Part of the wider Taylor & Francis Electronic Editorial Systems department, the In-House Peer Review (IHPR) team are a group of experts responsible for matters surrounding peer review. What are the team responsible for? How do they support titles across the business? What is CrossRef Similarity Check software, and how do the team use it to check papers for ethical issues? In this post, Lucy Francis, Editorial Office Team Leader, tells us more about the IHPR team, shedding light on how they support journals through the peer review process.
Internal Editorial Office support: ensuring information is accurate and complete
Since 2006, the IHPR team have provided direct Editorial Office support to many in-house journals, serving as the first point of contact for all manuscripts submitted through online peer review systems. The checks we carry out ensure that the information provided by authors during submission is both accurate and complete, and that the manuscript files uploaded to our systems are suitable for review. In addition to this, we provide ongoing professional support to authors, reviewers and editors, resolving general queries and system-based issues.
The checks performed and expertise offered by the IHPR team help to ensure that minimal delays are encountered during a manuscript’s lifecycle. This is evidenced by the greatly reduced turnaround times for manuscripts submitted to in-house managed journals, enabling the journals in question to grow in size, prestige and repute.
Case Study: Journal 1
This title began in-house Editorial Office support in July 2015. Prior to this date, the average time from a manuscript submission to decision was 159 days. With the help of IHPR support, this figure was reduced to just 28 days.
External Editorial Office support: tailored to a journal’s individual needs
As well as providing direct Editorial Office support, the IHPR team coordinate the provision of external Editorial Office support to journals that require additional assistance. We are involved with a set-up process tailored to a journal’s individual needs, initiating the creation of a journal-specific email address, and liaising with our suppliers to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible.
Once Editorial Office support is in place, we then serve as an escalation point for the journal contacts, using our extensive online submission systems and peer review expertise to advise on complex and unusual queries. We continuously audit the performance of external Editorial Office contacts, ensuring that Taylor & Francis service standards are met. As a result of the increased administrative support provided, journals with external Editorial Office support demonstrate decreased average turnaround times from submission to decision.
Case Study: Journal 2
This journal began support in July 2012. In the six month period prior to beginning support the average submission to decision time was 83 days. In the six month period after support began, this decreased to 48 days. Ongoing support has maintained these reduced turnaround times at an average 42 days.
The specialist CrossRef Similarity Check team
In addition to providing direct and supervisory Editorial Office support, the IHPR team are also responsible for Taylor & Francis’ engagement with CrossRef Similarity Check software. CrossRef Similarity Check is an initiative designed to detect similarity in a given work to previously existing text. This is particularly useful in helping to identify potential plagiarism of previously published work. The specialist CrossRef Similarity Check team, based in our New Delhi office, work closely with the UK-based IHPR team, performing top level analysis of the reports generated by the software.
The IHPR team also coordinate the training of journal editors to use the software themselves and expertly analyze levels of originality at their convenience. We provide interactive demonstrations on how to use the software, and discuss factors to take into consideration when assessing similarity. For journals that do not use either of these options, the IHPR team also facilitate ad hoc requests for papers to be run through the software at the request of journal editors or editorial teams. These papers are closely examined in order to assess the level of similarity, and a detailed similarity report is then returned to the editor or editorial team for their consideration.
By implementing these various methods of originality screening, we can check papers for ethical issues at any stage of the peer review process – upon submission, during review, or post-acceptance.
Got a question on peer review? Would you like to ask our Electronic Editorial Systems team a question about the peer review system you use? Join in our Peer Review Week Twitter discussion on Wednesday 21st September. Find out how to get involved.