The quality of a publication is greatly influenced by the decisions of its editors. These judgments can significantly impact both the research being published and the researchers themselves. In order to ensure a positive and unique experience for the community of each journal under the Luminous Insights umbrella, we have compiled a set of guidelines for managing the editorial office. These guidelines will help to ensure that the editorial process is effective and efficient, and that the published research meets the high standards of the journal.
Editorial and board management
The editorial board of each Luminous Insights journal consists of a team of editors and editorial staff who are responsible for managing the journal. The Editorial Management Office works to establish and maintain good relationships with the chief editors, associate editors, and section editors, and provides assistance with editorial tasks as needed. The editorial office also keeps track of any changes to the editorial team and updates the editorial lists on the journal's website. Additionally, the editorial office helps to orient new editors and members of the editorial staff, providing them with the support and guidance they need to effectively contribute to the journal's operations.
Editorial Board Structure
The editorial board of a Luminous Insights journal is composed of a team of experts in various fields who work together to ensure the success of the journal. Members of the editorial board may also be considered as potential reviewers for submitted manuscripts. They play a key role in shaping the strategy and future goals of the journal, and their expertise adds credibility to the publication. Serving on the editorial board is a prestigious honor, and Luminous Insights values individuals with extensive experience in the field. The editorial board includes the editor-in-chief, associate editors, section editors, and members of the editorial board. These individuals meet periodically to assess the health of the journal, discuss overall goals, and provide guidance to new and existing members about their responsibilities. The frequency of these meetings may vary depending on the needs of the journal and may not be required for all journals.
The editor-in-chief is the primary spokesperson for the journal and is responsible for handling inquiries as needed. They also serve as the lead editor and have ultimate responsibility for the academic content of the journal. The editor-in-chief reviews submitted manuscripts and makes the decision to accept them for review, as well as receiving reviews from reviewers. It is their responsibility to ensure a continuous and timely flow of manuscripts. The editor-in-chief directs the overall strategy of the journal in coordination with the editorial office, the publisher, and the editorial management team.
Associate editors may be delegated some decision-making responsibilities by the editor-in-chief. The specific role of an associate editor may vary depending on the size of the journal and the breadth of its scope. The associate editor is responsible for making decisions on manuscripts allocated by topic or country of origin, within the limits of their delegation.
Section editors are responsible for reviewing specific types of manuscripts, such as books and summary reports. The editor-in-chief may delegate final decision-making on these manuscripts to the section editors, but retains the right to review their decisions.
The managing editors are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the journal and ensuring that the editorial process runs smoothly. This may involve coordinating the review process for submitted manuscripts, communicating with authors and reviewers, and working with the editorial board to set and achieve the journal's goals. The managing editor may also be responsible for managing the journal's budget, scheduling publications, and working with the publisher to ensure that the journal is distributed and promoted effectively. Additionally, the managing editor may be involved in developing and implementing strategies for increasing the visibility and impact of the journal, and may work with the editorial board to establish policies and procedures for the journal. In general, the managing editor plays a key role in ensuring that the journal is run efficiently and effectively, and that it maintains high standards of quality and integrity.
How to attract authors to your journal?
As an editor, it is important to recognize and address the various challenges faced by authors. These may include the desire for quick publication, the need for widespread dissemination of their work, and the requirement to comply with funders and government policies. It is important to understand these needs and determine how to effectively respond to them. As an editor, you are aware of the challenges that authors face and the expectations they have for the journals in which they publish. To effectively market your journal, it may be necessary to tap into your networks of contacts and utilize the expertise of local experts in areas where you are not as familiar. Utilizing the personal or institutional connections of your editorial team, participating in local, international, and regional conferences, and promoting the online version of your journal can also be effective ways to increase the visibility and reach of your journal.
The editorial office of each journal reviews submitted manuscripts to assess their readiness for peer review. This process involves checking for ethical requirements and reviewing the format to ensure it meets the requirements of the journal. This initial review helps to save time later in the process by ensuring that submissions are consistent and ready for review. The editorial office also focuses on the priorities of the journal, submission requirements, and the various options for submission. During this review, the editorial office ensures that the researchers have made the necessary disclosures when submitting the manuscript. This includes verifying that all individuals listed as authors have approved the submitted copy, that the work is original and not being considered by any other journal, and that authors have obtained permission to reproduce any previously published material. The editorial office may also request disclosure of each author's contribution to the manuscript. Other disclosures, such as confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and other ethical standards, may also be required. These disclosures provide an opportunity to address any potential violations that may arise during the review process.
