Guidelines for Being a Guest Editor

Being a Guest Editor for Alaska Park Science
Updated March 21, 2018

Thank you for agreeing to serve as a Guest Editor for Alaska Park Science. Your knowledge, professional experience, and commitment are critical in ensuring the Alaska Region continues to provide a relevant and timely venue for Alaska NPS scientists to communicate their work. This guidance document provides detail about the expectations, role, and responsibilities for being a Guest Editor:

Developing the issue concept. The Guest Editor participates with the Editorial Board to shape an issue of Alaska Park Science. This involves identifying potential articles and authors to create the most engaging, relevant, and quality issue.

Communicating with the author. Once the Editorial Board has identified the topics to be included in an issue, potential authors will be identified and invited to submit an article. The Guest Editor is the main point of contact between the board and the author and is responsible for maintaining contact, including tracking interactions, communicating expectations and timeframes, and managing the review and delivery of revised articles to the Science Communication Specialist for layout and final publication.

Introducing the topic. The Guest Editor may author or coauthor the introductory article to the issue that explains the concept of the issue, explains why the theme is important to the National Park Service and Alaska, and may summarize key themes from the issue.

Managing reviews. Although Alaska Park Science is not a discipline-specific journal, we are committed to excellence in quality and accuracy. Therefore all articles will be reviewed by at least two individuals with sufficient technical or scientific expertise in the subject matter to offer substantive comments on the content of the article. This may include members of the Editorial Board when appropriate. In addition, articles will be reviewed for readability, management sensitivity, and relevance to the NPS Alaska Region. The Guest Editor will manage the review process in a way that is compliant with the NPS guidance on peer review. Specific guidance for the Alaska Park Science review process is given in a separate document.

Distributing the final product. The Science Communication Specialist will be the point of contact for distribution of the final document. The Guest Editor is invited to write an introductory paragraph for the distribution email announcing the release of the issue, may review the draft email, and suggest any additional contacts to receive the announcement (become an Alaska Park Science subscriber).

Alaska Park Science website:

Editorial Board. Five individuals are standing members of the Alaska Park Science Editorial Board: Associate Regional Director for Science, Communications, and Partnerships, I&M Regional Program Manager, Chief of Natural Resources, Chief of Cultural Resources, and Science Communication Specialist. A Guest Editor is designated for each issue and serves on the Board for the duration of time needed to develop that issue.

Role of Advisory Committees. The Natural Resources Advisory Committee, Cultural Resources Advisory Committee, and Subsistence Advisory Committee provide feedback and advice on potential themes for issues, suggest articles and authors, and represent perspectives from parks and other field operations.

General Schedule for Development and Review of an Issue
The following is the general schedule and sequence of production and review for Alaska Park Science articles:

  • Board identifies and prioritizes thematic or non-thematic issues and selects a Guest Edit - 9-12 months in advance
  • Guest Editor confers with Board on topics and suggestions for authors (and potential reviewers) ~ 10 months in advance
  • Board approves outline for issue and Guest Editor invites authors to submit - 9 months in advance
  • Authors submit articles to Guest Editor ~ 6 months in advance
  • Guest Editor sends articles for review ~ 6 months in advance
  • Reviews are received, compiled and sent back to authors for revision ~ 4.5 months in advance
  • Revised articles received by Guest Editor. Editorial Board completes final review of articles and the Science Communication Specialist prepares final versions for layout and design ~ 3 months in advance
  • Contract copy editor reviews final version ~ 1.5 months in advance
  • Editorial Board provides final approval ~ 2 weeks in advance

Contact: Leigh Welling, Regional Chief Scientist, 644-3503, leigh_welling [at]

Last updated: August 13, 2019