What Does a Journal Administrator Actually Do?

Managing Editors, Administrators, Journal Staff, Editorial Assistants – whatever you want to call us, we play an integral role in getting your manuscript through peer review. But you may wonder what it is we actually do.

You see, we Managing Editors wear many hats. The honest answer to What It Is We Do is really that we do whatever our particular editor, publisher, and journal workflow needs us to do. But there are some tasks that are common for most of us, so here’s a quick TEH Blog rundown.

System support

Most journals these days make use of an online submission system. These systems are absolutely invaluable to the smooth running of a busy global journal (more on that here), but we are all too aware that they can be confusing and frustrating if you aren’t used to using them.

Your friendly neighbourhood Managing Editors are therefore on hand to answer any questions, resolve any upload problems, and generally support authors, reviewers, and editors in successfully navigating their way through all the buttons, links, and questions.

Administrator checks

Once you’ve submitted your manuscript (whether you needed our help do to so or not), the first thing that will happen is that somebody will check it over to make sure that nothing is missing, and that it’s suitable for peer review. And just who might that “somebody” be? You’ve guessed it: the Managing Editor.

The checks we’re asked to perform varies journal to journal. Sometimes it is literally a case of making sure the manuscript text hasn’t been missed out by mistake, and sometimes it’s an in-depth analysis of your referencing format. Whatever the checks are, it’ll be us who gets in touch to guide you through making any changes, and it’s us who will approve it for review.

Status updates

It might feel like you submitted your manuscript aaaages ago and the status in your author centre has been saying the same thing for a really long time… When the waiting game finally gets too much and you fire off an email to the journal’s Editorial Office, it’s one of us who will respond to give you some idea of what’s happening.

Unfortunately delays do happen – editors and reviewers are, after all, busy people and inevitably deadlines get missed periodically – but we are always working to keep them to a minimum, and are always happy to give you an update. You can find out more about what goes on behind the scenes here.

Point of contact

It’s not just status updates for authors that we handle, however. Been asked to review a paper but need an extension on the deadline? Drop us an email. Need to return your conflict of interest form for your accepted paper? Send it over to us. Somehow wound up with multiple accounts on the submission system that are causing you login problems? We can help with that, too.

In fact, pretty much anything you need as an author, reviewer or editor can be sent to us. If we’re unable to help you ourselves then we will know who to forward the message on to. We Managing Editors are your one-stop shop for all your peer review needs.


One of the many benefits of peer review being handled through a submission system is that we can gather data on number of submissions, how many of those get accepted, and even where in the world the research originated from.

When you’re down in the trenches working away at getting the papers assigned to you through peer review it’s not always easy to see the bigger picture, so being able to get actual figures on how many submissions are coming into your journal (and, crucially, how that compares to how many submissions you’ve received in previous years) is absolutely invaluable.

And it’s we Managing Editors who can not only get you this data, but organise it into a report that makes sense of it all.

What’s it Like to Work for The Editorial Hub?

We talk a lot on this blog about the work we do at The Editorial Hub, but what’s it like to work for The Editorial Hub? We caught up with some of the team to find out.


Our team all work remotely

In these post-pandemic times, most of the corporate workforce now have some experience of working from home; but we’ve been doing it for years! So what are the benefits?

“I love the flexibility of working with TEH. I’ve got two young children and this role allows me to work around them. I’m finding it fits much better with family life and I can do the school pick-up every day.” Lindsay

“The work-life balance I get from working with The Editorial Hub works really well for me. I have the freedom to pursue my interests without having to compromise on my working hours.” Debs


Our team still feels like a team

Working from home can be very isolating, but we make sure that every single person who works with us is supported, heard, and connected. We have various online chats set up so if anyone has a problem, a question, or even just some amusing anecdotes they’re itching to share, they can do so and get an immediate response.

“The team are great, fun and supportive – always there if you need help/guidance with something you are unsure of.” Anouska

“If you log in to find one of your submission sites is misbehaving, a quick message on the chat will confirm you’re not alone, and you can commiserate as a group until the issue’s resolved! It’s also lovely to have 40+ people wish you a happy birthday every year.” Debs


Our team is a wonderful resource

Not only are our team a lovely bunch of people, they really know their stuff. With a collective publishing knowledge adding up to centuries of experience, no problem is unsurmountable for our Hive Mind – which any member of the team can access at any time by typing a quick message.

