Editor's Guide Journals

Greetings from the Editorial Team

Dear Editor-in-Chief,

We are pleased that you have agreed to become the Editor-in-Chief of one of IGI Global’s international journals. The ultimate goal of this journal is to produce a high-quality publication that will serve as a cutting-edge resource for researchers in the field and provide recognition for the journal’s editorial staff and contributing authors. We are very excited about this new publication and would like to offer you IGI Global’s full support and cooperation.

The IGI Global Editor’s Guide will provide you with clear direction that will make your job easier and more efficient throughout the development process for your journal. Because editing a scholarly journal is an ongoing process, this Guide is efficiently organized to allow easy access to the materials that you will need at every stage of the development process, but we also encourage you to review other areas and steps to familiarize yourself with the requirements and tasks associated with the whole process from manuscript submission to final publication. Adhering to these requirements will help you develop a high-quality journal and prevent delays and problems during the creation of your journal.

Your journal will be developed through IGI Global’s online submission manager, eEditorial Discovery®TM, a tool designed to make the development process smooth and efficient for you and your authors. Throughout the Editor’s Guide, you will also find instructions on using eEditorial Discovery® to facilitate the development of your journal. Please feel free to contact your assigned development editor with any questions or concerns.

Please know that you will have continued support from our development team throughout the publication process. Once you have read through this guide, should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us at (717) 533-8845 or journaleditor@igi-global.com.

We certainly wish you the best of luck in this exciting endeavor! It is the continued goal of IGI Global to produce the highest-quality, progressive titles that appeal to independent researchers, academicians, students, and industry professionals all over the world. We are pleased to be working with you on the development of your journal. With more than two decades of experience publishing informative, innovative titles in a variety of academic discipline areas, we are confident that together we can produce a high-quality publication. We look forward to making your publishing experience enjoyable and rewarding!

Sincerely,

The Development Team
IGI Global

Journal Development Schedule of Deadlines

Quarterly Journal Development Schedule of Deadlines

IssuePaper Submission DeadlineInitial Assessment CompleteERB Review CompleteAE Review CompleteRevised Papers DueIssue Copy Deadline
Jan-MarMarch 1March 15April 15May 15June 15 July 1
Apr-Jun June 1June 15July 15August 15September 15October 1
July-SeptSeptember 1September 15October 15November 15December 15January 1
Oct-DecDecember 1December 15January 15February 15March 15April 1

Semiannual Journal Development Schedule of Deadlines

IssuePaper Submission DeadlineInitial Assessment CompleteERB Review CompleteAE Review CompleteRevised Papers DueIssue Copy Deadline
Jan-JunJune 1June 15July 15August 15September 15October 1
July-DecDecember 1December 15January 15February 15March 15April 1

How to Use This Guide

The IGI Global Editor’s Guide is organized to efficiently present you with all the information you need at every stage of the development process. Use the links below to quickly navigate to the phase or step you are interested in. We encourage you to read ahead to better prepare yourself for upcoming deadlines and requirements. Helpful links to additional documents and guides are included throughout this Guide to answer all of your questions during the development process, but if you have a question not addressed here, please feel free to ask your development contact for clarification.

Throughout the guide, you will also see headings denoting the active phase of the current step in the development process. Click on these headings for a step-by-step tutorial on utilizing the eEditorial Discovery®TM online submission manager.

Overview of the Development Process


Phase 0: Preparing Your JournalPhase 1: Gathering SubmissionsPhase 2: Manuscript Review and RevisionPhase 3: Issue ManagementNext Steps
Frequently Asked Questions

Contributor Resources

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Phase 0: Preparing Your Journal

Before getting started on your inaugural issue, we will need to prepare for the development process by completing your Journal Information Questionnaire, drafting your Call for Papers, and setting up your Editorial Review Board.

TopJournal Information Questionnaire

The Journal Information Questionnaire includes the pertinent details that will be used to create your journal’s website and submission portal. These include your 100-150 word biography, a bulleted list of coverage topics, mission and objective statements, etc. This website will be the first point of contact many contributors and readers will have with your journal, so it is important to be as detailed yet concise as possible in your responses. Your answers will also be used in the marketing and promotion of your journal to increase submissions and subscribers alike.

