Rural and Remote Health is administered by the College of Medicine and Dentistry, James Cook University, Queensland, Australia through the Journal Management Committee. The Journal Management Committee membership consists of the Editor in Chief and representatives from the Federation of Rural Australian Medical Educators FRAME and other Australian rural health organisations. The Journal editorial staff report to James Cook University.

The members of the Journal's International Editorial Board include the Editor in Chief, the Regional Editors and a statistical consultant. Each of the geographic regions has a Regional Editorial Panel made up of regional specialists in the areas of rural health status, rural health policy, rural health education, rural health practice, and Indigenous/First Nations health

Figure 1. Journal structure

Roles and responsibilities

Journal Management Committee

The Journal Management Committee has responsibility for overseeing the Journal's business aims, the scope of operation, policy development, business management, reporting and monitoring. The roles and responsibilities of the Journal Management Committee are to:

  • Determine the aims and scope of the Journal.
  • Lead the development of the Journal and develop and monitor the Journal strategic and business plans (including budgets).
  • Oversee business operations, marketing and advertising.
  • Determine and review Journal operational policies and procedures, including editorial policy in association with the Editor in Chief.
  • Represent, publicise and promote the Journal, including at international forums and with rural health organisations.
  • Report regularly to FRAME.
  • Monitor Journal content in relation to established standards (eg ICMJE; COPE; NLM) and against performance indicators.
  • Appoint, support and monitor the Editor in Chief and appoint the Regional Editors.
  • Editor in Chief

The Editor in Chief has overall responsibility, across all regions, for the editorial management of the Journal, according to its charter. This includes the maintenance of standards, encompassing ethical considerations, the mentoring of Regional Editors, and publicising the Journal when and where possible.

The Editor in Chief:

  • Is an executive member of the Journal Management Committee, reporting to the Chair of the Journal Management Committee.
  • Chairs the Journal International Editorial Board and coordinates international publishing.
  • Provides advice and recommendations regarding editorial matters to the Journal Management Committee, Journal editorial staff and Regional Editors.
  • Has responsibility to the Journal Management Committee for all editorial aspects of the Journal, including:
    • Drafting and review of editorial policy.
    • Overseeing the performance of Regional Editors, including their management of the relevant peer review and regional panels.
    • Evaluation of Regional Editors (every 2 years).
    • Determination, in association with the Journal Management Committee, of standards of quality, ethics and peer review.
    • Acting as an arbiter in situations of conflict or appeal.
    • Assessment of all Regional Editors' submitted manuscripts and editorials.

International Editorial Board

The Journal's International Editorial Board consists of the Regional Editors and the Editor in Chief (Chair). It provides support to the Editor in Chief in assisting with the ethical conduct of the journal, setting standards and assuring content quality, building the knowledge base of the Journal, and publicising the Journal.

Each member of the International Editorial Board commits to:

  • Attending meetings (where practical), either in person, by teleconference or videoconference, or in a web-based forum.
  • Maintaining reviewer function, when appropriate.
  • Participating in ad hoc email forums.
  • Responding to other requests for advice, opinion or information by the Editor in Chief.

Members of the International Editorial Board:

  • Assist the Editor in Chief to monitor and thereby ensure Journal standards of quality and ethical conduct.
  • Contribute to Journal editorial policy and procedures.
  • Support and advise the Editor in Chief as necessary.
  • Contribute to peer review by: (i) maintaining active reviewer status; and (ii) identifying and recommending new reviewers.
  • Assist with the peer-review processes by reviewing manuscripts and editorial content when requested.
  • Participate in quality control and performance review processes.
  • Provide advice to the Editor in Chief according to their regional knowledge and area of expertise.
  • Provide advice on Journal development through the Editor in Chief to the Journal Management Committee, including advice on funding specific initiatives, specific geographic activities, and other requests from the Editor in Chief or Journal Management Committee.
  • Promote the Journal in international forums, to rural health organisations and to potential reviewers.
  • Participate in developing growth and prestige strategies.
  • Encourage article submission by peers, students and others.
  • Contribute to the Journal by submitting editorial material or news items on at least one occasion each year.
  • Be principal or co-author for at least one article published in the Journal during a 2-year period.

