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Starting a RIPPLE effect for better online security

August 16, 2022 | 3 min read

By Katie Eve, Egbert van Wezenbeek

Nadezhda Fedrunova cybersecurity Stock-1213695675

© istockphoto.com/Nadezhda Fedrunova

Six ways to safeguard your editorial work and submissions in Editorial Manager

In today’s technology-driven world, where almost all professional activity we can think of can be conducted online and many of us are now working from home more often, data security has become even more important.

For Aries Systems (“Aries”), the developer of Editorial Manager(opens in new tab/window) (EM), and Elsevier, safeguarding our editorial systems to ensure that manuscripts are handled confidentially and that the peer review process is secure, is something we take extremely seriously. In line with this, both Aries and Elsevier have dedicated teams that continuously work to improve functionality and proactively monitor and assess reported issues, while also promoting best practice about security protocols and procedures.

To support our commitment in this area, Elsevier has adopted settings in EM which aim to protect the editorial and peer review process. For example, access to EM is governed via a rigorous password policy, requiring complex user passwords and protecting passwords between the user’s computer and Elsevier’s servers with strong data encryption. With customer experience in mind, we continue to strive to make the system as user friendly as possible. Deep links simplify the user workflow by taking a user from an email notification to the exact screen within EM where they have a task to complete. By combining deep links with our existing login barrier, we bring additional assurance to the process.

Proxy access is another area that requires tight control. Proxy privileges are restricted to a limited user group (authorized and monitored internal journal management roles and selected editorial staff) and permitted only on behalf of users who have agreed to the privacy policy. Any internal access by Elsevier is likewise tightly restricted.

However, Aries and Elsevier do not operate in isolation: as an EM user, you too are a vital element in ensuring the security of EM! The following tips aim to start a positive “RIPPLE" effect as well as supporting you in keeping your editorial work and submissions safe, several of these best practices may also bring security enhancements to other aspects of your online personal and professional life:

  1. Report: Be vigilant for, and report if possible, any unusual behavior and unexpected system behavior. For EM related issues, your first port of call should be your usual publishing contact, Journal Manager, or support(opens in new tab/window).

  2. Identity checks: You should independently validate the email addresses of author-suggested reviewers. Please refer to our tips & tricks article for managing the peer review process with Editorial Manager – part 3 for more information.

  3. Protect your system: Take steps to ensure your system is protected against viruses and other malicious software. Please be assured that EM also scans uploaded files, as well as utilizing a security firewall.

  4. Passwords: Use best practice guidance(opens in new tab/window) for setting and protecting passwords, and never share your login details and/or password with anyone else, even editorial assistants.

  5. Log out: When you have finished your tasks in a session, make sure you log out of the system. This is especially important if you’re logged in on a shared computer.

  6. Environment: Consider your environment and exercise special caution when working in public places and when using shared devices. For example, avoid using WiFi networks that do not require passwords, and never leave an unattended laptop that is logged into EM.

Perhaps you have other tips you’d like to share? We invite you to comment below with your feedback and suggestions!

Contributors

Egbert van Wezenbeek

EVW

Egbert van Wezenbeek