The Committee on Publications is "responsible for the official publications of the Association." This responsibility has been defined as, but not limited to, "the recruitment and recommendation to the Executive Council of candidates for the position of editor of Sociology of Religion, and the recommendation of general publication policies to the Executive Council."
The selection of a competent editor for Sociology of Religion is crucial to the continued viability of the Association, hence the work of the Committee on Publications triennially is of the utmost importance. Although there is some discretion in the process by which candidates are ultimately recommended for this position, it is the practice of the Association to advertize the position to its members and receive both nominations and applications for the position. From there the committee has used various strategies to select the candidate it will recommend to the Council. It is Council that chooses the editor. It is also the responsibility of Council "to determine and control" all publications of the Association. Once selected, the Editor reports to Council, not the Publications Committee, and is a nonvoting member of Council. The Editor must be a member of the Association.
In years when the editorship is not up for (re)appointment, the Committee on Publications may or may not undertake any work. Some things it has done include: reviewing the membership brochure of the Association when it needs to be reprinted; hearing complaints regarding editorial decisions and working toward resolving them (but note: this work is purely in the nature of conciliation and mediation; the committee has no authority to make a final decision, if such a dispute cannot be resolved; that lies with Council); considering suggestions about additional publishing ventures. The committee also does not negotiate contracts with or select a printer. That is done by the Editor, in consultation with the Executive Officer (for reasons of budget).
The Chair of the committee largely sets the agenda of the committee (barring appeals from disgruntled authors) in the off years and serves as the conduit for communications during the editorial selection process.