Editors with experience using other journal submission software often tell us that “Scholastica is so much faster than my old system.” We’re very proud of the way we’ve helped journals from STEM to law reviews improve their process by making software that marries speed and a fantastic user experience.

Over the past few months we’ve spoken to editors, reviewers, and authors about their use of Scholastica and came up with some huge improvements based on their feedback.

In this post, I’d like to introduce you to these improvements which we call manuscript work areas.

Blazing Fast + Better User Experience = Even Happier Editors, Reviewers, And Authors

One thing you’ll find in these work areas is that they are fast. It’s easier to find the information that you’re looking for, whether it’s the status of the manuscript or the manuscript file that you’d like to read.

You’ll also find that it’s a more immersive experience – as you go from section to section the page is able to load just the section you need – that means you no longer have to wait for the entire page to reload.

Editor Work Area

"Editor Work Area"

The first change editors will see when they look at a single manuscript is the presence of an “Editor Work Area.” Our goal was to make using Scholastica even better by helping editors complete their common tasks even faster. Unlike the previous design of this page you’ll find it even easier to locate frequently used features like:

  • The current status of the manuscript

  • The number of confirmed reviewers

  • Common actions: read manuscript, write review, make decision

  • The manuscript details, reviewers, and expedite requests sections, which are cleanly separated to help the user focus on the specific information they are accessing

This is a huge leap over the previous design where all of this information was on the same page. Now, if an editor wishes to concentrate on reviewers – this is the only information she’s shown. Being able to focus on common tasks helps editors improve the speed at which they work with manuscripts.

Another thing that will help editors work faster in the Editor Work Area is the fact that the page never reloads. In the previous version of this page there were some tasks that editors had to take many clicks to complete. For instance, when finding a reviewer an editor would go through a sequence where they would “click to invite a reviewer,” then “search reviewers,” and then “invite the reviewer.” Between each step they would have to wait for the entire screen to reload. That’s in the past. Now, as editors go from task to task the page loads new sections of content without having to reload the entire page – which allows an editor to be more absorbed in the work she’s doing.

Reviewer Work Area

"Reviewer Work Area"

The Reviewer experience has also improved with the concept of the Reviewer Work Area. This area has an orange bar, unlike the blue one that editors see. The common actions that reviewers need to do are located in the header bar at the top of the work area making it easy for reviewers to:

  1. Find the manuscript file they need to read
  2. Find the place where they write their review

Author Work Area

"Author Work Area"

Lastly, authors have received their own work area as well. The author view has a green header bar differentiating it from the other two work areas. It is easier to find common actions such as reading the manuscript and creating expedite requests (for journals that are configured to allow authors to submit them).

Let us Know What You Think!

We’re always happy to talk to our users! Without such great feedback we wouldn’t be able to improve Scholastica the way we have. As you use these new features please drop us a line on our contact page and let us know what you think!

Rob Walsh

This post was written by Rob Walsh,
Co-founder, Design