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​TESOL Quarterly Editor Search - Call for Applications

Deadline 15 June 2016
About TESOL Quarterly
A peer-reviewed journal, TQ reaches more than 7,000 subscribers throughout the world. Its mission is to foster inquiry into the teaching and learning of English to speakers of other languages by providing a forum for TESOL professionals to share their research findings and explore ideas and relationships within the field of second-language teaching and learning.
The TESOL Board of Directors invites applications and nominations for the position of editor of TESOL Quarterly (TQ). The editor serves a 5-year term: 1 year as associate to the current editor and the next 4 years as editor. The new editor’s associate year begins in January 2017, and the 4-year editorship concludes with the December 2021 issue. Although the editorship has traditionally been held by one person, the Board also welcomes applications from two editors to function as co-editors or from one editor who may subsequently appoint an associate editor. In the latter case, the two potential co-editors need to submit their joint application. The new editor must be a TESOL member in good standing no later than 1 January 2017. The deadline for applications is 15 June 2016.

The editor of ​TQ directs and implements journal policy within the mission and financial parameters established by the TESOL Board of Directors. The editor is responsible for the academic content of TQ, and for professional leadership in obtaining and organizing peer reviews of appropriate material that represents a variety of research methods and orientations. The TQ editor will work closely with the Managing Editor at Wiley Blackwell to oversee editing and production. As a volunteer, the editor receives an honorarium of US$8,000 per year (US$2000 per issue, which will be split if co-editors are chosen), along with reimbursement of some expenses to attend the annual TESOL Convention & English Language Expo. The editor's institution will be required to sign a Statement of Institutional Support providing, at a minimum, release time, some travel expenses, office expenses (usually for communication, mailing, office supplies, etc.), and graduate student assistance. 

The search process has three phases:

Phase 1: Applicants submit a letter of application, a curriculum vitae, and the names, titles, and contact information (including e-mail) of three referees who can evaluate the applicant’s editorial abilities. The application deadline is ​15 June 2016, though earlier applications are strongly encouraged. All applications must be submitted electronically to Lawrence Zhang, Chair of the Search Team at
Phase 2: Short-listed applicants respond to a questionnaire concerning their academic publishing experience. 
Phase 3: The Search Team interviews finalists, who may be asked to complete a brief editorial task. TESOL seeks individuals with a broad perspective on the profession, proven organizational abilities, and a strong commitment to excellence in research. Applicants should be in a situation that allows them adequate time to handle the work of the Quarterly without compromising their responsibilities in their salaried positions. The Search Team is particularly interested in receiving applications from TESOL members in good standing who
1. have a recognized research and publication record
2. have an established record of editorial work
3. have basic proficiency with word-processing applications (e.g. MS Word) and online submission systems, such as Scholar One
4. are committed to the further development of the Association’s mission
​5. can demonstrate potential for institutional support

For more information, please contact Lawrence Zhang, TQ Editor Search Team Chair,, or visit the TESOL Quarterly website.

Responsibilities of the TESOL Quarterly Editor

  • to fulfill the vision and mandate set by the Board of Directors
  • to oversee the acquisition of manuscripts as appropriatet
  • to review and maintain guidelines for contributors specific enough to invite quality manuscripts that address TQ’s mission
  • to appoint an Editorial Advisory Board and departmental/section editors
  • to direct the Editorial Advisory Board and departmental/section editors regarding the review and selection of quality manuscripts
  • to oversee the work of the departmental/section editors, ensuring they stay on mission and on schedule, and to be the final arbiter for selecting and rejecting manuscripts
  • to maintain a field office with appropriate staff and equipment with consultation and support from TESOL staff
  • to coordinate the editorial work of the field office with the Publications Manager
  • to edit manuscripts for content and style or to delegate such responsibilities as necessary
  • to query authors or delegate such responsibility as necessary
  • to coordinate transmission of electronic copy to the assistant editor
  • to collaborate with the Board of Directors
  • to guide the mission of the TQ (e.g., ideas for expanding the readership, increasing the contributor pool)
  • to report to the Board of Directors on the progress of the TQ annually
  • to establish, promote, and maintain contact with the editors of peer publications
  • to establish, promote, and maintain contact with the affiliates, interest sections, and general membership of TESOL

Desirable Qualities in a TESOL Quarterly Editor

The TQ editorship is demanding in intellectual, emotional, and practical ways. The person who assumes the post should possess the following qualities (not listed in rank order):

Scholarly and Technical
Excellent and demonstrated writing skills: The job requires evaluating and editing the writing skills of others. The editor must be able to write clearly and gracefully: An editor who does not write well cannot reasonably assess contributions nor will that editor’s judgments be respected.

A track record of published articles in well-respected journals and magazines: The editor needs to have published widely in highly regarded publications to demonstrate the requisite knowledge of the field. The editor also needs to know how it feels to have his or her work reviewed and edited to understand how contributors are likely to respond to the editor’s ministrations.

Ability to work with the Board of Directors and TESOL staff without compromising the Quarterly’s mission and integrity: The editor has to be willing to cooperate with the Board (in terms of vision) and with TESOL staff (in terms of money, scheduling, and production) while advocating for the Quarterly, its mission, and its authors. 

An understanding of the importance of scheduling: The Association can’t afford delays in publication. Our subscribers, including more than 1,500 libraries, and our advertisers expect the journal to appear on time.

Financial common sense: The journal operates within a fixed budget. To meet that budget, the editor sometimes has to live with a degree of imperfection (e.g., allowing minor errors to stand in page proofs, doing without unbudgeted equipment, managing without extra personnel).

A reasonable knowledge of editing principles and APA style: Although an experienced professional copy editor will provide support, the editor still needs to have a basic sense of how to mark up a manuscript, how to interpret a copy editor’s marks, how to instruct a printer, how to communicate with a contributor, and how long a given editorial process may take.

A reasonable level of comfort with technology: The editor will be expected to familiarize him- or herself with the online submission system ScholarOne and work with Wiley Blackwell for all electronic editing and production processes. The editor should also be familiar with Microsoft Word editing tools.

Tact: The editor must be able to work cordially with his or her institutional staff and funding sources, TESOL staff, contributors, fellow editors, and the Editorial Advisory Board. The editor must exercise tact and even charm when dealing with the numerous people necessary to making the journal a success.
A sense of when to say “no” to interesting projects: The editorship is time consuming and schedule driven. The editor won’t have much time for other projects.

The ability to handle sometimes unfair criticism: Contributors may not take kindly to rejection and may resort to ad hominem attacks. Also, with a readership of 7,000+ members, each with an opinion of what the Quarterly should include, the editor needs the grace and fortitude to withstand intermittent barrages of criticism.
A good sense of humor: The editor must focus on large intellectual issues as well as minute administrative details every day for 5 years. Past editors have remarked that readers only comment on your mistakes, not your achievements. A good sense of humor helps to alleviate stress.