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Editorial Manager in the author’s hands: pros and cons

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Editorial Manger

If you are thinking of publishing your book or article in the Gold Open Access model, there is a great chance that sooner or later you will come into contact with Editorial Manager. This software is used by many publishers, as well as by those who publish in OA.

According to Aries Systems, approximately 5,000 publications use Editorial Manager for online manuscript submission and peer review, including commercial publishers, scholarly societies, and university presses. Each year more than one million authors worldwide use Editorial Manager to submit manuscripts for peer review, so the submission interface is proven, robust, and user-friendly.

However, is Editorial Manager a good solution for authors? I have decided to make a list of the pros and cons of Editorial Manager within the context of its suitability for authors.

Pros

  • Authors can upload multiple files at once by using a single compressed ZIP file. Uploaded files are automatically converted to PDF by Editorial Manager. This allows you to send a different number and various types of files, without the trouble of adding them one by one.
  • The system accepts a range of copyright files: Word, WordPerfect, RTF, TXT, LaTeX2e, AMSTeX, TIFF, GIF, JPEG, EPS, Postscript, PICT, PDF, Excel and PowerPoint and compiles a PDF file in two versions – for author/editor and for reviewers.
  • Editorial Manger allows transfer of papers from preprint servers such as arXiv.org. This is a great convenience, for example if your article has already been published in a repository and you want to send a specific version to an OA publisher.
  • Editorial Manger provides authors with easier access to reviewers. The author may request a specific reviewer, selecting him/her from a database (easy way of finding and adding reviewers to the peer-reviewed article), and, at the stage of working on the text, the author can be in contact with the reviewer to discuss corrections via specific tools. The author can also indicate which reviewers, in their view, should not be reviewing the material.
  • Authors can enter comments, keywords or submit abstracts at any time.
  • Editorial Manager’s biggest advantage is that authors keep control over the whole process and can keep track of it. Authors can check the status of their manuscript online and receive regular e-mail updates.
  • Depending on the brand, Editorial Manager provides relative safety of the process. If you are concerned about the issue of protecting of your manuscript, these solutions often use encrypted connections and different levels of security.
  • If publication of the article requires an APC, Editorial Manager offers an easy way to pay the fee (through the same system).

Cons:

  • Editorial Manager does not entirely support PDF files, or free solutions like Google Docs.
  • Submitting a manuscript is quite time consuming, especially if editors chose the “many steps” configuration, which makes transfer of the manuscript difficult. At the same time, this is not an inherent flaw, but rather bad use of the system by the editors.
  • If files are damaged in any way, they will not be accepted by the system. What is problematic is that Editorial Manager does not display what is wrong; the user has to contact the administrator to solve any problem.
  • The system will not accept special characters (for example, in names of authors and/or reviewers) and automatically substitutes [?] in their place.
  • Editorial Manager does not always allow the upload of files from repositories.
  • Depending on the software, authors may have a problem with the interface, which can appear to be too complicated and not fully readable.

This list is, of course, general and certainly not exhaustive of the topic. If you would like to share with us other advantages and disadvantages of Editorial Manager, please add them in the comments.

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1 Comment

  1. Reviewers can’t make any comments in reviewed manuscripts in basic funcionality of Editorial Manager. Reviewers Attachments as a optional funcionality is only available with EM + ProduXion Manager. I and many Editors in Polish market think the same that this is disadvantage of system. Why they need ProduXion modul, if they don’t need it? They need Reviewers Attachment without ProduXion Manager.

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