Duties of Publisher

The publisher of a journal is ultimately responsible for the ethical conduct of the editorial team as they have the ability to take action whenever it is required in order to maintain the standards of best practice. At first, the publisher defines the main doctrine, what the journal is about and makes sure that it will be a success. They manage staff, deal with editors and authors, appoint and delegate duties and determine the main organisational values, ideas and purpose. Some of the publishers prefer to have editorial control while others delegate the duties to editors and editors-in-chief. Irrespective of the preferred strategy, some of the most important publisher’s duties may include:

A. Initial duties

1. Defining the mission of the journal they manage and publish.

The first step in the management of a publication is to define the main mission and editorial particularities of the journal in question. For instance, if the publisher aims at launching a Law journal, the editorial staff would be mainly composed of legal specialists and editors while a news journal will require analysts and professional journalists for every field the newspaper will cover.

2. Managing the budget

Starting a business, whether it is a factory, a shop or a journal, requires a budget and a plan that will ensure the organisation is financially viable. The budget must be balanced and the amount of money invested in production, staff and distribution must be less than the amount of the expected revenue from advertisers, subscribers and other sources of income.

3. Selecting and hiring the staff and editorial team

The vision of a journal is not enough for the publication to become real. The publisher needs to hire the professional staff that will shape the publication: authors, editors, designers and photographers, as well as administrative and production personnel.

B. General duties

4. Overseeing the editorial content

Besides the usual organisational and managerial duties, publishers work closely with the editors and the editors-in-chief in selecting and defining the content that will be finally published within the pages of the journal. Publishers approve or deny texts, images and types of layouts that are provided by the authors and the editors. While ethical issues are usually reviewed by the authors themselves and then overseen by the editors, publishers have the final word on whether a text or an image will or will not be published.

5. Supervising the production

While there are publishers who choose not to be involved in the production process, there are many who choose to oversee the entire process, making sure that every single employee and editor-in-chief is undertaking the duties assigned to them; if problems arise, they will be able to quickly resolve them. Usually, the publisher reviews the content of the journal they manage before clearing it for printing or on-line publishing.

6. Representing the publication they manage

While editors and authors are public figures, the publisher is the main public face of the journal, representing the publication on major public events. Some publishers prefer not to get involved when issues and ethical problems appear while others choose to take actions and face the public rather than delegate the apologising task to the editor-in-chief or the author who were involved in the problem.

C. The PIE membership

While there are certain duties publishers are able to delegate to the staff, they are responsible for the content of the publications they manage as well as for the ethical conduct of their employees and the publication conduct in general. By adhering to PIE, they have access to all theinformation they need in order to ensure their publication’s ethics and resolve the complaints regarding the matter as soon as they are expressed.

The publishers should support the editorial staff so they can follow the PIE guidelines, respect the privacy and protect intellectual property and copyrights. The publishers ensure there is an editorial independence, research ethics, transparency and integrity and finally, they assist the parties involved in the investigation of misconduct or unethical practices, facilitating the resolution if it is possible.

The Publication Integrity and Ethics does not provide publisher’s membership but welcomes publishers who choose to adhere to its guidelines.  The Publication Integrity and Ethics believes in and supports editorial freedom supported by the publisher. The publishers can choose to submit their journals for PIE membership free of charge throughan application made by the editor-in-chief of the journal. When accepted, the journal will be given a PIE journal status and the organisation logo can be cited on the front page of that journal.



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