Editorial workflow

  1. Author submits paper via our website (which runs software called OJS, Open Journal Systems, which is pretty good but not perfect and we have occasional issues with its upkeep being out of our control). The way we find out is that the all-editors alias is cc’ed when the system sends out acknowledgment to the author.

  2. When you see that there is a new submission, please check it out on the OJS website.

  3. The system automatically assigns LMcN and KJS as the editors in charge, but that’s just temporary until a shepherding editor is chosen. Who takes charge is a collective decision. LMcN/KJS may ask for volunteers, browbeat someone into taking it, or take it on themselves. Or, in fact, someone can actually volunteer straightaway if the paper looks interesting to them.

  4. The shepherding editor sends email to the author, saying that they will shepherd the article, that we are aiming for a decision within 60 days, and that they should contact the shepherd if they have any questions or concerns.

    Long/complex papers take longer and so it makes sense to alert authors to the likelihood that we may take up to 90 days given the nature of their paper.

    NB: The email facilities in OJS are less than ideal. We often send email from our personal accounts, cc’ing all-editors so that everyone is up to date on what’s going on.

  5. Within 1-3 days of submission, the shepherding editor chooses reviewers (when in doubt consult with the other editors) and sends out requests via the website, as follows:

    On the Review tab for the submission, click “Select Reviewer”, which brings up a searchable list of the editorial board. There is a way to search by review interests. There’s a glitch in that there is a substantial database of reviewing interests but the system fails to display them consistently. Also, the stats about the reviewer having “active” reviews outstanding are unreliable. If in doubt whether a reviewer is busy for us (or was recently), ask the team.

    When you’ve made a choice, “assign” the reviewer. Back on the “Review” tab, click the mail icon to send an email to the reviewer. A prefilled template shows up but you can personalize the text to your heart’s content.

    If you think of a reviewer who is not on the board, we can invite them to the board or just make them an ad hoc-reviewer.

    New Editorial Board Member

    Any of us should feel free to invite to the board without discussion anyone who meets the following conditions:

    • Tenure track position, or established researcher several years out from PhD
    • Record of publication in semantics/pragmatics, including journal publications
    • You judge the work to be reasonably solid

    When some of these conditions are not met (e.g. for a postdoc only 1 year out, or for someone who has limited semantics publications but a primary area of interest that is relevant), then discussion with the rest of the editorial team (or at least with Kai and David, if you prefer) would be merited.

    Notify the all-editors list when you plan to invite a new board member. Please use the template for editorial board invitations (edit as you see fit).

    If and when the person agrees to join the board, follow the steps layed out below.

    Ad hoc reviewer

    If you would like to ask someone to review for us who otherwise does not (quite) qualify for our board, here are the steps:

    • Send an informal query to the prospective reviewer. (This is so that we don’t create an account for them with its auto-message before they agree to review for us.)
    • If they agree, create an account for them. (“Select reviewer” > “Create new reviewer”)
    • Send out the request.

    We typically ask three reviewers. For some shorter papers, especially when we have serious in-house competence, we stay with two reviewers. On some doozies, we go out for four reviews sometimes.

    Sometimes reviewers accept review requests via email and don’t go through the system. In such a case, the shepherd should go to the Review page and click “WILL DO THE REVIEW”, thus recording the agreement.

  6. If a reviewer doesn’t respond within 3 days, resend the request. If they do not respond within a week, cancel the request, chiding them for not responding, and move on to alternate reviewers.

  7. The usual deadline for reviews is four weeks. We sometimes adjust this a bit if needed, keeping in mind that we really want to have a decision made within 60 days of submission. As the deadline approaches or passes, we often need to nudge reviewers.

  8. When the reviews are in, the shepherding editor drafts a decision. For the first few times, you should consult with LMcN and KJS. Note that our modal decision by far is “Reject” with varying degrees of warmth encouraging a resubmission. We rarely issue “Revise and resubmit” (only if the path to a successful revision is so clear that we could write the revision ourselves). Read the Author and Reviewer Guidelines for more info: http://info.semprag.org/author, http://info.semprag.org/reviewers. These documents are in progress; please ask questions, make recommendations for changes, etc. You’ll probably see other decisions go by on email and so you’ll see how we do things in practice.

