Peer Review Week: A day in the life of a Journal Production Editor

Geological Society Production Editor Lucy Bell gives us an insight into her working day, in the third in our series of posts celebrating Peer Review Week 2018. 

In order for manuscripts to be considered for publication they must be submitted through Editorial Manager®, the manuscript submission and peer-review tracking system we use.

Authors are asked to upload source files, fill in several details about the paper/authors and answer a number of questions that ensure you adhere to our publishing ethics, as well as a copyright agreement. New submissions for my journals first come to me for assessment.  I carry out various checks ensuring that everything is in order, including a plagiarism check using iThenticate, checking figure quality and completeness of submission, before assigning the manuscript to an appropriate editor who will take the manuscript through peer review. At this stage I will also be looking for any potential ‘hot papers’ that would make a good news story or are likely to receive attention in the press, and I will alert the marketing team. Promotion is primarily carried out on Twitter and LinkedIn: here are some recent engagement successes for Petroleum Geoscience and Proceedings of the Geological Society of Yorkshire.

I provide support to both authors and journal editors via email or telephone; answering queries, fixing any issues that might arise, guiding those through the system that need a helping hand, and keeping a general eye on all submissions currently under peer review.  Editorial Manager® has allowed us to effectively tailor our editorial workflows as per the journal’s specific requirements which ensures our editors work effectively together and a high-quality service is maintained. We are also able to send out automated reminders which helps ensure the peer-review process is as smooth as possible.

I attend journal editorial board meetings, which involves working closely with the chief editor and leading editorial board members to discuss any issues/successes, copy-flow, thematic sets and journal development ideas. A member of our marketing team will also attend these meetings to ensure that journal promotion can be tailored appropriately, and this is an excellent opportunity to brain storm any ideas. Once a year we hold a ‘Chief Editors Round Table’ at Burlington House which brings together the chief editors of all our journals, allowing for a group discussion on the progress of our journals in the past year, and is an excellent opportunity to address any particular issues that have arisen. The journal production editor role also involves attending conference events in order to support and promote the society and journals. This is an excellent opportunity to interact with authors directly and potentially commission new content.

Upon acceptance I then take the manuscript through the production process. This involves publishing the accepted manuscript online within 2 weeks of acceptance, copyediting, proof collation via our trusted typesetters, overseeing author corrections, publication ‘Online First’ ahead of the printed issue and finally publication within an issue on the Lyell Collection and GeoScienceWorld, as a well as in print.

The journal production editor role comprises so many different aspects, meaning that my day can be quite varied. It is especially nice that we oversee the whole of the publishing process – from submission to publication. This means we really know our journals well, and allows for a much smoother author and editor service, something that is not possible at larger publishers.

  • Lucy is the Production Editor for Petroleum Geoscience, Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis and Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society. She holds an MSci Geology from the University of Southampton and has 5 years of Production Editor experience with a year and a half of those at the Geological Society of London.
  • If you are interested in submitting an article or want to find out more about becoming a referee click here.
  • Peer Review Week is a global event celebrating the essential role that peer review plays in maintaining scientific quality. Find out more and get involved at, or follow @perrevweek on twitter.

One thought on “Peer Review Week: A day in the life of a Journal Production Editor

Leave a Reply to kshitij Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s