Resources for Editors of Scholarly Journals: Editing 101

Digital Publishing Services at the University of Kansas Libraries have created this guide to assist those thinking of starting a new journal or working with an existing journal. Contact Marianne Reed (mreed@ku.edu) or Lyn Wolz (lwolz@ku.edu) for help.

Resources for Editors

Editors are often required to fill a variety of roles.    The resources on this page are designed to assist editors as they deal with common situations that arise when editing a journal, including ethical issues such as plagiarism, conflicts of interest, flawed research data and text recycling by authors.

We suggest you start with the following.   A more extensive list of resources can be found in the boxes below.

Editorial Ethics from COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics)

The website of the Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE) is a wonderful resource for editors dealing with sticky ethical situations.  Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Identifying Predatory Journals (pdf)
    This guide, Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing, was created by The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) in an effort to identify factors that will help authors and editors determine whether a journal is legitimate.  Criteria for legitimacy include a journal advisory board of experts in the field, rigorous peer review, a clear statement of ownership/sponsorship of the journal, and easily discernable policies about author fees, copyright, and conflicts of interest.
  • Retraction Guidelines (pdf)
    This publication gives editors guidance about situations that merit full retraction of an article, or whether issuing an expression of concern or a correction is more appropriate. 
  • Text Recycling Guidelines for Editors (pdf)
    COPE and BioMed Central's Biology and Medical editors have developed a set of guidelines to help editors as they deal with situations where an author has used sections of a work in multiple publications.

Guides for Editors

These guides have helpful information for editors:

  • Resources for Peer Reviewers and Authors
    This page from the publishers of Nature is unique in that it includes an extensive list of articles written about the peer review process, as well as general information for both reviewers and authors.
  • Responsibilities in the Submission and Peer-Review Process
    The International Council of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) has created a great resource for all editors, not just those editing medical journals. The page contains information on the importance of confidentially, editing in a timely manner, working with reviewers, and more.
  • Responding to Academic Misconduct (Flowcharts)
    The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) has compiled a series of flowcharts to provide guidance for editors who are dealing with various kinds of academic misconduct, including plagiarism, fabricated data, conflicts of interest, and more.
  • Editor Roles and Responsibilities
    The Council of Science Editors (CSE) has put together a helpful list of suggestions for editors dealing with all of the constituencies involved in the editorial process, including authors, reviewers, the scholarly community, and readers of the journal.
  • How to Cope with Rising Submissions
    This article offers advice to editors who are receiving a high volume of submissions. Tips include improving the letter used to enlist potential reviewers, increasing the number of editors, and setting hard deadlines for author revisions.
  • Information for Reviewers
    This resource from the publishers of Science is intended as guidance for their reviewers. This includes specific criteria for the review of different kinds of content, such as research articles, reports, and forums.