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An editor-in-chief (editorial head) is a publication's primary head, having final responsibility for all the operations and policies.[1][2] He or she heads all the departments of the organization. Additionally, the editor-in-chief is held accountable for delegating tasks to staff members as well as keeping up with the time it takes them to complete their task. The term is generally applied to newspapers, magazines, yearbooks, and television news programs. The term is also applied to academic journals, where the editor-in-chief ultimately decides whether a submitted manuscript will be published in the journal. This decision is made by the editor-in-chief after seeking input from reviewers selected on a basis of relevant expertise.

Typical responsibilities of editors-in-chief include:[3]

  • Cross-checking facts, spelling, grammar, writing style, design pages and photos;
  • Rejecting writing that appears to be plagiarized, ghost-written by another sub-editor, previously published elsewhere, or simply of insufficient interest to the readers of the publication;
  • Editing any content in question;
  • Contributing editorial pieces;
  • Motivating and developing editorial staff;
  • Ensuring final draft is complete and no area is left empty;
  • Handling reader complaints and taking responsibility for resulting issues; and
  • For books or journals, cross-checking citations and examining references ("fact checking")


  1. ^ Staff (2012). "editor in chief". The Free Dictionary by Farlex. Farlex, Inc. Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Encarta Dictionary definition". Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. 
  3. ^ Patil, Sayali Bedekar. "Editor In Chief Responsibilities". Buzzle Web Portal: Intelligent Life on the Web. Retrieved 18 August 2010. 

Further reading[edit]

  • John La Porte Given (1907). "The Editor-In-Chief". Making a Newspaper. New York: H. Holt and company. pp. 30–35. 
  • Nathaniel Clark Fowler (1913). "The Editor-In-Chief". The Handbook of Journalism: All about Newspaper Work. — Facts and Information. New York: Sully and Kleinteich. 

External links[edit]