  9. The decision is sent to the author, cc’ing all-editors. We also send a copy of the decision to the reviewers. If the manuscript has not been submitted in anonymous form or contains clear indications that the authors do not care about an anonymous review process, the reviewers can be bcc’ed on the letter of decision. Else, a version without identifying information should be sent to the reviewers separately, including in the author letter something along the following lines: “A copy of this email with identifying information removed will be sent to the three anonymous reviewers.” [Again, all these emails can be sent out from the system or from a personal account.] The decision is recorded via the website.

When you are ready to issue a “revisions required” decision (= conditional accept)

With your “revision required” decision, please include this:

This is the stage for you to try and prepare the next and hopefully final version in accordance with our formatting guidelines: http://info.semprag.org/basics and http://info.semprag.org/style. Ideally, you would use our LaTeX style files, which are linked from that site. Please make sure to provide DOIs for everything in your bibliography that has DOIs. Pasting your bibliography into the form at https://doi.crossref.org/simpleTextQuery is a great way to find the DOIs if you don’t already have them. If you have any technical issues, please contact production@semprag.org.

If a file or files of supplementary material are involved, the authors should be asked to host them at a reliable repository (such as Harvard Dataverse or Open Science Framework) and to link to them from their pdf, so that the Early Access version provides easy access to the material for readers.

When you are ready to accept the final version

Before you officially accept the submission in the OJS system, please send the following to the author(s). Please keep the status of the paper as “revisions required” and only accept the submission when they have sent their source files and the signed author agreement:

We are ready to accept your paper, which we will officially do once you have provided us with a zip archive, including the following items:

Once we’ve received this material, we will move your paper into production and register it as “accepted” in our online submission system. Soon after, we will publish an “early access” version (based on your final PDF), which will count as the official publication (with a publication date, the final DOI, and an entry in the journal’s table of contents). The final typeset version will replace the early access version in due course. Our production team will be in touch at all stages of the process.

Please email the zip archive to me.

Once they send you the zip archive, forward it to production@semprag.org and “accept” the submission on OJS. If a file or files of supplementary material are involved, please make a note of this in the forwarding email. The production team will take it from there and your job is done.

Some notes on ethos and etiquette

Adding a new person to the editorial board

There are two options: once the new person has agreed to join the board, (i) let David & Kai know and have them do all the work of setting the new person up (this is the default), (ii) do the first two steps yourself and ask David & Kai to do the masthead addition.

  1. check whether they already have an account in the system (from being a reader, an author, or an ad hoc reviewer). If so, that’s the account we’ll be “upgrading”. If not, create a new account for them with reader/author/reviewer status (in that case, the system will send them an email about their new account and login info).

  2. send them an email saying one of the following:

If they have an account already:

Dear X, that's great. Since you already have an account on our journal management system (username: "Y"), I just flipped the reviewer bit. If you could take a moment and edit your profile (http://semprag.org/user/profile), especially your affiliation and your "reviewing interests" (topics that you feel most comfortable with), that would be very helpful. You will soon be added to the masthead as well (http://semprag.org/about/editorialTeam). We look forward to working with you. If at any time, you have questions or concerns about the journal, please let us know. The review request will be on its way as well. All the best, Z (for the rest of the team as well). -- Semantics and Pragmatics http://semprag.org

If they do not yet have an account:

Dear X, that's great. You should by now have received an automated email from our journal management system with login information (username: "Y"). If you could take a moment and edit your profile, especially with your affiliation and your "reviewing interests" (topics that you feel most comfortable with), that would be very helpful. You will soon be added to the masthead as well (http://semprag.org/about/editorialTeam). We look forward to working with you. If at any time, you have questions or concerns about the journal, please let us know. The review request will be on its way as well. All the best, Z (for the rest of the team as well). -- Semantics and Pragmatics http://semprag.org
  1. The editors-in-chief will add them to the masthead.