“Working with a pool of such talented people you can learn something new every day, and you know you have the back up of this wonderful pool of knowledge if you need it!” Penny


Want to join our wonderful team?

We pride ourselves on providing the best-possible service to our clients and customers. And no two days are the same!

“I am learning new skills along the way and each journal has its own way of operating, so the work is varied.” Anouska

“I love the flexibility provided at The Editorial Hub and find my role very rewarding and interesting. Everyone is so wonderful and supportive. A great team, a credit to you all.” Sharon

If you’re an experienced publishing professional looking to escape the 9-5 and the above sounds like a great career move, then we’d love to talk to you. Get in touch with us to find out more!


London Book Fair

The 2023 London Book Fair is coming up next week and it is always a highlight in The Editorial Hub directors’ diaries. We caught up with Naomi Conneely and Stephanie Sacharov to find out why.


What are you looking forward to doing at this year’s fair?

We’re planning on attending more of the seminars that appeal to us and our business. It is always a good way to see what others are doing, which services are provided, and what new technologies and advancements have been made. It’s a great opportunity to meet up with publishing colleagues, so if you see us do say hello!


How was last year’s London Book Fair?

It was great to get back to a normal event after recent years with no face-to-face meetings. We attended on the opening day and it was busy, but possibly not as busy as on previous occasions. We made several contacts with new publishers as well as meeting up with existing clients and business partners.


You’ve been to the London Book Fair several times – what keeps drawing you back?

The LBF is a very relaxed event and most publishers are situated in the same area. It’s just a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and make new ones. The ALPSP stand is in a central point within the academic publishing area and always draws a large crowd. It’s a brilliant opportunity to see publishing colleagues in a dedicated area.


Had last year’s fair changed since pre-pandemic times?

It did feel completely normal last year. Perhaps there was a little more space in the aisles than in previous years, but generally it felt the same.


How does the London Book Fair compare to other industry conferences and events?

It is a completely different vibe to other meetings, being a fair as opposed to a conference. There are more sales and marketing personnel that attend the LBF so we find it important to contact people in advance to make appointments to meet when we are all there.


What else is on your conference schedule for 2023?

We’ll be at the SSP Regional Meetup in Bristol later this month, as well as the ALPSP annual conference in Manchester in September, so we’re looking forward to catching up with fellow colleagues there. We also regularly attend webinars that are available via ALPSP, COPE, SSP, ISMTE and the submission site providers (e.g. Aries and Clarivate); and of course we are always available at the end of a phone, via email, and to meet up in person with clients. Please get in touch if you’d like a chat!

How Do I Cope Without My Managing Editor?!

The working relationship between a journal’s Academic Editor(s) and its Managing Editor (ME) is often a very close one. We MEs do all the formatting checks on submissions, handle most enquiries, fix problems as and when they crop up on the submission system, and perform a million and one other little tasks on a daily basis. Often the same ME will work on a particular journal for years and can be relied upon completely to handle all of its little quirks and foibles.

But even MEs need to take time off periodically – be it for ill health, to move house, or simply to go on holiday. When this happens, it can be a little daunting for the Academic Editors suddenly having to deal with somebody new. So what can be done to make the transition as seamless as possible?

Luckily this is something we at The Editorial Hub are rather good at.


Cover notes

Every single journal that we manage has a set of instructions written (and regularly updated) by the ME who works on that journal. The notes cover everything from what needs to be checked at submission to who handles the review process; from where to file correspondence to how often reports need to be run.

No two journals run in exactly the same way so no matter how experienced the ME who is taking over is, it is absolutely vital that they’re given full instructions.


When one of our Managing Editors goes on holiday

We ask our team to give each other as much notice as possible so that we can have cover in place well in advance. The more time there is, the longer the covering ME has to familiarise themselves with the cover notes, ask the regular ME any questions they may have, and arrange a call to go over the notes together.

