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Publish with us

Announcing the new “Evaluate Manuscript”

23 May 2024

By José Stoop


The powerful manuscript assessment tool gets an upgrade (or two!)

In the ever-evolving landscape of academic publishing, the role of editors in assessing manuscripts for quality and relevance is paramount. However, this task can be daunting and requires meticulous attention to detail. Evaluate Manuscript, our Editorial Manager-based tool analyzes a range of manuscript details such as scientific integrity, scope, and fit for the journal and the research area. Evaluate Manuscript aims to help you make informed decisions more efficiently and effectively. We are pleased to announce some recent enhancements to the tool.

Increased coverage and improved access

Whilst many editors already had access to Evaluate Manuscript, we have recently rolled it out to all our journals on Editorial Manager (EM). For some of you, then, this tool might be new, in which case we wholeheartedly encourage you to try it out. Other editors may already be familiar with it but will find it easier to access as Evaluate Manuscript has recently been added as a separate action menu link.

Manuscript-Analysis-Services-action-menu-link new

Manuscript analysis service action menu

A fresh look and feel

Based on editor feedback, the Evaluate Manuscript tool was recently redesigned to offer a fresh and more intuitive user experience.

The tool currently displays:

  • The metadata of the submission including title, authors, institutions and abstract

  • The simultaneous submission alert which flags potential simultaneous submissions at other Elsevier journals

  • An indication of how well the manuscript fits the scope of your journal

  • A list of the top five most similar papers published by the journal and the top five most similar papers on Scopus

  • The manuscript’s author(s) showing the corresponding, as well as co-authors of the manuscript

  • Transfer options showing journals to which the manuscript could potentially be transferred if not a good fit for your journal

  • A topic trend displaying the manuscript’s trend over the last three years, comparing the submitted manuscript to publications in your journal and other journals in Scopus

Simultaneous submission alert

One of the signals within Evaluate Manuscript is the simultaneous submission alert. This signal has now also been switched on for all journals so it may be new to some of you.

The simultaneous submission alert flags up manuscripts that have potentially been submitted to multiple Elsevier journals concurrently. Note that this alert only concerns submissions under consideration at multiple journals at the same time: if a submission is rejected from a journal and then resubmitted elsewhere, this will not be considered a simultaneous submission.

Simultaneous submissions can be a hallmark of potential so-called “paper mill” submissions: a serious and challenging ethical issue which the publishing industry is working hard to tackle. For further insights on this topic, please explore the series of "Paper Mills: See the Wood Through the Trees" articles previously featured in Editors' Update.

Whether an instance of simultaneous submission is due to authors simply being unaware that this is considered unethical behavior or is an intentional breach of publication ethics, any such case should be carefully examined. To support you with this, Evaluate Manuscript now also displays the full-text PDF of the manuscript with an indication of the overlap detected with the other submitted manuscript(s), the contact details of the handling editor of the other journal(s), and instructions on what to do next. In addition, the handling editors of all involved journals will receive an alert by email if such a potential simultaneous submission is detected. (NB emails flagging a potential duplicate submission will be sent from the following address [email protected]opens in new tab/window, so please add it to your safe sender list!).

This email is intended to prompt you to consult the other editor(s) to share and compare the manuscript PDFs, and to make a decision about the fate of the manuscript. Our Publishing Ethics Resource Kit guidelines will help you verify whether there is indeed a case of simultaneous submission and what action is recommended.


What is next?

Our team will carry on adapting Evaluate Manuscript to ensure that it continues to meet your editorial needs, and we will keep you updated on new upgrades.

We hope you appreciate the upgraded Evaluate Manuscript tool and its new features. Should you have any feedback or questions about the tool, please touch base with your usual publishing contact.