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Associate Editor Guidelines

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Table of contents

September 2011

www.frontiersin.org

Table of contents

Table of contents
Table of contents ............................................................................................................................................... 3
1.

About Frontiers ........................................................................................................................................ 4

2.

Frontiers Editorial Boards .................................................................................................................. 5


2.1
Numerical Goals ............................................................................................................................ 6

3.

Your Role as Associate Editor ......................................................................................................... 7


3.1
Checklist ............................................................................................................................................ 7
3.2
How to Get Your Spectialty Off the Ground ................................................................. 7
3.2.1 Build a Review Editorial Board ......................................................................... 7
3.1.3. Submit your Inaugural Article ........................................................................... 8
3.2.2 Organize a Research Topic .............................................................................. 9
3.3
Your Role in the Peer-Review ............................................................................................. 10
3.3.1 Review Guidelines ........................................................................................... 10
3.3.2 Get Familiar with the Online Review.............................................................. 13
4.
Article Publishing Fees ................................................................................................................ 16
4.1
Article Publishing Fees ................................................................................... 16
4.2
Frontiers Publishing Grant and Waivers ........................................................ 17
4.3
What do the Fees Cover? ................................................................................ 17
5.
Contacts................................................................................................................................................ 18

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Table of contents

1. About Frontiers
Welcome to Frontiers!
Frontiers is more than just an Open Access publisher of scholarly articles: it is a
pioneering approach to the world of academia, catapulting scholarly publishing into a
new generation.
1st Generation: the common Reader-Pay or Restricted Access Model
2nd Generation: the improved Author-Pay or Open Access Model
3rd Generation: the collaborative Open Repository or Universal Access Model
4th Generation: the revolutionary Frontiers Model or Equal Opportunity Model
The concept is based on equal-opportunity validation, evaluation, and publishing of
research articles, as well as free dissemination of scholarly research knowledge.
Frontiers is a publishing concept created by researchers for researchers. At the same
time, it is a new community journal concept, which offers a comprehensive solution
to the publishing problems in scholar communities.
Frontiers is:

The first tiered journal series setup to automatically and democratically distil
scientific excellence and social relevance,
The first real-time journal series for interactive review to increase the speed,
efficiency and quality of the peer-review process,
The first community journal with participative architecture for authors and
readers to present their work, ideas, opinions and activities,
The first author services journal where authors can track, enhance, collaborate,
promote, and build support for their research.

Thank you for joining! It is a privilege to have you on board.


Please, take 15 minutes to get to know Frontiers by reading these
guidelines this will save you an enormous amount of time later, and will
guarantee the success of your specialty.

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Frontiers Editorial boards

2. Frontiers Editorial Boards


The Editorial Boards at Frontiers are composed by the 4 following editorial roles:
1. A Field Chief Editor (FCE), who invites and appoints ~20 Specialty Chief
Editors;
2. Each of the Specialty Chief Editors (SCE) in turn invites and appoints ~10-15
Associate Editors.
3. Each Associate Editor (AE) (you) invites and appoints ~10-15 Review Editors.
4. The Review Editors (RE) are the referees of the articles.
Each editor is in charge of overseeing the duties of the editors he/she appointed.
A journals editorial board will be complete with approximately 2000-3000 editors
(note that, unlike other journals, Frontiers includes Review Editors into the Editorial
Boards, listed with their name and affiliation).

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Frontiers Editorial Boards

2.1 Numerical Goals


Month Month Month Month Month

1
2
3
4
5

Month
12

Month
24

10-15
per
month

Sustainable:
120 per year
Successful:
180 per year

EDITORIAL BOARDS

Specialty Chief
Editors
Associate Editors
Review Editors

1
10
-

20
50

100

200

ARTICLES

Specialty Grand
Challenges
Inaugural Articles
(submitted)
Total Articles
(published)

1
-

SCE: 1
AE: 10
-

SCE: 1
AE: 20
-

10

= numerical target reached

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How to Build the Editorial Board

3. Your Role as Associate Editor


Your initial target as an Associate Editor is to help your Specialty get off the ground by:
Building an outstanding Review Editorial Board
Submitting your Inaugural Article timely
Organizing a Research Topic (recommended within the first year)
After this launch phase, your primary role as Associate Editor will be to supervise the
peer-review process of submitted manuscripts.

