Council of Editors of Learned Journals


Constitution of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals

I. NAME. The name of this organization shall be The Council of Editors of Learned Journals.

II. PURPOSE. The aims of the Council shall be to provide an organization of editors of learned journals devoted primarily but not exclusively to the study of language and literature and related humanistic disciplines for the purpose of:

1. discussing common editorial concerns, sharing editorial expertise (especially with new journal editors), and offering counseling service and advice to editors of troubled journals;

2. providing a mechanism for the achievement of a consensus of editors on public issues related to journal publication and for the dissemination (as the official representative body of editors) of that consensus;

3. serving to publicize and advertise journals of members through display booths at the annual meeting of the MLA and elsewhere;

5. offering recognition for outstanding achievement through awards of certificates of merit for literary and scholarly achievement, editorial service, innovative design, etc.

6. establishing liaison (through the initiative of the Executive Board) with editors of journals in other disciplines.

III. MEMBERSHIP. Membership is open to all editors and others involved in scholarly publication upon payment of annual dues.

IV. ADMINISTRATION. The administration of the Council shall be in the hands of the Executive Director and elected officers consisting of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Mentoring Coordinator. The elected officers shall constitute the Executive Board, who appoints the Executive Director. The Executive Director serves as (non-voting) advisor to the Executive Board and administers the Council's affairs from a home institution. This agreement and affiliated duties of the Executive Director is spelled out in a Memorandum of Understanding between CELJ and the home institution.


1. The President shall serve a two-year term following his or her election in December of odd-numbered years.

2. The Vice President shall serve a two-year term following his or her election in December of odd-numbered years. The Vice President will normally be elected to succeed the outgoing President.

3. The Secretary and the Mentoring Coordinator shall be elected to serve three-year terms.


1. The President shall be chief executive officer, chair the annual meeting and board meetings, and be ex-officio member of all committees.

2. The Vice President shall assist the President, conduct the yearly CELJ contests, and fill out the remainder of a presidential term if the President resigns or dies.

3. The Secretary shall supervise the Executive Director’s maintenance of all financial and membership records; arrange, with the assistance of the home institution's staff, for the CELJ MLA booth; record the minutes of annual and board meetings; provide content and announcements for the CELJ website.

4. The Mentoring Coordinator shall, with the assistance of the home institution's staff, coordinate the MLA “Chat with an Editor” and the “How to Get Published” session.

5. The Executive Board shall meet at least once a year, receive grants, advise the President on appointments, serve as the nominating committee for the election of officers and directors, and assist the President in preparing the agenda for the annual meeting.

6. The Executive Board shall be the Editorial Board for all publications of the Council.

7. Mediation shall be conducted by the Executive Board.

8. The Executive Board shall have sole authority to make contracts over $500.00.

VII. MEETINGS OF THE CONFERENCE. Meetings of the Council shall be held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the MLA. In addition to the business meeting, the Council will sponsor a “How to Get Published” workshop, as well as one or two additional sessions devoted to issues and problems of interest to the membership.

VIII. AMENDMENTS TO THIS CONSTITUTION. Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed to the Secretary no later than two months prior to a vote. Any amendments so proposed shall be presented by the Executive Board to the active membership with recommendations for action. Amendments to this Constitution shall be adopted only after receiving two-thirds of the vote of responding members in good standing (five percent of members in good standing will constitute a quorum).


If the CELJ dissolves or terminates, the Executive Committee, upon the advice of the Executive Board, shall, after paying or making provision for payment of all liabilities of the CELJ, dispose of all the remaining assets of the CELJ to such institutions of higher learning, operated exclusively for educational purposes, as shall at the time qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code.

X. RATIFICATION. This Constitution shall be in effect when it is presented to the 1980 annual meeting of the Council and ratified by two-thirds vote of members in good standing attending.

Adopted at Houston, Texas, 28 December 1980

Amended at Washington, DC, 28 December 1984

Amended at Washington, DC, 27 December 1989

Amended at Chicago, Illinois, 28 December 1990

Amended at Washington, DC, 27 December 2005

Amended at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 2017

Amended via online vote in December 2019

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