Managing submissions and peer review

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When you are considering what platform to use to publish your journal online, you may want to consider what tools will be available to you to help manage submissions, peer review, and other aspects of your editorial workflow. A few options that we're aware of are listed below, although there are others. In addition, major electronic publishers will usually have their own proprietary systems for handling manuscript submissions and review.

  • Open Journal Systems (OJS) is an open source journal publishing platform that has integrated into it the ability to accept submissions and manage peer review and production tasks for each article. If you are publishing your journal on another platform, it is possible to use only the submission and peer review modules of the application, but it seems to work best when used end-to-end, as designed.
  • Digital Commons, a common hosted repository platform that also supports journal publication, comes bundled with the submission management toolset EdiKit.
  • Aries Systems Editorial Manager and Produxion Manager are stand-alone, enterprise tools for managing the submission and review of scholarly articles, particularly in the sciences.
  • Submittable is a web-hosted enterprise solution for receiving and evaluating submissions. This system is widely used in literary magazines, but is highly customizable and may be adapted to the scholarly peer review model. In 2014-2015, Michigan Publishing is conducting a limited pilot of the Submittable system with a few journals.
  • Many editors of small journals with only one or two issues a year, a limited number of submissions, or a higher proportion of solicited content, simply devise their own systems of managing this work, which ranges from email to spreadsheets to simple database applications.
  • The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has published a similar--but longer--list of Journal Management Systems.

Michigan Publishing does not at this time have a submission management system fully integrated into its platform, but we would be happy to talk with you about the needs of your journal and what might work best. In choosing any solution, it is important to consider the trade-offs of cost, time to learn and commitment to using the system vs. the convenience and efficiency that such a system can provide.

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