The Care and Management of Manuscripts
All authors wonder what happens to their hard work when it arrives at a journal office. Does an intern chuck the document in a file labeled, “Return with nice note in one month”? Does the editor pore over every comma and laugh maniacally over every typo? Does the receptionist use it for scrap paper?
But many journals now use electronic tracking systems, so you can log in via the web for updates on the status of your submission.
A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine addresses the fears and concerns of authors, as part of an overall effort to demystify the mysteries of scholarly publishing:
“We appreciate that, from the perspective of a submitting author, having a manuscript in the review process is like having a child away at camp. ...On the Web site an author can see when a paper was logged into our manuscript-tracking system, when it was assigned to an editor, when it went out for review (but not the names of the reviewers), when the reviews were returned, and when we have made an initial or subsequent decision.”1
You may want to review some online submission and tracking systems as a way to understand the first part of the editorial process. Take a field trip now, using this Scavenger Hunt on Online Submissions Guide to record your findings.
Record this information in your journal profile form.