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Abstract

In this editorial forum, we individually discuss (1) the roles and responsibilities of a senior editor (SE) as informed by our experiences, (2) key challenges to fulfilling the role of senior editor, and (3) philosophies/characteristics/ values/practices that are associated with the most effective SEs. A consensus emerges that it is the responsibility of SEs to determine the final disposition of papers submitted to their journal in light of various tradeoffs. In making these decisions, the SE must be cognizant of authors’ careers and the field’s intellectual development. We recognize the constructive element of the SE role and the importance of their offering guidance to the authors. While there was disagreement as to whether the “invisible college” or formal policies should be enacted to limit undesirable practices, suggestions emerged about how SEs could be better recognized for their contributions and SE-related policies could be enacted to improve the review process.

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