Update December, 2021: The 2021 KWF Editorial Compensation Benchmark Study is closed and our report has been distributed to sponsors. The report is eligible for purchase by non-sponsors on May 15, 2022. Pricing is the same as our regular sponsor rate of $2,499. Please see FAQs about the study below and write to Kevin Lomangino, our Director of Market Research and Development, with questions or to indicate your interest in purchasing the report (kevin.lomangino@kwfco.com).


Whether transitioning to a new editor-in-chief, adding associate editors, or renewing editorial contracts, 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 study. Our study also provides valuable insights regarding changes to editorial processes and strategy, as well as evolving roles and responsibilities of journal editors and other contributors.

Who participates in the study?
We enrolled 19 publishers and 79 journals across medicine and surgery as well as the physical, biomedical, and social sciences. The study includes a mix of society-owned/self-published and commercially published titles.

How do I obtain the report?
Study participation is limited to co-sponsors, who underwrite the cost of the study 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 the report is released. After that exclusivity period ends, non-sponsors will also be eligible to purchase the report at the regular sponsor rate.

What is the price for sponsorship?
The early bird rate was $1,999 and the regular 2021 sponsorship fee was $2,499 per publisher for up to 5 journals. Sponsorship rates increase on a pro-rated basis, with increasing discounts applied at higher volume, for publishers enrolling more than 5 journals. Contact us for a custom price quote.

What data are reported in the survey? 
From past experience conducting this study, we know that journal publishers are primarily interested in compensation for the editor-in-chief and associate editor positions (including related positions such as deputy editor and section editor). Our report will provide low, medium, and high ranges of compensation for these roles. We also provide breakouts according to broad journal categories (medical/basic science/social science), journal Impact Factor, submissions, acceptance rate, and other relevant covariates.

The study also addresses areas that may impact journal operations and budgets such as evolving position responsibilities, performance evaluation metrics, and factors that drive publisher decisions about editor compensation.

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 study? 
The study 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 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 study report. All participants are required to sign an agreement that confirms they will abide by our confidentiality standards.