One of the primary responsibilities of editors is to locate reviewers who are able to review manuscripts promptly. Luminous Insights employs a variety of strategies to identify suitable reviewers, and editors are equipped with various tools to help them locate experts in specialized areas. The editorial boards that operate the journals serve as a source of reviewer information, and we also rely on recommendations from previous reviewers or information found in journal databases. Keywords are often used to identify reviewers based on their expertise and the topics of the manuscripts being reviewed. Overall, the goal is to identify reviewers who are knowledgeable and able to provide valuable insights on the research being presented.
Following up Reviewers
To ensure that reviews are received in a timely manner, we follow up with reviewers using a combination of automatic and manual reminders. Automatic reminders may be sent at various intervals to increase the chances of a response, but in some cases, manual reminders may be more effective at eliciting a response from reviewers who have ignored the automatic reminders. It is important to use both types of reminders tactfully and professionally, and to keep in mind that there may be valid reasons for a reviewer's delay in responding, such as an incorrect email address or the need to extend the review time. Reviewers should not feel obligated to complete the review, so it is important to not send too many automatic reminders and to consider using manual reminders instead. Personalized messages may be more effective at eliciting a response from reviewers. If a reviewer does not respond, the following message can be used as a guide:
We hope this email finds you well. We understand that you may have a busy schedule, but we are counting on the review you agreed to provide for the manuscript titled 'The manuscript's title.' If you are unable to complete the review at this time, we would greatly appreciate it if you could let us know. Additionally, if you are unable to review the paper, we would appreciate it if you could recommend someone else who might be able to assist with the review process. It is important for us to provide the author with a decision as soon as possible.
Thank you for your assistance.
This message can be personalized as needed, but it is important to convey the importance of the review and the need for a timely response.
Communicate with authors
The editorial office maintains ongoing communication with authors throughout the submission and publication process to provide support and assistance. This includes informing authors about the status of their manuscript submissions and ensuring that they are treated with respect and consideration, regardless of the outcome of their submission. It is recommended to use personalized, polite, and prompt messages when communicating with authors. Rejecting a paper does not mean that the author will not return in the future to submit, read, or cite articles in the journal, or recommend it to colleagues. Therefore, it is important to maintain a friendly and professional demeanor.
Authors may also be contacted for additional information or to complete certain requirements, such as licensing agreements through author services. It is important to make sure that authors are aware of the journal's registration guidelines, editorial policies on ethics, article retraction, copyright, and other author benefits that may be available.
Authors have the right to appeal decisions made about their manuscripts, including if there are concerns about the quality of the review or any misconduct by the reviewer. This process helps to reassure authors that a rigorous review process is being followed and also helps to address any issues with weak reviewers.
Managing the peer review process is an important responsibility of the editorial staff. Peer review is crucial for maintaining the quality and integrity of scientific research, and editors rely on the evaluations of reviewers to make decisions about which papers to publish. This process requires the reviewers to be objective, accurate, and original in their arguments, and to follow a specific evaluation process. Overall, the goal of the peer review process is to ensure that the research being published is of the highest quality and meets the standards of the journal.
The Luminous Insights reviewer scoresheet serves as a template for organizing reviewers' responses and ensuring that all major issues in a manuscript are addressed. To get the most useful reviews, it is important to follow a method for customizing the results sheet. The scoresheet includes options for recommending acceptance or rejection, and if revision is requested, the reviewer must state their reasons. In cases where there is ambiguity, the editor should clarify for the author whether the request for major revision should be seen as a rejection. If the manuscript is likely to be worthy of publication after a major revision, the editor should highlight this possibility. Each Luminous Insights journal provides guidance for reviewers on how to complete the scoresheet and what to focus on, which can be found in the reviewer guidelines (link) or review center. It is also helpful to direct reviewers to the authors' guidelines.
Reviewer's Evaluation form
Luminous Insights journals use a comprehensive evaluation form to assess the quality of manuscripts submitted for publication. This form includes various criteria that are used to grade the reviewers' evaluations, such as the validity, language, and originality of the manuscript. Additionally, the form may include specific criteria that are relevant to each journal, such as the length and word count of the manuscript, the structure of the manuscript, the number of tables and figures, and their appropriateness.
One important criterion that is often used to differentiate high-quality articles is a priority metric, which can be numerical or qualitative (e.g. "high priority," "low priority"). This criterion is used to assess the potential impact and significance of the manuscript in relation to contemporary issues in the field.
Other important criteria that may be included in the evaluation form include the paper's contribution to the field and its originality and relevance. These criteria help to ensure that the manuscript is aligned with the goals and focus of the journal and that it presents novel and valuable insights that advance the field.
How reviews are processed?
There are several best practices that editors should follow when obtaining and reviewing feedback from reviewers. One of the most important is to thoroughly review the revised version of the manuscript in the same level of detail as the original submission. This includes carefully comparing the revised version to the original and tracking the changes made by the author(s).
