Editor's test course

This training course is provided by PSP consulting for Editors-in-Chief and Editorial Board members as a toolkit to help you think about the issues confronting journal editors, and how you can ensure that your journal is as editorially successful as it can be.

Module 1: how to get more content

Introduction: How well do you know your authors

It is important to ensure that you understand the motivations of authors that might publish with you, as this will help you ensure that your journal is an attractive place for them.

This section will consider how well you know your authors and how well you should know them.

How well do you know your authors - quiz

  • The reputation of the journal
  • The relevance of journal content for my discipline
  • Quality of peer review
  • Impact factor
  • The readership of the journal
  • Indexing
  • Reputation of the publisher
  • Time from submission to first decision
  • Positive experience with the editor(s) of the journal
  • Likelihood of acceptance
Place the following into the order in which you think authors would rank their relevant importance 

How well do you know your authors - quiz answer

According to the Nature/Palgrave Macmillan author survey 2015 authors ranked the reasons in the following order:

1.The reputation of the journal

2.The relevance of journal content for my discipline

3.Quality of peer review

4.Impact factor

5.The readership of the journal

6.Indexing

7.Reputation of the publisher

8.Time from submission to first decision

9.Positive experience with the editor(s) of the journal

10.Likelihood of acceptance

 

And further items ranked as follows:

1.Time from acceptance to publication

2.Journal publication fees

3.Recommendation of the journal by colleagues

4.The option to publish immediately via an open access model

5.Funder influence over where to publish

6.Location of the journal publisher

For more information, see https://figshare.com/articles/Author_Insights_2015_survey/1425362

How well do you know your authors?

Why do authors write articles and publish? In addition to making their results known outside their research organisation, the main reason for publication within the scholarly community is tenure, promotion and reputation. The current rewards system is very biased towards formal publications in journals and books (in some disciplines). Therefore journal editors need to ensure that their journals perform the functions that authors need if they are to encourage submission.

Various studies undertaken in the past 20 years have proved what editors already know – that authors want to be published in journals that provide them the best visibility, recognition and respect for their work.

It is important to note that authors want to publish more – and trends show that they contribute to more papers than they used to. This, combined with larger (and more international) study groups in several disciplines, is leading to greater numbers of authors to each article. The number of authors collaborating has risen hugely, and single-author papers are becoming less common and less highly regarded. As a generalization, the journals with higher impact factors tend to publish papers with the greatest number of co-authors.

Therefore, in order to attract authors, you need to ensure that you address their needs:

1.The reputation of the journal – how good is your reputation and what can you do about this? (see units on visibility and meeting international standards))

2.The relevance of journal content for my discipline – how clear are your aims and scope and how clearly do your publication decisions reflect this

3.Quality of peer review – see the unit on peer review

4.Impact factor – see the unit on visibility

5.The readership of the journal – see the unit on visibility

6.Indexing – see the unit on visibility

7.Reputation of the publisher – how good is your reputation and what can you do about this? (see the unit on meeting international standards)

8.Time from submission to first decision – see the unit on internal systems and peer review

9.Positive experience with the editor(s) of the journal – see the unit on what you can offer authors

10.Likelihood of acceptance – see the unit on author guidelines

11.Time from acceptance to publication – see the unit on internal systems and peer review

12.Journal publication fees – this may be out of your control, but is something to discuss with your publisher

13.Recommendation of the journal by colleagues – see the unit on visibility

14.The option to publish immediately via an open access model – this may be out of your control, but is something to discuss with your publisher

15.Funder influence over where to publish – this may be out of your control, but is something to discuss with your publisher

16.Location of the journal publisher – this is likely to be out of your control

Case study of difficult author

It is important to deal sensitively with authors and also to take their comments seriously - they can help you to improve what you do. 

Key points

Conclusion

So, how did you do? Managing authors is a tricky business, but hopefully this has given you some tips on strategies for getting more content. To find out more about XYZ, click onto the next module