Introduction to the Second Edition

Introduction to the 2nd edition of the EASE Science Editors’ Handbook

Pippa Smart

PSP Consulting, Oxford, UK; [email protected]

Welcome to the latest edition of the EASE Science Editors’ Handbook. EASE first produced the Handbook in 1994 with 14 chapters on key issues, and chapters have been added incrementally since then, with the last major update in 2002. Responding to the need for more up-to-date information and coverage of new topics, this edition now has 56 chapters ranging from editorial matters to how to increase the visibility of journals.

The Handbook starts with issues directly relating to the work of editing. The new chapters range from basic copy-editing instructions – and how to deal with articles written by non-native English speakers – to how to manage specific article items. The second section provides nomenclature and terminology guides for non-specialists – particularly useful for general journals that occasionally receive articles outside the editorial specialty of the editor.

The third section looks at policies and processes – how to organise the editorial office, how to establish new journals and the more strategic issues around establishing good practice within the journal management.

The next two sections look at peer review and ethics – two of the hottest topics at the moment. The chapters in these sections provide good practice guidelines for editors and publishers, from how to establish efficient peer review systems to how to deal with fraud.

The last section looks at the general publishing and promotion issues that are sometimes forgotten by editors – from the basics of what information must be presented in a journal to explaining CrossRef and linking, to Open Access debates, to how to understand and use bibliometrics to assess quality.

The aim of the Handbook has always been to provide a resource to editors and publishers who struggle to find relevant answers to their questions. This is particularly important for those editors who manage their journals with little or no support from the journal owner/publisher. The recent STM Report estimates that there are over 28,000 peer reviewed journals published globally, responsible for almost 2 million articles each year. This figure, however, excludes the numerous local journals that do not appear in the international indexes. Although the commercial publishing industry is well organised and supportive, there is a surprising lack of resources available for other publishers and editors. This is particularly problematic for those editors who take some responsibility for the publishing of their journal in addition to the editorial functions.

This edition of the Handbook has involved 54 authors from around the world, who have revised some chapters and re-written others. Owing to the substantial changes that have taken place in the last decade, the majority of chapters are completely re-written or address new topics. We would like to thank all the authors for writing these chapters – and especially for restricting themselves (mostly) to the strict word limit. Their knowledge and willingness to share is a testament to the collegiality of the journals environment – and we thank everyone for this.

We hope that this Handbook will provide editors and publishers with a valuable resource. Whilst we cannot claim to be comprehensive, we hope that the Handbook provides sufficient information to answer questions and inform strategic decisions. We also hope that the Handbook will encourage good editorial and publishing practice, and endorse international standards. Our ultimate goal is to assist journal editors and their publishers to increase the success of their journals.


The Handbook copy-editing was done by a team of eight people, and we would like to thank them for giving up their time to work on the tight schedule of this project.

Sonia Cutler, [email protected]

Aleksandra Golebiowska, International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics, [email protected]

Patricia Gongal, The English Edition, [email protected]

Elisabeth Heseltine, [email protected]

Moira Hudson, European Science Editing, [email protected]

Ravi Murugesan, INASP Associate, [email protected]

Ruth de Wijs, trainer Academic Writing, [email protected]

Denys Wheatley, [email protected]

We would also like to thank Lynne Rowland, the typesetter, who not only ensured consistency of presentation, but also picked up on incorrect cross-references when chapter orders were changed (at the last minute!).