1. Editor Responsibilities
Editors are responsible for coordinating peer review, managing any conflicts-of-interest, and making decisions on manuscripts. Editors must be available to edit or review at least two manuscripts per year, subject to a manuscript matching their broad area of expertise.
Reviewing editors are responsible for reviewing papers and agree to be available to review at least two manuscripts each year, provided those manuscripts fall sufficiently within their area of expertise and they are free of conflicts-of-interest.
Editors and reviewing editors may decline any individual invitation to editor or review for any reason (e.g. short-term availability, expertise, conflict of interest).
2. Selecting Reviewers
Editors should search for suitably qualified reviewers from the field. These may be from the journal’s editorial board, experts cited by the authors, and their own knowledge of the literature. Diversity of career stages and academic backgrounds in individual peer reviewers may be beneficial.
Editors should be aware of conflicts-of-interest, as described in the Peer Review policy and Peer Reviewer Guidelines. Reviewers with conflicts-of-interest should be avoided where possible or their conflicts-of-interest should be disclosed adequately to the authors and in their public review summary.
3. Editorial Discretion
Editors can, but are not obliged to, highlight for authors the most important comments to address, provide authors with additional suggestions for revisions, and write their own public review summary regarding their views on the manuscript, its strengths, weaknesses, and the reasons behind their decision. Writing a public review summary may be especially helpful if an editor has chosen to publish a manuscript when reviewers recommended it be rejected.
Editors are not obliged to follow the recommendations of reviewers or to consider reviewer recommendations equally.
Editors are not obliged to accept a revised manuscript. Even if minor revisions are requested, the editor may still reject the manuscript (or request a final round of revisions) if they are not convinced that the manuscript has been sufficiently improved.
Editors should read reviewer comments before forwarding them to authors. Editors may make minor edits to a reviewer’s comments to remove content that is inappropriate, unhelpful, or not constructive. If a review is not helpful and constructive, the editor should ask the reviewer to revise it or decline to forward it. Editors must not change review content or remove content that changes the meaning of the review.
5. Conflicts of Interest and Fair Practices
Editors should try to eliminate or reduce conflicts-of-interest and ensure that the review process is conducted fairly and with respect to authors and reviewers. For example, editors and reviewers should not engage in coercive citation practices, such as recommending inappropriate citation of their own papers or that of colleagues. Another potential conflict-of-interest exists when editors or reviewing editors submit to the journal – in this case, editorial board members should prepare their manuscripts for double-blind review.
After a manuscript is received, the managing editor will assign it to an editor. If the editor accepts the assignment, they will be responsible for soliciting peer reviews. After each round of peer review, they will read the reviews and make a decision on the manuscript. The managing editor or editor-in-chief will check the reviews and decision for any oversights and approve the decision. If revisions are required, the authors will resubmit their manuscript within a reasonable timeframe (usually less than 3 months). If major revisions were required, another round of peer review will be performed. If minor revisions were required, the editor will review the revisions and author’s reply and make a decision on that basis.
The managing editor or editor-in-chief will not reverse decisions unless there are problems with the integrity of the manuscript or review process, such as unmanaged/undisclosed conflicts-of-interest, plagiarism, or any kind of misconduct or failure to meet the journal’s standards.
Last amended on 6 April 2019.