Please download, complete, and return the Journal Information Questionnaire to your assigned development editor as soon as possible.

Download Blank Questionnaire Here

TopCall for Papers

After you have completed your Journal Information Questionnaire, the next step is to prepare a call for papers. The acquisition of quality articles begins with a strong call for papers; we encourage you to take the time to develop this document so that it is concise and effective. Your call for papers should be as brief as possible while still providing a clear overview of the project’s focus and goals.

The basic structure of a call for papers is as follows:

  • Invitation – In this paragraph, include a generic invitation for authors to contribute to your journal.
  • Mission – In this paragraph, describe your vision and objective for the journal. What will the journal accomplish? This can be the same paragraph as you provided on your Journal Information Questionnaire.
  • Coverage – In this section, include a list of recommended topics (we suggest 20-30) within the scope of your journal on which you would like contributors to write. The intent of this list is to provide contributors with ideas that they can use when writing their own articles, so it is advisable to provide a broad range of topics for authors to consider. While it is best to include an extensive list of recommended topics, you’ll want to indicate here that the list you have provided is not necessarily comprehensive.
  • Submission Procedure – In this paragraph, clearly lay out for your potential contributors what the manuscript submission requirements are, specifically, content, length, and type of submission. This section should also include a link to IGI Global’s general submission guidelines at http://www.igi-global.com/publish/contributor-resources/before-you-write/ and include information on the review process (for example, that each submitted manuscript will undergo a double-blind peer review process by at least 3 ERB members and 1 Associate Editor). All manuscripts will need to be submitted through IGI Global’s online submission platform, eEditorial Discovery®.
  • Inquiries – In this section, please include email and/or postal addresses at which potential contributors can contact you with questions.

Sample Call for Papers
Sample Personalized Invitation

TopEditorial Review Board

After preparing your call for papers, you will want to immediately begin inviting qualified individuals to join your Editorial Review Board (ERB). The strength of any journal lies with a strong ERB, led by the Editor-in-Chief, which oversees the editorial aspects of the journal, most notably, the double-blind peer review of submitted manuscripts. You will want to appoint people to your board who will provide assistance to you in creating a journal with a strong coverage and a dynamic nature that ensures that the journal evolves as the technologies and issues of the field develop. Additionally, these individuals should be ready, willing, and able to submit completed reviews on time.

Your editorial review board will have three tiers: ad-hoc reviewers, editorial review board members, and associate editors. When new reviewers join your board, they will first be designated as ad-hoc reviewers. Ad-hoc reviewers are not listed on the journal’s masthead or website, but they assist in reviewing manuscripts and providing their feedback on submissions. Ad-hoc reviewers serve the journal on a trial basis, so feel free to add or dismiss these reviewers at will. New ad-hoc reviewers may submit their applications online at http://www.igi-global.com/journals/become-a-reviewer/

Ad-hoc reviewers who prove themselves and their dedication to your journal can be promoted to full members of the editorial review board. As members, reviewers will be listed in the journal and will have a higher level of prestige within the journal. ERB members will also be expected to review manuscripts more frequently, and their completed reviews should be both detailed and insightful. It is important to maintain 30–50 editorial review board members at any given time.

Any editorial review board members who continually prove themselves to be effective reviewers and who express a willingness to contribute to the journal beyond their regular reviewer’s tasks can be promoted to the role of Associate Editor. Associate Editors will be asked to review manuscripts that have received favorable reviews from the editorial review board and will help you to make a final decision on each submission. In addition, Associate Editors will be active in promoting your journal and soliciting new submissions, so it is important to only promote the most trusted of reviewers to this position. Associate Editors are considered the best of the best within your journal’s review board, and so should only include 7–10 qualified individuals.

Also, we encourage the appointment of an International Advisory Board in addition to your ERB. The International Advisory Board may consist of 3–8 individuals whom you see as pioneers or prevalent researchers in the field. The aim of the International Advisory Board is to lend scholarly value and prestige to your journal, and while members are honorary and have little direct participation in the development of the journal, they can be effective resources in calling for submissions.

