General Information


Editors and Editorial Boards are responsible for making final decisions on a manuscript. The Editor and Publisher work in collaboration to develop the journal with appropriate strategies to ensure that it publishes the highest quality research to ensure its long-term success. Our Editors Resources offer information and guidance to support you in providing the best experience for your journal's community. All submitted articles/eBook chapters are subjected to an extensive peer review in consultation with members of the journal’s editorial board and independent external referees (usually three reviewers). All manuscripts/chapters are assessed rapidly and the decision based on all the peer reviewers' comments, taken by the journal’s Editor-in-Chief/eBook Editor, is then conveyed to the author(s).



Journals may have one or more "chief" editors who make the final decision on a paper based on all the information acquired during the peer-review process. Editors may provide their own review comments as well (particularly if they have knowledge of the research field represented by the paper) or they may provide only an overview based on reviewers' materials (which may or may not be in agreement with one another). The Publisher for the journal will do all he/she can to help and support the Editor in pursuing these aims. Many of the Publishers have wide experience of dealing with these issues and can often advise on new ways of doing things. Publishers will arrange annual meetings (location permitting) with each Editor to review progress, discuss journal developments and try to resolve any difficulties

Associate or assistant editors

Some journals that cover a wide range of research topics rely on associate editors to provide additional advice to editors. Associate editors may select reviewers (typically anonymous) for manuscripts and, once the reviews are returned, give their own report and review summary to help the editor make the final decision. Appointing an Associate Editor alleviates some pressure on the Editor, whilst also providing the journal with another voice and a fresh perspective.

Editorial boards

There are different types of editorial boards: active ones (board members review papers and make recommendations to other editors) and ceremonial ones (a list of names of people who have no role other than agreeing to let their name be included on a list). Specific duties should be agreed with the Editor but will include acting as a referee/reviewer of papers in their subject field; and completing and returning to the Editor, within an agreed time limit, referee comment sheets.


Conflicts shall be resolved in accordance with COPE Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and/or any other COPE guidelines.

Further reading

COPE - Code of Conduct and Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors
ICMJE - Responsibilities in the Submission and Peer-Review Process
WAME - Policy Statements (The Relationship Between Journal Editors-in-Chief and Owners)
COPE Code of Conduct for Journal Publishers