articles via JEL topic area.
Active participation in the annual conferences of the Western Economic Association International is encouraged by editors and members of the editorial board. Table 2 provides information on the number of sessions that were sponsored by CEP at the annual meeting in Vancouver in 2004 and the Pacific Rim conference in Hong Kong in 2005. CEP sponsored 32 sessions in Vancouver (14% of the total sessions) and 12 sessions in Hong Kong (23% of the sessions). The WEAI conferences provided approximately 40% of our total manuscript submissions for the 2004-2005.
During the 2004-2005 publishing cycle 144 manuscripts were submitted for review to CEP. There were 58 manuscripts submitted from the two conferences as well as 86 nonconference submissions. At this time, 7 manuscripts have been accepted for publication, 49 rejected with 88 decisions pending. These figures are consistent with the more recent acceptance rates ranging from 23% in 1999-2000 to 30% in 2002-2003 (see Table 2).
An important contribution to enhancing the quality of the journal is the refereeing process. CEP uses a double-blind process with the objective of obtaining 3 referee reports for each manuscript. As Table 2 demonstrates we are making a significant effort to contact referees and make sure that the editorial team has well grounded input in order to make informed decisions regarding the manuscripts. During 2004-2005 we received 332 referee reports that have helped to provide constructive input to improve accepted manuscripts as well as input for authors of rejected manuscripts. Individuals that have generously provided there contribution as referees for the journal are listed in Table 3.
The time to decision for authors is a critical variable for most journals but is particularly important for CEP since the objective is to inform current policy debates. The editorial team is working hard to reduce the time to first decision so that important contributions to the policy debates are available as soon as possible. The most recent statistics indicate that a first decision is made in 34 weeks on average. Our objective is to reduce the average to 25 weeks as soon as possible. In order to achieve this objective we have modified our manuscript processing procedures. We have increased the use of electronic media to circulate the manuscripts to co-editors and referees. Also, we contact potential referees in order to receive a commitment to referee prior to sending the manuscript. These changes are beginning to show positive results and reducing the time to first decision on a manuscript.
Changes at the Journal
The WEAI Board approved the reappointment of the editorship for CEP at California State University, Long Beach for another five year term. Therefore, the current editorial team's term will expire with the October 2011 issue of volume 29. The current editorial team is committed to continuing to improve the quality of the journal and enhance its relevance to the myriad of policy issues faced by decision makers today. To move forward with this task the contribution of the editorial board, authors, referees and the editorial team is essential.
During the coming year there will be at least two significant changes to the editorial team. First, after 16 years with the journal (15 as editor) Darwin Hall will step down as a coeditor. Although Darwin Hall is leaving the journal he will still be available to the editorial team as a resource for continuing to move the journal forward. Also, another co-editor, Jane Hall, will step down. Jane Hall's expertise and contribution will be missed. Professor Victor Brajer of California State University, Fullerton will replace Jane Hall as a co-editor. …