Request for Proposals
Click here to download this RFP as a PDF.
The American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), owner and publisher of Public Administration Review (PAR)
, the premier journal of public administration, requests proposals from institutions and individuals interested in assuming the responsibility of Editor in Chief.
PAR is the journal of record for public administrators, with more than 12,000 institutional and individual subscribers. Issues are published bi-monthly, each approximately 160 pages in length. As a leading professional journal, PAR
is unique as it stands at the nexus of practice and scholarship in public administration; it is committed to blending both to advance the field.
The past several years have seen significant growth in PAR it terms of its readership, impact and contributions to the field. Among these accomplishments:
- PAR jumped 10 spots—from 16th to 10th place in the Public Administration category—in Thomson Reuters’ Journal Citation Reports metrics for 2014. It stands atop Google Scholar’s Public Policy and Administration rankings for 2010-2014, following several years in the second position.
- PAR articles were downloaded 995,495 times in 2015, an approximately 20 percent increase since 2011. This progress is partially attributable to the articles being published online via the publisher’s website prior to appearing in print. On average, PAR articles were downloaded significantly more than the publisher’s other Social Science journals (134 vs. 79 times on average).
- In 2015, 4,562 institutions purchased access to PAR, a nearly 10 percent increase over 2014 (4,164 subscribers). The reach extends much further to tens of thousands of institutions through a publishing arrangement that makes back content available to additional subscribers.
- In 2014, the PAR article “The Impact of Public Officials’ Corruption on the Size and Allocation of U.S. State Spending” earned 29,000 downloads, the largest of any PAR article since 2001 when these data began to be collected.
- PAR has introduced respected and innovative features, including Perspective and Commentaries, both of which provide a unique exchange between scholars and practitioners.
Current Editor in Chief James Perry will complete his second three-year term on December 31, 2017. To ensure a productive transition, the editor will be appointed by February 1, 2017, and begin a six-month orientation period on July 1, 2017, in preparation for the production of PAR
’s January/February 2018 issue. The next Editor in Chief’s three-year term begins on January 1, 2018.
ASPA Policy Regarding PAR Editor
Diversity is a fundamental strength of ASPA and one of its core values. In the spirit of all its activities, ASPA welcomes proposals from diverse communities.
The Editor in Chief is appointed for an initial term of three years by the ASPA President, subject to ratification by the ASPA National Council. The appointment is renewable for a successive three-year term, also subject to ratification. The maximum term served by an editor has been six years.
Part One: Editor’s Roles and Responsibilities
The Editor in Chief is one ASPA’s most visible public figures whose attitude, behavior, actions and performance directly influence how the public administration community perceives the organization. The editor has an obligation to uphold the values and traditions of ASPA generally and PAR
The editor performs several analytically distinct yet interrelated roles, including but not limited to: (a) intellectual leader, (b) institutional leader, (c) ambassador and (d) business manager. The selection and evaluation criteria for an editor consider the importance of these roles.
The Editor as Intellectual Leader
PAR is ASPA’s flagship journal of record. The editor is obligated to maintain the journal’s high quality, stay abreast of emerging public administration issues and commit to taking a broad, diverse view of scholarship and practice. Doing so requires an acceptance of—and openness to—a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives. To ensure PAR's credibility, the editor must hold a doctoral degree and be an established scholar with a demonstrated record of nationally and internationally recognized research and scholarship. As PAR receives far more submissions than it can publish, the editor must possess the necessary intellectual judgment to allocate its scarce space in a manner that best advances the field.
The Editor as Institutional Leader
The editor establishes policy direction; selects and manages the editorial team; develops external relationships; plans future issues; coordinates the journal’s functions; adapts operational processes to changing circumstances; is consulted by the ASPA President in the appointment process of the editorial board; develops an extensive peer review network; and manages the journal’s day-to-day operations. The last responsibility includes monitoring and enforcing editorial policies, maintaining ongoing communication with PAR authors and constituents, reviewing and assigning manuscripts for peer review, rendering timely, equitable publication decisions and overseeing the production process. Successful performance of these tasks requires full time editorial leadership. Taken individually, these tasks may seem mundane or routine; collectively, they have a critical impact (positive or negative) on PAR’s overall quality.
