New email alert
Delivering faster manuscript turnaround times
By Angelique Janssen and Andrés Villavicencio Posted on 12 March 2013
An email alert created to help editors identify manuscripts requiring action has led to a reduction in overall decision time of 8%.
Launched as a pilot in 2012, results from the project have proved so encouraging we are now making the Empower traffic light email available to all editors.
100 journals took part in the pilot last year and a further 200 journals recently rolled out Empower. The initial 100 pilot journals saw the average time taken to reach a first decision decrease from around 12 weeks just before the pilot started, to around 11 weeks after six months - a reduction of 8%. This compares with a 2.8% reduction across all Elsevier journals over the same period.
What is Empower?
The Empower traffic light emailis an automatically generated report showing you how papers assigned to you are progressing compared to your journal’s median turnaround time. The slower papers are shown in red, while the faster ones are coded green. Papers close to your journal median are indicated in amber. The traffic light email can be sent daily, weekly or monthly.
What our pilot journal editors have to say:
"Gives me an overview of our efficiency in handling submissions."
"Gives a good overview - better than that found in EES."
"Sometimes a manuscript has been delayed too much and I did not realize it. The process is then accelerated."
"The traffic code is simple and intuitive."
"It is a very good new initiative and I would very much welcome this as a permanent tool."
"It significantly helps to detect late reviewers, etc..."
The traffic light email is different from the system notifications you currently receive, in fact it is complementary to these. While the notifications tell you the specific action needed for a paper, the traffic light email compares the progress of your papers to others submitted to your journal. You can think of the traffic light email in terms of a dashboard – it enables you to quickly identify slower papers and to determine by checking their full status info in EES whether there is any action you can take to speed up their progress. Should you find out, over time, that some of the system notifications are no longer needed, you can ask your Journal Manager to turn them off.
If you are interested, just contact your Publisher and he or she will take this further. More information can also be found at www.elsevier.com/empower.
Sample traffic light email
Dear [editor name]
- For security reasons please login to your EES Editor Main Menu before accessing the links in this report.
- The traffic light email shows you the progress of your papers compared to the journal median turnaround times for this particular step. It helps you to quickly see which papers need to be prioritized. Read more.
Angelique works in the Publishing Services department in Amsterdam. She is responsible for projects that deliver tools and services to both internal and external Elsevier audiences. Since joining Elsevier in 2002, Angelique has worked in various positions, such as Associate Publishing Editor. She has a Master’s degree in Language Didactics from Utrecht University and is certified as a PRINCE2 Practitioner.
PUBLISHING LIAISON (SERVICE MANAGER)
Andrés works in the department that runs the Elsevier Electronic System (EES) in Amsterdam. He manages key EES projects in cooperation with Publishing. He is the EES point of contact for Publishing of Science & Technology as well as Health Sciences in Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. Andrés joined Elsevier in 2002, and has experience in both EES and journal production training and journal management roles.