Composition Studies Bylaws


This organization shall be and hereby is named Composition Studies (CS).


Section 1: The purpose of CS shall be to publish a scholarly journal dedicated to the range of professional practices associated with rhetoric and composition: teaching college writing; theorizing rhetoric and composing; administering writing related programs; preparing the field’s future teacher-scholars. Section 2: The goals of CS shall be [1] to promote writing, teaching, theory, and research from all perspectives and topics of general interest to the profession and [2] to review major publications in the profession.


The membership of CS shall consist of the Advisory Board, the Editorial Staff, and the Review Board.


Section 1: The Editorial Staff of each volume of Composition Studies shall consist of an Editor (or Co-Editors, hereafter referred to as Editor), a Book Review Editor, a Managing Editor, Editorial Assistants, and a Production Editor. Section 2: The Advisory Board of CS shall consist of at least 9 but no more than 15 active members. The current Editor shall be considered a voting Advisory Board member, and former Editors may choose to hold Advisory Board or non-voting ex officio positions. Section 3: All legislative and judicial powers of CS shall be vested in the Advisory Board, with such exceptions as are specified in these Bylaws. The Advisory Board shall: a) provide consultation when requested by the Editorial Staff; b) provide oversight for the CS budget; and c) adjudicate the selection of new Editors and Book Review Editors. The Editorial Staff shall: a) have full charge of all property of CS; and b) set policies and general procedures for the editing and production of Composition Studies. Section 4: The term of office for an Advisory Board member is three years, with the option to renew for up to two additional terms. The term of office for an Editor is three years; the term of office for a Book Review Editor is three years; the term for all other Editorial Staff members shall be one year, beginning on July 15 of every year and may be renewed for up to six years.


Section 1: The Editor shall act in the best interests of CS and in a fair and equitable manner. The Editor is expected to respond to each request to screen a submitted article. (The purpose of this screening process is to determine if submitted articles are of high enough quality and of sufficient interest to be sent out for formal review.) For manuscripts deemed suitable for formal review, the Editor recommends two appropriate readers from the Review Board to review the manuscript. All executive power of CS shall be vested in the Editor, including, but not limited to, the following powers: a) planning, organizing, and coordinating the work of CS; b) interpreting and enforcing the policies of the Advisory Board; c) calling meetings of the Editorial Staff and the Advisory Board, setting agendas, and presiding over such meetings; d) representing CS to authors, to the general public, and to the administration, faculty, and students of the university hosting CS; e) selecting, with the input from the Review Board, articles for publication; f) selecting, with the Book Review Editor, reviews for publication; g) giving final approval for the publication of all articles, reviews, and other texts; h) supervising and evaluating the performance of the members of CS; i) managing a budget and documenting all income and expenditures; j) supervising all paid employees of Composition Studies; and k) issuing reprimands to any member. Section 2: The decision or action of the Editor shall be final, provided such decision or action is not contrary to the Bylaws or established Policies of the Advisory Board. Section 3: The Editor is not responsible for maintaining any correspondence or reviewing any newly submitted manuscripts during the period beginning the last day of the spring semester and ending the first day of the following fall semester. Section 4: The Book Review Editor is responsible for soliciting and selecting, with the approval of the Editor, book reviews for each issue. The Book Review Editor is responsible for the Book Review contents of each issue. The Editorial Staff may read and critique reviews for possible publication. Section 5: The Book Review Editor is not responsible for maintaining any correspondence or reviewing any newly submitted reviews during the period beginning the last day of the spring semester and ending the first day of the following fall semester. Section 6: Supervised by the Editor, the Production Editor is responsible for the production of Composition Studies; i.e., for taking the articles and various texts from discrete items to final publication in various media. The Production Editor has the following duties: a) planning with the Editor the production phase of each issue; b) preparing layout documents for review; c) updating copyedited layout documents; d) preparing layout documents to send to printer; e) updating copyedited pre-press documents sent from printer; f) preparing final pre-press documents to submit to printer; and g) preparing all online documents for each issue. Section 7: The Managing Editor is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the CS offices, including the tracking of manuscript submissions; the tracking of manuscripts sent to and received from Review Board members; the training and supervision of Editorial Assistants; the maintenance of the CS budget; general CS correspondence; maintaining archival materials; and any other clerical duties deemed necessary by the Editor.