3.1 Checklist
Please make sure you do all of the following:

Read your Appointment Letter attached to the Welcome to Frontiers email


Read these Associate Editor Guidelines

Identify and invite 10-15 selected Review Editors


Write your Inaugural Article within 3 months
Organize a Research Topic within the first year

3.2 How to Get Your Specialty Off the Ground


3.2.1 Build a Review Editorial Board
Building a sizeable Review Editorial Board is crucial for your specialty.
With a pool of Review Editors, the process of assigning editors is faster. Within 1
month from your appointment, it is important to build a review editorial board of 15
(or more) top-class experts who are qualified to review papers you expect to be
editing.
The Frontiers invitation system improves the process of assigning Associate and
Review Editors to submitted manuscripts. If the assignment of editors is delayed,
Frontiers invites the entire Associate or Review Editorial Board of a Specialty to edit or
review an article. This process has several advantages:
The manuscript is assigned to the editors who are the most interested in
reviewing it.
Reviewers are better informed about article submissions and stay up to date
with articles that will be published in the future.
Most importantly, the manuscript review is assigned very rapidly, reducing the
average time for the independent review by 50%.
Read more about the review process in the Review Guidelines which you can find in
Sec. 3.1.1 or in your account on the website under the Journal tab.
What does a Review Editor do?
In Frontiers, Review Editors are the referees of papers in the peer-review process. They
are responsible for certifying the validity of the publication, and are also acknowledged
publicly on the article. The manuscript review can be performed in real-time on the
Frontiers Review Forum. This concept is often new to researchers, therefore you may

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need to help Review Editors understand and work in the Review Forum. This is the next
generation process and is very important in standardizing and raising the quality of
the reviews.
Who should invite Review Editors?
It is most important that you invite Review Editors since you are the one that must
assign Review Editors for newly submitted articles.
How many Review Editors should be invited?
A large database of Review Editors is the key to a successful journal. The journal
automatically becomes capable of handling many more papers, much quicker and
more efficiently. It is also essential in case a whole board invitation of Review Editors is
necessary for the review mandate. This approach also exposes your journal to the top
experts which means that they too will submit articles. So, an important task for you is
to encourage and ensure that you invite at least 15 Review Editors.
How do I select Review Editors?
They should cover all facets of your specialty to ensure that all required expertise are
potentially available for the reviewing of articles and to lower the burden on each
Review Editor.
Sub-divide your specialty.
Identify a representative for each area.
Focus on established and emerging experts.
Ensure balanced geographical representation.
Ensure all areas are represented by experts in the specialty.
How do I invite a Review Editor?
1. Log into your Frontiers account.
2. Go to Journal -> Associate Editor -> Invite New Editor.
3. Now you can type in the email, name and affiliation of a scientist you wish to
invite and click Invite. A pop-up will appear and you will need to select the
journal as well as the role of the person you are inviting. An automatic email
will load onto which you are welcome to add on a personalized message.
4. When you are done, click on Send message and your invitee will receive a
detailed invitation letter with information about the Frontiers concept, a
Frontiers brochure and information on responsabilities as well as benefits. In
this email the invitee will receive links to accept or decline the invitation.
1. On the Associate Editor screen you will be able to view your invitations and see
the status of each one of them (still pending, accepted or rejected).
Once a person has accepted an invitation to join a review editorial board, he/she will
immediately appear on the journals homepage and across the website in the Editorial
Board section.

3.1.3. Submit your Inaugural Article


The Inaugural Article is an integral part of your journal launch, as it sets an example
for the readers and the future authors of the journal. Your Inaugural Article may be of
any article type, such as Original Research, Review, Perspective, etc. There is no article
processing charge and it should be submitted within 3 months since your
appointment.
Submitting an Inaugural Article is an important responsibility to fulfill as soon as
possible: it is extremely difficult to convince authors to publish in a new journal when
its editors do not do it themselves! Thus, this article is really the key element allowing

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How to Build the Editorial Board

you to get your specialty off the ground and convince your community about this
engagement.

3.2.2 Organize a Research Topic


Research Topics have become very popular trademarks of the Frontiers Journals Series:
they are a collection of at least ten articles, all centered on a particular research topic
(including conferences and workshops).
A Research Topic can be a greatly impacting set of publications, unifying the efforts of
some of the best researchers and encompassing the latest advances in a hot topic a
broad perspective bringing together key methods and results.

Organize Your Own Research Topic!


