Behind the scenes of peer review: meet the Taylor & Francis Editorial office team

Across the virtual seas of peer review, the Editorial office keeps the voyage ship-shape, all around the world.

At Taylor & Francis, our multinational Editorial Office (EO) team supports journals through every aspect of the peer review process. We set up and supervise the Journal Editorial Office (JEO) support to promote a speedy, consistent author experience. We are always advocating for the accuracy and integrity of submitted content, and continuously improving the peer review experience for authors, editors, and reviewers. 

Vector illustration showing a checklist, person with a magnifying glass, mug of hot drink to show the different elements of peer review.

But what does that involve? Especially when working across over 1000 journals (and counting) that reach across all disciplines and continents? Justin-David Machado, Editorial Office Specialist, talks us through the process. 

JEOs make sure that the information provided by authors is accurate and complete 

Since 2006, the Global Peer Review Department’s Editorial Office team has provided support to manuscripts before peer review even begins. We’ve expanded over time to oversee administrative support spanning the globe, covering all time zones. 

Vector illustration of a female character holding a large magnifying glass and smiling.

We make sure hundreds of journals get the same quality of care with the help of three little letters with a big job: JEO. For each journal we look after, a Journal Editorial Office contact (JEO) makes checks to make sure that the information provided by authors during the submission process is accurate and complete, and that the manuscript files uploaded are ready for review.

The JEO acts as the first point of contact for all manuscripts submitted to Taylor & Francis’ online peer review systems (the Submission Portal, ScholarOne Manuscripts and Editorial Manager). Additionally, with our help JEOs provide on-going support to authors, reviewers, and editors, fielding general queries and helping with system-based issues. 

The checks performed by JEOs and the expertise provided by the EO team help to minimize delays as a manuscript moves through peer review, attested by the significantly reduced turnaround times of manuscripts submitted to the journals in our care. 

Case Study: Journal 1 

We introduced JEO support to Journal 1 in July 2019. In 2018, the year before support started, it took a median of 194 days for manuscripts to get from submission to a final decision. In 2019, with JEO support that time sped up by 56 days. As of 2021, the median time from submission to final decision was only 12 days: 152 days faster since 2018. That’s more than ten times faster peer review for our authors! 

“…show decreased average turnaround times from submission to decision for authors…” 

When setting up a journal with JEO support, EO liaises with suppliers to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible. 

Once JEO support is in place, we act as an escalation point for all journal contacts, using our online peer review systems and our expertise to advise on complex and unusual queries. We also continuously monitor the performance of JEO contacts so that service standards are met, adjusting their resources as needed to keep them equipped and empowered. 

All this means less time for you to wait until you get to see your article published on Taylor & Francis Online. 

“…freeing up our customers’ time to explore even more horizons in their research…” 

But JEO support isn’t just about speed; it’s about freeing up our customers’ time, enabling authors, editors, and reviewers to diversify their input and output – to explore even more horizons in their research, and ultimately enrich the research environment. 

Vector illustration of two characters either side of a laptop with their arms in the air. A lightbulb is rising from the laptop.

Case Study: Journal 2 

Journal 2 has had JEO support since 2018. Between then and 2021, the journal saw an increase in the number of countries from which it receives submissions by 19.5%, with submissions from lower income countries forming a significant portion of that increase. This journal received over 13 times more submissions from lower-income countries from 2018 to 2021. 

“…check for ethical issues at any stage of the peer review process…” 

Along with enabling our journals to up publication speed and increase the diversity of our content, by introducing JEO support EO helps to ensure we only publish the highest quality research, in compliance with industry-wide ethical standards. Whether via their day-to-day checks or special initiatives, EO and JEOs help safeguard journals against potential international sanctions issues, hoax papers, questionable peer review models and data protection breaches. 

Any issues are quickly spotted and escalated to the appropriate contacts in EO, the Editorial team or the Publishing Ethics & Integrity team. 

By implementing these various screening methods, we can check manuscripts for ethical issues at any stage of the peer review process – upon submission, during review, or post-acceptance, to see that a manuscript’s peer review is smooth sailing from shore to digital shore, all over the planet. 

Headshot of Justin-David Machado. Editorial Office Specialist in the Global Peer Review Department.

Justin-David Machado works as an Editorial Office Specialist in the Global Peer Review Department, with responsibility for centralized communications with peer review support suppliers. He trains and supports colleagues, acting as a consultant for EO Coordinators on his team. He creates and refines processes working with other departments and vendors, advocating for outcomes that offer a best-in-class author experience. He is a bilingual Hispanic British American who loves to see cultures collaborate. 

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