From author to reviewer - taking the next step

Elsevier’s production & hosting journals offer a great opportunity to gain experience in reviewing and editing

We all know that peer review plays a vital role in validating research.

But carrying out reviews brings another benefit for researchers – your reviewing history is one of the first things an editor-in-chief will consider when recruiting editorial board members. And they might look even more favorably at a candidate with previous experience on an editorial board.

In her recent Reviewers' Update article "From early career researcher to Editor-in-Chief in 5 steps", Elsevier Editor Verity Brown identified reviewing and board membership as key milestones on an academic's editorial career path.

So the logical question is where can you gain that experience? Elsevier's production and hosting (P&H) journals – which we produce and host on behalf of a third party – could provide the solution. Many of these journals, while extremely professional, are based in regions that are still young in terms of academic research. That can create challenges when it comes to attracting the international reviewers and editorial board members they need so they are always keen to hear from potential candidates.


What does 'production & hosting' mean?

A production & hosting (P&H) journal is owned by a third party – typically an academic society or university – but Elsevier produces the journal on their behalf and hosts it on ScienceDirect. These journals are usually open access and the institute subsidizes the P&H costs so the authors don't have to pay an article processing charge (APC).

Currently, Elsevier offers P&H support to nearly 200 journals. Most of these journals are based in regions where academic research is still on the rise – but that does not mean the journals are run in a less professional manner. On the contrary, P&H titles are run by internationally-experienced editors and they adhere to all our usual ethics guidelines. Elsevier provides the journals with greater international exposure and we work with them to build on their quality and reputation. P&H journals are easily identifiable by either their imprint or the copyright line, which always names the journal owner (e.g. "Copyright © 2015 Cairo University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V."). Some of the journals also use the Elsevier "Hosted by" logo on ScienceDirect.


A unique avenue to gain experience

Professor Abd El-AtyOne of the biggest Publishers using Elsevier's P&H services is the Egyptian National Scientific and
Technical Information Network
(ENSTINET); it currently has 37 journals from a range of disciplines in the program. One of their flagship journals is the Journal of Advanced Research (JAR), owned by Cairo University, with a SNIP (Source Normalized Impact per Paper) of 1.209.

Managing Editor, Professor A. M. Abd El-Aty, of Cairo University, Egypt, explains: "Reviewers of JAR receive the standard Elsevier benefits, such as free access to Scopus and ScienceDirect during their reviewing period. More importantly, however, they can collect the necessary information and/or gain experience, which will also help them in writing their own papers. "We look for reviewers who are able to give constructive criticism on the scientific contents of the manuscript in order to improve its quality. For JAR, all submissions are evaluated by three reviewers (two international and one national) in addition to a statistician, if needed. Well-performing reviewers are certainly considered as additions to our editorial board in the long run."

Contributing to a country's knowledge base

Dr. Stevan BruijnsAnother example of a successful P&H Journal is the African Journal of Emergency Medicine, which
has a SNIP of 0.261. Dr. Stevan Bruijns is Editor-in-Chief of the journal and Specialist Emergency Physician at University of Cape Town, South Africa. He has a clear selection process for reviewers: "Due to the nature of resource limitations within African emergency centers, the African Journal of Emergency Medicine produces research that addresses unique ways to deliver best care within these constraints. Our reviewers should be able to critically assess manuscripts with both a 'resource-limited', as well as a 'best evidence' hat on. We achieve this by using multiple reviewers (up to four) with varying backgrounds for each review. Our editors are then expected to sift through the comments and extract the most relevant to take back to the authors (and reviewers). It is simply a matter of slowly building a reviewer base where previously there was none."

Finding the right journal for you

P&H journals cover a broad range of disciplines, including:

  • Biochemistry
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Economics
  • Energy & Earth
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Food Sciences
  • Health and Medical Sciences (Anaesthesiology, Cardiology, Dentistry, Dermatology, Emergency Medicine, Epidemiology, Gastroenterology, General & Internal Medicine, Genetics, Gynaecology, Infectious Diseases, Nursing, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedics, Paediatrics, Radiology, Reproduction Medicine,
    Respiratory Medicine, Tropical Medicine, Urology)
  • Materials Science
  • Mathematics & Statistics
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Physics
  • Social Sciences
  • Water Sciences

If you are interested in serving as a reviewer or editor for a P&H journal, or to find out more, please email


Author biography

Executive Publisher Marc N Chahin is responsible for Elsevier's contract publishing portfolio of more than 70 journals in the Middle East and Africa. Before that, he worked as an academic publisher in the Economics group of Elsevier where he was in charge of more than 20 journals in the research fields of Economics and Marketing. Marc holds an Executive MBA from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and a master's degree in Humanities from Utrecht University.

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