Introduction

The Urban Affairs Association (UAA) supports urban scholarship through its peer-reviewed journals. The Journal of Urban Affairs (JUA) is the longest-standing publication of the organization. The journal is a top priority activity with strong UAA community support. As such, high quality leadership of the journal is a critically important UAA objective. In accordance with established UAA Governing Board policy and past practices, a contract will be made between UAA and an institutional host for editorial services. This contract specifies the individual(s) who will become editor(s), their responsibilities and authority, as well as financial support structures. The standard contract period is 5 years in length. However, UAA may extend contracts by mutual agreement. The overall selection process is managed through a shared leadership model:

  • UAA Publications Committee and the Executive Director coordinate the editorial application and review process and make final recommendations to the Board
  • UAA Governing Board makes final selection of Editor(s)
  • Executive Director negotiates contract with selected Editor(s) and host institution with input from Publications Committee and Board Chair

The Urban Affairs Association (UAA) invites proposals for the Editorship of The Journal of Urban Affairs (the JUA) for an initial contract term of July 1, 2021 thru June 30, 2026.

Deadlines:
Letter of Intent—November 16, 2020
Full Proposal—February 1, 2021

Eligibility: Applicants must be individual members of the Urban Affairs Association in good standing, who can demonstrate significant publication experience, intellectual breadth and depth in the area of urban affairs, and strong administrative and organizational skills. UAA is open to applications that involve an individual editor, or co-editors. All journal submission and review communications are conducted electronically which allows editors to function from any part of the globe. U.S. residency is not required.


JUA Aims and Scope

Focusing on urban research and policy analysis, the Journal of Urban Affairs is among the most widely cited journals in the field. Published by Taylor and Francis for the Urban Affairs Association, the journal provides a multidisciplinary perspective on issues of relevance to both scholars and practitioners, including:

  • Interdisciplinary analyses of metropolitan and community problems
  • Cutting edge quantitative and qualitative methodologies
  • Global and comparative urban research
  • Empirical research that advances the knowledge of urban society
  • Assessments of policies, programs, and strategies for change in the urban milieu

Varied perspectives and depth of analysis have made JUA one of the fastest growing journals in urban studies.

In 2019, the journal had an impact factor of 1.619 based on an 8-issue volume year. Beginning in 2021, due to demand, the journal will increase to 10 published issues. The annual issues of the journal include both special and regular issues. The current structure of the JUA editorial team includes experienced Managing Editors, Associate Editors, a Book Review Editor, and the Assistant to the Editor. The Editor oversees this structure and delegates responsibilities to each team member.

See current JUA content: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ujua20/current


Goals of the Journal of Urban Affairs 

Established by the UAA Governing Board (2014)

  1. Provide space for research that advances an interdisciplinary urban perspective;
  2. Feature research that advances our understanding of global urbanissues;
  3. Provide space for research that addresses issues of social justice;
  4. Serve as an outlet for major ground-breaking theoretical, conceptual and empirical research;
  5. Provide space for major debates in the field of urban affairs;
  6. Provide content that addresses key policy topics in a timely manner;
  7. Provide valued content that influences the design and focus of related urban research;
  8. Serve as a resource for teaching and field learning;
  9. Be among the top ranked journals in urban studies as measured by major ranking standards (i.e., ISI, Scopus, etc.);

Key Responsibilities of Editor(s)

The Editor(s) works in a semi-autonomous manner to establish editorial policies, including procedures and standards. The Editor(s) is expected to:

General Responsibilities

  1. Develop strategies and initiatives to further the goals of the Journal;
  2. Establish and maintain a review process that is objective and timely;
  3. Maintain a collaborative relationship with the leadership of the Urban Affairs Association:
  4. Support the UAA’s strategic goal of increasing international urban scholarship;and,
  5. Establish and maintain a productive relationship with the journal publisher.The Editor(s) works with the editorial team, the publisher’s marketing and production staff, and the UAA Executive Office to insure timely and cost-efficient journal operations.