Sample ERB Invitation

**Please note that all editorial review board members must provide written confirmation of their inclusion in the board. Members cannot be added without their knowledge and permission.**

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Phase 1: Gathering Submissions

In the first phase of the development process, you will be recruiting contributors and gathering the articles and materials that will appear in each issue of your journal. It is important to bring in new submissions on a continuous basis in order to ensure a healthy pool of papers are available for review. The following steps will be performed on each manuscript, with the whole process managed through the Current Manuscripts page within eEditorial Discovery®.

TopStep 1: Distributing Your Call for Papers

Active Phase: Submission

The key to success for any journal is the diligence of the Editor-in-Chief in recruiting new manuscripts. The distribution of your call for papers and personalized invitations should be an ongoing process to ensure that new papers are submitted to your journal regularly. Ideally, a healthy journal will have approximately 30 papers in queue undergoing peer review. If the number of pending submissions drops below 10, we strongly advise the Editor-in-Chief to focus his or her efforts on procuring new submissions. Please ask your development contact for assistance should the number of papers in queue become a concern.

Remember that your Editorial Review Board and Associate Editors are also stakeholders in this project and can assist in the acquisition of new submissions. Not only should they consider submitting their research to the journal, but they should also be approached about promoting the journal by distributing information about it to their networks of colleagues.

Personalized Invitations

In addition to posting your call for papers on various professional listservs, the most effective way to gather submissions for your journal is to send targeted, personalized invitations to potential contributors. It is important to lay out your invitation like a personal letter by describing some of the pertinent topics covered by your journal that correspond with your targeted authors’ research interests and areas of expertise. Also include a link to your call for papers as well as the direct link where contributors may submit their papers to your journal.

You will want to actively call for submissions starting two months before each paper submission deadline on the schedule above.

The most successful editors will employ a combination of personalized invitations and distribution of the call for papers to listservs and conferences. Keep in mind that you can use many of these same methods to recruit new members for your Editorial Review Board, which will also help your journal to grow. Remember to provide contributors with submission guidelines in your invitations:

Manuscript Submission Guidelines
Tips for distributing your call

Please see the following example of a good personalized invitation:

Sample personalized invitation

It is important to avoid including your own papers within the journal. To an outside observer, articles written by the Editor-in-Chief of the journal will appear to have been selected to showcase the editor's own work at the expense of other submissions. Whether or not this is true, the perception can be potentially damaging to the journal's reputation. It would be best to submit your work to another journal instead, and your Development Editor can offer suggestions for potential outlets.

**Please note that authors will be required to submit their papers through eEditorial Discovery®TM. When communicating with potential contributors, be sure to provide them with the link to your call for papers as well as the link where they can submit their papers directly.**

Special Issues

We encourage you to invite other professionals and researchers in your field to guest edit special issues for your journal. These special issues will be developed and managed through eEditorial Discovery®TM, as is explained in greater detail below, but the guest editors will function in the role of editor for these submissions. Once the issue is completed and the manuscripts ready for publication, you can assign them to a forthcoming issue of your journal.

For more information on the process of proposing and developing a special issue, please see the Special Issue Guest Editor's Guide. Please also provide the link to this guide to any guest editors interested in submitting a special issue proposal to your journal.

TopStep 2: Initial Assessment

Active Phase: Initial Assessment

As you receive manuscripts from authors, the first step is to briefly review the paper to ensure that the submission is in line with the requirements, vision, and objective of your journal. You should review the manuscript for the following criteria:

  • Is the paper well written and clear?
  • Does the subject-matter fit with the focus of the journal?
  • Does the paper exhibit quality research standards, such as properly cited references and an objective viewpoint?
  • Does the paper have the potential to be a quality contribution to your journal?
  • Is the paper free from plagiarism?
  • Additional items that pertain to your particular journal.

At this stage, you can reject any papers you feel do not meet the above criteria, but it is usually advisable to look for the potential in a submission rather than searching for a reason to reject. Even if you are uncertain about the present quality of a paper, keep in mind that you can always ask authors to revise their work and resubmit, and authors will have an additional opportunity to revise their work following the peer review process.

