When was the last time you had the opportunity to talk peer review with an editor from another academic journal? Likely, it was during a conference or annual publisher meeting. Apart from periodic meetings and events, though, the majority of the time journals’ peer review processes stay close to their publications, making it difficult for editors to share and learn about publishing innovations beyond their organization.

Since Scholastica got started, we’ve spoken with dozens of editors who’ve been eager to share their approaches to journal management. Rather than letting those ideas stay in silos until the next physical meeting or event, we wanted to give editors a way to learn about and discuss different approaches to journal management online. That’s why we created the free eBook, Academic Journal Management Best Practices: Tales From the Trenches and accompanying Scholastica Conversation thread for editors to discuss it and share related resources.

Tales from the Trenches brings together case studies, journal management strategies, and new developments in peer review from editors across STEM, the humanities, and social sciences. A common thread among all of the editors who contributed to this guide was that time remains the biggest challenge for their journals - due to the majority of their team members being overstretched between editorial work and their own research and careers. With that in mind, we asked editors to share what they are doing to not only refine the quality of their peer review process but also speed up their workflow.

So what steps are editors taking to improve their journal management strategies and time to manuscript decision?

Tales from the Trenches brings together top tips from editors on how to:

  • Evaluate and modify the structure of your peer review process to better support surges in submissions and move manuscripts through review faster
  • Track journal and editor-specific analytics and use them to eliminate bottlenecks in peer review
  • Improve your approach to editor and reviewer training
  • Recruit peer reviewers and incentivize them to accept new assignments

We hope this guide will serve as a valuable resource for you and your fellow editors, and help you to devise and implement new steps to improve your journal’s peer review process! As you explore the guide we encourage you to visit Scholastica’s Conversation, where we’ve started a thread to share thoughts about this eBook, personal editorship best practices, journal management questions, and links to related publishing resources.