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General information for journal editors
Editors of Septentrio’s journals should consult the following resources on ethics in scholarly publishing:
Plagiarism check – things to consider
All articles have to be screened for plagiarism (similarity test). Here you will find a guide for what to consider when you interpret the similarity test report.
OJS workflow routines
You can find the OJS User Guide here.
To keep things as straightforward and easily archivable as possible, it is important that you use the OJS platform for as much as possible regarding your journal. This includes:
As far as possible, you should always send messages to authors, reviewers and other editors through the system so that the information is archived and easily reachable in the future.
This includes all discussions and comments regarding a manuscript, be it between editors, reviewers, the author(s) and any combination of the above, and in any part of the process. This makes it both easier to keep track of what is going on for everyone involved, and keeps an easily accessible record for future reference when you find yourself wondering why this decision was made or how things were solved with a similar kind of problem. Or, if at some later time, there turns out to be a problem with the manuscript.
It also includes decisions about a manuscript, be it a rejection, acceptance or request for revisions. The platform lets you both record the decisions and message the author with a more thorough explanation in the process.
The review process
It may seem easier to send manuscripts out for review using just your e-mail, but in the long run, the OJS platform provides a better solution. Everything will be in the same place, and you can easily get an overview of how far along in the review process the manuscript is.
The platform also lets you easily rate and comment on the peer-reviewers you have used, so that you know which ones are reliable and which ones you should avoid using in the future. Properly set up, the review process can also be standardized, using e.g. review forms, to better make sure that each manuscript is treated equally.
Finally, using the system for the entire review process also makes the process more transparent by recording every decision, comment and change. Thus, if anyone should question the legitimacy of the process, you have easily accessible proof.
More on the review process here.
New versions of already submitted manuscripts must be uploaded in the same submission as the original. This both makes it easier for the editor(s) to keep track of the most recent version of the manuscript and will keep all information regarding this in one place for future reference. It also keeps you from accidentally assigning several DOIs to the same manuscript.
Please let the authors know that they should add as much metadata to their submission as possible. This should be in their own interest, as it makes it much easier to find and index their publication, in turn making sure more people can find and read their work. Metadata can be added at any stage in the publication process, including after publication. It should include important terms, words and concepts relevant to the content, as well as an abstract, references and author information. Having an author obtain and include their own ORCID in the author information in the metadata tab also helps people find more publications by the same author.
Final Word files in the Production stage
We would like all journals to upload the final Word files of each publication in the Production stage under Production Ready Files. This is again for archival purposes as well as to make the correct version easy to find if, for some reason, it needs to be changed.
Figure 1. Please make sure you upload the final Word file of each publication under Production Ready Files.
To make the copyediting stage as easy and little time-consuming as possible, we recommend providing authors with templates to use for their submissions. These templates should make use of styles that have been pre-set to the journal’s standard. Using styles to format all text helps ensure that the final publications all have the same formatting and look.
It is also possible to lock the templates so that the journal’s formatting standards are the only available choices.
By using an author template with pre-set styles, the layout and look is easily changed with a few clicks if you have a separate template for the final publication. You can make your own templates, and it is also possible to contact the Septentrio team for help.
More on styles and templates in Word:
Changes to a publication
Changes to a published article should generally be avoided. The exception is metadata, including issue covers, as this can be changed at any time both during and after the submission and publication process (but make sure you notify the Septentrio team of any changes to a publication after publication, as we need to resend information to Crossref). If you, however, discover an error in the final PDF of an article, you have to carefully consider whether the error is of any significance. Spelling or formatting errors are not justifiable reasons for publishing a corrected version of a paper. Errors of fact, however, might justify publishing a corrected version of the article. In some severe cases, where the error is serious enough to invalidate an article’s results and/or conclusions, a retraction must be considered.
If a decision is made to correct an article, the following needs to be done:
- The corrected version of the article should include a list of the changes and where in the document they were made (page number, section and, preferably, line number). It should also include the publication date of the original article and the date of the correction, as well as where to obtain the original article. Why the changes were made, or an explanation of the error could also be included. Place this at the end of the article, so that there are as few changes as possible to pagination etc.
- The galley label for the corrected article should be clearly marked as “corrected PDF”.
- The original PDF should be removed from the journal site (the Galley) and anywhere else it may have been posted.
- The original PDF should be uploaded to the Production stage in OJS, under “Production Ready Files” and clearly marked as the original PDF.
- Depending on the significance of the error, you should also consider posting a Corrigendum/Errata as an announcement on the journal site.
The journal’s policy on preprints
As preprints become increasingly more common, your journal should decide whether to allow the publication of preprint versions of your articles. This policy should be posted on your site and in your Sherpa/RoMEO policy listing. If you do decide to allow preprints, the conditions for this should be included in the information for authors. What to clarify:
- Do authors need to declare the publication of the preprint to the editors?
- Should the preprint be updated with the DOI of the final publication?
- Timeframe (how close to submission is it ok to publish a preprint? Is it still ok after submission? After acceptance?)
- If your journal practices double-blind review, how are you going to handle submissions with associated preprints?
The use of images in an article
There are a lot of seemingly free-to-use images on the internet; however, an online image does not necessarily mean that it is free to share or use. If there are images in an article, the rights to use them must be obtained, and the images properly credited.
Make sure there is a balance between length and content in your author guidelines – they should be long enough that authors get the information they need, but short enough that they are not too long to read. You should also consider putting the author guidelines on a separate page to make them more visible.