The Journal Editors Discussion Interface (JEDI) offers the editors and editorial staff of social science journals a shared forum in which to ask and answer questions, pool information and expertise, and build a fund of collective knowledge. JEDI aims to facilitate discussion about evolving practices, and to help and encourage editors to develop a common language and set of norms and to generate solutions to problems new and old. JEDI was created and is managed by several members of the Data Preservation Alliance for the Social Sciences (Data‐PASS). The mailing list component of JEDI runs on Google Groups.
While the details of policies and workflows differ from journal to journal, there is a core set of functional tasks that most journal editors undertake. For example, editors typically develop and provide submission instructions and guidelines to authors, register and manage submissions, identify reviewers, organize the review process, interact repeatedly with authors and reviewers to improve submissions, and guide worthy manuscripts and their supporting materials through publication.
These editorial processes are crucial steps on the road between research and publication, allowing research results to be shared and integrated into the overall stock of knowledge. The great majority of these editorial processes are instantiated in a journal’s standard operating procedures, represented in its guidelines for authors, its workflows, and its journal management software.
While editorial teams acquire great expertise in carrying out these processes, from time-to-time questions and difficulties may arise. Moreover, editors may find it helpful to remain current on and contribute to debates about best practices so they can be prepared to respond to innovations that might eventually come to be considered mainstream editorial conduct.
Given the many demands on editors’ time – and given that most editors face similar processual challenges – there is great value to their interacting with each other about these key issues, and pooling their collective wisdom, sharing lessons, examples, insights, and solutions. The benefits can be further multiplied if experts on relevant topics are included in the conversation. JEDI seeks to generate that interaction and those benefits.
The majority of JEDI members are editors and editorial staff of social science journals. To support editors with questions concerning data and research transparency, personnel from the data services and open science communities – for example, representatives from digital repositories that safely store, publish, and preserve digital social science data – also form part of JEDI. Any individual who plays a key editorial role at a social science journal or a leading or supporting role at an organization involved in data services and/or open science is welcome to join JEDI.
Discussion on JEDI concerns any topic related to editorial processes and functions about which editors would find it valuable to share information. Topics range from very practical issues, such as “what is the best editorial management software?” to big-picture questions such as “what does the future of publishing look like?”
JEDI’s organizers anticipate that at least some discussion on JEDI will focus on the parts of the editorial process that deal with data and their analysis (e.g., effective data management, data citation, and linking data and analysis to published conclusions), and making research more transparent. This is an area where change is currently underway and where a discussion among journal editors is likely to be lively and helpful.
For example, editors might seek guidance on the following types of issues:
Locating or developing template language for authors’ guidelines on citation and the use of digital object identifiers (DOIs)
Best practice for citing dynamic data
The relative ease or difficulty of incorporating a new practice, such as pre-publication verification, pre-registration of research designs, and pre-analysis plans
Pre-publication verification when sensitive data underpin a manuscript
Second-order risks that arise from improved transparency, for example, how journals should take notice of appraisals of published work including replications