Editing a higher education journal: Gatekeeping or development?

Sandra Acker, Mika Rekola, Gina Wisker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (SciVal)


Editors of academic journals play a key part in the production of knowledge and the continuation of scholarly conversations about practical and intellectual issues of the day. While peer review, an essential part of journal processes, has received considerable attention in the scholarly and the popular press, much of it critical, the role of the chief editor remains rather shadowy and underexplored. Qualitative, semi-structured interviews with 11 editors of academic journals in the field of higher education probed for editors’ thoughts about their work. The editors, located in seven countries, described dual roles as gatekeepers–keeping up standards in the field–and academic developers–supporting and encouraging novice and other potential authors. They searched for balance between these often contradictory expectations amidst complexities and challenges of contemporary academia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-114
Number of pages11
JournalInnovations in Education and Teaching International
Issue number1
Early online date21 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2022


  • academic development
  • Editors
  • gatekeeper
  • higher education
  • journals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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