Duties, Responsibilities and Selection Process of Editors, Reviewers and Authors:
- Editors Selection Process
- Editors Selection Criteria
- Responsibilities of Editors
- Editorial Board
- Duties of Editors
- Duties of Reviewers/Referees
- Duties of Authors
- Duties of Publisher
Editors Selection Process:
If you aspire to become an editor, one way is through a direct invitation from the publisher. This may result from your expertise in a specific area of science or discipline, especially when a publisher is looking to publish a new journal. Another way to become an editor is by filling out a membership form which will be assessed by our panel.
Editors Selection Criteria:
The editor plays a significant role in a journal. The editor should have enthusiasm to play the role of editor. Therefore, the editor should have at least the following things:
- The editor must have a doctorate degree (PhD) in the specific subject.
- The editor should have expertise in the scope of the journal.
- The editor should have a good publication record and patents in the specialized area.
- The editor should recognize the responsibility of the role and all aspects of the work involved.
Responsibilities of Editors:
The main role of a journal editor is to promote scholarship in the specialist area associated with the journal, as well as promoting the journal as the best journal to publish in. The editor should encourage authors to submit articles to the journal and establish a credible panel of expert reviewers. Editors are also responsible for providing feedback to reviewers when necessary and ensure that any feedback to authors is constructive. The responsibilities for editors are suggested below.
- An editor should strive to be a leader in a specific area of practice underwriting journal content as this helps with journal growth, presence and standing within the international community.
- An editor should also familiarize themselves with the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) ‘Code of Conduct and Best Practice’ guidelines for journal editors. This has a large resource on the topic of ethical conduct of journal editors, authors and reviewers.
- Depending on how the journal is managed and how it is structured, an editor may have to make all the decisions regarding which articles to accept or reject for publication. However, Associate Editors, Assistant Editors or Section Editors will help them with making those important decisions. For example, any decision involving unethical practice, will often involve the publisher or their representative alongside the Editor and a Section Editor who has discovered the issue.
- As an editor, you will have three or four groups of people to contact on a regular basis: a) the publisher, b) the authors c) the reviewers and d) in some journals direct contact with the production team who manage the publication side of the journal. This latter group will work with the editor to agree which articles to place in each edition, ensure that the Editor does not use more than the agreed number of pages per issue (especially if article based) and send editor information concerning all articles in their various stages of the editorial process. The Production team member dedicated to that Editor may also be responsible for communicating with authors and reviewers directly.
An Editorial Board is primarily made up of a team of individuals that work directly with the Editor to develop the journal and promote new initiatives. Members of the Board may also take responsibility for key activities linked to the journal. The Editorial Board normally appoints a chairperson, who could be one of the board members or could also be the publisher. When there are meetings, either face to face, teleconferences or skype, the chairperson would manage the agenda and the meeting of the editorial board. Editorial board members are chosen for their expertise in key areas related to the journal or chosen for their international presence in the field. There are instances where excellent long-standing reviewers can also be asked to join the editorial board. They are normally also from the same expert field as the journal topic. Depending on the roles and responsibilities set by the publisher, the editor typically reports directly to the editorial board. A journal’s Editorial Board normally undergoes a complete renewal after a set period determined by the editor and publisher (three years is an average time). This will involve removing some individuals, inviting others, and renewing some existing members for another term. It is important when inviting a board member that this issue of term of office is included in the invitation letter to avoid any misunderstandings that might arise.
- Fair Play and Editorial Independence: Editors evaluate submitted articles exclusively on the basis of their academic merit (importance, originality, study’s validity, clarity) and its relevance to the journal scope, without regard to the authors race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, citizenship, religious belief, political philosophy or institutional affiliation. Decision to edit and publish are not determined by the policies of governments or any other agencies outside of the journal itself. The Editor-in-Chief has full authority over the entire editorial content of the journal and the timing of publication of that content.
- Confidentiality: Editor and editorial staff will not disclose any information about a submitted article to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher.
- Disclosure and Conflict of Interest: Editor and editorial board members will not use unpublished information disclosed in a submitted articles for their own research purposes without the author’s explicit written consent. Privileged information or ideas obtained by editors as a result of handling the article will be kept confidential and not used for their personal advantage. Editors will recuse themselves from considering articles in which they have conflict of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships/connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the articles; instead, they will ask another member of the editorial board to handle the articles.
- Publication Decisions: The editor ensure that all submitted articles being considered for publication undergo peer review by at least two reviewers who are expert in the field. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal will be published, based on the validation of the work in question, its importance to researchers and readers, the reviewers’ comments, and such legal requirements as are currently in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The Editor-in-Chief may confer with other editor or reviewers in making this decision.
- Involvement and Cooperation in Investigations: Editor (in conjunction with the publisher and/or society) will take responsive measures when ethical concerns are raised with regard to a submitted or published article. Every reported act of unethical publishing behavior will be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication. If, on investigation, the ethical concern is well-founded, a correction, retraction, expression of concern or other note as may be relevant, will be published in the journal.
