At Taylor & Francis, our In-House Peer Review (IHPR) team support journals through the peer review process, setting up and supervising individual journal Editorial Offices and using CrossRef Similarity Check software. But what does that involve, especially when working across some 300+ journals that reach across all disciplines? Lucy Francis, Editorial Office Team Leader, talks us through the process, revealing what happens after you press ‘submit’.
“ensure that the information provided by authors … is accurate and complete”
Since 2006, the our In-House Peer Review team (snappily titled, which is why we are otherwise known as the IHPR team!) have provided Editorial Office support to many ‘in-house’ journals, acting as the first point of contact for all manuscripts submitted through online peer review systems (Scholar One Manuscripts and Editorial Manager at Taylor & Francis).
The checks we carry out ensure that the information provided by authors during the submission process is accurate and complete, and that the manuscript files uploaded are suitable for review. In addition to this, we also provide on-going support to authors, reviewers and editors, answering general queries and system-based issues.
The checks performed, and expertise provided, by the IHPR team helps to minimise delays as a manuscript moves through peer review, seen by the significantly reduced turnaround times for manuscripts submitted to our in-house managed journals.
Case Study: Journal 1
This journal began in-house Editorial Office support in July 2015. Before this date, the average time from a manuscript submission to decision was 159 days. With the help of IHPR support, this figure was reduced to just 28 days.
“…show decreased average turnaround times from submission to decision for authors…”
As well as providing direct Editorial Office support, the IHPR team also coordinate external Editorial Office support to journals that require extra assistance.
We’ll begin by setting up a process tailored to a journal’s individual needs, and will liaise with suppliers to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.
Once Editorial Office support is in place, we then act as an escalation point for the journal contacts, using our online submission systems and peer review expertise to advise on complex and unusual queries. We also continuously audit the performance of external Editorial Office contacts, so service standards are met.
And what’s the result of this? Journals with external Editorial Office support show decreased average turnaround times from submission to decision for authors, helping to speed up the time to seeing your article on Taylor & Francis Online.
Case Study: Journal 2
This journal began support in July 2012. In the six month period before beginning support the average submission to decision time was 83 days. In the six month period after support began, this decreased to 48 days. Ongoing support has maintained these reduced turnaround times at an average of 42 days.
“…check papers for ethical issues at any stage of the peer review process”
We’re also responsible for Taylor & Francis’ use of CrossRef Similarity Check software. CrossRef Similarity Check detects similarity in a given work to previously existing text. This is particularly useful in the peer review process, identifying potential cases of plagiarism. The specialist team who manage this perform analysis of the reports generated by the software, running them on a number of journals.
The IHPR team also coordinate the training of journal editors to use the software themselves, giving demonstrations on how to use it and what you should be considering when assessing similarity between papers.
On top of this, we also handle ad-hoc requests for papers to be run through the software at the request of journal editors or editorial teams. These papers are closely examined in order to assess the level of similarity, and a detailed report is then returned to the editor or editorial team for them to assess.
By implementing these various methods of originality screening, we can check papers for ethical issues at any stage of the peer review process – upon submission, during review, or post-acceptance.
Got a question on peer review? Would you like to ask our Electronic Editorial Systems Team a question about the online systems you use to submit or review for a journal? Join in our Peer Review Week Twitter discussion on Wednesday 21st September. Find out how to get involved.
Lucy Francis currently works on the Electronic Editorial Systems Team as Editorial Office Team Leader, with responsibility for liaison with peer review support suppliers. This includes both supervising implementation of support for journals and monitoring supplier performance to ensure a continued high standard of support. Lucy is also involved with peer review and publishing ethics knowledge dissemination within Taylor & Francis.