The editor reports directly to the National Council and maintains ongoing communication and collaboration with the ASPA President and executive director. The editor prepares and presents a report (addressing accomplishments, manuscript flow and other matters warranting attention) to the council annually.
The council designates the editor as the sole authority to select and evaluate the editorial team (excluding the editorial board, discussed below). Because the editor’s institution typically provides resources funding the editorial team, the hiring institution’s employment guidelines impact selection and evaluation decisions.
The board performs a key role in maintaining the journal’s quality. Approximately one-third of the PAR
editorial board is appointed each year, with members serving three-year terms. The President of ASPA, in consultation with the PAR Editor in Chief, appoints the members. The Editor in Chief may identify and recommend individuals for appointment to the board. Board appointments are made at the end of the calendar year. The editor is responsible for board leadership and development, which includes establishing performance standards and evaluating board members.
The Editor as Ambassador
As an ambassador, the editor represents PAR
and ASPA at events and functions both in the United States and abroad. This role includes participating in professional conferences, frequently serving as a keynote speaker, delivering lectures and seminars, and meeting with faculty, students and other constituencies. Successful performance of this role requires significant institutional support for travel. The editor should have a track record of extensive public speaking experience and the ability to interact comfortably with diverse international and cross-cultural audiences. To successfully represent PAR
and ASPA, the editor should demonstrate a professional career that includes active ASPA membership.
The Editor as Business Manager
is one of ASPA’s largest sources of revenue. ASPA’s executive director and National Council are responsible for the organization’s overall financial matters, but the editor is responsible for PAR
operations that ensure continued journal revenues. It is imperative that issues come out timely and within page budget. Knowledge of sound business practices related to the journal’s revenues and expenses is essential. In conjunction with ASPA leadership, the editor has a duty to devise strategies to protect the journal’s revenue base and identify increased income opportunities.
Part Two: Institutional Support
The editor must have robust institutional support to perform the roles and responsibilities listed above. PAR has grown over the years and the nature of the editor’s job has evolved significantly. Editing and managing PAR
is a complex, labor intensive and financially significant enterprise that includes supporting its day-to-day operations. Proposals may be from individual institutions or multiple institutions working collaboratively.
A proposing institution(s) is encouraged to include the following areas of support in its proposal:
- Release time for the editor and managing editor, if one is named.
- Support for graduate students and/or other personnel to assist with PAR’s management and production.
- Part-time administrative support and technological management of PAR’s website, social media presence and other e-communications vehicles.
- Office space for the editor and editorial team members.
- Travel funds for the editor and/or staff to attend meetings of such professional organizations as ASPA (especially its Annual Conference and governance meetings); the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration; National Academy of Public Administration; American Political Science Association; and Association for Policy Analysis and Management Meetings.
- Annual financial support for telephone/fax, postage and related supplies.
For the term of the editor’s appointment, ASPA—through its contract with Wiley, PAR
’s publisher—will produce, publish and distribute PAR six times a year in hard copy and electronically; market PAR
throughout the world; and manage the journal’s rights and permissions.
To Submit a Proposal
Proposals must include the following information:
Submit your proposal electronically in both PDF and Word format no later than Friday, September 30, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time to Lisa Sidletsky, chief of program operations.
- A description by the candidate that addresses the qualifications for each of the roles and criteria outlined in Part I above, including, but not limited to:
- Evidence of established, well-respected scholarship and leadership in public administration.
- Examples of how the candidate has successfully fulfilled roles similar to the four roles described in Part One. Each role should be explicitly addressed.
- Evidence of active recent membership in ASPA and prior leadership within ASPA.
- Statement of editorial philosophy, goals, and approach.
- Statement of how outreach to the practitioner community will be achieved.
- A proposed approach for selecting and developing an editorial team.
- The curriculum vitae for the proposed editor, managing editor, and any other editorial team members.
- A description of the proposed supporting institution(s).
- A proposed approach for providing the financial, editorial and administrative support required to continue PAR’s high quality and successfully publish six issues per year.
- Letters of commitment from appropriate officials from the supporting institution(s).
For questions, please contact Lisa via email
or at (202) 585-4312.