JEDI is beginning to develop a collection of resources for journal editors in the social sciences. Please check this page regularly as we will be adding more content over the next few months. JEDI members are also encouraged to share resources by posting them to the mailing list. Corresponding links will then be added to the resource page. If you are a journal editor or data management personnel and are not yet a member, please join JEDI.
Publishers often offer guidelines and associated resources relating to editorial practices. While typically provided by publishers for editors of their own journals, these resources may also be helpful for a more general audience. For some examples see:
The PKP school also offers a free course in becoming an editor, focusing on how to perform the major tasks required of an editor for a scholarly journal, how to analyze and solve common problems that may arise when editing a scholarly journal, how to assist other members of the journal team, and where to look for help with difficult issues.
The Committee on Publication Ethics has many helpful resources for dealing with ethical issues as a journal editor, including guidelines and case studies.
A strong consensus is emerging in the social sciences and cognate disciplines that knowledge claims are more understandable and evaluable if scholars describe the research processes in which they engaged to generate them. Citing and showing the evidence on which claims rest (when this can be done within ethical and legal constraints), discussing the processes through which evidence was garnered, and explicating the analysis that produced the claims facilitate expression, interpretation, reproduction, and replication. The Committee on Publication Ethics has a list of principles of transparency and best practice in scholarly publishing. The Center for Open Science also has Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) guidelines to enhance transparency in the science that journals publish. A similar initiative is the DA-RT Journal Editors’ Transparency Statement (JETS).
Notwithstanding the emerging consensus, generating effective strategies for making research transparent – and in particular, sharing data in legal and ethical ways, developing enduring citations to data, and connecting diverse types of data to published claims – is challenging.
On the one hand, a set of stable and easily adoptable core practices has begun to emerge, especially with regard to data citation and management. In these areas, editors can proceed with confidence. For example, the social sciences are increasingly adopting the use of permanent identifiers, such as digital object identifiers (DOIs), for research products, articles and datasets. Similarly, there is now a strong consensus that sharing data via trusted digital repositories is preferable to doing so via personal websites. The American Economic Association provides helpful guidance on implementation of their data and code availability policy that could easily be applied to other journals and fields.
On the other hand, multiple communities are engaged in conversation about transparency. This complicates remaining up to date on all aspects of the dialogue. For example, conversations have begun about pre-publication verification of analyses, and how research can be made open while protecting human subjects. Moreover, further change is likely on many fronts. To identify just one, editorial management software is likely to become increasingly integrated with data infrastructure, such that journal workflow easily takes note of the status of data and other supplemental materials. Fortunately, a vibrant community of institutions and individuals has made substantial progress in developing new ways to manage, cite, and share data and related supplemental materials. Journal editors have been at the forefront of these discussions. With the help of technology, making data accessible and citable, increasing the transparency of research, and integrating the data underpinning publications into a journal’s workflow are becoming easier and less expensive.