Managing Editor - TRR Journal

Washington D.C.
Sep 15, 2017
Dec 05, 2017
Engineering, Research
Full Time


The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Medicine work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine.


The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to increase the benefits that transportation contributes to society by providing leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Board’s varied committees, task forces, and panels annually engage about 7,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation.





The Managing Editor manages the editing and publication of the Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board (TRR). The peer-reviewed TRR comprises approximately 70 volumes containing about 900 papers in total.  Supervises the work of assigned in-house publications staff and oversees services provided by vendors, including the commercial publisher of the TRR. Serves as primary liaison to all parties involved. Develops and maintains detailed procedures and guides for publications. Ensures that all materials meet established standards as to appearance and content. Assigns work, communicating required level of editing appropriate to each project. Monitors work quality and work flow to ensure editorial accuracy and that publication deadlines are met. Determines freelance and temporary editorial staffing needs. Edits publications (or papers) and reviews editorial assignments at all stages of projects.


The primary duties of this job are directly related to the management and oversight of TRR processes and procedures. Responsibility for content lies with TRB technical staff and volunteer standing committees. Applies in-depth professional level knowledge to independently solve a full range of complex problems. Incumbent has full supervision of assigned exempt and/or nonexempt staff and establishes processes and procedures to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the TRR. Under general direction from immediate supervisor, incumbent has authority to take whatever action deemed advisable or necessary, but is required to advise superiors.




1. Manages the paper submission, review, and acceptance processes for the TRR in coordination with TRB technical staff and coordinates publication activities with the commercial publisher of the TRR.


2. Oversees paper triage in coordination with TRB technical staff. Identifies, puts into place, and oversees appropriate processes to handle subpar submissions both prior to review and upon acceptance. Manages peer review administration. Oversees development and updating of author, reviewer, and review coordinator resources. May develop (or oversee development of) training for reviewers and review coordinators.


3. Acts as the primary liaison to the publisher, managing the initial transition to web-based publishing, and maintaining the relationship. Regularly monitors quality, timeliness, and other agreed service metrics, using both reports prepared by the publisher as well as in-house research and quality assurance mechanisms. Monitors contract terms; oversees contract renewal and renegotiation; and procures competitive bids as necessary. Ensures that the publication’s best interests are front and center with the publisher.


4. Manages workflow, including checking manuscripts, developing specifications, requesting schedules and estimates, and if appropriate arranging graphic and design services and managing proofreading and editorial services. Stages coordination meetings with staff and publisher to plan for production and release.


5. Oversees and monitors publishing schedule in coordination with commercial publisher. Informs supervisor of continuing status of project.


6. Develops cost and revenue projections. Monitors publication’s financial stability; addresses deviances with the publisher and TRB’s business office.


7. Stays abreast of industry trends and best practices especially as related to submission quality and author services; ensures the publisher best positions the publication to adapt, evolve, and thrive. Collaborates with TRB staff and the publisher to develop short- and long-term strategies to enhance the publication and related products and services.


8. Analyzes data from TRB systems on paper submission, review, and acceptance. Monitors submission quality and impact on publication quality over time.


9. Researches, proposes, and implements improvements to the publication’s submission requirements, including both policy and system enhancements that may streamline and simplify the process for authors while promoting high-quality submissions.


10. Supervises assigned staff. Provides leadership, guidance, and mentoring. Trains and develops employees to successfully perform current responsibilities and encourages development of staff for future roles. Cultivates a work environment that fosters teamwork. Interprets and ensures consistent application of organizational policies. Initiates personnel actions, including performance and compensation reviews and disciplinary actions.


11. Provides guidance to staff, authors, reviewers, and TRB committees regarding manuscript and publication processing, policies, procedures, and status. Addresses questions about manuscript preparation and style, reviews and provides feedback on intellectual proprietary practices, and provides users with information about suggested credits and restrictions on use. Ensures published materials conform to National Academies’ and unit’s standards.


12. Performs a variety of complex editorial duties.


May also:


13. Oversee freelance activities, including finding and coordinating work among freelancers and ensuring quality of work.


14. Provide support for the TRR Review Advisory Board.


15. Interact with IT unit on changes needed to implement improvements and on review of potential new software to support pre-submission processes.




Excellent project management and editing skills. Ability to solve problems of variety and complexity using originality and ingenuity. Ability to serve as a resource to others in the resolution of complex problems and issues. Ability to operate using appreciable latitude for independent judgment and action. Experience working in complex environments with a high degree of organizational effectiveness. Ability to work successfully in a team environment and to form and maintain effective teams. Ability to develop relationships with co-workers and employees in other National Academies’ departments through effective communication. Excellent communication skills with a proven ability to effectively interact with all levels of employees.

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