Editor Selection and Defined Term Restrictions

Before embarking on a transactions publication in the society and technology domain, the leaders of SSIT and its Board of Governors were delighted to learn that Katina Michael was interested in becoming the founding editor-in-chief (EIC) of the proposed Transactions. Dr. Michael is highly respected internationally as an extremely competent individual on technology and society issues, and she regularly appears as an expert witness for Australian Senate hearings; she has given more than 250 television, radio and newspaper interviews. She is also qualified in information technology, national security and the law, and has received awards for national competitive grants. She has worked for six years previously for Nortel Network as a telecommunications engineer and for United Technologies and Andersen Consulting as a systems analyst. Her outstanding work as EIC of the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine (2011-2016) is testimony to that understanding. Hence, she became the designated EIC for the Transactions. SSIT expects her to serve a three-year term starting in 2020.

The fixed term limit for the editor-in-chief is three years with an option for reappointment after the first term for a period of the same duration. That is, any editor-in-chief can serve between three and six years based on the approval from the SSIT publications board and its board of governors at large. An editor-in-chief who has served more than one term, may provide the vice president for publications with a twelve-month written notice of their resignation to allow for a new EIC global search. However, editors generally complete their terms, unless serious circumstances prevail. After a period of absence (i.e., a minimum of three years), editors may return for a second period of service.

New Editor Search Procedure

When SSIT seeks a new editor-in-chief, SSIT appoints an ad hoc search committee chaired by the vice president of the SSIT publications committee. The committee places announcements in various IEEE publications and other relevant venues; the search committee reviews all applicants and it interviews the leading candidates. The search committee presents a ranked list of acceptable candidates to SSIT’s board of governors from which they make a final selection.

The selection process for EIC is as follows:

(a)   The SSIT publications board circulates a call for expressions of interest for the role of EIC in the proposed Transactions itself, in the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, in the IEEE SSIT Newsletter, on the IEEESSIT web site, and on available social media applications. SSIT would strongly encourage current co-editors of the proposed Transactions to apply.

(b)  SSIT may approach additional individuals and encourage them to apply for the role of EIC, depending on the number of applicants who have submitted by the advertised deadline.

(c)   SSIT does the selection by an independent panel formed usually by members of the Board of Governors. The EIC selection panel must involve at least three people. This panel:

                        i.         Receives CVs and a two-page EIC statement covering several selection criteria

                       ii.         Reviews and shortlists CVs

                     iii.         Conducts in depth interviews via teleconference (lasting for about an hour) with each shortlisted applicant with pertinent questions about prior experience, what the prospective EIC brings with them to the role in terms of skillset, areas for improvement, topics to address, and the general future direction of the publication.

The composition of committees and boards of the Transactions allows for succession planning. As before, SSIT encourages co-editors and experienced associate editors to apply for the position of EIC. Co-editors and associate editors alike should receive much opportunity to lead special issue/section calls for papers and to ensure the assemblage of important thematic areas that need addressing in the proposed Transactions. Future EICs must be a member of SSIT, should understand the role of the co-editor, and the importance of accurate and detailed technical reviews. SSIT encourages external candidates to apply for the EIC position if they have adequate and commensurate experience in other serious technology and society-related publications and are willing to become IEEE members. In transitioning between editor-in-chiefs, the outgoing EIC should welcome the incoming EIC, especially with respect to the electronic submission process. This process begins in the preceding year/final issue that the incumbent EIC vacates his/her position.

The EIC recommends co-editors and associate editors and the SSIT publications committee appoints the candidates. Generally, the term of a co-editor and an associate editor is typically three years, with a further re-election of three years based on performance. Strategically, the EIC will focus on a mix of co-editors and associate editors with differing skillsets and backgrounds who come from academia, industry, and government, and who are representative of gender and IEEE region diversity. SSIT will use various means for identifying candidates for associate editor such as word of mouth, advertising in a variety of outlets (e.g., the IEEE SSIT Newsletter), and postings on the www.technologyandsociety.org website.