Our editors are experts in their respective fields
and are responsible for the peer-review process and the content of the journal.
Their role is to handle the peer review of manuscripts, make recommendations on
the acceptance or rejection of a paper, and attract high-quality submissions.
should ensure that appropriate reviewers are selected for submissions
(i.e. individuals who are able to judge the work and are free from
disqualifying competing interests).
should ideally choose at least two reviewers to provide a report (the
default on Manuscript Central is set to three) and ensure that not all of
the reviewers chosen are recommended by the authors of the paper unless
there is strong justification.
should cease to use reviewers who consistently produce discourteous, poor
quality or late reviews.
should use a wide range of sources (not just personal contacts) to
identify potential new reviewers (e.g. author suggestions, bibliographic
should deal with any papers assigned to them in a timely fashion so as to
aim for an initial decision within 3 months.
should endeavor to handle all papers assigned to them, irrespective of the
paper’s subject area, and the return of a paper to a Section Editor for
reassignment should only be exceptional. Section Editors try to assign
papers appropriately but also to balance loads on individual editors
across the Editorial Board; sometimes the assignment of a paper whose
scope is outside that of the assigned editor is unavoidable.
should provide written feedback to authors as regards any decision made
even if that decision apparently follows obviously from reviewers’
comments, in which case one or two sentences summarizing the reviewers’
comments is appropriate.
should be ready to justify any important deviation from the described peer
should require reviewers to disclose any potential competing interests
before agreeing to review a submission.
should monitor the performance of peer reviewers and take steps to ensure
this is of a high standard.
should encourage reviewers to comment on
questions and possible research and publication misconduct raised by
submissions (e.g. unethical research design, inappropriate data
manipulation and presentation).
originality of submissions and to be alert to redundant publication and
recommendation to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based
on the peer reviews and their own view on the paper’s importance,
originality and clarity, the study’s validity, and its relevance to the
remit of the journal.
can recommend to immediately rejecting a paper if the material does not
meet the standard of the Journals.
should not reverse a decision to accept a submission unless serious
problems are identified with the submission.
editors should not overturn decisions to publish submissions made by the
previous editor unless serious problems are identified.
should flag any case of suspected misconduct or disputed authorship with
the editor-in-chief or the publisher.
Editor-in-chief specific guidelines
Editor-in-chief should respond promptly to complaints and should ensure
there is a way for dissatisfied complainants to take complaints further.
This mechanism should be made clear on the journal’s website.
Editor-in-chief/Editors should make all reasonable efforts to ensure that
a proper investigation into alleged misconduct is conducted.
Editor-in-chief/Editors should not simply reject papers that raise
concerns about possible misconduct. They should first seek a response from
those suspected of misconduct.
Editor-in-chief/Editors have a duty to act if they suspect misconduct or
if an allegation of misconduct is brought to them. This duty extends to
both published and unpublished papers.