Editorial Compensation Benchmarking

Society Publisher

Market Research and Intelligence

How much to pay editors and on what terms is a perennial question for journal publishers. Benchmarking data help to set expectations and provide a competitive rate to support recruitment.


Our client — a medical specialty society — sought current information to help it set competitive honoraria rates for its journal editors — editors-in-chief, deputy editors, associate editors, and other paid editor types. C&E worked with the sponsoring society to define data to be collected as well as criteria for participation, which was used to develop a candidate list for recruitment.

What We Did

C&E developed a data template that included careful descriptions for each data field to help normalize responses across participants. In addition to editorial honoraria compensation data, the survey also sought editorial metrics such as impact factor, acceptance rate, and numbers of submitted and published articles to provide additional context for quantifying editorial effort. A carefully anonymized data report was shared back with all participants.


The survey beat its goal for data collection, resulting in data from 13 medical society publishers, representing 37 journals. In addition to the sponsoring society, several other participating societies were currently engaged in editor recruitment and were able to use the survey data to support their recruitment and negotiation efforts.

Note: C&E recently launched a multi-client editorial benchmarking study. Please contact us at benchmarking@ce-strategy.com if you are interested in participating.