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Editorial workflow

1 id="editorial-workflow">Editorial workflow

Editorial team and roles #

Depending on the practices your journal chooses to follow, you may have an editorial board made up of various roles with diverse responsibilities. Many journal editorial boards include roles such as Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor, Section Editor, Peer Reviewer, Copy Editor, Layout Editor / Production Coordinator, and Marketing Manager. For more details about possible editorial board roles and their functions, see Roles and Responsibilities.

OJS has several predefined user roles with permission settings preset. Both the roles and the permissions can be customized according to your journal’s needs. See Permission and Roles for details about the various roles, which sections of the workflow are assigned to each by default, and how to edit or add roles and change the permissions.

Peer Review Policy #

This policy will outline the journal peer review policy and processes. A transparent and clear review policy lends journals credibility and helps potential authors anticipate the upcoming process.

While many journals have an internal process, it is highly recommended that you codify and make the policy publicly accessible. Many indexes require a transparent review policy for inclusion.

You should also be aware of possible concerns around bias that can occur in peer review, which make the process less valid and can be harmful to members of groups that are underrepresented in scholarship.

Your review policy should clearly state whether the journal uses peer review and which form of review it uses

Review types #

Content is adapted from the PKP School Becoming an Editor course.

Author & Reviewer Anonymous

Reviewers do not know the names of the authors, nor do the authors know who the reviews are.

  • This method ensures fairer judgement without bias towards certain authors or regions of the world
  • Confidentiality may provide some protection against criticism for both the authors and reviewers
  • This method is not foolproof as reviewers may still be able to discover the identities of the authors (either because of the area of research, the references, or the writing style)
  • It may be argued that knowing the author’s identity and affiliation will help the reviewer to make a more informed judgement of the article and that not knowing this may disadvantage the review

Reviewer Anonymous

Reviewers know the names of the authors, but the authors do not know the names of the reviewers.

  • The anonymity of reviewers allows them to be honest and open without fear of criticism from the authors
  • Knowing the identity (and affiliation) of the author allows them to use prior knowledge to help the article assessment
  • Reputational influences: Reviewers who know the author already may be biased on favor of them and not look at the article carefully
  • Possible discrimination based on sexism and racism: Reviewers may be biased against certain individuals or overly suspicious of research emerging from some regions of the world

Open Review

Names of both the authors and reviewers are available, and the review may be made publicly available alongside the reviewers’ names. This type of review is gaining popularity in more recent years because it is the most transparent when identifying conflicts of interest and can be more conducive to helpful and constructive criticism. For journals aimed at very small communities, where people’s areas of expertise already indicate their identity to their peers, this may be the only option.

  • Open peer-review and the transparency it brings to the process encourages accountability, encourages civility, and generally improves the quality of the review (and ultimately the article)
  • If an open review system reports the reviewers’ names next to the accepted, published article, it will persuade reviewers to do a thorough job
  • Some reviewers might be concerned about the consequences of being identified as the source of a negative review and so may refuse to review for a journal using an open system
  • Reviewers might be reluctant to criticize the work of more senior researchers on whom they may depend for career advancement. This may be a particular problem in smaller research communities, and more prevalent in some regions of the world than others

Editorial Review

Items are reviewed by members of the editorial team, either prior to or instead of being reviewed by external peer reviewers.

  • This is the most common form of review in nonacademic publications and non-research items such as book reviews and commentaries
  • It allows to save time and reduce logistical overhead with coordinating external peer reviews
  • Journal editors are invested in getting the issue out and therefore cannot be considered independent reviewers
  • This type of review may not be suitable for research articles or other more formal scholarly works

Reviewer guidance #

In addition to outlining the type of peer review conducted for various sections of the journal, your peer review policy may clarify:

  • How many reviewers each submission receives
  • Recruitment process for reviewers, including qualifications required
  • Criteria with which reviewers are asked to judge the submission
  • Typical time it takes to conduct reviews
  • If you use any external service providers, such as copyediting or typesetting

In addition to your public policy, it is a good idea to provide additional guidelines for your reviewers on how to complete the review. You can also ask Reviewers to agree to declare competing interests. See the Review Guidance section for more details. You can set both at:

Settings > Workflow > Review > Reviewer Guidance

Similarly, you can create forms for Reviewers to fill out that allow for more quantitative comparisons. See the Review Forms section for more details. Set those up at:

Settings > Workflow > Review > Review Forms

You can choose to make both documents publicly available.

Additional resources on peer review: