Guide for Editors
The role of the editor is to handle the peer review of manuscripts, make recommendations on the acceptance or rejection of a paper and attract high-quality submissions.
Here are some guidelines for editors, based on COPE code of conduct and best practice guidelines for journal editors.
- Editors should ensure that appropriate reviewers are selected for submissions (i.e. individuals who can judge the work and are free from disqualifying competing interests).
- Editors should ideally choose at least three reviewers to provide a report.
- Editors should cease to use reviewers who consistently produce impolite, poor-quality, or late reviews.
- Editors should use a wide range of sources (not just personal contacts) to identify potential new reviewers (e.g. bibliographic databases).
- Editors should deal with any papers assigned to them in a timely fashion so as to aim for an initial decision within 3 months.
- Editors should endeavor to handle all papers assigned to them, irrespective of the paper’s subject area, and the return of a paper to a Section Editor for reassignment should only be exceptional. Section Editors try to assign papers appropriately but also to balance loads on individual editors across the Editorial Board; sometimes the assignment of a paper whose scope is outside that of the assigned editor is unavoidable.
- Editors should provide written feedback to authors as regards any decision made even if that decision follows obviously from reviewers’ comments, in which case one or two sentences summarising the reviewers’ comments is appropriate.
- Editors should be ready to justify any important deviation from the described peer review process.
- Editors should require reviewers to disclose any potential competing interests before agreeing to review a submission.
- Editors should monitor the performance of peer reviewers and take steps to ensure this is of a high standard.
- Editors should encourage reviewers to comment on the followings:
- ethical questions and possible research and publication misconduct raised by submissions (e.g. unethical research design, inappropriate data manipulation and presentation).
- The originality of submissions and to be alert to redundant publication and plagiarism.
- Editors’ recommendation to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based on the peer reviews and their own view on the paper’s importance, originality, and clarity, the study’s validity, and its relevance to the remit of the journal.
- Editors can recommend immediately rejecting a paper if the material does not meet the standard of The Journal of Engineering and Sustainable Development.
- Editors should not reverse a decision to accept a submission unless serious problems are identified with the submission.
- New editors should not reverse decisions to publish submissions made by the previous editor unless serious problems are identified.
- Editors should mark any case of suspected misconduct or disputed authorship with the editor-in-chief or the publisher.