American Society of Naturalists

A membership society whose goal is to advance and to diffuse knowledge of organic evolution and other broad biological principles so as to enhance the conceptual unification of the biological sciences.

Call for Data Editor starting 2024

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We are seeking a Data Editor to evaluate data repositories for papers accepted for publication in The American Naturalist. In 2021, we pioneered the use of a data editor to improve the quality of data repositories for all published papers. We feel that this has been a very successful process and are now requesting applications for a new data editor to begin in January 2024 when the current lead data editor, Bob Montgomerie, will step down to pursue other projects.

The Data Editor evaluates the data and code repository for each paper when a manuscript has been revised and has a high chance of ultimate publication. The process of evaluation is aided by a report from that summarizes the dataset mentioned in the paper. With that report in hand, the data editor writes a short report recommending changes to the data repository that will make it maximally usable. Typically these reports require about 45 minutes each. With about 125 data repositories to evaluate per year, the data editor position requires a commitment of about 3 hours per week, about equivalent to the requirements for a member of the journal’s editorial board.

The ideal candidate for this position will be an academic who conducts research in the areas relevant to this journal. A working knowledge of R coding is also required as more than 90% of data repositories contain at least one R script. The remaining repositories contain notebooks from Mathematica, Matlab, and Python so some familiarity with those tools is also an asset, though not required. The best candidate will also have extensive experience reviewing scientific papers and serving on at least one journal editorial board.

The current data editor has prepared some useful guidelines for streamlining the workflow and will work with the new data editor as needed to ease the transition. We would like the new data editor to begin evaluating repositories for papers under revision in January 2024.

If you are interested, please send your CV and a cover letter briefly stating why you would be a good fit for this position to Editor-in-Chief Volker Rudolf.