TopStep 3: Preparing Manuscripts for Review

Active Phase: Remove Identifying Information

While the submission process through eEditorial Discovery®TM enables authors to submit a manuscript free of personal or identifying information, it is important to ensure that the copy of the manuscript you send to your Editorial Review Board is completely anonymous, to preserve the crucial double-blind review process.

Before sending a manuscript to your editorial board for review, check the document carefully for information such as the authors’ names, affiliations, and bios. Remove all information that identifies the authors of the manuscript, and save a blind copy of the paper for review.

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Phase 2: Manuscript Review and Revision

In the second phase of the development process, you will be organizing the double-blind peer review process for manuscripts submitted to your journal. There are two steps to this evaluation process. First, the manuscript will be sent for evaluation to a total of 5-6 Editorial Review Board members and ad-hoc reviewers in order to acquire the required minimum of 3 completed manuscript evaluations. If these evaluations are favorable, you will then send the manuscript to one of your Associate Editors to receive their feedback and advice before making your final decision on the manuscript.

These are some of the most important steps in the process, as it is your opportunity to evaluate the quality of each article in your journal, ensuring that only the very best papers are selected for publication. Journals with a poorly executed peer-review process risk ethical violations, and their credibility may come into question.

A strong journal will have a minimum of 30 manuscripts in review at any given time, and the review process for all of these submissions must be completed in a timely fashion.

TopStep 4: Manuscript Evaluation by Editorial Review Board Members

Active Phase: Select and Contact Editorial Review Board Evaluators

The peer review process is one of the most important steps in the creation of a credible, high-quality journal. Following these steps precisely is crucial to organizing a successful review.

Start by selecting a total of 5-6 reviewers from your Editorial Review Board and ad-hoc reviewers list according to their areas of expertise, choosing reviewers who have a background in a similar subject area as the topics covered in the paper. We advise selecting an even mix of Editorial Review Board members and ad-hoc reviewers, so as to give the review process the credibility of a review by your ERB while still enabling your ad-hoc reviewers to prove themselves.

Note that since the peer review process is double-blind, under no circumstances should you allow any of the reviewers to know the names of the contributing authors and vice versa.

We recommend providing reviewers with no more than two weeks to complete their evaluations of a manuscript. This is to ensure that if a reviewer does not complete their evaluation as promised, you will still have time to seek additional reviewers as needed. A minimum of 3 completed manuscript evaluations from your Editorial Review Board (or ad-hoc reviewers) is needed before this process is complete.

One week before the due date, in order to be proactive, you should send an evaluation reminder email to any reviewers who have not yet responded. Feel free to reassign any manuscript with unresponsive reviewers to new reviewers as needed.

Editorial Review Board members agree to review approximately six to eight manuscripts per year (though some industrious and dedicated reviewers can complete more); therefore, when selecting reviewers for manuscripts, be mindful that reviewers should not receive more than one manuscript every 30 days.

Please note that the peer review phase (this includes the evaluations performed by the ERB and ad-hoc reviewers as well as by the Associate Editor) should last no longer than 1-2 months. If a manuscript’s review takes too long, the author may decide to withdraw their manuscript from consideration, and this could be extremely detrimental to the volume of content published in future issues.

Active Phase: Assess and Approve Editorial Review Board Evaluations

As reviewers submit their evaluations, you should start assessing the results. As you will notice, all three reviewers may not agree on the potential of each manuscript, and comments may contradict. Be sure to take what suggestions and comments the reviewers provide into careful consideration.

In addition to specific comments for the author, each review will consist of an overall evaluation, recommendation for revision, and editorial decision: Accept, Accept After Revision, or Reject. Use this feedback as well as your own impressions of the manuscript to decide how to proceed.

TopStep 5: Associate Editor Review

Active Phase: Select and Contact Associate Editor to Evaluate

Once at least three members of your Editorial Review Board have completed their evaluations, you may need to send the paper to an Associate Editor for an additional evaluation. Manuscripts are sent to an Associate Editor when reviewers have different opinions as to the publishing possibilities of a manuscript. For instance, you may have two reviewers accept a manuscript while a third recommends rejection. Alternatively, you may have two reviewers recommend rejection while the third recommends acceptance. In either situation, an Associate Editor must be asked to make the final recommendation.

