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Role Profile - Chair of the Editorial Board

Role Profile - Chair of the Editorial Board

This Role Profile describes the details of your role. Unless otherwise defined herein, expressions used shall have the meaning set out in your Letter of Appointment. References to BMJ (us, our, we) shall, where appropriate, be deemed to include the Co-Owner referred to in your Letter of Appointment (if any) and BMJ’s licensors.

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1. Overview

1.1  You shall be responsible for leading the Journal’s Editorial Board described in clause 4.1 including:

1.1.1  chairing meetings of the Editorial Board;

1.1.2  determining the agenda for meetings of the Editorial Board;

1.1.3  calling meetings of the Editorial Board and ensuring that members of the Editorial Board receive accurate, timely and clear information;

1.1.4  keeping track of the contribution of individual members of the Editorial Board, ensuring that they are involved in discussions and decision-making processes of the Editorial Board;

1.1.5  overseeing the business of the Editorial Board;

1.1.6  maintaining the effectiveness of the Editorial Board in its task of setting and implementing strategic matters;

1.1.7  overseeing the Editorial Board’s compliance with governance standards required by BMJ; and

1.1.8  ensuring effective communication between the Editorial Board, its members, the Publisher, and BMJ.

1.2  Training and development: You are encouraged to attend (either in person or virtually): (a) our training for editors; and (b) at least one of our Journal Editors’ Seminars in every two year period during your appointment.  You are also invited (and strongly encouraged) to participate in relevant BMJ online communities and any other online discussion forums for editors of our journals.

1.3  Media and third-party communications: You undertake to promptly refer to your Head of Portfolio or Publisher any media enquiries and/or requests for third party use of the Journal (or its content) which you may receive.

2. Editorial Board

2.1  The function of the Journal’s editorial board (Editorial Board) is to assist, support and advise on the Journal’s editorial content and strategy, both proactively and by reviewing published content. Subject to the provisions of this clause 2, you shall take a leading role in determining the composition and structure of the Editorial Board.

2.2  You may recommend to BMJ the appointment of as many Editorial Board members as you reasonably determine to be necessary in order to meet the needs of the Journal. BMJ shall consult with you throughout the candidate selection process provided that the final decision as to any appointment to the Editorial Board shall rest with BMJ (whose decision shall be final and binding).

2.3  Before recommending any appointment to the Editorial Board you shall:

2.3.1  evaluate the balance of skills, experience, independence, knowledge, and diversity on the Editorial Board taking account of the Journal’s and BMJ’s strategic priorities and implement any changes that are necessary;

2.3.2  consider candidates on merit, against objective criteria and with due regard for promoting the benefits of diversity on the Editorial Board, including (without limitation) of gender, age, social and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation and gender identity, nationality, and cognitive and personal strengths, taking care that appointees have enough time available to devote to the position; and

2.3.3  notify us in writing confirming the details of the proposed recommendation and providing any other information which we may reasonably request in order for us to consider and issue an appointment letter (in electronic format) to the relevant candidate where appropriate.

2.4  Together with your Publisher, you will set measurable objectives and targets for diversity and inclusion in relation to the Editorial Board. You shall be responsible for ensuring that these objectives and targets are met and for overseeing the development of a diverse pipeline for succession, having regard to diversity of gender, age, social and ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation and gender identity, nationality, and cognitive and personal strengths.

2.5  Any appointment you recommend to BMJ must be for a fixed term not exceeding three (3) years and must be concurrent with your own appointment.

2.6  We shall have the right to remove any individual from the Editorial Board (or, where relevant, withdraw any offer to a proposed Editorial Board member) where we believe that their appointment may cause harm to the goodwill of the Journal or to BMJ. Where we exercise this right, you shall provide your full assistance to us.

2.7 You shall review and advise on any conflict(s) of interest declared by any member of the Editorial Board and shall liaise with us as to any further action which may be required in respect of the same.

2.8  If a matter is brought to your attention as part of your role which you believe warrants media promotion, then you should contact your Publisher. The final decision on whether to engage in any publicity (including the decision as to whether or not to issue a press release) shall rest with BMJ’s media relations team (to be determined at their absolute discretion).

3. Ambassadorship

3.1  You shall act as an ambassador to promote the best interests of the Journal and its outreach which may include:

3.1.1  representing the Journal at meetings such as meetings of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE);

3.1.2  engaging with the media (in conjunction with our media relations team pursuant to clause 3.3 below) and acting as a commentator in your field of expertise;

3.1.3  publicly defending the Journal’s processes or content following criticism (should this be required) and working with our media relations team to provide a response to any media coverage which is consistent with our brand and media strategies; and

3.1.4  promoting fair and balanced media coverage in accordance with clauses 1.3, 2.8, 3.1.2, 3.1.3, and 3.3.

3.2  You will lead by example and set a tone and manner for the Journal including any communication issued for or on its behalf (whether published online or other media formats) which is:

3.2.1  respectful and polite;

3.2.2  truthful, transparent and honest (for example, it should be clear who is making the statement and what their position is in relation to the Journal);

3.2.3  accurate and substantial;

3.2.4  appropriate – for example, the following will not be acceptable in any circumstances: (a) harassment or bullying; (b) obscenity; (c) anything which is discriminatory or which would otherwise contravene our policies on equality and diversity; (d)  anything libellous (or which we reasonably believe could lead to legal action being taken against the Journal and/or us); and (e) anything which is in any way illegal (for example, inciting racial hatred, contempt of court, breach of intellectual property rights);

3.2.5  sensitive of our stance concerning: (a) equality, diversity and inclusion; (b) editorial independence and the need to be completely transparent, particularly in relation to any commercial relationship between you and any third party (including advertising or sponsorship); (c) tobacco products (including products and services from tobacco companies, their foundations, or their wholly owned subsidiaries); (d) products making therapeutic claims which are not substantiated in a full length research paper published in a peer reviewed journals; and (e) breast milk substitutes.