Specific Responsibilities

Journal-related

  1. Oversee the entire submission, review, and decision process, and supervise editorial support staff;
  2. Establish and maintain a review process that gives authors review decisions within an average of 4 months or less from date of submission;
  3. Perform a cursory review of each submission to determine if it meets minimum standards to warrant review. Note: Based on this initial scan, each manuscript is either desk-rejected or distributed by the Assistant to the Editor to the appropriate Managing or Associate Editor, who identify reviewers. All file transfers, communications, distribution to reviewers, and dissemination of decision letters are managed by the Assistant to the Editor.
  4. Increase and/or maintain impact metrics in an academically responsible way, as directed by the Board,
  5. Maintain an Editorial Board that supports the operations of the journal and furthers itsgoals;
  6. Establish and maintaincollegial relationships between editor(s) and potential authors/reviewers through communications, and participation at major conferences (e.g., UAA);
  7. Produce journal content that adheres toannual output contract, avoids excess production costs, and meets publisher’s deadlines;
  8. Establish and maintain initiatives to market the journal via social media and other outlets accessible to potential readers, authors and reviewers;
  9. Develop and maintain efforts to recruit and acknowledge journal reviewers;

UAA-related

  1. Provide annual reports on operations and outputs of the journal, as well as progress towards the JUA Goals;
  2. Engage in collaborative planning efforts with UAA’s Journals Strategic Development Committee;
  3. Coordinate and participate in special sessions on journal publishing as part of UAA’s professional development activities;
  4. Cooperate with UAA’s Publications Committee in any research and analysis of journal impacts;
  5. Coordinate and lead special professional development sessions on publishing at UAA conferences and other relevant contexts.
  6. Cooperate with the UAA Executive Office to coordinate annual best paper and best article awards.

Editor(s) Selection Process

The UAA Publications Committee will review and evaluate all proposals submitted by the established deadline and make a final recommendation to the Governing Board. The Executive Director will assess the proposed institutional support and inform the committee and Governing Board of required contract agreements. The UAA Governing Board will make the final selection from among the top candidates. Once a selection is made, the contract for editorial services will be formalized by the Executive Director and Board Chair. See detailed selection process and timetable for additional information.

Proposal Process and Content

  1. Interested persons should submit a brief Letter of Intent by November 16, 2020.
  2. Full proposals are due by February 1, 2021. Proposals should be limited to approximately 3,000-4,000 words (about 5-7 pages in length) and should include the following:
  • Vision Statement: Goals and plans for the content of the JUA. This should include an evaluation of the strengths and limitations of the JUA, and your plans to remedy any deficiencies or build upon existing strengths, together with an explanation of how the Editor(s) envision the positioning of the journal in relation to comparable and competing outlets.
  • Editor/Co-Editor Background Information/Qualifications: Basic information on Editor (or Co-Editors). Include a statement on qualifications, including evidence of the experience and ability of the Editor (or Co-Editors) to provide sound editorial judgment and successfully guide the JUA both intellectually and administratively.
  • Promotion of Journal and Outreach: The Editor(s) is expected to engage in outreach and promotion of the journal to increase awareness of the journal and expand linkages to urban researchers and their networks. Provide a description of how you would carry out this responsibility.
  • Management, Organization, and Responsibilities (of the editorial team): A clear statement of plans for the operation of the editorial team, as well as, if applicable, other issues involving shared editorial responsibilities. If a co-editor model is proposed, the proposal should describe how communications and decision-making will be structured to minimize delays and duplication of effort.

Important note: Given the success of the current editorial team structure and review process, any structural changes proposed should be explicitly stated along with a clear rationale.

  • Institutional Support: Provide a statement of how your institution will support the work of the Editor(s). The JUA historically has been operated as a cooperative arrangement between the UAA and the home institution(s) of the editor(s). The home institution has typically provided course releases for the Editor(s), and office facilities and equipment. UAA editorial stipend support payments are made on an annual, bi-annual or quarterly basis after performance of duties.
  • Appendix: Attach current curricula vita for Editor (or Co-Editors). Please make sure that the vita(e) includes a description of any previous editorial experience.

