Call for editors

We are opening our third call for editors. Quantum is an effort by researchers and for researchers to make science more open and publishing more transparent and efficient. If you believe in our mission and think you can contribute with your expertise, join the editorial board of Quantum as an editor!

Summary

  • Deadline for applications: 13th of February 2022, AoE. To apply, fill in the form below.
  • At the moment we are primarily looking for editors in the areas of NISQ, quantum optics, cold atoms, quantum algorithms, complexity theory, quantum information theory, and quantum gravity. Quantum has received an increasing volume of submissions in these fields.
  • Term: flexible. In principle two years, starting in March 2022 the earliest.
  • Compensation: editors at Quantum are unpaid volunteers. This is to keep publication costs to a minimum and offer free publishing in Quantum for authors without open-access funds.

Role description

Editors handle submissions: they decide on editorial pre-selection, invite and communicate with referees, and make the final decision regarding acceptance. Ideally, editors will only handle submissions in their fields of expertise.

When lack of expertise in one field, or overworking of editors in a particular field become evident, Quantum will appoint additional editors.

Editors can focus on the science. The online platform Scholastica simplifies many of the tasks, like inviting referees, handling reports and communicating with authors, referees and other editors. Our editors are supported by two editorial assistants.

For more information, read the full Editorial Policies of Quantum, as well as the instructions for editors.

Work load

Typically, editors handle 1-5 papers at any given time, depending on the field. Expect to dedicate around two to four hours per week for editor duties. It is important that editors be responsive. The application form asks for your weekly  availability (on average and variance). Be realistic, as knowing this will allow us to find a sufficient cover for your topics of expertise.

Time off policy

The well-being of our editors comes first. If an editor goes through a busy or stressful period at any point (examples: writing a grant, reviewing for a conference, holidays, family duties, mental health hardships), they can just let us know that they won’t be able to handle submissions for X weeks/months, and we will take care of it, no questions asked. Towards the end of that period, we will get in touch to check if the editor is ready to return to action. Editors can also let us know at any point “I can only take X papers at the same time for now”.

Workflow

The workflow of an editor is described in the instructions for editors. The short version is:

  • When asked to handle a paper, you should only accept if you have the time to read the paper and are very comfortable with the topic (enough that you could be a referee for that paper).
  • You should then read the paper within 1-2 weeks, consult with other editors, and make the decision of whether to reject the paper (if it’s below the significance threshold), to ask the authors to revise and resubmit (if you think the paper can be published if some issues are fixed) or to send it out to external reviewers for extra revision (if you think the paper can be published unless the referees find a critical technical flaw).  For the first few papers, always consult with other editors, who have a better picture of the acceptance threshold in your field.
  • If you send it out to review, invite referees within 1-2 weeks of receiving the submission. Only two reports are needed, which usually means inviting around 3-4 referees. We have editorial assistants to check on late referees, and help you decide whether to wait a bit longer or to invite new ones.
  • Once the reviews are in, consider them carefully and make a decision. In unclear cases (and this happens frequently), you are encouraged to discuss the decision with other editors in the field, as well as the coordinator editors, who have a good overview of the selection criteria. You can also communicate with the referees to clarify inconsistencies. We expect editors to use their own judgement as experts in the field, rather than just taking reports at face value.
  • Communicate the decision to the authors (we have templates for this), and handle the next round of revision similarly, until you reach a final decision of accept or reject.
  • That’s it for an individual submission! Our team will then handle publication of the paper. In case of appeals, which happen rarely, a coordinating editor will handle the process – and you may be asked to weigh in.
  • Conversely, you may be invited by other editors to join a discussion about a decision on a submission in a field you know well.

Requirements

A PhD, years of research experience in quantum science or closely related fields, and a good overview of your fields of expertise. Having read Quantum’s Editorial Policies and instructions for editors. Previous editorial experience is appreciated but not strictly necessary.

Decision

The final decision on the selection of new editors will be made by the Steering Board of Quantum. Your application will be read by the Executive and Steering Boards of Quantum. You will be notified by the end of the decision process.

Should you have any questions, please send us an email.

This call is now closed.