Similar to your ERB review, we recommend providing the Associate Editor with no more than two weeks to complete this evaluation. In addition, a single manuscript should only be assigned to one Associate Editor at a time. Your Associate Editors are the most trusted members of your editorial board, and will be expected to demonstrate that trust with each manuscript submitted to them. Assign each manuscript to a single Associate Editor to avoid overburdening your editors.

Active Phase: Assess and Approve Associate Editor Evaluations

Your Associate Editor will provide similar feedback as your reviewers, and based on their combined recommendations, you can now make a final decision regarding the manuscript:

  1. Accept—If the submitted manuscript is already of publishable quality, you may choose to accept the paper outright. In this case, skip to step 7.
  2. Reject—If the Associate Editor reacts poorly to a submission, you may consider rejecting it. Be sure to notify the author of your decision and let them know that you look forward to their next submission.
  3. Accept Pending Revision—This is the most common option chosen by editors. The paper is conditionally accepted, and the authors will have one final opportunity to revise their work based on the reviewers’ (and your) comments. Please see step 6 for more information.

Please note that as the Editor-in-Chief of this journal, you have the final decision on all manuscripts. Though the majority of reviewers may choose to reject a paper, you can still send it back to the authors to revise if you feel the manuscript has potential.

TopStep 6: Manuscript Revision

Active Phase: Editor-in-Chief Evaluation

Now that all of the reviews have been completed and made available to the authors of the manuscript, you can take the reviewers’ feedback into account in making a decision for this manuscript. You may choose to accept or reject the submission at this time, but most editors request revisions from their contributors prior to formally accepting the contribution to their journal.

Active Phase: Editor-in-Chief Revision Requested

Rather than fully accepting a manuscript, you may choose to accept it conditionally based upon the author’s revisions. By electing to send the manuscript back to the author for revision, you will be providing the author with all approved reviews as well as your own comments regarding the changes you feel need to be implemented before the paper can be accepted. Provide the author with four to six weeks to revise the paper.

Active Phase: Editor-in-Chief Revision Review

Upon receipt of the revised paper, you have two options. The first is to review the author’s changes yourself to make a find accept/reject decision. This is a good option when you have asked the author to make a few very specific edits, but in some cases, further review from your editorial board is needed.

Active Phase: Editor-in-Chief Revision Associate Editor Review

If you need additional feedback on a revised manuscript prior to making your final decision, you may send the revised manuscript back to the same Associate Editor who evaluated it the first time. Based on the Associate Editor’s second round of feedback, you should now have enough information to make a confident decision on the status of the manuscript.

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Phase 3: Issue Management

The final phase of the development process involves approving and selecting papers for each issue. Issues can be compiled whenever you have accepted enough content to fill them, but please keep in mind the Issue Copy deadlines on your contract and ensure that you have at least the current issue’s materials prepared by that date.

TopStep 7: Accepting Manuscripts

Active Phase: Final Materials

Approximately a week or so prior to the authors’ deadline for submission of their final manuscripts and materials, please send them a reminder. It is very important that authors submit their final materials according to schedule so that each issue of your journal may be released on time.

Before you receive the authors’ materials, be sure to familiarize yourself with the Final Submission Requirements for Authors.

As the final materials begin to arrive from your authors, you will need to download them and ensure that each author has provided you with all required materials, copy edited and in the format required by IGI Global for publication. The materials you submit to IGI Global will be considered final and ready for publication as is. All manuscripts must be professionally copyedited and revised prior to final submission. Further edits to the text cannot be made later in the process.

If any of the authors have failed to send you an item or have failed to prepare an item correctly, please contact them as soon as possible to ensure the speedy delivery of the missing/incorrect item. This will also be your opportunity to make any necessary last-minute corrections or edits to the manuscripts before uploading the final versions to eEditorial Discovery®TM.

