Job Description

Requisition Number

Post Date

Director, Publications Operations



Title: Director, Publications Operations
Position Type: Full-Time
Location: Washington, DC

What we do and offer our team

AGU is a global community of 130,000 Earth and space scientists, advocates and experts. As the Director, Publications Operations, you will support a dynamic association that publishes peer-reviewed journals and scientific books and convenes the largest Earth and space science meeting in the world. Through our initiatives, such as mentoring, professional development and awards, AGU upholds and fosters an inclusive and diverse scientific community.

AGU offers our employees great benefits, including flexible work schedules, retirement savings options, as well as health, dental, life and disability insurance. AGU also provides exciting opportunities for professional development and tuition support.

AGU’s Workplace Values

We believe in accountability and ownership of work, by taking responsibility for decisions and results. We believe in member and customer service, and that they come first through providing high quality service.

We believe in excellence and giving it our all, through striving to be outstanding. We believe in integrity by doing the right thing, we achieve this by being honest and fair.

Our teams believe that with teamwork together we achieve more, we achieve this through collaboration. We believe in respect, that you earn it and give it, by open communication and collaboration.

What the Director, Publications Operations does

The Director, Publications plays a key role in advancing AGU’s vision "where scientific discovery continues to be valued and celebrated for its role in advancing human knowledge." In collaboration with the Vice President, Publications, the Director, Publications provides leadership for transitioning AGU journals to open access and implementing open science policies. The position ensures continued efficient operations and structure for peer review, editorial support, publication ethics, and quality assurance and shapes strategy that will ensure future sustainability of publication operations under new business models as well as maximizing inclusion, access, and impact.

The position oversees the management and administration of the peer review, production, and publication of AGU’s scientific journals, to ensure that manuscripts are of the highest quality and suitable for publication. The incumbent is responsible for final development, implementation, oversight, and management of strategic changes to departmental operational practices and procedures in support of departmental mission; advises VP, Directors, Editorial Management, Program Managers, and other colleagues on such matters. In addition, the position collaborates with other AGU leadership and our publishing partners to steer business strategy during the transition to open access and in support of AGU’s strategic vision.

* Oversees all editorial operations of AGU’s journals, to include managing manuscript submission and peer review process and software, developing an annual operating plan, serving as the primary liaison with the publishing vendors and business partners, tracking the journals’ operational performance, and reporting to the VP, Publications.
* Provides support and guidance to Program Managers; provides oversight of the manuscript submission and peer review processes and submission tasks and guidance in responding to unusual questions, i.e. an author claiming authorship on a published manuscript.
* Oversees implementation of fee waiver policies for our authors to ensure broadest possible inclusion and participation in AGU journals as we move to open access business models.
* Organizes operations team and supervises Program Managers and Program Specialists.
* Leads development and implementation of operational and procedural issues of the department.
* Oversees relationship with production vendors and quality assurance for AGU authors
* Trains Program Specialist(s) through first-time instruction on procedures and policies, direct and check work and provide ongoing performance feedback, ensuring compliance with department policy and procedure.
* Management of Publications ethics for AGU Journals in conjunction with VP of Ethics Diversity and Inclusion.
* Takes ownership and resolves new issues or questions that arise from the vendors.
* Shares trends in publishing with department and lead discussions on how these trends affect department and organization activities.
* Coordinates operations for the preprint server ESSOAr and Community Science website.
* Identifies opportunities for improved efficiency in processes and procedures and implements these as needed.
* Takes an active role in the departmental budget process to ensure appropriate resourcing for strategic initiatives.
* Works with the AGU community and related groups, institutions, and associations to expand open science practices in our publications and in Earth and space science research more broadly.
* Plans and manages project workflows, timelines for multiple journals and associated tasks and configure software packages accordingly.
* Ensures staff implementation of strategies for journals to include invited reviews, features-type content, journal special collections, and cover art for the journals.
* Makes decisions related to copyright issues and permissions, contractual obligations with publishing partner, and budgetary constraints.
* Monitors journal and competitor statistics and analytics, reporting on issues/trends.
* Identifies recurring challenges across the department and work on initiatives to resolve complex issues regarding books, journals and other products and offer advice and training to colleagues.
* Represents AGU Publications at industry meetings and coalitions particularly regarding collaborations for open science and for increasing diversity and inclusion in publications.
* Provides input into departmental communications improvement and peer review process improvement.
* Manages department-wide projects in consultation with the VP, Publications.
* Other duties as assigned.

What the Director, Publications Operations brings to the team
* 10+ years with Bachelor’s degree; 8+ years with Master’s degree in English, mass communications, geoscience discipline or relevant field; or equivalent combination of education and work experience.
* Previous experience overseeing the submission and peer review processes of manuscripts submitted to one or more scientific or medical journals, including online manuscript
management, print and online production and business aspects of journal publishing is a must.
* Supervisory experience is a must.
* Experience in a scientific, knowledge-based or technical setting is a strong plus, but not required.
* Excellent written and verbal communication with both technical and nontechnical audiences, decision making, leadership, and analytical skills required.
* Broad awareness of leading practices in scholarly publishing particularly in the areas of open access, open science and broadening inclusion and impact to society.
* Experience in business case development is a plus
* Strong track record for managing projects from kickoff through completion, including collaborating on budget requirements.
* Must be able to perform responsibilities with composure under the stress of deadlines.
* Proficiency with MS Office products, specifically Project and Visio, and Adobe Acrobat.
* Proficiency with content management systems, and manuscript submission and peer review software programs preferred.
* Strong organization skills, accuracy and attention to detail; demonstrated ability to meet strict deadlines and to balance competing priorities.
* Must be capable of exercising highest level of discretion on both internal and external confidential matters.
* Superior skill in managing and mentoring staff and educating colleagues.
* Knowledge of scientific trends and processes in publishing desirable.
* Strong presentation and public speaking skills.
* interpersonal and relationship-building skills.
* Ability to work collaboratively with others including volunteer leaders.
* Ability to travel.

To Apply:

For consideration, please submit your cover letter and resume to

The successful candidate for this position will be subject to a pre-employment background check and verification of vaccination against COVID-19 by the date of hire as a condition of employment, subject to requests for any legally required accommodation.

AGU proudly offers a casual work environment, excellent compensation, generous work-life opportunities, and an outstanding benefits package.

AGU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Application Instructions

Please click on the link below to apply for this position. A new window will open and direct you to apply at our corporate careers page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Apply Online