Editing the IJBNPA – Interview with Bob Jefferey

1. Please tell us where you are located and a little about the type of research you conduct.
I am a professor at the University of MInnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA. I have been on the faculty at the University for about 33 years. My primary research focus has been obesity throughout this time and I have done research in many area. I have done several randomized trials evaluating behavioral approaches to obesity treatment, including studies on financial incentives, exercise, meal replacement and social support. My latest looked to the effects of treatment variety on weight loss. I have also done several randomized studies on interventions in community setting, including worksites and schools. I have done research on weight gain prevention, and more recently have have done some more policy oriented research focused on such issues as food selection and price or portion size. I have been involved in three multi-center health outcome trials involving obesity and other lifestyle factors in hypertension, cancer and diabetes.
2. How long have you been an editor of the journal? 
I think I have been an editor for IJBNPA for 7 years.
3. What’s it like to be an editor of the journal? 
Operationally being an IJBNPA editor involves several steps, deciding if papers are of sufficient quality to send out for review, selecting reviewers to invite, deciding whether to ask for revisions after initial review and making final decisions about publication readiness after final reviews. We have excellent review support staff which help with the review process. Most of the time editors act alone, although they sometimes ask for input from other editors if papers seem borderline in quality or involve methodologies with which editors are very familiar. Occasionally editors are also involved in helping with commissioned paper for the journal well.
4. What are some of your responsibilities as an editor?
See above.
5. What changes have you seen to the journal during your tenure as editor?
The most dramatic changes in the journal during my tenure have been the quality and volume of submissions. There was a marked increase in both when the journal earned an excellent impact facort two or three years ago. This has led to the addition a several new editors just this year.
6. What do you personally value most about the journal?
I think what I have liked the most about being a journal editor is getting to see first hand what excellent research is being done every year in the area of eating behavior and physical activity. The friendship and support of the other reviews has also been rewarding.
7. In your opinion, what are your most valuable contributions to the journal as editor?
I think the most valuable contribution of any editor is to do the best you can to make consistent and fair judgements about the quality of the manuscripts to best promote the journal and the field. The success of the journal attests to the fact that the editors of IJBNPA together have been doing this job well.
The journal is a business as well, however, and the editors are frequently asked for their opinions on issues like fee schedules that will make the lives of authors as easy as possible wherever they come from in the world and still pay the rent. We are also asked to contribute to discussions of different features that could be added to the journal to keep us up to date with latest technologies and methods. I have won some arguments and lost others, but have not kept track of which of my ideas worked the best or were the biggest disappointments. It really is a team effort.