- Contribution to Editorial Decisions: Peer review assists editor in making editorial decisions and, through editorial communications with authors, may assist authors in improving their articles.
- Promptness: Any invited referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in an article or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should immediately notify the editor and decline the invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.
- Confidentiality: Any articles received for review are confidential documents and must be treated as such; they must not be shown to or discussed with others except if authorized by the Editor-in-Chief (who would only do so under exceptional and specific circumstances). This applies also to invited reviewers who decline the review invitation.
- Standards of Objectivity: Reviews should be conducted objectively and observations formulated clearly with supporting arguments so that authors can use them for improving the article. Personal criticism of the authors is inappropriate.
- Acknowledgement of Sources: Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that is an observation, derivation or argument that has been reported in previous publications should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also notify the editor of any substantial similarity or overlap between the article under consideration and any other article (published or unpublished) of which they have personal knowledge.
- Disclosure and Conflict of Interest: Any invited referee who has conflict of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the article and the work described therein should immediately notify the editors to declare their conflict of interest and decline the invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted. Unpublished material disclosed in a submitted article must not be used in a reviewer’s own research without the express written consent of the authors. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for the reviewer’s personal advantage. This applies also to invited reviewers who decline the review invitation.
- Reporting Standards: Authors of original research should present an accurate account of the work performed and the results, followed by an objective discussion of the significance of the work. The article should contain sufficient detail and references to permit others to replicate the work. Review articles should be accurate, objective and comprehensive, while editorial ‘opinion’ or perspective pieces should be clearly identified as such. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.
- Availability of Data/ Data Access and Retention: Authors may be asked to provide the raw data of their study together with the article for editorial review and should be prepared to make the data publicly available if practicable. In any event, authors should ensure accessibility of such data to other competent professionals for at least 10 years after publication (preferably via an institutional or subject-based data repository or other data center), provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and legal rights concerning proprietary data do not preclude their release. See ‘Availability of Data and Materials‘ section for further information on formulating these statements.
- Originality and Plagiarism: Authors should ensure that they have written and submit only entirely original works, and if they have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited. Publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the work reported in the article should also be cited. Plagiarism takes many forms, from “passing off” another’s article as the author’s own, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another’s article (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.
- Multiple, Duplicate, Redundant or Concurrent Submission/Publication: Articles describing essentially the same research should not be published in more than one journal or primary publication. Hence, authors should not submit for consideration an article that has already been published in another journal. Submission of an article concurrently to more than one journal is unethical publishing behavior and unacceptable. The publication of some kinds of articles (such as clinical guidelines, translations) in more than one journal is sometimes justifiable, provided that certain conditions are met. The authors and editors of the journals concerned must agree to the secondary publication, which must reflect the same data and interpretation of the primary document. The primary reference must be cited in the secondary publication.
- Authorship: Only those who meet authorship criteria should be listed as authors in the article as they must be able to take public responsibility for the content.
- Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest: There should not be conflict of interest. See ‘conflict of interest‘ section for further information on formulating these statements.
- Acknowledgement of Sources: Authors should ensure that they have properly acknowledged the work of others, and should also cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. See ‘conflict of interest‘ section for further information on formulating these statements.
- Hazards and Human or Animal Subjects: If the work involves chemicals, procedures or equipment that have any unusual hazards inherent in their use, the authors must clearly identify these in the article. If the work involves the use of animals or human participants, the authors should ensure that all procedures were performed in compliance with relevant laws and institutional guidelines and that the appropriate institutional committee(s) has approved them; the article should contain a statement to this effect. Authors should also include a statement in the article that informed consent was obtained for experimentation with human participants. The privacy rights of human participants must always be observed. See ‘Code of Conduct for Medical Ethics: Animal and Human Research Participants‘ section for further information on formulating these statements.
- Peer Review: Authors are obliged to participate in the peer review process and cooperate fully by responding promptly to editors’ requests for raw data, clarifications, and proof of ethics approval, patient consents and copyright permissions. In the case of a first decision of “revisions necessary”, authors should respond to the reviewers’ comments systematically, point by point, and in a timely manner, revising and re-submitting their article to the journal by the deadline given.
- Fundamental Errors in published works: When authors discover significant errors or inaccuracies in their own published work, it is their obligation to promptly notify the journal’s editor or publisher and cooperate with them to either correct the article in the form of an erratum or to retract the article. See ‘Corrections, Retractions, Removal, and Republications‘ section for further information on formulating these statements.
- Handling of Unethical Publishing Behavior: In cases of alleged or proven scientific misconduct, fraudulent publication or plagiarism, the publisher, in close collaboration with the editors, will take all appropriate measures to clarify the situation and to amend the article in question. This includes the prompt publication of an erratum, clarification or, in the most severe case, the retraction of the affected work. The publisher, together with the editors, shall take reasonable steps to identify and prevent the publication of articles where research misconduct has occurred, and under no circumstances encourage such misconduct or knowingly allow such misconduct to take place.
- Access to Journal Content: The publisher is committed to the permanent availability and preservation of scholarly research and ensures accessibility by partnering with organizations and maintaining our own digital archive.