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Editors, Referees and Committees: distributing editorial work at the Royal Society journals in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access Status

  • Embargoed (until 1/01/50)


Ever since the Royal Society, in 1752, replaced the editor of the Philosophical Transactions with an editorial committee, it had created an increasingly complex system which distributed editorial work and responsibility among many individuals. The 1902 suggestion that the Society ought now to appoint an editor offers an opportunity to explore what the role of “editor” was believed to be: why might such a role now benefit the Society and its journals? What role might an “editor” play, amidst the existing editorial structures? Examining the Royal Society’s long-standing commitment to distributed editorial practices offers a counterpoint to histories of academic editorship focused upon the rise of the sole editor. It allows us to investigate the acknowledged challenges of working with distributed editorial practices, and to consider the shifting perception of the academic journal editor within the wider editorial system


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 Dec 2019

    Research areas

  • Royal Society, Editorship, Scientific journals, Academic publishing, Nineteenth century, twentieth-century

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ID: 264080265