EMBO: novel editorial changes taking place

Added by Branwen Hide on 09 December 2008 16:05

Yesterday EMBO (European Molecular Biology Organisation) announced some very important editorial changes that aim to benefit authors as well as researcher.

It aims to enhance the transparency of the editorial process through publishing online author and referee comments, actively encouraging citation of primary literature by removing references from character limits and author page charges, as well as the generation of a Have you seen? section at the front of the journal which will highlight insightful papers from across the broad readership.

EMBO hopes that making the editorial process transparent will encourage constructive comments and will give younger researchers a better understanding of how to publish their research findings and deal with criticism. A supplementary process file will shown all the communications between the author(s), editors, and referees (the identities of the referees will be kept confidential), and will allow the readers to learn why the paper was found interesting, any gaps that were found initially and how these were addressed during the revision stage.

Removing references from the character limit will allow authors more freedom to cite as many sources as necessary, and will hopefully encourage more citing of primary sources and not review articles. This particular relevant in an increasingly metrics based research assessment environment.

In conjunction with these changes EMBO is also making available the journal manuscript handling statistics for 2007 and the follow-up analysis for manuscripts rejected in 2006. These changes are in an attempt to have a transparency, efficient, inclusive and reasonable editorial process that promotes excellence in science. It will be interesting to see what type of effect these changes will have on, researchers, authors, referees and publishers.

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