When following your manuscript through from submission to acceptance, there are many different people and several different teams with whom you will come into contact. This can be confusing, to say the least!
So just who does what at each stage and, more importantly, who on earth are you supposed to go to if you have a question?!
The Managing Editor
That’s us – hello!
Sometimes referred to as an “Editorial Assistant” or “Journal Administrator”, the Managing Editor oversees the smooth running of the peer-review process. Our expertise is in the peer review-process itself, rather than the subject matter of the journal; we are the submission system’s “super users”, if you like. We keep an eye on everything to make sure that peer review runs smoothly and chase up anybody who needs it – authors, reviewers, even the editors sometimes! – allowing the academic editors to focus on the research.
You will hear from us every time you need to do something e.g., make some corrections, submit a form, or remember that you’ve got a revision deadline coming up…
The Managing Editor is your main point of contact for the journal during peer review, so anytime you have a question, it’s us you should email. Even if we’re not able to help you personally, we will know who to direct your query to.
The Editor-in-Chief (EiC) is, as you would expect, the person in charge of the journal. He or she will be an expert with a broad overview of the journal’s field and will decide what content goes into the journal, how the peer-review process is run, and, to an extent, how the published content appears. How hands-on the EiC is differs journal to journal and EiC to EiC, but generally they will be the person making the final decision based on the recommendation of the reviewers and Associate Editors.
For most journals, it is best to get in touch with the Managing Editor and ask them to pass your comment or query on to the Editor-in-Chief rather than contacting them directly.
The Associate Editors
Mid-to-large journals tend to have a team of editors, rather than just one who deals with every submission personally.
There are many, many names for Associate Editors (on some journals they are even known as “Managing Editors”, just to confuse everybody) but they are the academic experts who aid the EiC by giving him or her their expert opinion and selecting reviewers for articles within their specialism.
A good editorial team of will have all of the niche subjects within the journal’s scope covered between them so that every manuscript submitted will have an expert eye cast over it, even if it’s slightly out of the EiC’s personal specialism.
How much the Associate Editors are able to assist with enquiries again varies, so The Managing Editor should still be your first port of call.