Section 1: The Advisory Board shall exist to ensure the furtherance and successful completion of the purposes of CS. The Board, acting to fulfill its responsibility to maintain the integrity and purpose of Composition Studies, has the general authority to make decisions and to otherwise manage the affairs of CS in a responsible and credible manner. To that end, the Advisory Board shall create and draft policies as necessary. Section 2: Meetings of the Advisory Board shall be called by the Editor when necessary. Section 3: The Editor will submit an annual report, including financial status, to the Advisory Board for evaluation and response. Section 4: Meetings of the Advisory Board can be called by a majority of Advisory Board members when necessary. Section 5: Meetings of the Advisory Board may be held asynchronously via electronic mail with sufficient time for review and response.


Section 1: Members of the Review Board will be selected by the Editor based on their scholarly contributions and academic record. The Advisory Board may recommend Review Board members to the editor. Section 2: While they remain active, Review Board members will be listed in each issue of Composition Studies. Members of the Review Board may be asked to review up to two scholarly articles in one calendar year and provide written feedback according to stated policies. Review Board members can refuse any request to review an article. Section 3: Review Board members shall be considered inactive if they have not reviewed, or have not been asked to review, an article in a three-year period. Review Board members can sustain their active status at the discretion of the Editor. Unless informed otherwise, Review Board members will retain their positions. There are no term limits for Review Board members.


Section 1: The election by the current Editor of a successor Editor shall be held in accordance with the following guidelines: a) The current Editor will nominate one or more successors and set an election date. The current Editor will inform the Advisory Board of the nominee(s) at least 90 days prior to the election date. At the announcement of a successor nomination, the Advisory Board may also nominate up to three candidates for the position. A listing of the entire slate of candidates must be finalized 30 days before the election date. b) Only persons who have a PhD in English, Composition and Rhetoric, or a related field shall be eligible to serve as Editor. They must be scholars with a substantial publication record and have demonstrated the ability to review scholarship in one or more of the fields relevant to CS. They need to have sufficient material resources to meet the demands of the office and maintain the integrity of the journal. c) Eligible candidates shall submit, at least 45 days prior to the election, a letter in which they shall [1] declare their interest in the position, [2] detail the material support that they can bring to the position, and [3] provide additional information in support of their election (e.g., a Curriculum Vitae and endorsement letters). The candidates will submit these materials to the CS offices. d) Copies of the letters and all other materials shall be made available to all Advisory Board members at least 30 days prior to the election. e) At the time of the election, Advisory Board members will select their preferred candidate or cast a vote of “no confidence” in the entire slate of candidates. f) Ballots shall be collected and tabulated by a member of the Advisory Board. g) The newly elected Editor shall assume office on a date determined by the current Editor. Normally, a new editor will be elected at least six months prior to the end of the current editor’s term. All CS materials will be shipped to the new Editor, who will then select a new Managing Editor, Production Editor, and Editorial Assistants as needed. Section 2: In the event a permanent vacancy in the Editor position occurs for any reason, an Advisory Board meeting shall be called immediately to elect, by majority vote, a replacement from those persons who express interest to the Advisory Board and who are eligible for election to the position. The elected replacement shall serve only until the end of the original Editor’s term, at which time a new election will be held. Section 3: The Advisory Board may impeach any member, including the Editor, for good cause by a majority vote of the members of the Advisory Board. Anyone impeached may be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Advisory Board.


CS shall not discriminate in any matter, including membership invitations or publication decisions, on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status.


Section 1: These Bylaws are effective September 1, 2006, and supersede any and all Bylaws previously enacted. Section 2: Each member of CS shall be provided with his or her own copy of these Bylaws. In addition, a copy shall be kept on file in the CS offices for inspection by any member of CS. Section 3: Any Editorial Staff, Review Board, or Advisory Board member may propose an amendment to these Bylaws in writing. Such written proposals shall be distributed to each Editorial Staff member and each Advisory Board member. Section 4: No vote on any amendment shall take place during the period beginning May 15 and ending August 15. At least 2/3 of the Advisory Board must vote in favor of the proposal for it to be amended to the Bylaws.