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While the main purpose of editorials in academic journals is to offer an overview and commentary on the content, editors frequently see it as an opportunity to parade their hobby horses in public. It is to be hoped that readers will forgive me if I not only take advantage of this opportunity but also include a Commentary which elaborates on the theme of 'The role of editorial advisory boards'.

As an Editor, the topic is obviously an important one. To begin with, most publishers have a policy on the matter which may have been developed in conjunction with a professional/academic body that comprise the intended readership for the journal. Invariably, the purpose of this policy is to ensure the continued quality, relevance and reputation of the publication through access to and with the support of recognised experts in the field of inquiry covered by the journal. While editors have a primary responsibility for these issues of quality and relevance, it is clear that they can only be sustained through the support of other established authorities and it is this backing that editorial advisory boards provide.

However, while this role is well recognised, a certain 'mystery' surrounds the more practical issues of how one comes to be appointed to serve on an advisory board and what functions one will be expected to perform if approached to fill this role. In the Commentary at the end of this issue we attempt to throw some light on the topic.
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Document Type: Editorial

Publication date: 2008-09-01

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