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The role advisory board members play in excelling scientific journals isindispensible. They give expertise advice on how to excel a journal to advance with theemerging technology or sciences. They also assist a journal by promoting it and itspublications. Further, they professionally help by contributing and reviewing articles.However, it is important to remember that advisory boards are no substitute for theeditorial board members or deputy editors who closely work with the journal. Whenadvisory board members are only nominal, their disadvantage outweighs their advantage.This editorial justifies the importance of revising the advisory board of the EthiopianJournal of Social Sciences and Language Studies (EJSSLS).It is important to recruit advisory board members who fulfill certain requirementsor standards. But the policy of EJSSLS does not explicitly state these requirements.Hence, the advisory board members of EJSSLS need a clear remit. Just like the editor-in-chief and the deputy editors, the advisory board’s objectives, roles and responsibilities,terms of reference, as well as the expected time commitment should be stated explicitlyin the policy of the journal instead of simply recruiting them innocently or for otherreasons.Equally important, when recruiting advisory board members, it is important toconsider their composition, contribution, and symbolic value. Unfortunately, in manyjournals, what out lies is their symbolic significance. Their practical contribution voicesless. Similarly, the existing advisory board members of EJSSLS are only nominal andare dominantly from a few disciplines regardless of the fact that the journal is amultidisciplinary.The advisory board members (N=14) of EJSSLS are dominantly from onediscipline-Anthropology- as the preliminary assessment made by the editor-in-chief ofthe journal shows (most of these people had been recruited by the Research and PostGraduate Office just before the journal was launched or released its first issue in June1914). The next higher number comes from political science, but only a few articles inpolitical sciences had been sent to EJSSLS for publication. The worse is, one hardlyfinds in the list advisory board members from the disciplines which contributereasonable number of manuscripts such as Psychology, Law and Governance,Geography, and TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language), just to mention a few.The worst of all is most of the advisory board members of EJSSLS are inactive; even afew/some of them may have passed away, who knows? Among the 14 members of theadvisory board members, only two had published in the journal, and one of these two alsohad been involving in reviewing manuscripts. Repeated attempts have been made tocommunicate them through the editorial published in the Journal (Tesfaye, December,2017) and emails, by the editor-in-chief, but that ended in vain. Consequently, thejournal could not get the assistance it needs from the advisory board members implyingthat advancing with emerging technology and science will be challenging for the journaland the editorial board members.Therefore, to be competent and to attract quality articles in this period of fierceglobal competition, it is important to revise the advisory board members and explicitlyintroducing into the policy of the journal objectives, roles and responsibilities, terms ofreference, as well as the expected time commitment of the advisory board. In the samevein, it is also important to replace editorial board members (deputy editors) withinsignificant contribution by experienced, committed, and good publication profile.To conclude, as properly constituted advisory boards strengthen the existingboard of EJSSLS, all editorial board members of the journal (deputy editors and theeditor-in-chief) must discharge their responsibilities by recruiting dedicated andcontributing advisory board members with reasonable composition.
Tesfaye Gebeyehu (PhD)