Ensuring that your journal gets the recognition that it deserves is a key objective for Springer. We recognize that getting research published quickly and efficiently is very important, particularly for fast-moving scientific disciplines. To offer this speed of publication, we have spent the last few years working with our society partners and authors to review and refine the methods used to publish journal articles and books.
We developed a series of standardised editorial processes that have been designed to speed up the publication process, ensuring it is as efficient and effective as possible. Today, our production processes and creation of robust metadata ensure that our society partners’ journals are disseminated across the widest possible selection of channels and retrieval methods, optimizing visibility and discoverability. The high-quality metadata generated for your journal facilitates seamless cross-linking across the broadest range of related information, including abstracts and indexing services plus reference and forward linking to external resources. In addition, Springer’s recently introduced semantic-based interlinking (via the SpringerLink platform) enables users to retrieve 10 related documents for any given search term, further enhancing the discoverability of journal articles.
Journal articles are stored in XML using the Unicode standard. Because Unicode supports all languages and scripts, it allows for information such as abstracts and author details to be published in the original local language (including Cyrillic and Chinese) so that users can immediately discover and access the information they are looking for.
The standardization process also included the introduction of Editorial Manager, a web-based manuscript submission and review system that lets authors submit articles directly online. Editorial Manager makes it possible for authors to submit manuscripts via the Internet, provides online peer review services and tracks manuscripts through the entire review process. Key features include automatic conversion of authors’ submissions into PDF format as well as supporting submissions in various file formats and special characters.
We are confident that by introducing standardised procedures for article publication, we can minimize the potential for error at the same time as maximizing the speed of your journal’s publication. For example, journal articles can now be published online and made available to more than 30 million Springer users worldwide within 21 days of acceptance. And as editorial processes also comply with access requirements for funders’ mandates, including NIH and HHMI, you can be sure that your journal’s specific publication needs are met.
We spoke to Katharina Kreissig to find out more about the key issues that Editorial Manager helps authors to overcome. Katharina is Director Global JEO / Production and heads up the Journals Editorial Office (JEO) at Springer. She is responsible for 1300 scientific journals that use a web-based manuscript submission and tracking system to organize their peer review.
What were the key submission issues that authors were experiencing?
Remembering passwords can be a challenge. Authors sometimes forget their password and are unable to log into the Editorial Manager site of a journal. To overcome this, they’ll create a new (second) user account to submit the revised version of a manuscript to the journal. However this creates a duplicate record in the journal’s database which in turn causes problems during peer review, hindering the production of the manuscript.
How does Editorial Manager help them to overcome these issues?
Editorial Manager has an easy-to-use feature. If an author forgets his/her password, they can click on the “Send Username/Password” link (which is displayed right underneath the login section), enter the requested details and their login credentials are emailed to them immediately. Also, the “Contact Us” link in the tool bar of the Editorial Manager page links directly to the editorial contacts for that journal, so if an author needs to get in touch with us quickly, they can do so via that option.
Are there any specific tips or tricks that you can advise authors about to get the most out of using Editorial Manager?
I would like to encourage authors to keep the email address in their Editorial Manager account up-to-date. This ensures that correspondence from the Editors, the Editorial Office and any Editorial Manager system notifications reach the author. In the past we’ve had queries from authors waiting for a decision letter from the Editor-in-Chief, only to find that the decision has already been made and sent to an incorrect email address.
Which file formats can authors use?
The system supports a wide range of submission file formats: for manuscripts - Word, WordPerfect, RTF, TXT and LaTex; for figures - TIFF, GIF, JPEG, EPS, PPT, and Postscript. However, we’d like to point out that PDF is not an acceptable file format since it cannot be used for production or typesetting purposes. In order for the Production Editor to publish a manuscript quickly, we need the source files in formats such as MS Word.
What procedures can authors expect to follow when submitting manuscripts? Can the submission status be tracked?
During submission, authors respond to publication-configured questionnaires for the selected article type which is a great way to solicit information about author funding sources, conflicts of interest, prior publication etc. The status of a manuscript can be checked and tracked online and the author can also receive regular e-mail updates.
How does Editorial Manager select its peer-reviewers?
One of the biggest challenges facing peer review publications is the need to find and manage peer reviewers. Editorial Manager allows journal editors to create a comprehensive database of reviewers and to use numerous query options including areas of expertise, past performance and address. In addition, new peer-reviewers can be identified and added to the database via integrated searches with databases such as Google Scholar, AuthorMapper and PubMed. Editors can also suggest reviewers for subsequent invitation by publication staff plus the system can suggest “alternate reviewers” that editors may wish to consider contacting.
If authors have difficulties in submitting manuscripts, who should they contact?
For any difficulties experienced when submitting manuscripts online, authors should get in touch with the responsible Editorial Assistant by clicking on “CONTACT US” in the tool bar of the Editorial Manager page.
For further information about Springer’s editorial processes and the benefits offered to our society partners, please visit springer.com/societies or speak to your Publishing Editor.