Person Specification for role of Editor-in-chief of Update in Anaesthesia, WFSA journal

Update in Anaesthesia (UIA) is the official journal of the WFSA. First published in 1992, the aim of this journal is to provide clear, concise, and clinically-relevant overview articles for anaesthetists working with limited resources around the world. A particular emphasis has been to provide ongoing learning and support for anaesthetists practising in countries where facilities for clinical practice and educational development are scarce. UIA has very high readership figures, with tens of thousands of anaesthesiologists from around the globe reading each new issue within the first week of publication.

Over the coming 4-5 years the EIC will lead on ensuring the development, quality and regular publication of UIA such that it might become an indexed journal. The EIC will also work closely with the Chair of the WFSA’s Publication’s Committee to promote a mutually beneficial relationship with WFSA’s other publications, specifically “Anaesthesia Tutorial of the Week (ATOTW)” and the WFSA / IARS Global Health Section in Anaesthesia & Analgesia. The position holder will make valuable connections with senior anaesthesiologists across sub-specialties, and gain valuable skills for future leadership roles.

The EIC reports to the Chair of the WFSA Publications Committee and can be based anywhere in the world. The WFSA depends on dedicated volunteers to achieve it’s mission. This is a prestigious but unpaid part-time role that will usually require a commitment of 3-5 hours per week. All expenses will be covered by the WFSA. 

Download latest edition: Update in Anaesthesia

Essential criteria
Some level of experience working within theatre/critical care in a low-resource setting, giving awareness of education needs of anaesthetists working in this setting
Command of English language with ability to write and edit to achieve clear concise and simple texts
Knowledge of the ethics of editing and publishing (e.g. dual publication, self-plagiarism, confidentiality etc).
Strategic ability to set out 3-year forward plan for editions of Update, some being themed subspecialty issues, and to coordinate with other WFSA sponsored publications as necessary
Ability to set up and coordinate an editorial process, ensuring regular production of ‘ready’ articles for publication in the journal in order to comply with an agreed publication schedule.
To build a team of editors, with the time and drive to provide an appropriate level of author support and mentorship for inexperienced authors. To regularly bring new members into team to replace those whose tenure has elapsed (2-5 years)
Ability to coordinate a team of editors, via an appropriate online format (e.g. ‘Editorial Manager’)


Desirable criteria
Experience as an educator
An overview of all areas within anaesthesia, pain medicine and critical care
Past experience as an editor of a journal
Past experience of publication of submitted manuscripts in a peer-review journal


Duties and Responsibilities of Editor-in-chief of Update in Anaesthesia (UIA) 

  • Develop and pursue a vision to continually enhance the educational quality of UIA
  • Strive to increase the readership of UIA, whilst maintaining the primary objective to provide a journal whose contents is appropriate for those working in austere circumstances with little other printed educational materials
  • Maintain the core CME content of UIA; clinical overview articles covering the breadth of clinical and non-clinical topics within anaesthesia and critical care
  • Recruit a group of editors (the editorial board) with the ability and will to provide support and mentoring to authors from a variety of backgrounds and workplaces. Emphasise that the editors must commit to a fairly labour-intensive editorial process, not simply a review process. Editors do not need to be experts within the field of manuscripts they edit. The content of the articles should be pitched at or below the level of a year 2-3 trainee in anaesthesia.
  • Explore and develop novel formats for articles to improve the journal’s educational impact (e.g. ‘From the journals’, ‘Cerebral Challenge’)
  • Coordinate the long-term forward plan for editions. Liaise closely with the other WFSA sponsored publications
  • Be familiar with (or seek advice on) the legal aspects of ‘self-plagiarism’
  • Produce the electronic and printed editions in a timely fashion with publication on or before planned publication date. This is essential over a sustained period of time in order for UIA to achieve indexed status.
  • Promote the professional development of authors, recognising that many manuscripts are submitted by authors with little experience of writing for a journal, with many having English as their second language.
  • Oversee the activities of board members, ensuring equal division of work and contributions from all.
  • Modernise the editorial process of Update. Initiate an online service for management of manuscripts (e.g. ‘Editorial Manager’). Access this facility at least twice per week to ensure that manuscripts are moving through the review process at an appropriate rate. (Checking: New assignments, Submissions with Required Reviews to Complete, Submissions requiring Additional Reviewers).
  • Coordinate the commissioning of articles for planned (+/- themed) editions in a timely fashion
  • Identify emerging areas of importance and actively solicit the best work in those areas.
  • Receive submitted articles and give preliminary review and response within 2 weeks of receipt. Provide preliminary acceptance for publication within 1 month of submission after consideration by a member of the editorial team. (e.g. an article on anaesthesia for insertion of spinal cord stimulators may be rapidly rejected on review by the editor-in-chief as being outside the areas of practice of our target readership. Conversely, an article on pain management after emergency laparotomy, which has promise but clearly requires a great deal of development and further work should be reviewed by an editor and decision made of whether it can be publishable with an acceptable amount of editorial/support work.)
  • Communication with authors should be polite and constructive, giving appropriate explanations and feed-back where a manuscript is rejected or significant further work is needed.
  • Be aware of plagiarism and routinely check articles for this (cut and paste suspicious sections into Google)
  • Commission Guest Editorials on topically issues relevant to a LMIC readership.
  • Treat all manuscripts in the editorial process as confidential
  • Organise and chair regular online meetings for the editorial board to review forward edition strategy and review workload/manageability for each editor.
  • Take responsibility to ensure factual accuracy within articles (e.g. drug doses)
  • Be a co-opted member of and attend the meetings of the WFSA Publications Committee.