Hosting a Research Topic is a great opportunity to boost the visibility of your research
interests and provide a broad perspective on the latest advances in your area. This is
also an occasion to unite the best researchers in your area and intensify collaborations.
The Frontiers Editorial Office shall assist you in every step of the organization, in order
to maximize the final impact while minimizing your concerns.
The main steps in hosting a Research Topic are:

Define the overall structure of the Research Topic (title, description, and list of
top colleagues you would like to contact)
Send a call for participation to your top colleagues (recommended).
Select a minimum of 10 abstracts submitted by your colleagues and
spontaneous submitters.
Set a series of deadlines for submission of the full article and reminders.
Manage the review process for all contributing articles.
Follow up very carefully to make sure everybody is on track.

The publishing fee for authors is 900 for regular authors and to 720 for Frontiers
Chief and Associate Editors. All publishing fees are reported at the end of these
guidelines.
Contact the editorial office at researchtopics@frontiersin.org for more detailed
information.
You can find all details and examples of past Research Topics on:
http://frontiersin.org/AboutSpecialTopic.aspx

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How to Build the Editorial Board

3.3 Your Role in the Peer-Review


Associate Editors are in charge of supervising the peer-review process of submitted
manuscripts. Along with Review Editors, they are the key persons of the Frontiers
Review, since they are responsible for guaranteeing the regularity of the process and
have the delicate task of maintaining review objectivity without compromising on
quality.
The highest possible quality and objective review of articles is the foundation of this
publishing system. Frontiers prides itself in its objective high quality review system
and the role of review editors is, therefore, central in Frontiers.
Associate editors are acknowledged publicly on all published articles.

3.3.1 Review Guidelines


Frontiers Reviews significantly redefine the assignments for both authors and editors in order to
guarantee the most accurate, efficient and impartial reviews in academic publishing.
The mandate for review editors is to ensure that the results are valid, the analysis is flawless
and the quality as high as possible. The significance of articles is automatically evaluated postpublication.
Frontiers reviews typically consist of two phases:
1. Independent Review: The Review Editors assess the paper independently from each
other and the authors, according to a standardized review template.
2. Interactive Review: Authors and Review Editors can interact with each other
through real-time comments in the discussion forum. The Associate Editor (and
if required the Specialty Chief Editor) can enter the Review Forum and oversee
this process.
The Review Process
Following manuscript submission, a whole board invitation is send to the Associate Editors of
the relevant Frontiers Specialty to take on the manuscript editorial assignment. After a
preliminary content check, the assigned Associate Editor may either decide to send the
manuscript out for review or recommend it for immediate rejection to the Specialty Chief Editor.
In the latter case, the Specialty Chief Editor may confirm the Associate Editors
recommendation of immediate article rejection due to the following reasons:

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An objective error (generally accepted by the community and not one that would be
debatable by some);
An excessive amount of language errors;
Lack of research quality or ethical standards.

The Specialty Chief Editor may, nevertheless, override the Associate Editors recommendation
and decide that the manuscript deserves being reviewed, in which case he/she will assign the
article to a new Associate Editor who agrees to send the article for review.
The Associate Editor then assigns the article to at least two Review Editors, either selected from
the Frontiers Board of Review Editors or appropriately recruited among the experts in the area.
If the Review Editors have not been assigned within 5 days, a whole board invitation is sent to
the Review Editors to fill in the position.

Independent Review Phase


The review editors shall submit the standardized Independent Review Report via the online
review forum. The associate editor is automatically notified as soon as each of the Independent
Review Reports is submitted.
During the Independent Review phase, the review editors assess the paper independently from
each other and the authors, according to our standardized review template.
Once all review editors have submitted an Independent Review Report, the associate editor is
responsible for activating the successive phase of the Frontiers Review, i.e. the Interactive
Review Forum. Even if the Independent Review Reports are unfavorable to the authors, the
Interactive Review Forum must be activated to allow authors the opportunity of rebuttal.

Interactive Review Phase


Once the associate editor activates the Interactive Review Forum, authors are immediately
notified to enter the forum, where they are able to view the review comments, and have up to
two months to prepare responses and/or a revised manuscript resubmission, if necessary.
The associate editor monitors the discussions occurring between authors and review editors
within this forum, and ensures not only the timeliness, but also the constructiveness of the
participants interaction. Should a dispute arise at this stage, the associate editor must act as a
mediator, working with all parties involved to resolve the issues and even inviting new review
editors for further opinions. If the disagreement persists, the specialty chief editor is then obliged
to enter the Interactive Review Forum, examine the situation and take a final decision, as to
whether the review should be ended by article rejection or continued by a new set of editors.
When a disagreement cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of a review editor, the latter is in
full right to withdraw from the review at any phase, in which case the associate editor will invite
another review editor.
At this stage, a manuscript may be rejected for the following reasons:
an objective error is found that cannot be corrected;
experiments are found to be invalid;
authors are unable or unwilling to address issues raised by the review editors.
The review is complete once all review comments are addressed to the review editors'
satisfaction.

