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BMC Biology Guest Editors

Benefits & Responsibilities

To increase our engagement with the community at large, we have developed topical manuscript Collections with a collaborative editorial model whereby Guest Editors assess manuscripts in their areas of expertise alongside the in-house Editorial team. Our Guest Editors work closely with our in-house Editors to ensure that all manuscripts are subject to the same editorial standards and journal policies. 

Benefits of becoming a Guest Editor

As a Guest Editor at BMC Biology, you’ll benefit in the following ways: 

Contribute to your community: Our Guest Editors serve the research community by providing efficient, robust and constructive handling of papers. We believe that the true value of research often exceeds its perceived value and that entire research community benefits from the publication of scientifically sound, reproducible research.

Raise your profile and benefit your career: Being a Guest Editor for a journal demonstrates to employers and funding bodies that you are an active participant in your field. As a Guest Editor your profile in the field will be raised through your work on the journal and interactions with authors, reviewers and fellow editors.

“Behind the scenes” view: Serving as a Guest Editor enhances your knowledge of how editorial decisions are made and gives insight into the peer review process. This experience can be applied to shape your own research papers to maximize your chances of publication by understanding what peer reviewers and editors are looking for. 

Opportunity to shape the field and the publishing landscape: You will be able to act as an advocate for your field, including newly emerging areas of research; as well as be a voice for the active research community in the publishing process, by making recommendations to improve the service provided

Increase your knowledge of your research field: As a Guest Editor, you will have the opportunity to read the newest research before it is published, and by assessing reviewer reports you will be able to develop your own scientific knowledge through exposure to the expertise and opinions of your peers. 

Primary Responsibilities

Our Guest Editors serve the research community by providing efficient, robust and constructive handling of papers. We believe that the true value of research often exceeds its perceived value and that the entire research community benefits from the publication of scientifically sound, reproducible research. 

The primary responsibility of our Guest Editors is to manage the peer review process. As a Guest Editor you will be responsible for the scientific quality of the manuscripts that you handle. You will adhere to the ethos, editorial standards, policies and scope of the Journal and ensure that manuscripts are handled efficiently and appropriately. 

Preliminary assessment of papers

We expect GEs to assess a minimum of three manuscripts per month and accept/decline invitations promptly, ideally within 2 working days. You will be invited to assess manuscripts in your area of expertise, and occasionally in areas close to your field of research and decide whether a paper is in principle suitable for publication in the journal. A recommendation should be returned to the in-house editor within 5 days of manuscript assignment. In case the recommendation is to reject the paper, formulate a suitable message for the authors explaining the Editorial decision. 

Sending papers out for review

Peer reviewers should be invited within 2 working days, if an out-to-review decision is made. Suitable experts should be identified and invited to review the work, ensuring that no known conflicts of interest exist. Reviewers should be chosen so that, collectively, they can evaluate all necessary technical aspects of the manuscript. You should ensure that reviews received  are timely and informative, and communicate with authors and reviewers during the review process as needed. 

Decisions after review

Editorial decisions should be made with reasonable speed and communicate them in a clear and constructive manner to the internal editor. Recommendations for decisions post-review should be circulated to the relevant in-house editor within 5 days of all reports being returned. Decisions should be communicated to the authors in a way that explains the editorial decision and makes clear the next steps, if any. 

Other Responsibilities

  • You are responsible for notifying the in-house Editor if you want to step down so that appropriate action can be taken. We have a 1 month notice period 
  • Bring on-the-ground insights into your field of research, including spreading the news about your Collection, and if you wish, proposing or recruiting commissioned content such as Reviews.
  • Consider writing Editorials for the journal.
  • Become familiar with and maintain the high ethical standards of the journal 
  • Make recommendations to improve the journal and the service that it offers to authors, reviewers, and readers.
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