Section 9.4: Editorial Review Board Operating Procedures
I. Roles and Accountability
The Editorial Review Board (ERB) helps to ensure that the organization’s monthly journal, Professional Safety, provides high-quality, technically accurate content that advances the practice of occupational safety and health (OSH) by keeping the OSH community informed of developments in the practice and application of industry best practices. These guidelines are a reference and working tool for both the ERB and editorial staff.
II. Committee Membership
- Committee members are appointed by the vice president, Council on Professional Development, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors. The committee shall not exceed eight members.
- Terms of each member shall be three years and members may not be reappointed.
- The chair shall be designated by the vice president, Council on Professional Development. The term of the chair is one year, renewable for a maximum of three consecutive years.
- The vice president, Council on Professional Development shall be a nonvoting ex-officio member.
- Regardless of their unexpired term, an ERB member may be removed by the chair, with concurrence of the vice president, Council on Professional Development, and/or by the vice president, Council on Professional Development, for failure to return evaluations, reply to correspondence or attend the majority of meetings. The vice president, Council on Professional Development, shall appoint a replacement for this member.
III. Board Operations
- Method: The committee will primarily meet virtually.
- Schedule: The schedule of meetings shall be determined by the committee chair and agreed to by committee members.
- Quorum: A quorum exists when at least one-half of the members of the committee are present at a meeting, one of whom must be the committee chair. If a quorum is present, a majority vote of members present shall be decisive when a vote it taken.
- Committee Business: The committee may transact official business at meetings, conference calls and by electronic ballot.
- Minutes: Minutes will be prepared for each committee meeting.
B. Budgeting and Finance
The committee operates within the Society budget, including travel, meeting and staff support expenses. Committees are funded through specific budget actions of the Board of Directors.
Addendum I: Specific Committee Activities
I. General Policies
Professional Safety is a journal published to inform the professional OSH community about developments in the research, technology and management of incident prevention, industry best practices, and safety management systems, techniques and trends. All feature content undergoes author anonymous peer review by the ERB, which means the identities of the authors are concealed from the reviewers. The journal’s mission is to advance the professional discourse, promote the advancement and development of OSH professionals, and disseminate the body of knowledge of the OSH profession.
Judgments made or opinions expressed in the journal’s feature articles, news sections, letters to the editor, meeting reports and other content do not necessarily reflect the views of ASSP, nor should they be considered an expression of official policy or endorsement by ASSP. They are published for the purpose of sharing views with, and encouraging dialogue and independent thought among, readers on areas of vital concern to the OSH profession. Official positions, opinions or statements are labeled as such.
Editorial staff establishes deadlines and conducts daily operations to ensure timely publication and delivery to the readership. Editorial staff also secures and maintains all copyrights for the journal and operation of Professional Safety and protection of its contents.
II. Manuscript Submissions
A. Article Categories
1. Professional article. An article written and submitted for publication by a professional(s) or practitioner(s) in OSH or related field.
- As a guideline, an individual author or authors from the same company, university, etc., may only publish two articles per calendar year, unless otherwise approved by the ERB. Honorariums shall not be paid for any article, unless specific arrangements are made in advance based on individual circumstances (e.g., contracting with a professional writer).
- ASSP will not pay an honorarium for any article unless specific arrangements are made in advance based on individual circumstances (e.g., contracting with a professional writer).
- Reader letters should address specific articles, editorials, letters, columns and news reports published in Professional Safety. Letters must appear within six months of the referenced publication. In addition, the editorial staff reserves the right to select which letters will appear and to edit letters for brevity and clarity.
2. Student article. An article written and submitted for publication by a student(s) currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in OSH or related field. To qualify as a student paper, the manuscript must meet the following criteria:
- Author has less than three years’ practical experience working in a field related to occupational safety and health, industrial hygiene and/or environmental or related endeavor.
- No coauthors are university faculty members.
B. Article Review Process
The ERB evaluates and scores articles submitted for publication based on the criteria outlined in the online evaluation form posted on the ASSP website. This is conducted as an anonymous review—no author information is provided to the reviewers. When fewer than eight members evaluate a given article, editorial staff adjusts scores accordingly.
ERB members are expected to return all evaluations to the editorial staff within the period specified. The ERB chair will address any serious delays with the individual committee member.
Editorial staff compiles and shares ERB comments with all authors.
III. ASSP Professional Safety Articles of the Year and Student Paper Awards
The ERB determines ASSP’s Professional Safety Articles of the Year Award recipients based on the initial article review process. This award process is conducted so that recipients are communicated to the Council on Professional Development by March 15.
To be eligible for this award, the author and any coauthors must be ASSP members at the time of publication. The top 10% of eligible articles (based on evaluation point totals) published during the calendar year are returned to the ERB for rank ordering. Editorial staff then compiles the rankings to identify the top three articles and shares that information with the ERB, the Council on Professional Development and other constituent groups.
Each recipient receives a commemorative item.
The ERB may also award a Student Paper Award. The author of the top-rated student article receives registration to the virtual component of a future ASSP conference. Eligibility criteria are as follows:
- Students must be members of ASSP.
- Submissions must address a topic in the occupational safety and health, industrial hygiene, environmental or related field.
- Submissions must be written by a student or students currently enrolled at the junior/senior level in an undergraduate degree program.
- The student(s) should have less than three years’ practical experience working in a field related to occupational safety, health, industrial hygiene and/or environmental or other related endeavor.
- No coauthors are university faculty members.
The ERB reserves the right to not present the award.
Approved By | Date: Board of Directors | 08/2022
Replaces Edition Dated: 12/2019
Next Revision Due: 12/2025