It is also important for editors to carefully review the author's responses to reviewer comments, as these responses should clearly indicate how the changes were made and address any concerns raised by the reviewers. To facilitate this process, authors can be instructed to use the "Track Changes" feature in a Word document or to highlight the text of their responses. This allows both editors and reviewers to easily see the changes that were made and to assess whether the revised manuscript adequately addresses all of the comments and concerns raised by the reviewers.
For manuscripts submitted to double-blind journals, it is especially important for authors to be careful not to identify themselves in their responses to reviewer comments. This helps to maintain the anonymity of the review process and ensures that reviewers can provide unbiased feedback.
Manuscript return policy
Editors may return a manuscript to the author for a variety of reasons, including problems with style or formatting, unsuitability for publication, or issues with the formatting of references, figures and tables, or word count. The manuscript may also be returned after undergoing an English language check or at the request of the author(s).
When returning a manuscript to the author, it is important to include an explanation of why the manuscript was returned, along with any specific recommendations for revision. This explanation should clearly indicate whether the author is expected to edit and resubmit the manuscript or if the manuscript has been rejected. It may be helpful to include a link to the authors' guidelines in this explanation, as this can provide additional context and guidance for the author.
Before returning the manuscript to the author, editors should carefully consider whether the manuscript is still a viable candidate for publication, taking into account both the authors' guidelines and the journal's policies. In some cases, there may be minor issues that can be addressed during the editing process, such as formatting or references, while in other cases, the manuscript may need to be significantly revised or may be deemed unsuitable for publication.
To ensure that the authors' guidelines are clear, accurate, and up-to-date, it is important to regularly review and revise them as needed. These guidelines should clearly outline the journal's requirements and provide guidance to authors on how to prepare and submit their manuscripts. By following these guidelines, authors can increase their chances of having their manuscripts accepted for publication.
At Luminous Insights, we take data protection and privacy very seriously. We carefully plan the collection and storage of personal information and have established appropriate policies for its use. When collecting information, we take steps to ensure the accuracy of the data and its association with the individual concerned, as well as the integrity of the records, including checking for duplicate entries and expired data.
All personal information that we collect and store, including names, contact details, and any other data related to users, reviewers, potential reviewers, authors, and other individuals, is protected by data protection laws. This includes information that is stored on our electronic editing system and used for various purposes. We take steps to ensure that this information is stored securely and is not disclosed to unauthorized parties.
We also respect the privacy of individuals and do not transfer their personal data or details to third parties or use it for marketing purposes without their prior consent. We are committed to protecting the personal information of all individuals with whom we interact and to complying with all applicable data protection laws.
Production and Publishing
Editors at Luminous Insights are responsible for managing manuscripts throughout the publication process, from the time of submission until the manuscript is accepted for publication and beyond. This includes coordinating with the production office to ensure that manuscripts are proofread and typeset in a consistent and high-quality manner. The production manager is responsible for overseeing the editing and typesetting of each manuscript and ensuring that the published articles meet the required standards of quality. They may also work closely with authors and editors to review and verify revised manuscripts and manage the launch process.
It is important for the editorial office to ensure that the copyright, distribution rights, and research use agreement for their journal are clearly outlined in the editorial guidelines or editorial policy, as well as in the authors' guidelines. Authors should be required to sign or provide proof of their agreement to the license agreement prior to publication.
To avoid errors in the editorial process, it is important for the editorial office to verify that the production manager has all relevant information about the manuscript, including the material type, table of contents, supplements, and any special instructions. Additionally, the editorial office should ensure that the manuscript files are in an editable format and include complete author information.
Publishing special issues
Journals may publish special issues or special sections on specialized or trending topics, often in conjunction with an event or conference. These special issues can be a great opportunity to highlight important research or topics in the field and are often read and cited more frequently than regular issues. Ideas for new special issues may come from editorial board meetings, experts in the field, or through a call for proposals.
The editorial office at Luminous Insights plays a key role in managing the preparation and publication of special issues, working closely with marketers, production managers, and publishers to ensure that the process runs smoothly. In some cases, the editorial office may collaborate with one or more guest editors, in which case it is important to clearly communicate the journal's standards, review policy, and ethical guidelines to the guest editor. The editorial office should also provide clear instructions or demos of the submission and review process, as well as any relevant materials, and make sure to communicate deadlines and expectations for paper processing speed.
For peer reviewers, it is important for the editorial office to check the availability of suitable reviewers and to ensure that existing reviewers are comfortable with and capable of meeting the review process requirements. In addition, the editorial office may need to consider the availability of supplemental materials, such as summaries or appendices, which may be published in a separate issue or as part of a regular issue. However, supplemental materials are less popular in Luminous Insights journals, and any such materials that are published must be subject to editor-in-chief approval and peer review and must adhere to the same copyright and ethical standards as regular articles.
