The leading association
of public opinion and
survey research professionals
American Association for Public Opinion Research

POQ Editor Search

The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and publisher Oxford University Press invite applications and nominations for the position of Editor(s) of Public Opinion Quarterly (POQ). We seek an editor or editorial team with the expertise and enthusiasm to lead the journal. In addition to the typical editorial responsibilities, we also are looking for leadership with innovations and ideas about special issues, forums and debates, securing timely reviews, innovative ways to disseminate the journal’s content, and strategies to increase POQ’s scholarly impact.
Published since 1937, Public Opinion Quarterly is a premier journal that publishes important theoretical and empirical studies that contribute to the scientific understanding of and methodological basis for studies of public opinion and survey research — including measurement and questionnaire design; interviewing, interviews, and other data collection designs and methodologies; statistical estimation; and sampling. The journal is interdisciplinary, covering substantive topics from a range of social science disciplines, including, but not limited to, political science, sociology, communication, economics, psychology, and social statistics. The journal receives approximately 300 manuscript submissions per year, publishes four issues per year (+ one special issue) per year, and has a five-year impact factor of 3.0. In 2018, POQ ranked 4 out of 104 interdisciplinary social science journals.  For more information on POQ’s aims and scope, please go here.
POQ and its editorship are accountable to AAPOR’s Council through AAPOR’s Advisory Committee (POQ-AC) to the journal. For more information about the POQ-AC, please go here.
The term of the current editors, Patricia Moy, University of Washington, and Eric Plutzer, Pennsylvania State University, will end with Volume 84 (2020), and the transition to the new editorial team will begin July 1, 2020. The new editor(s) will serve a renewable four-year term from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2024, and will be responsible for Volumes 85-88.
Reflecting the prestige and commitment of editing a journal such as POQ, it is typical for the home institution to provide some support for the editor. Ideal forms of support would include course releases, editorial assistantships for students, flexible funding, and other resources that allow the editor(s) the time and resources to accomplish their editorial duties. AAPOR will provide additional financial support that is commensurate with the details of the proposal. The search committee is willing to discuss with the candidate the exact nature of that additional support.

Position Description

The overarching charge to the Editor(s) is to sustain and build POQ’s current high ranking as a preeminent journal that meets the highest scientific standards as it contributes to the scholarly study of public opinion, survey research methods, and related fields. By its nature, research in POQ will be relevant to a variety of traditional academic disciplines.
In addition, the Editor(s) are expected to: 
  • Ensure that POQ is open to and inclusive of submissions from all areas within the study of public opinion, survey methodology, and related fields, including evaluations of current theories and methodologies and development and innovation of new theories and methodologies needed for the future as well as interdisciplinary work that crosses these fields
  • Manage and oversee the review process and adjudicate publication decisions in a discerning, fair, timely, equitable, and accountable manner
  • Manage fiscal and operation aspects of the editorial office
  • Recruit an editorial and review team whose members bring the depth of experience and expertise required for a high quality review process
  • Consider innovations in the review process to ensure timely, informative, and relevant reviews
  • Work with the POQ-Advisory Committee (POQ-AC) to
    • develop appropriate metrics to monitor the health of the journal and the speed and quality of the review process
    • pursue consistency, where relevant, across AAPOR’s journals in editorial policies and practices
    • provide annual and, if requested, interim reports to Council
    • communicate with Council through the Councilors-at-Large about needs or problems that emerge, and suggestions for major changes in editorial policies and practices
  • Work with the AAPOR Communications Chair and publisher to increase the impact of POQ’s publications, including through the use of social media
  • Monitor changes in the publishing environment, and work with the POQ-AC to meet external challenges such as the move toward Open Access
  • Meet at least annually with the POQ-AC and members of the Editorial Board during the annual AAPOR meeting
  • During that annual meeting, provide a written report to AAPOR Council that describes the state of the journal, including an accounting of expenses and support for those expenses
  • Give a brief report on the "state of the journal" at AAPOR’s annual business meeting
  • Join AAPOR and continue membership while serving as Editor(s)

Search Committee

The search for the editor will be conducted by the Public Opinion Quarterly Advisory Committee (POQ-AC), chaired by Sunshine Hillygus. Members include AAPOR’s Councilors-at-Large, plus three additional members appointed by AAPOR’s Council for staggered four-year terms by the President.
If you know someone who would be right for the editorship of POQ, please nominate that person by sending his or her name, email address, and a brief description of his or her qualifications to [email protected].   Please describe whether or not you have discussed the nomination with the possible candidate.  Because the search committee will need time to confirm the person’s interest, please make such nominations as soon as possible.  The search committee will review nominations, contact them to discuss applying, and encourage their applications if they are interested. Self-nominations are welcome in the form of applications as described below.
Submit the application materials described below.  Submissions completed by Sunday, December 15, 2019 will receive full consideration. 
If you would like to submit an application, but need additional time to complete all parts of the application, please contact us at [email protected].
  • Curriculum vitae for each Editor-in-Chief
  • Statement of support from the institutional unit that will be housing the editor(s)
Develop and include a personal statement that proposes the following:
  • A description of your vision for the journal, including its focus and editorial policies,
  • Members of the editorial team and how you would structure their work
  • Process for evaluating, refreshing, and maintaining the current pools of reviewers, information about their expertise, and methods for matching reviewers and submissions
  • Process for reviewing manuscripts, including procedures and criteria for “desk rejections” if you plan to use that procedure
  • Ideas about providing incentives to reviewers to provide timely returns
  • How decisions about submissions will be made
  • Plans for regular review and updating of policies about data accessibility and transparency, including disclosure practices that are part of AAPOR’s Code of Ethics
  • Plans to work with the AAPOR Communications Chair and Oxford University Press to increase the impact of POQ’s publications, including through the use of social media
  • Proposed benchmarks or metrics to be used to evaluate the state of the journal and the success of your tenure as editor.