What Does a Journal Administrator Actually Do?

Jul 14, 2023 | Company information and news, Scholarly publishing

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.