Workshop: Journal editor workshop: Authorship and peer review systems

Journal editor workshop: Authorship and peer review systems

Tips for journal editors

In January 2014, Editage organized a series of workshops for researchers and journal editors at various locations in Japan and Korea. The workshops were conducted by experienced editor, medical writer, publications consultant, and trainer--Dr. Elizabeth Wager.  These workshops were attended by over 300 researchers and journal editors. This was part of the workshop series in Korea at the Biomedical Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital. This workshop was held for the journal editors of the journals that belong to KAMJE (Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors).

Some key topics that were addressed included the authorship criteria, accountability, author selection, and group authorship among other things. During this session, Dr. Wager also spoke about alternate systems of peer review, traditional peer review systems, journal consortia, publisher cascades, and radical variations in the peer review system.

Dr. Wager began this session with an update about an important revision to the ICMJE guidelines. She said that the guidelines had been majorly re-organized in August 2013 and provides recommendations for the conduct, reporting, editing, and publication of scholarly work in medical journals. Below is a comparison of some key points related to authorship in the 2008 (old version) and the updated (2013) version of the guidelines. 

S. No 2008 2013
1. substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data. Substantial contributions to conception or design of the work, acquisition of data, or the acquisition, analysis or interpretation for the work; AND
2. drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content. Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
3.   Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to to the accuracy or integrity of any parts of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved

Aside from discussing author accountability, author selection, and group authorship, she discussed collaborators—one of the newly introduced points in the 2013 guideline.

“The byline of the article identifies who is directly responsible for the MS, and MEDLINE lists as authors whichever names appear on the byline. If the byline includes a group name, MEDLINE will list the names of individual group members who are authors or who are collaborators, sometimes called non-author contributors, if there is a note associated with the byline clearly stating that the individual names are elsewhere in the paper and whether those names are authors or collaborators.”

 In the second part of this session, Dr. Wager focused on alternative peer review systems. She briefly spoke about the traditional systems of peer review in which virtually all submissions are sent for an external review. The editor selects the reviewers and the reviewers advice the editor. There are of course minor variations to this traditional system, such as journals asking authors to suggest reviewers.

Dr. Wager briefly went on to talk about the journal consortia, i.e. if rejected by the first target journal the author can select the second journal from within NPRC and the reviews are passed on.

Likewise, she spoke about publisher cascades. She gave the example of the BMJ group where authors can select up to 2 alternative BMJ journals (on submission). If rejected by the first choice MS is automatically transferred to the second then the third choice journals.

Finally, she also spoke about independent peer review (i.e. outside the journal), pre-publication review, and post-publication review.

The editors at KAMJE really appreciated the lecture.

See our upcoming workshops and webinars here. If you would like us to conduct a workshop/webinar for your organization, please contact us at

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