Publication Ethics Guidelines
Luminous Insights is committed to ethical publishing practices and believes that upholding these standards is essential for building a strong and respectful scientific community. As an editor, you play a key role in maintaining the ethical integrity of the journal and should familiarize yourself with the most comprehensive publication ethics guidelines in the industry, such as those provided by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
COPE is an international organization that promotes integrity in research and publication. It provides guidelines and best practices for editors, publishers, and other stakeholders involved in the publication process, with the aim of fostering a culture of ethical behavior and responsible conduct. COPE's guidelines cover a wide range of topics, including authorship, peer review, publication ethics, research ethics, and data sharing. The organization also offers resources and support for handling cases of misconduct and for responding to ethical breaches, including a flowcharts tool for resolving publication ethics cases and a code of conduct for journal editors.
By following the principles and guidelines outlined by COPE, you can help to ensure that the journal maintains high standards of ethics and integrity. In addition, by fostering a community of professionals who are committed to upholding ethical standards in research and publication, COPE aims to promote trust and confidence in the scientific enterprise.
Dealing with Plagiarism and Libel
Plagiarism is the unauthorized use of other published or unpublished ideas, whether it is part or all of the paper, and their inclusion in the paper without proper attribution is considered plagiarism. It is the responsibility of the author to properly quote or paraphrase citations, and if illustrations are used or a significant portion of another article is incorporated, the editor must ensure that the author has obtained permission to do so. The author guidelines and editorial policies of Luminous Insights should include a clear statement that works submitted to the journal must be original, and the authors should be required to confirm that their work does not contain any plagiarized content.
To help detect instances of plagiarism, Luminous Insights uses iThenticate plagiarism detection software, which quickly scans all submitted manuscripts and identifies any matching content. It is important for each journal to inform authors that this software is being used. If any instances of plagiarism or interference are identified, the editor-in-chief must carefully review the findings to determine their legitimacy. It is possible for some instances of matching content to be legitimate, such as in the bibliography or certain sections of the methodology, and these should not be considered plagiarism. In cases of uncertainty, editors can consult the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) flowchart for guidance.
Libel refers to the defamation of individuals or groups on an unscientific or illegal basis. It can be difficult for editors to automatically detect libel, but reviewers who have read the entire manuscript may be able to identify potential issues. The legal penalties for libel may vary between countries or regions, and if there are any doubts about whether an article is defamatory, the publisher or a legal representative should be consulted.
Measuring and monitoring the journal performance
In order to properly assess the performance of a journal, it is important to consider a range of metrics that cover different aspects of the journal's impact and reach. This can include traditional impact measures such as the impact factor and number of citations, as well as alternative metrics such as social media engagement and usage metrics. It is also important to consider factors that may affect the accuracy or reliability of these metrics, such as geographic differences in Internet access and the use of self-citation or promotion.
In addition to evaluating metrics, it is also important for editors to monitor the overall performance of their journal and identify areas for improvement. This can involve analyzing data on the journal's impact, reach, and usage, as well as collecting feedback from readers, authors, and reviewers. It may also involve implementing changes to the journal's policies, processes, or editorial team in order to enhance the quality and impact of the journal.
Effective monitoring and measurement of journal performance can help editors ensure that the journal is meeting its goals and making a meaningful contribution to the scientific community. It is an ongoing process that requires careful analysis and interpretation of data, as well as continuous improvement and adaptation to changing circumstances and needs. By regularly evaluating and monitoring the performance of their journal, editors can make informed decisions about the direction and focus of the journal and ensure that it remains a valuable resource for the scientific community.
Evaluating the quality of a journal requires consideration of various metrics.
Impact measures are indicators of the journal's influence and prestige within its field. One commonly used impact measure is the impact factor, which is calculated based on the number of citations received by articles published in the journal. Other factors to consider when evaluating a journal's impact include the timing of publication, the distinctiveness of its subject area, the quality of its peer review process, and the geographical diversity of its authors, editorial board, and reviewers.
Alternative metrics, also known as altmetrics, are additional measures of the impact of a journal that take into account different aspects of human behavior such as social media engagement and online usage. While these metrics can provide insight into the overall impact of a journal, they should not be considered the sole indicator of quality as they do not necessarily reflect the scientific merit of the research.
Usage measures can also be useful in evaluating a journal. Common web usage metrics can provide instant data about an article's popularity, but it is important to consider other factors that may affect usage such as geographical differences in internet access. It is also important to consider the sources of usage data and to be wary of fake or fraudulent measurement services.