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Editorial Board Responsibilities

Research and Education Promotion Association (REPA) following the Council of Science Editors (CSE) guidance encourage editors to comply with the salient academic contributions set forth herein this page. Editors are responsible for monitoring and ensuring the fairness, timeliness, thoroughness, and civility of the peer-review editorial process. Peer review by external referees with proper expertise is the most common method to ensure manuscript quality. However, editors or associate editors may sometimes reject manuscripts without external peer review to make the best use of their resources. Reasons for this practice are usually that the manuscript is outside the scope of the journal, does not meet the journal’s quality standards or is of limited scientific merit, or lacks originality or novel information.

Editor Responsibilities Toward Authors
– Providing guidelines to authors for preparing and submitting manuscripts
– Providing a clear statement of the Journal’s policies on authorship criteria
– Treating all authors with fairness, courtesy, objectivity, honesty, and transparency
– Establishing and defining policies on conflicts of interest for all involved in the publication process, including editors, staff (e.g., editorial and sales), authors, and reviewers
– Protecting the confidentiality of every author’s work
– Establishing a system for effective and rapid peer review
– Making editorial decisions with reasonable speed and communicating them in a clear and constructive manner
– Being vigilant in avoiding the possibility of editors and/or referees delaying a manuscript for suspect reasons
– Establishing clear guidelines for authors regarding acceptable practices for sharing experimental materials and information, particularly those required to replicate the research, before and after publication
– Establishing a procedure for reconsidering editorial decisions
– Describing, implementing, and regularly reviewing policies for handling ethical issues and allegations or findings of misconduct by authors and anyone involved in the peer-review process
– Informing authors of solicited manuscripts that the submission will be evaluated according to the journal’s standard procedures or outlining the decision-making process if it differs from those procedures
– Developing mechanisms, in cooperation with the publisher, to ensure timely publication of accepted manuscripts
– Clearly communicating all other editorial policies and standards

Editorial Responsibility Toward Reviewers
– Assigning papers for review appropriate to each reviewer’s area of interest and expertise
– Establishing a process for reviewers to ensure that they treat the manuscript as a confidential document and complete the review promptly
– Informing reviewers that they are not allowed to make any use of the work described in the manuscript or to take advantage of the knowledge they gained by reviewing it before publication
– Providing reviewers with written, explicit instructions on the journal’s expectations for the scope, content, quality, and timeliness of their reviews to promote thoughtful, fair, constructive, and informative critique of the submitted work
– Requesting that reviewers identify any potential conflicts of interest and asking that they recuse themselves if they cannot provide an unbiased review
– Allowing reviewers appropriate time to complete their reviews
– Requesting reviews at a reasonable frequency that does not overtax any one reviewer
– Finding ways to recognize the contributions of reviewers, for example, by publicly thanking them in the journal; providing letters that might be used in applications for academic promotion; offering professional education credits; or inviting them to serve on the editorial board of the journal.

Editorial Responsibility Toward Society
– Evaluating all manuscripts considered for publication to make certain that each provides the evidence readers need to evaluate the authors’ conclusions and that authors’ conclusions reflect the evidence provided in the manuscript
– Providing literature references and author contact information so interested readers may pursue further discourse
– Identifying individual and group authorship clearly and developing processes to ensure that authorship criteria are met to the best of the editor’s knowledge
– Requiring all authors to review and accept responsibility for the content of the final draft of each paper or for those areas to which they have contributed; this may involve signatures of all authors or of only the corresponding author on behalf of all authors. Some journals ask that one author be the guarantor and take responsibility for the work as a whole
– Maintaining the journal’s internal integrity (e.g., correcting errors; clearly identifying and differentiating types of content, such as reports of original data, opinion pieces [e.g., editorials and letters to the editor], corrections/errata, retractions, supplemental data, and promotional material or advertising; and identifying published material with proper references), and etc.

Editor Responsibilities toward Journal Owners/Publishers
– Conducting peer review of submitted manuscripts
– Complying with the guidelines and procedures of the owner organization, including any terms specified in the contract with that organization
– Making recommendations about improved evaluation and dissemination of scientific material
– Adhering to the owner’s and publisher’s fiscal policies towards the Journal, at least in so much as they do not encroach upon editorial independence
– Adhering to the agreed-upon mission, publication practices, and schedule.

Editorial Policies and Standards
– According to the Council of Science Editors, the following are examples of editorial policies and standards that editors may require submitting authors:
– State all sources of funding for research and include this information in the acknowledgment section of the submitted manuscript.
– State in the manuscript, if appropriate, that the research protocol employed was approved by the relevant institutional review boards or ethics committees for human (including human cells or tissues) or animal experiments and that all human subjects provided appropriate informed consent.
– Describe in the manuscript methods section how cultured cell lines were authenticated.
– State in the manuscript, if appropriate, that regulations concerning the use of animals in research, teaching, and testing were adhered to. Governments, institutions, and professional organizations have statements about the use of animals in research.
– When race/ethnicity is reported, define who determined race/ethnicity, whether the options were defined by the investigator and, if so, what they were and why race/ethnicity is considered important in the study.
– List contributors who meet the journal’s criteria for authorship as authors and identify other support (e.g., statistical analysis or writers), with the contributor’s approval, in the acknowledgment section.
– Reveal any potential conflicts of interest of each author either in the cover letter, manuscript, or disclosure form, in accordance with the journal’s policy.
– Include (usually written) permission from each individual identified as a source of personal communication or unpublished data.
– Describe and provide copies of any similar works in process.
– Provide copies of cited manuscripts that are submitted or in press.
– Supply supporting manuscript data (e.g., actual data that were summarized in the manuscript) to the editor when requested or indicate where (site) the data can be found.
– Share data or materials needed by other scientists to replicate the experiment.
– Cite and reference other relevant published work on which the submitted work is based.
– Obtain permission from the copyright owner to use/reproduce copyrighted content (e.g., figures and tables) in the submitted manuscript, if applicable.
– Provide written permission from any potentially identifiable individuals referred to or shown in photographs in the manuscript.
– Copyright transfer statement d or licensing agreement.
Editorial responsibilities set forth in this collection are aligned, retrieved, and will be updated with the Council of Science Editors (CSE).