The role of journal editors

The role of journal editors in reviewing and approving material that is published

Discover Publishing Ltd ensures that a journal editor has no conflict of interests. All the Discover Publishing Ltd journals editors, and editorial staff are required to declare any interests — financial or otherwise — that might influence, or be perceived to influence, their editorial practices. Failure to do so is considered an offense.

The expected roles and responsibilities of editors are communicated to the editors by the journal publishing manager. The editors have many general duties, such as constantly improving the quality and integrity of the journal, striving to needs of authors and readers, encouraging academic debate, and others but their most important responsibility is select manuscripts suitable for publication while rejecting unsuitable manuscripts. All the scholarly journals use peer review to raise the quality of published content. However, since the process of peer review can be prone to biases towards ideas that affirm the prior convictions of reviewers and against innovation and radical new ideas, the editors are required to establish a system of editorial review and choose the best available team. The editors are the final authority to assign a verdict about accepting or rejecting a manuscript and are responsible for what is being published in the journal. The publisher has no role in editorial acceptance decisions.

The procedure to let the editor play this role effectively is described below. This procedure is almost the same for all the journals published by Discover Publishing Ltd until otherwise specified.

Initial Screening of the manuscript

After the initial assessment by the staff at the Editorial Office, all the received manuscripts are forwarded to the Editor-in-chief or any designated editor who is also an editorial board member (or a core team member).

Appraisal by the Editor

The editor(s) checks that the manuscript is appropriate for the journal and is sufficiently original and interesting. If not, the editor can reject the manuscript without being reviewed any further.

Editor assigns an Associate Editor (AE) or Section Editor (where available)

Some journals have Associate Editors and Section Editors who handle the peer review. They are assigned at this stage. The assigned editors (Handling Editors) are responsible to manage the peer review. If there are no handling editors, editor-in-chief decides about the referees (peer reviewers) himself/herself.

Handling Editor Evaluates the Reviews

The handling editors consider all the returned reviews before making an overall decision. If the reviews differ widely, the editor may invite an additional reviewer so as to get an extra opinion before making a decision, or he may discuss it with the editor in chief for the final verdict.

The Decision is Communicated

The editor-in-chief makes the final decision for each manuscript which is usually based upon the comments from the Handling Editor and the peer reviewers. The Editorial Office sends a decision email to the author including any relevant reviewer comments. These comments may be anonymous as most of the journals follow a double-blind peer review policy. Further details are available on the policies page under peer review policy and peer review process for each journal.