Setting Competitive Editorial and Publishing Strategies for a Society Journals Program

American Society of Nephrology

Strategic and Operational Guidance

Examining a society’s approach to journal publishing in the context of OA business models and the industry move toward “portfolio-level” publishing.


ASN wished to identify what changes to editorial and publishing strategy would be needed to ensure the continuing high standing of the ASN journals (Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, and Kidney360) and their strong value to both the Society and the nephrology community. Areas of interest included impact metrics, cross-journal editorial strategy (including manuscript transfers), the potential impact of new content types, author experience and author recruitment, international reach, and best practices in establishing a true ASN journal portfolio. C&E was retained to gather and review data, perform analysis, and provide recommendations to the ASN Publications Committee on potential ways forward.

What We Did

Having worked with ASN on strategic assessments and a publisher RFP process, C&E was already well informed about the society’s journals program. We added to that knowledge through interviews with ASN stakeholders and review and interpretation of internal documents (including citation analysis reports), and then incorporated our own industry knowledge and expertise in editorial strategy and competitive publishing programs. We provided ASN with an assessment of the current state of the journals within the competitive landscape, and worked together to develop potential strategic directions for the next stage of the journals program. A facilitated discussion with the ASN Publications Committee concluded the project.


ASN was able to identify editorial strategies that could bolster the impact and reach of the ASN journals, as well as “portfolio-level” publishing approaches that could better support the changing needs of the Society; of JASN, CJASN, and Kidney360 authors; and of the nephrology community as a whole. Importantly, these strategies and approaches take into account the competitive publishing landscape in which ASN operates, allowing the ASN Publications Committee to develop a long-term plan as it aligns the strategic priorities of the Society with the editorial vision (and the business drivers) of the ASN journals program.