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Editor time savers

July 27, 2020

By José Stoop

Editor time savers

Rolling out two editorial decision support tools on Editorial Manager

© Ask any real estate agent about the three most important elements that determine the value of a property, and ten to one they will say: “location, location, location”. Ask any editor about their biggest struggle in the peer review process and chances are they will respond: “reviewers, reviewers, reviewers”!

We realize all too well that a lot of our editors are receiving more and more manuscripts to handle and, in addition to the workload that this brings, are struggling to find sufficient reviewers. We try to help where we can. One example is the development of our editorial decision support tools, aimed at helping editors make better and faster initial manuscript evaluations, and supporting them to find suitable reviewers: the Manuscript Dashboard and the Reviewer Recommender. Both were born and raised on EVISE and are now ready to take the leap to Editorial Manager. Allow us to provide you with an update on both these tools.

The Manuscript Dashboard

Almost exactly one year ago we introduced the Manuscript Dashboard to a small group of pilot journals on EVISE. The tool provides additional information about authors and co-authors, gives insights into similar articles published in the journal (and in other journals) and highlights similar articles published by the same author group. All this information is displayed in an easy-to-grasp dashboard, which is available via a single click for all new submissions.

A year has now passed, and we have used this time to redesign the dashboard, add new features, onboard additional journals and gather a wealth of useful editor feedback. Editor comments like “Because I save time when using it, I have more time to go into more detail” and “It’s made it massively easier for me to catch up on salami slicing” convinced us that we were on the right track and made it easy for to us decide to develop the Manuscript Dashboard for Editorial Manager as well.

The Manuscript Dashboard should become available on Editorial Manager in the second half of 2020, so please keep an eye out for an announcement that it is live for your journal from your publishing contact! Want a sneak peek? Check out this two minute videoopens in new tab/window .

The Manuscript Dashboard

  • Is available on a selection of journals on EVISE and will become available on all journals on EM in the last quarter of 2020

  • Saves time on basic tasks, e.g. finding author information on Scopus, allowing for more time to focus on manuscript content

  • Provides concrete feedback for desk rejections to authors, meaning fewer author complaints

  • Provides insight on the publication of similar papers and where the discussion is happening

  • Makes identifying salami slicing easier

  • Broadens awareness of what is being published in the field to minimize blind spots

The Reviewer Recommender

The Reviewer Recommender tool helps editors identify reviewers who are qualified, available and have no conflicts of interest. The tool works by matching the submission’s metadata with published research articles in Scopus. Possible reviewers with a potential conflict of interest are filtered out and the remaining candidates are then ranked using specific criteria, for example publication history and reviews in progress, to create a meaningful recommendation. Editors can then easily select their preferred reviewer candidates and return to the submission system to finalize the reviewer invitation.

The Reviewer Recommender on EVISE proved a big hit with editors. Soon after introduction, we could see that over 50% of all reviewers were sourced through the Reviewer Recommender, and nearly half of these reviewers accepted the review invitation. We therefore made it our highest priority to offer the tool on Editorial Manager. This task has occupied our time over the past few months, and we are happy to formally announce that we have now rolled out the Reviewer Recommender to all our Editorial Manager journals.

If you are keen to start using the Reviewer Recommender on EM but don’t know where to find it, simply select “Reviewer Recommender” on the “Find Reviewers” screen in Editorial Manager to enter the recommender environment. You will find more information in the Editor Quick Start Guideopens in new tab/window and in this brief instruction videoopens in new tab/window.

The Reviewer Recommender

  • Is available on all journals on Editorial Manager and on a large number of journals on EVISE

  • Streamlines the peer review invitation process

  • Expands the size and diversity of the reviewer pool

  • Helps editors find peer reviewers who are qualified, available and have no conflicts of interest


We’d love to hear your feedback about these tools! Please click on the two survey links below to let us know your thoughts. As usual, you are welcome to share any other feedback about other problems you encounter, and further suggestions to improve the peer review process with your regular publishing contact.

Reviewer Recommender Surveyopens in new tab/window

Manuscript Dashboard surveyopens in new tab/window