As we obviously have an experienced team of MEs at our disposal, we are able to ensure that whoever is covering is an expert in using whichever submission system the journal is run from and, ideally, has experience of working with the journal’s publisher.

But what can you do if you don’t have a large team on hand? Don’t worry – we can help you too!


Covering journals that aren’t managed by The Editorial Hub

Did you know that we can provide short- or long-term cover for journals that are usually managed in-house by their publisher or society?

If somebody in your team gets seconded to another department, or goes on maternity leave, or takes a sabbatical and there’s simply nobody available to pick up the slack, we can save you the trouble of recruiting a temporary replacement.

If the above scenario is one you’re currently grappling with, do get in touch with us as we’d love to help!

A Look Back at 2022

2022 is now drawing to a close, and what a year it’s been for The Editorial Hub! What better time than to have a little look back at everything that’s happened?


Our new website

Let’s begin with the thing that is quite literally staring you in the face as you read this: our fabulous new website! Yes, we launched our new online home early in 2022 – our hub for The Hub, as we like to think of it.

We felt that we needed a website that reflected The Editorial Hub as a company – flexible, dynamic, and user-friendly. Now that it’s been live for a while, we are delighted to say that we think it does just that. You can read more about it here!


Copy-editing and proofreading

2022 was the year that we formally started offering both copy-editing and proofreading alongside our peer-review management services.

From proofing for formatting errors to performing substantive editing of an article’s structure, our fantastic team have been busy making sure our clients’ content is in tip-top condition prior to publication. You can read more about all our services here.


International services

Did you know that we are now able to offer editorial support in more than just English? Well, we are!

Several members of our team are fluent in (or native speakers of) other languages and we are adding experienced Managing Editors from all over the world all the time. So if you’re in need of editorial support on a non-English language journal, get in touch.


Conference organisation

2022 was the year we took our first steps into conference organisation, and we absolutely loved it!

We’ll be adding these services to our website soon, so watch this space – but if you need help with organising your event, or if you are looking to organise a conference around your journal and you aren’t quite sure where to start, we’d love to have a conversation with you so drop us a line.


And last but not least…

… journals! Yes, we’ve added many new titles to our list this year, and we continue to provide world-class editorial support to our ever-expanding portfolio of scholarly publications.

In particular we’ve been delighted to take on an entire suite of journals (which include some particularly high-volume journals) and our team has risen to the challenge with a level of professionalism we can really take pride in.

If you’re in need of editorial support on your list – be it just the one journal, or dozens of them – contact us now.


Here’s to a wonderful 2023 all round!

About our Founders

Naomi Conneely and Stephanie Sacharov started The Editorial Hub Ltd back in 2014 and the company is now recognised as a leading global supplier. With the launch of our new website this year we thought it’d be a good opportunity to find out a little bit more about our founders!


How long have you known each other and how did you meet?

Naomi: 35 years – an introduction through family.

Steph: Although we both went to the same school in Harrogate (different years).


What made you decide to start a business together?

Steph: An interesting chat in Pret A Manager at Bicester Village!

Naomi: I knew we would make a formidable working partnership and the rest is history.


What’s your favourite thing about working together?

Steph: That we can chat for hours about absolutely anything and everything!

Naomi: Ditto the above, my bestie! We do everything we can to help each other out and we trust each other. We are totally comfortable with each other and have open and honest conversations.


What’s the worst thing about it?

Steph: Forgetting to not talk shop when on a social night/day out and the things we can work out when we are.

Naomi: Getting the giggles at the most inappropriate moments and just not being able to stop. Living so far apart (though we do make the most of our time when we do get together). When speaking to new clients whilst having to silence noisy dogs who decide that’s the moment they are going to chase their tails or bark at something!


You guys work really well together, what do you each think is the key ingredient to a good management duo?

Steph: Taking the ‘mickey’ at every opportunity first and foremost! Knowing how the other would handle a situation so we are on the same page, which only comes from having a long history with that person.

Naomi: We each have things that we are better at. And we do talk every day at least once (sometimes for the whole day….!).