Publications Board

I. Purpose

The purpose of the Publications Board and Publications Editor is to ensure that the Society's non-serial publications serve the needs of its members. The Publications Board assists the Publications Editor by establishing overall policy direction, goals, and priorities for the non-serial publications program; approving manuscripts; and monitoring publications to ensure consistently high quality. The Publications Board also assists with the evaluation of the Publications Editor as requested by the Council.

II. Board Size, Length of Terms, and Selection

The Publications Board consists of the Publications Editor, who serves as chair of the board, and eight individual board members.

The Publications Editor's term of office, assuming satisfactory performance, is three years, with an option of reappointment for one additional three-year term.

The eight individual board members are appointed for four-year terms that are staggered so that one-fourth of the members are appointed each year. The Publications Editor recommends new members for appointment by the SAA Vice President. The Vice President bears ultimate responsibility for appointing board members to ensure that they represent diverse knowledge areas and constituencies within SAA. The Publications Editor's recommendations, however, bear considerable weight in this appointment process. An individual may serve no more than two consecutive terms.

The chair of The American Archivist Editorial Board will serve as an ex officio member of the Publications Board.

III. Duties and Responsibilities

A. Publications Editor

The role of the Publications Editor is to set a vision and provide philosophical and strategic direction for the program, acquire manuscripts, maintain a clear and transparent review process, direct the work of the Publications Board, cultivate partnerships with other professional associations, and seek external financial support (with the Council's permission) for specific projects.

The Publications Editor also serves as an ex officio member of The American Archivist Editorial Board.

B. Publications Board

The Publications Board assists the Publications Editor to:

  1. Develop and implement editorial policies and procedures.
  2. Review proposals and manuscripts, recommend peer reviewers, and coordinate review processes.
  3. Solicit authors and publish works that support the archival profession.
    • Ensure that seminal archival literature remains in publication.
    • Publish new, and newly translated, academic works on advanced archival topics.
    • Publish works that establish best practices. Produce revised editions as necessary.
    • Publish new works that meet the evolving needs of the membership.
  4. Continue a fiscally responsible program of publishing and distributing works relating to archival history, practice, research, and principles.
    • Work to increase funds for an expanded publications program, such as cooperative ventures with other publishers, seeking grants to defray the cost of some publications, and suggesting ways in which the Council-designated Publications Fund might be enhanced.
    • Seek ways to improve marketing strategies for current and new audiences.
  5. Participate fully in all board discussions.

C. SAA Office

The SAA office coordinates the physical production and mechanical aspects of the publishing program, including:

  • Negotiate contracts with authors;
  • Negotiate contracts with vendors (e.g., printers);
  • Negotiate contracts with other publishing outlets to distribute works;
  • Oversee production of SAA publications;
  • Manage inventory of titles;
  • Ensure that all deadlines are met;
  • Provide reports to assist the Publications Board to accomplish its goals;
  • Coordinate communication with and among the Publications Board members, and with SAA members at large;
  • Ensure the production and distribution of Publications Board meeting minutes.

IV. Meetings

The Publications Board typically meets twice each year, once at the Annual Meeting and once at the midpoint of the fiscal year (provided funding is available). The Council liaison, Editor of American Archivist, Executive Director, Director of Publishing, and Production Manager participate in all meetings of the Publications Board.

V. Budget

The SAA Council, as part of its budget process, approves the publications program budget, which is prepared by the SAA office.

VI. Reporting and Performance Evaluation Procedures for Editor

The Publications Editor reports directly to the Council, and is required to submit written reports three times a year to the Council. The Council also may request that the Publications Editor attend and present a verbal report in conjunction with the Annual Meeting.

If the Council expresses concern about the performance of the Publications Editor, it will charge the Executive Director to gather information so that the Council can conduct a more detailed performance review. Such a performance review would include feedback from Publications Board members, the Director of Publishing, authors, and other individuals as appropriate.

In years in which the incumbent Publications Editor is eligible for reappointment, the Executive Director will contact the incumbent Publications Editor to determine if he or she is interested in serving a second term. If the Publications Editor expresses such an interest, the matter will be referred to the Council. After reviewing the Publications Editor's performance based on the position description and consulting such individuals as it deems appropriate, the Council will determine whether it wishes to offer the Publications Editor reappointment to a second term or will direct the Executive Director to implement a search for a new Publications Editor.


Approved by the Council September 29, 2006.
Revised by the Council: June 2012.

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