What Do People Think You Do?
There are two common misconceptions about my job as a Peer Review Coordinator; Either someone assumes that I am the one conducting the reviews, or they assume that I only deal with the peer review process. Neither of these are true! Peer Reviews are conducted by experts in that specific field, usually with a PhD. While I help facilitate that process, I don’t conduct any reviews myself. I also handle many more editorial aspects than just the peer review process.
What Do You Really Do?
A Peer Review Coordinator, sometimes called a Manuscript Coordinator, manages all incoming manuscripts for a scholarly publication. They oversee the editorial process from initial submission through peer review to post-acceptance preparation for production.
Coordinators serve as the primary point of contact between editors, associate editors, authors, and reviewers and provide extensive technical support.
Day-to-day tasks can include ensuring incoming manuscripts meet the publication’s technical requirements, managing deadlines and reminders, troubleshooting any problems the editorial team may encounter, and pulling performance reports for editors and supervisors.
A Day In The Life
I usually start my day with a quick e-mail triage to see if anything needs immediate attention. If no one has made any urgent requests (deadline extensions, help using the editorial management system, or a performance report), I move on to my main daily tasks for each of my journals: Technical Checks, Forms and Transmittals.
Technical checks require me to evaluate each incoming manuscript and ensure it meets the minimum requirements for that journal. This can include things from correct formatting to including a cover letter. If anything is missing or incorrect, I send it back to the author for fixing.
Once a manuscript is accepted, I also handle sending out the Publication Rights Forms to the authors. These forms are necessary for the authors to give us permission to publish their work and certify that they have disclosed any potential conflicts of interest.
As necessary, I assist authors with signing and obtaining any outstanding permission items. After all the signatures come in, I prepare the manuscript for transmission to our production team.
Creating the transmittal includes a final check of the manuscript for all necessary items and formatting, forwarding any permissions that were obtained, and entering any changes to the metadata.
Throughout the day, while handling these main tasks, I keep an eye on my email to handle any incoming queries from authors, editors, or reviewers. I assist them as necessary with using our editorial management system and any miscellaneous concerns.
My day involves very little interaction with others, although I do collaborate on more advanced problem-solving with my coworkers when necessary.
What’s The Average Income?
$40,000-$66,000, depending on prior experience and time in position.
What Education If Any Is Needed?
A Bachelor’s degree is required, and strong candidates will have 2-3 years of experience working in publishing, scholarly publications, or a related field. A Master’s degree can be substituted for the relevant experience. Someone who’s interested in working as a Peer Review Coordinator should consider pursuing editorial internships. Strong reading, writing, and communication skills are necessary, so prior experience in these fields will benefit an applicant.
Something Important To Know
Customer Service skills are extremely important. Because you serve as a liaison for the editorial office, you spend a lot of time supporting a sensitive client base, including scholarly authors and scientific editors. At the same time, you don’t spend a lot of time interacting with them face-to-face, the ability to handle all correspondence thoughtfully and professionally will be invaluable in this position.