January 2019


Inside JCRS
Q&A with Genie Bailey, JCRS managing editor

EyeWorld: What is the role of the editorial office of JCRS?
Ms. Bailey: The editorial office team are gatekeepers. We monitor manuscripts through submission and peer review to help ensure the process is smooth and efficient for everyone involved. We support the editors and reviewers and assist authors with queries. We are the core of the manuscript workflow, but not the decision-makers on content. We also provide the essential role of helping manuscripts get published as soon as possible, in high-quality format, and ensuring the quality research published in JCRS is disseminated quickly and widely to the field. As managing editor, I also stay abreast of trends and hot topics in scholarly publishing so the journal stays current in the field.

EyeWorld: Take us through the JCRS submission/publishing process.
Ms. Bailey: Manuscripts are submitted to JCRS via the online peer-review system. Each submission is screened by JCRS editorial office staff to ensure all requirements, as outlined in the Guidelines for Authors, have been met. The editorial office will return manuscripts to authors for missing or incorrect items.
Once the manuscript passes this initial screening, it is sent to the appropriate editor (either one of the two editors, two associate editors, case reports editor, or review/update editors), who evaluates the manuscript content and assigns and invites potential peer reviewers, who are generally physicians who have experience and expertise in the same area of study. JCRS requires two independent peer reviews. An accepted reviewer does not know who is the second reviewer on a manuscript, but they do know who the manuscript authors are. There are automatic checks in place for possible conflicts of interest, such as editors and potential reviewers who are at the same institution or who were co-authors on past articles, but editors and reviewers know to request reassignment/decline the review if they have a conflict of interest.
Once the two reviews are complete, the assigned editor reconciles the reviews and makes the decision: accept, reject, or revise. In all cases the authors will receive reviewer comments deemed appropriate by the editor and any additional comments the editor may make. For revise decisions, the authors must submit revision notes that explain how the reviewer/editor comments were addressed, a manuscript that is highlighted to show all changes from the previous version, and a revised manuscript with no highlighting; the latter is sent to production should the manuscript be accepted.
The editorial office again screens the submission and once the screening is complete, the manuscript is sent to the editor who handled the original submission. At the discretion of the editor, a revised manuscript can be sent to either or both reviewers, or only to the editor. Once any requested reviews are complete, the editor makes the decision, which can again be accept, reject, or revise.  
When a manuscript is accepted, the editorial office preps all files for copyediting and production. On occasion authors may receive a query for a correction or update to manuscript, table, or figure files to meet production requirements. Careful adherence to the Guidelines for Authors saves time at this stage. The files are then sent to the copyeditor, who edits for grammar, usage, clarity, and style. JCRS follows the American Medical Association (AMA) Manual of Style, 10th ed., and also has a house style guide for journal policies and for items not directly addressed in the AMA style manual. Copyeditors insert queries in the file for items that require input from the authors for clarification or confirmation.
The final copyedited files are sent to our production vendor, which typesets and formats articles for print. Electronic page (galley) proofs of the copyedited version are sent to the corresponding author and the editorial office for proofing. Changes to page proofs must be limited to spelling and typographical errors, corrections where the copyeditor may have inadvertently changed intent, or errors of omission or fact; any queries must also be answered. All proof corrections are compiled and final proofs are approved by the editorial office. Research articles are usually published online ahead of print as Articles In Press. Page proofs are compiled into the issue as assigned, published in print and online, and indexed in PubMed.

EyeWorld: What are some of the pitfalls you see occurring among those who are not familiar with the peer-review publishing process? What advice would you give?
Ms. Bailey: Experience is the best teacher. Going through the process and being receptive to feedback at each stage is valuable. It is to the benefit of the authors to follow formatting and other mechanical requirements as this ensures peer reviewers can focus on the content of the manuscript and more easily assess the data presented. Requirements such as authorship and conflict of interest disclosure forms uphold good research and publishing ethics, which is of course important to be aware of. 
Become familiar with the journal you are submitting to and carefully review the Guidelines for Authors, which contain information about the scope of the journal as well as submission requirements.

EyeWorld: What is one thing you wish authors knew to improve the publishing process?
Ms. Bailey: Aside from following the Guidelines for Authors, I think authors would be well served to understand copyright. Copyright—and permissions for reuse, including authors reusing their own work—vary with each journal. Authors should be aware of the copyright policies of the journals in which they publish, and if using a figure or table, even in part, from a previous publication, they should check if reprint permission is needed.

Contact information

: gbailey@ascrs.org

Q&A with Genie Bailey, JCRS managing editor Q&A with Genie Bailey, JCRS managing editor
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