Regional Editors

The Regional Editor has delegated responsibility to coordinate, monitor, liaise, contribute and publicise the journal in their region. They have editorial responsibility for all regional matters, this includes:

  • Balancing the editorial content of their Journal section (subject matter, standard of publication, article mix).
  • Maintaining a process for constructive, prompt evaluation of manuscripts, whether accepted for publication or not.
  • Working to improve the quality of submitted manuscripts.
  • Overseeing the work of regional Associate Editors (if any).
  • Ensuring the integrity and composition of the Regional Editorial Panel and reviewer panel by assessing the performance of individual members of the regional reviewer panel.
  • Managing remedial actions necessitated by the errors of authors and editorial staff.
  • Declaring conflicts of interest with their responsibilities, and taking steps to deal with such a conflict.
  • Planning the future development of their regional section of the Journal.

In collaboration with, and reporting to the Editor in Chief, the Regional Editor will:

  • Coordinate and manage, in association with Journal editorial staff, the peer review of Journal articles in their region, and regional publication.
  • Assess submitted and resubmitted articles.
  • Commission and prepare editorials, articles and reviews in association with the Editor in Chief.
  • Supervise article revision, including collation of reviewer feedback.
  • Collaborate with Journal editorial staff in article production.
  • Advise the Editor in Chief on regional matters and act as the regional delegate for the Editor in Chief.
  • Chair the Regional Editorial Panel, including review of membership and regular communication with members, as well as assigning special regional roles.
  • Monitor, support and motivate regional peer reviewers.
  • Allocate articles to reviewers.
  • Provide feedback by making available all three reviews to each reviewer for self-education and conduct an annual review of regional reviewers.
  • Provide or participate to article 'blurbs' for email alerts to accompany the publication of articles in their region.
  • Liaise with regional organisations, maintain links with rural health organisations and establish and continue a relationship with professional organisations.
  • Advise on alternate and/or additional funding, and contribute to international funding initiatives.
  • Publicise the Journal at the regional level by conference and meeting participation, and in collegiate contexts.
  • Contribute to the annual and other reports as requested by the Editor in Chief.
  • Maintain active membership of the International Editorial Board, without the obligation to be a regular peer-reviewer.

Regional Editorial Panels

Within the specific region, in cooperation with the Regional Editor, the Regional Editorial Panel is responsible for the regional ethical conduct of the Journal, content and quality of editorial material, building the knowledge-base of the Journal, and publicising the Journal.

Members are identified by the Regional Editor and invited to join the Regional Editorial Panel for an initial 2-year period, and after that to intentionally recommit for a further 2-year period.

Members of the Regional Editorial Panel will:

  • Provide advice and support to the Regional Editor.
  • Participate as a peer reviewer of journal articles, maintain active reviewer status and recommend new regional reviewers.
  • Prepare or contribute articles, editorials and other material to the Journal on a regular basis.
  • Promote the Journal in regional forums and to regional health organisations.
  • Encourage article submission by peers, students and others.
  • Contribute to the Journal by submitting regional editorial material or news items.
  • Be principal or co-author for at least one article published in the Journal during each 2-year term.

Journal Reviewers

The Journal acknowledges that the quality of its reviewer panel is critical to maintaining and improving the standards, quality and impact of the Journal. The Journal values its reviewer panel highly and acknowledges their altruistic contribution to improving knowledge in the field of Rural and Remote Health.

To be a member of the Journal review panel, reviewers should preferably:

  • Hold a PhD, MBBS or equivalent.
  • Hold membership of a College of Medicine or Surgery, or a scientific Society.
  • Have a 'specialist experience' in a field relating to Rural and Remote Health.
  • Have been author of publications in peer reviewed journals.

Invitations to be a Journal reviewer will be issued to appropriately qualified individuals by the Journal manager in association with the Editor in Chief or the Regional Editors.

Active reviewers will undertake at least three reviews each year in accordance with Journal editorial standards, including time lines. Reviewers will notify the Journal manager of a conflict of interest relating to the review of specific articles. Reviewers will notify the Journal manager of an inability to review, for whatever reason, in a timely fashion.

The list of Journal reviewers will be reviewed annually to ensure all reviewers are meeting Journal performance standards.

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