TESOL Journal Editor Search

TESOL Journal Editor Search Call for Applications

Deadline September 1, 2013

The TESOL Serial Publications Committee and the TESOL Journal Editor Search Team invite applications and nominations for the position of editor of TESOL Journal (TJ). The editor serves one year in 2014 (starting in January 2014) as associate editor, and then as editor for 3 years, beginning in January 2015. He or she must be a TESOL member in good standing throughout his or her term. The deadline for applications is 1 September 2013.

About TESOL Journal
is an online publication that provides a forum for additional, second, and foreign language educators at all levels to engage with the ways that research and theorizing can inform, shape, and ground teaching practices and perspectives in different world contexts. This journal provides the space for an active and vibrant professional dialogue about research- and theory-based practices as well as practice-oriented theorizing and research.

The editor of TJ will implement journal policy within the mission and financial parameters established by the TESOL Board of Directors. The editor is responsible for acquiring and publishing material that meets the needs and interests of the TESOL membership. TESOL will provide the editor with a managing editor, who will manage copyediting and production. For this volunteer position, the editor receives an honorarium of US$8,000 per year ($2000 per issue, split if co-editors are chosen) during the 3-year term (excluding the first year as associate editor for which he or she is unpaid) along with reimbursement of some expenses to attend the TESOL International 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), and graduate student assistance.

The search process has three phases:

  • Phase 1: Applicants submit a letter of application, curriculum vitae, and the names, titles, and contact information (including e-mail) of three referees who are able to evaluate the applicant’s editorial abilities. The application deadline is 1 September 2013, though earlier applications are strongly encouraged. All applications must be submitted via e-mail to Ke Xu, Search Team Chair, at kexu@aol.com.
  • Phase 2: Short-listed applicants will be notified by 23 September to respond to a questionnaire concerning their editorial experience
  • Phase 3: The Search Team interviews finalists, who will complete brief editorial tasks.

TESOL seeks individuals with a broad perspective on the profession, proven organizational abilities, and a deep understanding of the possible intersections of TESOL research and classroom practice. Applicants should ensure that they have adequate time to handle the work of the journal without compromising their responsibilities in their salaried positions. The Search Team is particularly interested in receiving applications from TESOL members in good standing who

  • have a recognized teaching and publication record
  • have an established record of editorial work
  • have basic proficiency with word-processing applications (e.g., MS Word) and online submission systems, such as Scholar One
  • are committed to the further development of the mission of the association and the publication
  • can reconceptualize aspects of the publication in response to membership survey information, and
  • can demonstrate potential for institutional support.

For more information, please contact Ke Xu at kexu@aol.com.

Responsibilities of the TESOL Journal Editor


  • to fulfill the vision and mandate set by the Board of Directors through the Serial Publications Committee (SPC)
  • to oversee the acquisition of manuscripts through a general call for papers or specific assignment, as appropriate
  • to maintain guidelines for contributors that invite quality manuscripts addressing TJ’s mission
  • to appoint an Editorial Advisory Board (EAB) and departmental editors as needed
  • to direct the EAB regarding the review and selection of quality manuscripts
  • to be the final arbiter for selecting and rejecting manuscripts


  • to maintain a field office with appropriate staff and equipment to use the online manuscript system for each stage of manuscript review and revision
  • to edit manuscripts for content or delegate such responsibilities as necessary
  • to correspond with authors throughout the review and revision process or delegate such responsibility as necessary


  • to collaborate with the Board of Directors through the SPC
  • to guide the mission of the TJ (e.g., expand readership, increase contributor pool)
  • to report on the progress of the TJ biannually
  • to establish, promote, and maintain contact with the editors of peer publications
  • to establish, promote, and maintain contact with the TESOL affiliates, interest sections, and general membership

Adopted August 1994; revised June 2013

Desirable Qualities in a TESOL Journal Editor

Editing TJ 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 writing skills: The job requires evaluating and editing the writing of others. The editor must be able to write clearly and gracefully: An editor who does not write well will have difficulty assessing other writers’ contributions, and his or her editorial judgments will not be respected.
  • A track record of strong academic publications, including articles in journals and magazines of similar stature to TJ: An editor who has published widely demonstrates the requisite knowledge of the field and knows how contributors are likely to respond to having their work reviewed, critiqued, and revised.
  • A sense of when to work with the Board of Directors and TESOL staff and enough backbone to resist micro-management: The editor has to be willing to cooperate with the Serials Publications Committee and Board of Directors (in terms of vision), and with TESOL Central Office (in terms of budget), and TESOL’s partner Wiley (for scheduling and production).
  • An understanding of the importance of deadlines: TESOL members receive TJ as a member benefit and expect it to appear on time. TESOL’s partner John Wiley is responsible for getting the journal to its subscribers on time. Chronically late publications also damage the association’s reputation with libraries and others in the field. The editor is responsible for ensuring that TJ appears on schedule, which means enforcing deadlines with reviewers and Associate Editors.
  • Financial common sense: The journal operates within a fixed budget. The editor sometimes has to live with a degree of imperfection (e.g., accepting minor errors in page proofs, doing without unbudgeted equipment or personnel).
  • A reasonable knowledge of editing principles and APA style: Although a professional copy editor and printer provide support, the editor should know how to mark a manuscript, how to interpret a copy editor’s marks, how to communicate with a contributor, how long a given editorial process may take, and how a scholarly journal is produced. TJ follows the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.), also known as APA style. The editor should be familiar with APA style, understand why a style guide is necessary, and have some idea of how best to apply it.
  • A basic proficiency with word-processing applications (e.g., MS Word) and online submission systems.
  • Tact: The editor must be able to work cordially with production staff and funding sources, CO staff, contributors, fellow editors, and editorial boards. The editor must exercise tact and even charm when dealing with the many people necessary to the journal’s success.
  • The ability to say “no” to interesting projects when necessary to keep the journal on schedule: The editorship is time-consuming and tightly scheduled. The editor will not have much extra time for other projects, no matter how interesting they are.
  • Thick skin: Contributors may not take kindly to rejection and may resort to ad hominem attacks, and every reader has an opinion about what TJ should include. Therefore, the editor must be able to withstand intermittent barrages of criticism with grace and good humor.
  • A good sense of humor: The editor must focus simultaneously on large intellectual issues and minute administrative details—every day for 3 years. Past editors have remarked that people only comment on your mistakes, not your achievements. A good sense of humor helps to alleviate stress.