**Please note that any items that do not conform to IGI Global standards will be sent back to the authors for correction, so it is vitally important to ensure that the submission of each completed manuscript is entirely correct to facilitate the efficient and on-schedule completion of the publication process.**

TopStep 8: Issue Selection

Active Phase: Issue Selection

Once you have accepted 4–6 manuscripts for publication, it is time to start compiling the next issue. First, ensure that the contents of each issue meet the following guidelines:

  • A minimum of 4 articles
  • The combined total words of all articles in an issue are between 25,000 and 40,000, minimum

We can usually publish larger issues, but as you exceed these minimums, you might consider holding an article for the next issue, depending upon how many manuscripts are currently in process. It is important to always be aware of the number and quality of submissions, and be careful not to include too many articles in one issue only to have too few for the next.

If you find that you have at least 4 accepted manuscripts, but their combined word count is too low, you can include supplemental items such as book reviews, conference reports, etc. Most publishing companies are happy to give complimentary copies to professionals who promise to write book reviews. Editors may request any IGI Global book title for this purpose.

Next, arrange your table of contents for the articles in this issue. Articles can appear in any order, and your table of contents can be a useful tool further enhancing the contents of your issues by highlighting themes and new and innovative trends in the research in your field.

TopStep 9: Completing the Issue

Active Phase: Download Final Materials

Active Phase: Published

Active Phase: Rejected

Preparing Your Editor’s Note (optional)

The final step in developing each issue is to write an editor’s note for the issue. An editor’s note, should you wish to include one, will be published at the beginning of the issue. This note provides a forum for editors to explain the contents of each issue and/or comment on a current trend within the field.

Your editor’s note should be between 500 and 1,500 words and should provide an overview of the subject matter being discussed in the present issue. Drawing on specific examples from the issue is a good way to show how the articles are on the cutting edge of research in the field.

Sample Editor’s Note

Writing Your Preface

A preface is similar in length to the editor’s note (about 2 to 3 pages), but will focus more directly on the contents of the issue. A strong preface will include the following points:

  • An overview of the subject matter
  • A description of where the journal fits in the world today
  • A description of the target audience
  • A description of the importance of each of the articles (this entails providing a paragraph description of each article)
  • A conclusion of how the journal impacts the field and contributes to the subject matter

Your preface is your summary of the issue, your chance to highlight important parts of the publication and demonstrate the significance of the articles within. Put your passion for the topic into your writing, and your preface will be both effective and engaging.

Sample Editorial Preface

Submitting Your Final Manuscript to IGI Global

Once you have completed preparing your materials and verifying that all requirements have been met, check your authors’ manuscripts one last time to confirm submission of the final version and to ensure that these articles meet IGI Global formatting and publication requirements. If you are certain that the issue is ready for publication, please notify your development editor that the contents are ready for download.

Please note that until each issue goes to print, we may still contact you with any questions, concerns, or corrections needed to ensure the quality and timeliness of your final publication. Should you have any questions or concerns, or be in need of any assistance during the final steps of the development process, please do not hesitate to contact your development editor.

Congratulations on your newly completed issue! While we prepare your materials for final publication, return to Phase 1, Step 1 to begin the process for your next issue. The most effective journals will process submissions on a continuous basis, so you should always have manuscripts ready to move through each step of the process.

TopNext Steps

Editing a scholarly journal means more than accepting submissions and selecting contents for each issue. As your journal grows, so will your relationships with your authors and review board, and the strength of these relationships will only help your journal to grow to even greater levels of success.

One method that we recommend in building these relationships is to institute an annual award program to recognize the outstanding achievements of those who have contributed to the success of your journal, specifically, the most outstanding paper published in the previous year or the reviewer who completed the most or highest quality reviews in the previous year. IGI Global also has our annual “Excellence in Research” award for the best article across all of the journals we publish, and as Editor-in-Chief, you will be selecting nominees to be considered for this honor.

If you have any questions or would like to institute an award program for your journal, please contact marketing@igi-global.com.

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On behalf of the development team, thank you for your diligent work and excellence in overseeing the development of this publication. We wish you the very best for a most successful journal!

Last Updated April 29, 2015