The Structure of CSE Committees and How to Get Involved


Council of Science Editors (CSE) is lucky to have a large group of volunteers who contribute their time and expertise to make the organization successful. Over time, as CSE has grown and increased the scope of work, 28 committees were established. With so many active volunteers and ongoing programs, it was becoming difficult to clearly delineate the responsibilities of each committee as work began to overlap and change over time. In 2023, the CSE Board of Directors formed a task force to review all CSE volunteer groups and make recommendations regarding the overall structure, individual committee missions and charters, and committee activities.


Compared to other societies of similar size, CSE has an unusually large number of committees and various programs and offerings. While this underscores the value and importance of the work the organization does, the Committee Task Force realized that realigning the committees to clarify responsibility for each program would make committee work easier for volunteers and allow CSE to make better informed decisions regarding programs and offerings.

Recommendations for Committee Structure

Ultimately, the task force realized a need to reduce the number of committees through consolidation and pause some programs. The task force suggested the following changes regarding committee structure and responsibility:

  1. Align the Program, Fall Symposium, Webinars, Short Courses, and Podcasts under the Education Committee.   These groups all oversee the production of educational content in one format or another, so it made sense to keep them together to streamline gathering and accessing ideas for the educational content members want to consume.
  2. Convert the Sponsorship Committee to a subcommittee of the Finance Committee.   These 2 groups monitor and make decisions that impact the financial state of CSE. They should benefit from being paired together.
  3. Move the Web Editor position under the Marketing Committee.   Many of the updates the Web Editor makes are for the purpose of promoting CSE offerings. Since the Web Editor already works closely with the Marketing Committee, it seemed natural to formalize that relationship.
  4. Change the name of the Membership Committee to Membership and Community.   This committee is not only responsible for increasing and maintaining membership of CSE, but also for events that foster community among members, such as networking events or CSE Connect.
  5. Move responsibility for Book Club under the Membership and Community Committee.   Book Club is intended to prompt discussion, and by definition, a club is a group of like-minded individuals with a similar interest, as a community should be.
  6. Move Scientific Style and Format/CSE Manual and Science Editor under the Editorial Policy Committee.   This will allow for more streamlined communication between the groups that oversee CSE publications and current issues in publishing in general.

How To Be Involved

CSE is an active organization, with many committees and volunteers. There are many avenues for involvement and many benefits, both to you and to CSE.

Volunteering for CSE is a valuable opportunity to network with other publishing professionals, gain new skills and give back to the publishing community. As you get to know others in your field and learn about what they do, you are sure to find ways to improve your own job and start to build a larger pool of expertise you can draw from when you need guidance. Volunteering is also a good way to demonstrate to your employer that you are dedicated to your profession and looking to continuously learn and improve.

CSE could not operate without the time donated by volunteers, and the more people who choose to get involved, the more diverse ideas committees will have to work with. The Board of Directors encourages all members to review the committees in the table below and find one to volunteer for. Members can go to to indicate their interest in a particular committee, and the chair of that committee will respond to you with more information. [Note that you must be a CSE member to volunteer.]

Table 1. Committee descriptions at-a-glance.

Committee Subcommittee Primary Purpose
Executive Determine CSE’s strategic initiatives and exercise the authority of the Board of Directors ‎in the management of the Society between regular meetings ‎of the Board of Directors, as necessary
Awards and Honors Recommend the recipients of the annual CSE Award for Meritorious Achievement, the CSE Distinguished Service Award, and the CSE Certificate of Appreciation
Nominating  Conduct the annual nomination process, vetting ‎candidates and presenting a recommended slate for elected office 
Education  Produce content to educate CSE members, including the Annual Meeting, Fall Symposium, Short Courses, and Webinars
Program  Plan sessions for the Annual Meeting; members are expected to organize a specific session for the event
Fall Symposium Plan sessions for the Fall Symposium; members are expected to organize a specific session for the event
Webinars Plan and organize the schedule of CSE webinars
Short Courses Plan and execute short courses through suggesting content, timing, and potential faculty
Finance Monitor and make recommendations for the financial health of CSE
Sponsorship Support the procurement of sponsors to help CSE carry out its mission
Marketing and Communications Develop and execute marketing strategies to support specific CSE events and initiatives
Web Editor Monitor, edit, and update website content on an ongoing basis
Membership and Community  Promote membership in CSE, develop concepts for membership retention and growth, plan and execute activities to promote connection between members
DEIAA Support CSE in establishing an organizational infrastructure, culture, and capacity among its leadership, members, and the profession at large to deliver programmatic activities and training to integrate DEIAA best practices 
CSE Connect Plan and implement frequent CSE Connect sessions for CSE Membership
Industry Advisory Board Oversight  Manage all operational activities of the Advisory Board to increase membership, refine existing CSE products and services, and develop strategic communication opportunities with commercial organizations and societies
Professional Development  Promote professional development within CSE and work to serve editorial professionals in the sciences by providing a network for career development
Certificate Program Create a supportive network for career development by managing and advancing the operations of the CSE Publication Certificate Program
Mentorship Support the development of early career individuals by managing CSE’s Mentorship Program that pairs them with veteran CSE members in a one-on-one setting
Editorial Policy Committee Serve as a resource regarding editorial and publishing policies applying to publications in the sciences
Science Editor Science Editor serves as a forum for the exchange of information and ideas among professionals concerned with editing and publishing in the sciences; the Editorial Board works with the Editor in Chief to suggest ideas for potential articles
SSF/CSE Manual Oversee regular updates and production of the CSE style manual 

Abbreviations: DEIAA, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Anti-Racism, and Accessibility; SSF, Scientific Style and Format.

Path to Leadership

Every year, CSE holds elections for open positions on the Board of Directors. For example, in 2024, we elected a Vice President, a Treasurer, and a Director. Those elected to the Board typically have a long track record of service to CSE. Many of them have served as committee chairs or have led other initiatives or subcommittees. Their service on the board is a recognition of their prior contributions and dedication to CSE, often over the course of many years. Those interested in eventually joining the Board of Directors should start with committee service. Committee Chairs are often selected from those currently serving on the committee, and service as a committee chair is a good way to demonstrate your commitment to CSE and experience. This is not to say that each of these steps is required before being nominated to run for elected office, but generally the best way to progress toward leadership is to volunteer and make your ideas and expertise known.


CSE’s mission is “[t]o serve editorial professionals in the sciences by providing a network for career development, education, and resources for best practices.” It is the work of the committees to carry out this mission and bring it to reality. If you are interested in contributing to that effort, we hope you will join a committee!

Andrea Rahkola also participated in the work of the task force, and we extend our gratitude for her valuable contributions.


Emilie Gunn ( is Director, Journals, American Society of Clinical Oncology; Andrea Kunz is Managing Editor, Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer, Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer; and Emma Shumeyko is Senior Managing Editor, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and PNAS Nexus.