3.3  You must promptly notify your Publisher if you become aware of any external media coverage (including any media coverage opportunity) in relation to either the Journal, any of its content, or any author published in the Journal.  You undertake not to participate in any media coverage relating to either the Journal, any of its content, or any author published in the Journal without our prior written consent (to be determined by us in our absolute discretion).  To the extent that we authorise or ask you to participate in any such media coverage, you agree to work with our media relations team and to follow their directions.

4. Strategy

4.1  We encourage you to discuss with your Publisher (as defined in your Letter of Appointment) any potential improvements and proposals for the Journal.

4.2  Together with your Publisher (as defined in your Letter of Appointment) and our publication team you shall:

4.2.1  establish a 3-5 year editorial strategy and development plan for the Journal (Strategic Plan) covering editorial direction, focus and content and including annual objectives for diversity and inclusion pursuant to clause 2.3;

4.2.2  annually report to us on the Journal’s performance against the objectives set out in the Strategic Plan;

4.2.3  take appropriate remedial action if any of the objectives set in the Strategic Plan are not achieved; and

4.2.4  advise on promotional opportunities.

4.3  Your Publisher will propose and administer the Journal’s budget together with our inhouse team.

5. Editorital duties and responsibilities

5.1  Manuscript screening: Each Manuscript shall be submitted to the Journal for consideration via our online submission and peer review system. The internal scientific editors at BMJ shall be responsible for overseeing the screening and assessment of Manuscripts against the Journal’s aims and scopes for suitability for peer-review (including the rejection of unsuitable Manuscripts).

5.2  Review and Peer-review: The internal scientific editors at BMJ will be responsible for the securing of appropriate experts in the field (Reviewer(s)) to review and evaluate the Manuscripts (peer-review) and subsequent editorial decisions on whether to reject or progress publish for publication those Manuscripts which have been successfully peer-reviewed). All Journal content (excluding Manuscripts) must, prior to publication, be reviewed and approved internally by the Publisher and either: (a) Head of Portfolio; or (b) another member of the Editorial Board. If an issue arises with a particular manuscript which is relevant to your area of expertise, we may seek your guidance on resolving the issue.

5.3  Online version of the Journal: Unless publication has been delayed for a specific reason, once a Manuscript has completed the Journal’s production processes, the full text HTML and PDF versions of that Manuscript will be published online on the Journal’s website.

5.4  Cooperation: Where applicable, you shall provide your cooperation and reasonable assistance to the Editor-in-Chief of any other BMJ publication.

6. Publication team

6.1  Editorial Director: The Editor-in-Chief of The BMJ acts as Editorial Director for all publications produced by us and is ultimately responsible for all editorial matters affecting any of our products and services (including the Journal). The BMJ and their editorial team are available to provide training, guidance and support on editorial matters.

6.2  Head of Portfolio: The Head of Portfolio named in your Letter of Appointment has been appointed by BMJ and is responsible for the business of publishing the Journal. They are also available to provide guidance and support to you on publishing matters.

6.3  Publisher: The Publisher named in your Letter of Appointment has been appointed by us to assist the Head of Portfolio and will be your first point of contact. Your Publisher will liaise on your behalf with our staff (including without limitation, those from sales, marketing, finance, customer service, production, technology, legal and research ethics) and any third parties (including without limitation, negotiating quotations for the provision of services and activities such as sponsored supplements, website development or other online features, sponsorship etc).

6.4  Editorial Production Assistant (EPA): The EPA is appointed on our behalf and supports administration of the peer review of Manuscripts. The EPA will check whether Manuscripts conform to our requirements and the Journal’s instructions to authors.

7. Complaints and concerns

7.1  Subject to the provisions of this clause 7:

7.1.1  We may consult you about any pre-publication or post-publication concern which may arise in connection with the Journal and which is relevant to your area of expertise; and

7.1.2  We may consult you (together with BMJ’s Research Integrity team and, where appropriate, our legal advisors) to decide any matter which is relevant to your area of expertise and including, without limitation: the rejection of Manuscripts; and, appeals or complaints received from authors of a Manuscript or readers of the Journal etc.

7.2  You must promptly notify your Publisher:

7.2.1  if you become aware of any existing or potential legal or ethical issues (including, without limitation, those related to publication practice or suspected publication or research misconduct), and you must follow any directions given to you by our legal advisers, your Head of Portfolio, your Publisher, our Ethics Committee or COPE; or

7.2.2  if a Manuscript is on a subject matter, or contains third party materials, which you reasonably consider could be controversial or could result in legal action being taken against us on publication of that Manuscript. Your Publisher will then procure that the relevant Manuscript undergoes a legal review and that reasonable checks are carried out in order to verify the factual accuracy of the content of the Manuscript in question before it is progressed further.

Similarly, we will ensure that you are informed of (and kept up-to-date with) any legal or ethical issues which may arise in connection with the Journal.

7.3 BMJ reserves the right to withdraw or alter from the Journal, any item or part of an item, for any reason including where BMJ no longer retains the right to publish, or where BMJ has reasonable grounds to believe the content is unlawful, infringing, false, harmful or defamatory. Unless BMJ believes that immediate action is justified (in which case BMJ will notify you as soon as possible), BMJ will consult you before exercising its rights in this clause 7.4.

7.4  In the event of any disagreement between you and BMJ (including any BMJ member of staff), the decision of the Editor-in-Chief of The BMJ shall be final and binding.

Role Profile – Chair of the Editorial Board – BMJ Journals – July 2023