Logging On - Spring 2024

Position Announcement: Assistant Editors, Kairos

Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy is hiring multiple Assistant Editors to help produce the bi-annual journal. The journal is the longest, continuously running scholarly multimedia journal in the world and has been providing open-access research to readers in over 180 countries since it first published in 1996. The journal was one of the first scholarly publications to use open peer review (from its beginning) and offers a mentoring and supportive environment for both its authors and staff, reflective of the feminist critical pedagogy on which the academic discipline of digital writing studies was founded. Read more about the journal and its staff on its website: http://kairos.technorhetoric.net.


Assistant Editors (AEs) are responsible for collaboratively copy- or design-editing accepted webtexts, wiki entries, and associated media for publication with attention to style, accessibility, readability, and usability. Kairos uses a modified APA style and a specific technical style sheet that is provided on our website and reviewed during on-the-job training for new AEs.

New in this round of hiring (Jan. 2024), Kairos AEs will be hired into one or both streams of production needs: as either fastidious copyeditors or detail-oriented design editors. We have found that having both these skills is becoming more rare, so we are changing our set-up to offer better success and a path for potential growth and professional development for incoming editors. If you qualify for both and want to do both, you can apply for both simultaneously (see Application Process below for more details.)

For both sets of editors, occasional work in other areas of the journal, including accessibility and preservation work, DEI efforts, and other projects may also be offered and serves to expand your knowledge and practice of digital scholarly publishing and inclusive scholarly communications visions more broadly.


The main skill required of Assistant (Copy) Editors is excellent and fastidious line-editing and reference checking using a modified APA style in our wiki installation and in our HTML-based webtexts. Kairos has a three-stage copyediting process that includes

  1. fixing grammar, style, and usage errors using various style guides and reference sources (available for free online)
  2. fact-checking and correcting citations, references, and reference lists, and
  3. proofreading those corrections.

Different editors work on each of these three stages to ensure our best efforts at a seamless, error-free publication. (There are four additional stages the AEs are not responsible for, as well. You will be trained in all of this, once hired.)

Design Editors

The main skill required of Assistant (Design) Editors is to work within the HTML/CSS files to ensure webtexts we publish are accessible, usable, and sustainable, according to the technical guidelines published on our website. A basic working knowledge of HTML and CSS is a required starting point for this position. Kairos provides behind-the-scenes instructions to AEs on how to follow these technical guidelines in the design-editing stage, which comprises one of the eight copyediting stages at Kairos, and typically lasts three weeks.

Collaborative Labor & Time Expectations

All editorial work is done within the Kairos community. While each stage of editing is assigned to a single editor, the entire team works in conjunction to ensure everything gets completed on time. In addition, there is always a mentor in the form of another staff member who is available to offer help, suggestions, troubleshooting tips, and so on, at the point of need. AEs are required to communicate via a variety of online media (Slack, Discord, email, wikis, video conferencing), depending on the task, and must meet strict deadlines that the Editor outlines at the beginning of each production cycle. AEs primarily work during production cycles, which run late September–early December and mid-February–early June. The average expectation of time required is 0–1 hours per non-production week, and an average of five (5) hours during production-intensive weeks. We always ask at the beginning of each production cycle if everyone is available to edit, in case folks have major work or life needs that require them to take a short leave. We also always schedule extra editing time around major conference periods and heavy semester workload periods, as much as we can.

Mentoring and Training

Kairos provides a strong mentoring and community-oriented virtual working environment for its volunteer staff. Assistant Editors are entry-level editorial positions, generally graduate students and early career faculty and NTTs but anyone is welcome to apply.

We ask all AEs to commit to working with Kairos for two years, to start. This commitment ensures that we can train you in our webtextually specific production processes, offer you the time to enact those practices independently, and provide pathways for professional development suitable to your own career desires. 95% of our staff stays on well beyond the two years, with many moving into roles with more responsibility at the journal within four years of their initial onboarding. All but one of our current Section, Managing, and Lead Editors started as assistant editors at Kairos. Our goal with all Kairos staff is to promote from within whenever possible, and we have created pipelines for doing so over the years that have proven very successful with staff who are self-learners.