Article Acceptance/Rejection

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How to Build the Editorial Board

If the review editors are satisfied with the authors efforts at amending the manuscript, they then
briefly finalize their Interactive Review Reports, which automatically notifies the associate editor
of article acceptance. The associate editor accepts the final version of the manuscript within five
days, and this action does not require the approval of the specialty chief editor.
Once a manuscript is accepted, the authors receive an automated notification informing them of
the acceptance and the provisional PDF will instantly appear online. Review editors are invited
to publish a one-page joint commentary to be linked to the published article, however this is not
mandatory. Payment of the publication fee is required within thirty days of acceptance and
necessary before final publication of the manuscript.
Articles can only be rejected by the chief editor, while the associate editor who handles an
article can only recommend rejecting an article. The chief editor may override an associate
editors recommendation to reject the article and insist to call in further review editors to
continue the review process.

The Assignment of Associate and Review Editors to a Manuscript


A key philosophy at Frontiers is to constantly move responsibility for publishing scientific papers
down rather than up the chain. It would be a big step for publishing if we could increase the
integrity of the peer-review system! At the same time, we have a huge responsibility to authors
when their valuable work is submitted. Unnecessary time delays are not acceptable.
In all editing/review invitations, the Associate/Review Editors are requested to confirm that they
dont have any conflicts of interest. Moreover, to further guarantee the transparency of the
review, the names of the Associate and Review Editors involved are disclosed on all published
articles, without exceptions.
The assignment of Review and Associate Editors to the review of a manuscript is composed of
the following steps:
1. During submission, the authors indicate an Associate Editor whom they trust to be both
knowledgeable and unbiased for editing their manuscript.
2. The authors may list up to three Review Editors who might have a conflict of interest to
be excluded from the review process.
3. The Associate Editor selected by the authors is asked to edit the manuscript. If the
Associate Editor does not accept this invitation within two days, the journals entire
Associate Board is invited.
4. The first Associate Editor to respond is assigned to edit the manuscript.
5. The Associate Editor has seven days to assign two Review Editors.*
6. If two Review Editors have not accepted after a seven-day delay, the journals entire
Review Board is invited. Those Review Editors excluded by the authors are excluded
from this invitation.
7. The Associate and Chief Editors can, at any time, invite additional Review Editors
and/or revoke those who have accepted as deemed necessary.
The general guidelines for inviting Associate and Review Editors to join the boards invoke the
recruitment of top ranking researchers in terms of number of papers published and citation
records. Indeed, our records show that the Frontiers editorial boards are composed exclusively
of the top scientists worldwide.

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How to Build the Editorial Board

Once the editors are nominated they should be trusted. At Frontiers, thanks to our top-ranking
editors, they can be trusted. Of course, none of us are perfect and we need controls in place to
ensure that the system does not falter. Editors can be revoked and additional ones assigned if
corrective measures are needed. However, we trust that we all know how to make good
decisions - and fix the mistakes we make.

* Exception is made only in cases where the article is subject to a short peer review and therefore may be reviewed by
the Associate Editor alone.

3.3.2 Get Familiar with the Online Review


Below are some screens that show you how to access online your editorial
management page and carry out your tasks as Associate Editor.

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How to Build the Editorial Board

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Appendices

4. Article Publishing Fees


To enable open access to all articles, Frontiers has adopted the author-pay model
whereby authors or research sponsors cover the costs associated with the processing
and publication of their articles. Frontiers will strive to keep costs as low as possible to
ensure that publication costs do not become an obstacle to publishing.

4.1

Article Publishing Fees

An article publishing fee of 2,000 is the full charge to cover the costs associated with
editing, publishing, archiving, and evaluation of the article, as well as maintaining the
most advanced website in online publishing, covering the costs of climb-tiering and
rejected articles, and supporting the Frontiers academic environment. There are
several subsidies and discounts available. Please refer to the table below for complete
information on Frontiers fees (all fees are in Euros - ).

