Most journals use similar manuscript handling systems such as ScholarOne. I have seen both author and reviewer accounts (which are similar). I wonder how an editor account looks like. I mean how you search for reviewers, how they are assigned, notifications, etc.

Can you share some screenshots of your editor control panels (of course, sanitizing the sensitive information)? I am sure that many young researchers like me are curious to have a picture of the other side when we submit our manuscripts.

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    You mean like the help on this page editorresources.taylorandfrancisgroup.com/… – StrongBad Jan 10 '18 at 1:39
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    I hope your real motivation in asking this question is to produce a competing system. Because ScholarOne is horrible and needs to die. – Konrad Rudolph Jan 10 '18 at 14:25
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    Here is a video made by one of the leading journals in neuroscience, showing you what editors are doing, and also giving you a glimpse on the tools they use: players.brightcove.net/2842341025001/default_default/… – Mark Jan 10 '18 at 17:40
  • @KonradRudolph I wonder if a question about what's wrong with existing systems might somehow be constructed to be on-topic? I've been working on a startup, and finding problems like that that need fixing is something I'd very much be interested in. – Nat Jan 28 '18 at 23:37
  • @Nat That would probably be a good question for “meta”. At a guess I’d say that it’s probably not great in general, though it may be fine in specific cases. At the moment I’m actually tempted to chose this question as off-topic but it has generated a lot of interest. – Konrad Rudolph Jan 29 '18 at 10:07

The following screenshot is for Editorial Manager (used by Springer, Nature, APA, Wiley, Taylor & Francis, PLOS).

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The action links on the left are where everything is done. Brief explanation of some of the tabs:

  1. iThenticate is a program that checks for plagiarism. This particular submission has 16% similarity, which is low. If desired the editor can read the entire report, which includes both where the similarity occurs and where it came from.
  2. "Duplicate submission" checks if the manuscript was submitted multiple times. Sometimes it's in error (author submits twice thinking the first time didn't go through); other times it flags a reject-and-resubmit manuscript.
  3. "History" shows the history of the manuscript from submission till today, such as when it was submitted, when an editor was assigned, when each reviewer was invited, and so on. Every time the system sends an email, it's logged here.
  4. "Edit submission" lets the editor modify the submission (e.g. if the authors later discovered they've not included a source file, this is where to add it).
  5. "Invite reviewers" - self-explanatory. Clicking this goes to another menu that lets the editor both mine the current database and / or register new reviewers to invite. If this submission had a completed review there'd be a "view reviews and comments" button, and if it's ready for a decision, there'd be a "submit editor's decision and comments" button as well.
  6. "Set final disposition" terminates the peer-review process. For this manuscript, since no decision has been made yet, the only option is 'withdraw'. If a decision has already been made (accept / reject), this is also where to set the final status.

The other boxes should hopefully be self-explanatory. In the review status on the right, the first manuscript currently has 3 reviewers who've agreed to do it, 1 who hasn't responded, and 3 who declined. Clicking the "more" button lets the editor see who those reviewers are, when the reviews are due, how long it's been since the reviewer invitation was sent out (for the reviewer who hasn't responded), and the reasons for declining, if any.

The bottom manuscript is showing status "required reviews completed" because the settings for this particular journal is set to flag any submission with 1 completed review as such. Some journals might require two or more reviews before the status updates.

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  • People are declining to be reviewrs? What can be possible cause' – SSimon Jan 29 '18 at 5:00
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    @SSimon in my experience, by far the two most common reasons are 1) lack of time and 2) the reviewer doesn't feel he or she has enough specialist knowledge to review the article. – Allure Jan 29 '18 at 7:49

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