Our DEI Commitment

This position is open for anyone to apply, and Kairos especially encourages underrepresented scholars—those who identify as multi-marginalized, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, neurodivergent, disabled, and others, including those from any academic rank or affiliation/connection—to apply. Please refer to our Inclusivity Action Plan to read about our ongoing DEI efforts. If you read the skills below and say “not me” because you don't tick every one of those boxes, we still want you to apply. Kairos is well-known for its robust on-the-job training programs for editors and editorial assistants. We can make it all gloriously work well for the right candidate, but we won't know if that's you unless you apply. Nearly all of our positions are collaborative, and the senior editorial team works hard to ensure that labor distribution is feasible for these volunteer positions. Please consider joining our community to see what one of the best and most innovative journals in the world is doing to produce excellent, inclusive scholarship. Candidates who want to conduct research and/or teaching related to this position's responsibilities are welcome.

Skills for this Position

Having some but not all of these skills won't disqualify you. You should definitely still apply!

Required Skills
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Ability to communicate in online spaces with frequency and transparency
  • Self-starters who take initiative and volunteer when an opportunity arises
  • Either excellent copy-editing skills (in APA style) or excellent HTML/CSS-editing skills
  • Ability to collaborate with co-editors to complete tasks on time
  • Initiative to learn new (freely available) technologies and programs, as needed for editorial purposes
  • Knowledge of scholarly, pedagogical fields related to digital writing studies
  • A commitment to anti-racism in scholarly publishing, as outlined in our Inclusivity Plan
Bonus Skills
  • Experience with wiki mark-up
  • Accessibility and usability experience in online environments
  • Prior editorial experience with a (digital or analog) scholarly journal or peer-review systems preferred, or a willingness to learn quickly
  • Experience troubleshooting Javascript functionality


These positions are volunteer/unpaid. However, the benefits of working for Kairos are numerous and include scholarly/professional editing experience in a digital environment, working closely with scholars in the field (through contact with editors and authors), creating a network of friends and colleagues who meet at conferences, being the first to see the most up-to-date scholarship, a professional development community that offers personal and professional growth, and gratitude/recognition by your peers. In addition, Kairos staff members enjoy a vita line, a recommendation letter for their portfolios, and free beverages at major conferences (and the occasional virtual karaoke party…).

Application Process

Applications are due February 15, 2024.

Applicants are encouraged to choose which stream they would like to apply for—Copy or Design editing—and they are also welcome to apply (in a single application) for both streams. After February 15, applicants will be invited to complete a copy- and/or design-editing practice document, according to their choice, which the senior editors will use to assist us in our decision-making. (Don't lose sleep over this document; it isn't an all-or-nothing test. We are fairly generous in our evaluation of these documents.) We will contact references based on your document performance and make final determinations from there. The whole process (on our end) will take about two months. The position is expected to start with hands-on training in late summer, possibly sooner.

If you are hired to do both copy and design-editing, your editorial labor will be adjusted during production cycles so that you won't generally be working on more than one text during an editing stage. Our goal is to train editors into both streams eventually, but we want you to feel comfortable leading with your most confident foot forward in the application process. If you have questions about which stream to apply for, please contact us at kairosrtp@gmail.com and use “AE application query” in the Subject Line.

To be considered for these positions, please send an email to Kairos Senior Editors Douglas Eyman and Cheryl Ball at kairosrtp@gmail.com with the following information:

  • Subject line: Assistant Editor (Copy or Design or Both) application: Full Name
  • An in-email letter of application that describes your qualifications for the position (2-3ish paragraphs, more or less).
    • We do NOT need a CV; just make sure to tell us about your experience in your letter and link to any relevant examples.
    • Please do not send attachments.
  • The name, email address, and title/affiliation of a person willing to recommend you for the position.