Article Type

Original Research Article


Clinical Case Study
Hypothesis and Theory Article
Method Article
Review Article
Any of the above article types
published in a Research Topic
Mini Review Article
Perspective Article
CPC
Any of the above article types
published in a Research Topic
Clinical Trial Article
Technology Report
Focused Review*
Frontiers Commentary*
Editorial
Book Review
General Commentary
Opinion Article

Article
Publishing
Fee

Frontiers subsidy for


ALL Authors
Subsidy

Final Fee

Additional discounts for


Chief and Associate
Editors*
Additional
Final Fee
Discount

2,000

400

1,600

320

1,280

2,000

1,100

900

180

720

575

n.a.

575

n.a.

575

575

85

490

n.a.

490

2,000

n.a.

2,000

n.a.

2,000

Free

* includes: Field Chief Editor, Assistant Field Chief Editor, Specialty Chief Editor, Assistant
Specialty Chief Editor, Associate Editor, Guest Associate Editor
** tier 2 article types

Additional 50/page are charged after 12 pages. Note that Frontiers does not charge
for color figures, which typically cost about US$500-1000 per figure in most
subscription-based journals.
Moreover, if your article is selected by the Frontiers Evaluation System to be published
as a prestigious tier-climbing Focused Review or Frontiers Commentary, further
publication costs will be sustained by Frontiers.

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Appendices

4.2

Frontiers Publishing Grant and Waivers

Authors who demonstrate their inability to bear the publication costs may apply to the
Frontiers Research Foundation for a Frontiers publishing grant, which may cover all or
part of the article publishing fees. This grant will be considered if the article is
accepted for publication. The grant may allow for a full waiver or a partial waiver
depending on the financial capability of the corresponding author of the paper.
Up to 100% waiver if the corresponding author is from a low income country
(2008 GNI per capita less than USD 975) as defined by the World Bank Country
Classification table (see this reference or download the country classification
table from the website).
Up to 50% waiver if the corresponding author is from a lower middle income
country(2008 GNI per capita between USD 976 and USD 3,855) as defined by
the World Bank Country Classification table (see this reference or download the
country classification table).
Waivers may also be granted if the corresponding author can demonstrate a
genuine inability to pay.
The Authors should provide the name of the grant/institution and a short explanatory
paragraph why the publishing fees cannot be afforded.

4.3

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What do the Fees Cover?

Frontiers continuously upgrades its advanced IT platform with new


functionalities and services for academic publishing.
Frontiers covers the publishing costs of all tier-rising articles as well as the
review costs of rejected articles.
Frontiers employs professional editors to format your manuscript and produce
the highest quality HTML and PDF.
Frontiers employs XML editors to make your article PubMed-compatible and
submits your article to PubMed Central for indexing; furthermore, Frontiers
submits your article to citation tracking Internet sites such as Google Scholar,
MicroScholar, etc., so that the citation impact of your article can be fully
tracked.
Frontiers provides the highest possible secure servers and server technology
for electronic publication and permanent storage of your articles.
Frontiers promotes free dissemination of research and subsidizes publishing
costs for those researchers who cannot afford the publishing fee.
Frontiers awards annual honoraria to field and specialty chief editors at
threshold levels of success of their journals.
Frontiers maintains a dynamic and professional team to support all your
editorial, IT and marketing needs.

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Appendices

5. Contacts
Please find below all details about the Frontiers Offices. Do not hesitate to contact us everybody is here to help you make your journal a success!
Correspondence address
Frontiers
Science Park PSE-D
CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
T: +41 21 693 92 02
F: +41 21 693 92 01
Editorial Office
Your contact: Costanza Zucca
E: editorial.office@frontiersin.org
Building of the Editorial Board
Strategies for article drive
Managing of the peer-review process
Tier-2 articles
All inquiries and support for the journals
Production Office
Your contact: Johanna Reichen
E: production.office@frontiersin.org
Production of scholar articles
Referencing of articles (PubMed Central, CrossRef, etc.)
Marketing & Communication
Your contact: Costanza Zucca
E: marketing@frontiersin.org
Promotion of the Frontiers vision and mission guidelines
Open access advocacy
Press releases, communications and announcement mailings
Advertisements
Informative material for your conferences, meetings, etc.
Events Office
E: events@frontiersin.org
Calendar of all events in your area
Online publication of conference abstracts
Publication of conference proceedings
Creation of abstract books

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