Whether transitioning to a new editor, recruiting a new managing editor, or adding editorial positions, publishers need reliable data to guide decisions about compensation. But such data can be hard to find. Publishers typically are wary of sharing such sensitive information, making it difficult to know whether contributors are being compensated fairly. Since 2011, KWF has periodically collected and reported comprehensive editorial compensation data via its industry-leading benchmark survey. Our survey also provides valuable insights regarding changes to editorial processes and strategy, as well as evolving roles and responsibilities of journal editors and editorial board members.

Our 2021 editorial compensation survey is currently under development and open to new co-sponsors (early bird sponsorship deadline is  January 15, 2021). Please see FAQs about the survey below and submit a survey sponsorship inquiry to learn more about becoming a co-sponsor. You can also write directly to Kevin Lomangino, our Director of Market Research and Development, with questions or to indicate your interest (kevin.lomangino@kwfco.com).

Who participates in the survey?
The most recent edition of the survey included 18 publishers representing 53 journals across medicine and surgery as well as the physical, biomedical, and social sciences. The survey includes a mix of society-owned/self-published and commercially published titles. We expect to include even more publishers and journals in the 2021 survey.

How do I obtain the report?
Survey participation is limited to co-sponsors, who underwrite the cost of the survey and agree to share their anonymized compensation data with other participating co-sponsors. KWF collects, analyzes, and reports the data to participating co-sponsors, who receive a 6-month window of exclusivity on the results. After that exclusivity period ends, non-sponsors are eligible to purchase the report for a higher price than paid by study sponsors (see pricing details below).

What is the price for sponsorship? 

  • Early bird sponsorship rate (deadline 1/15/21): $2,250
  • Regular sponsorship rate: $2,750
  • Post-publication purchase price (available 6 months after release): $3,000

What data are reported in the survey? 
Our report will provide low, medium, and high ranges of compensation for the following positions, as well as average cost per manuscript for internal and external editor positions. We also provide breakouts according to broad journal categories (medical/surgical/basic science), journal Impact Factor, submissions, acceptance rate, and other relevant covariates.

• Editor in Chief
• Associate Editor
• Deputy Editor
• Section Editor
• Managing Editor
• Editorial Assistant

The survey also addresses developments that may impact journal operations and budgets such as benefits and expense reimbursement for editorial staff, as well as recognition for peer reviewers such as membership/meeting discounts and other incentives.

Is custom analysis of our journals’ compensation policies available?

Yes. KWF would be pleased to review your editorial compensation policies and provide customized analysis and recommendations informed by our survey results. Scope, timing, and fees for such work will be mutually agreed on a case-by-case basis with survey participants.

Who is eligible to participate in the survey? 
The survey is open to peer-reviewed scholarly journals that primarily publish original research. Journals that primarily publish other types of content (reviews, opinion, features) are not eligible to participate. Participating co-sponsors agree to complete the survey and share their compensation data (anonymously) with other co-sponsors via KWF’s report.

What is the survey schedule?
January 15, 2021: Early bird sponsorship deadline
February 19, 2021: Regular sponsorship deadline
March 1, 2021: Survey distributed to participants
April 1, 2021: Survey completion deadline
May 2021: Report distribution
December 2021: Non-sponsors eligible to purchase report

What is the confidentiality policy?
KWF conducts this survey as an independent third party to ensure the confidentiality and consistency of the data provided. All data are held in strict confidence and are reported only in summary form. No attribution is made to any specific data from any participating organization. KWF aggregates data using DOJ “Safe Harbor Guidelines” to ensure full regulatory compliance of the survey report. All participants are required to sign an agreement that confirms they will abide by our confidentiality standards.