Financial Commitments

The editorial activities of the JUA depend on continuous management of manuscript review processes. To support that continuity, UAA has entered into an ongoing contract for services for the Assistant to the Editor position. The current Assistant to Editor has more than 12 years of experience in this position and has worked successfully with three different editors. UAA pays salary and benefits for this 75%-time position. In addition, UAA provides social media services to promote the journal.

UAA provides an annual editorial stipend and significant travel support to the Editor(s) (via prepaid expenses and reimbursements). Travel support to the Editor(s) is allocated for attendance at the UAA Fall Board meeting and Spring conference, and for additional professional conferences (domestic or international) where the Editor(s) is expected to promote the journal. In addition, UAA provides conference travel support for the Assistant to the Editor, and Managing, Associate, and Book Review editors.

Given these significant investments by UAA in the journal’s operations, we seek an editorial agreement in which the host institution of the editor(s) commits complementary resources (e.g., course releases, office space/furnishings, computer/internet access, phone, office supplies, and modest clerical support). Other forms of support may include research assistance, and additional travel support to allow the editor to continue their own research activities.


Terms and Transition

Term of Contract Period: The new editorial term begins on July 1, 2021. The term is five years, ending on June 30, 2026.

Transition to a New Editor(s): The current editor is responsible for training a successor(s) in the process of editing and managing the JUA. To aid in this training, the Urban Affairs Association will cover reasonable travel expenses of the new editor(s) for an in-person visit to the existing editorial site.  If no in-person meeting is possible, virtual meeting support will be provided by UAA. The current editor has agreed to provide this training, which will be approximately 1-2 working days in duration.

Manuscript Queue: In 2019, JUA received approximately 350 manuscript submissions. This rate of submissions creates a steady flow of work for the editorial team that is expected to continue.  The current queue of accepted manuscripts is sufficient to meet content requirements for at least one volume year.


Equity, Diversity and Nondiscrimination Statement

The core of UAA’s mission as an organization is the goal of promoting a more “just and equitable urban world.” We seek editorial leadership that embraces this goal and shows a clear commitment to inclusion, diversity, and equity. We encourage application by individuals from diverse racial, ethnic and social backgrounds, women, and persons from under-represented groups. We celebrate diversity and do not discriminate based on race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, marital status, military and veteran status, physical abilities, or any other applicable characteristics protected by federal, state or local laws.


Contact

For general questions and inquiries regarding this RFP, contact Dr. Margaret Wilder, UAA Executive Director (wilder@uaamail.org).


Editor(s) Selection Timetable

September 18, 2020September 18, 2020 Publications Committee submits draft RFP and selection timetable to UAA Board
September 26, 2020Governing Board discusses and approves RFP and editorial selection process
October 5, 2020Request for Proposals (RFP) for Editorship posted to UAA website, emailed to UAA members, conference attendees from past years, JUA authors, and targeted list-serves
November 16, 2020Letter of intent from prospective editor(s) deadline. Letters should be sent electronically to Dr. Margaret Wilder, UAA Executive Director (wilder@uaamail.org). List of interested persons compiled by UAA Executive Office and forwarded to Publications Committee
December 14-18, 2020 Publications Committee and Executive Director conduct informational interviews with prospective editor(s); Interview logistics managed by UAA Executive Office
February 1, 2021Full proposal deadline. Proposals should be sent electronically to Dr. Margaret Wilder, Executive Director (wilder@uaamail.org)
March 1, 2021Publications Committee submits its recommendations to Board Chair and Executive Director
March 15, 2021Executive Director has preliminary contract discussions with top ranked applicant(s) and forwards assessment of contract viability to Governing Board
March 22, 2021UAA Governing Board makes final selection of Editor(s)
April 12, 2021 Executive Director negotiates and finalizes editorial contract
April 19, 2021Announcement made via UAA website and social media of Editor(s) selection
May & June 2021Editorial office transition and publisher-based training (as needed)
July 1, 2021New contract with Editor(s) begins