Running a Journal

Running a journal is complicated and so many companies use journal management systems to help them deal with the very large workloads. In this article, we’ll be going over what journal management systems are and how they work.

Starting from article submission, through peer review and revisions, until updating databases and publishing, there are many different steps involved in publishing an article. Let’s look at just a handful of steps in the process that requires time from an employee to take care of.

Journal submission pipeline

While every journal may have slightly different pipelines to go from the submission stage to publication, there are probably significant similarities. Running a journal doesn’t need to be hard. In fact, with the right processes and planning, it can be easy.

Running a journal needs a peer review pipeline

Once an article has been received, it needs to be verified and then the paper (if acceptable) needs to be sent out for peer review. All the people contacted for peer review need to be tracked, acceptance or rejection needs to be tracked, revisions need to be tracked, and all of this takes time.

Using spreadsheets is one way of doing this, but it is very time-consuming and very difficult to easily navigate to find important information.

Once peer review has been completed, manuscripts often need to be addressed by authors and changes need to be made to the work. Once changes are made, the process may need to start again and the manuscript returned to peer review. This always depends on the extent of changes needed, the peer reviewer in question, and editorial decisions. There is no “one size fits all” plan here.

Once all the changes are made to the paper and both the peer reviewers and the editorial office are satisfied, the paper moves on to the next stage of the publishing process.

Production processes for running a journal

Depending on the journal, there may be any number of additional stages that are undertaken. Layout formatting and English editing might be included at this stage, but there are always variations. Organizing these processes can also be complicated, and coordinating various departments is very difficult if you’re only relying on email and notebooks to keep track of so many different processes.

Having a submission system that allows you to take your accepted manuscripts through proofreading, typesetting, and XML conversion, while ensuring that quality is not sacrificed along the way, is of immense value. It saves time and it saves money.

We’ll be going into more detail on many of the different stages of production in the future. Make sure you come back to read those articles.


Invoicing is very important to the survival of a business. A good journal management system can help with the invoicing process. Being able to keep track of balances owed and whether payments have been made is critical to your business. Make sure that you’re running a journal’s finances effectively. With a steady cash flow, the lights stay on and people get paid.

How can you run multiple journals?

Many companies have lofty aspirations and want to produce multiple journals. Doing this, however, can just compound the amount of work that you need to do. Making sure that you’re using the best management strategy you can for your journal is critical.

A journal management system like JAMS can help to limit the amount of hours that are needed to run several different journals.

Automating multiple steps of the process can be vastly useful. Especially if you want to run several journals with a limited number of employees.

Journal management systems allow companies to produce greater results than they might normally be able to achieve given the number of employees. They allow a greater ability to get more done because the systems are so efficient.

Making sure your staff is ready

While it might seem clear to most people, sometimes proper training can be overlooked. Generally, there are two different ways to deal with training. First, ensure that you have different kinds of training processes that address important elements of the publishing process.

The second is to have an easy-to-use tool that allows staff to work on. By giving them access to an intuitive and easy to understand system, you empower your staff. It allows them to move through the publication process effectively without unnecessary delays.

While training is important, sometimes giving your staff powerful tools to help can make your business run more effectively.

Time saved on training that your staff doesn’t need can really add up. This time can be better spent on important things, like the peer review process or how to organize editing on manuscripts.

Making sure that your staff is ready for any eventuality. This means to make sure that you have processes and plans in place.

Planning for future growth

Make sure that your staff has the guidelines and directives that they will need. A successful journal is built by reliable people with clear guidance. Trust your staff to do what you have hired them to do. When employees have clear guidelines, they can meet targets. As such, it’s much harder an employee to do their job effectively if management is constantly checking in. Micromanagement has a very real impact on the bottom line.

Running a journal takes careful planning

Having said all this, each part element we’ve covered is a complicated subject on its own. Follow us as we learn more about these individual parts of the publishing process, the pipeline from submission to publication, and even what comes after. If you want more advice and ideas, or if you want to learn more about JAMS and how it can help you achieve your publishing goals, let us know.

D.J. McPhee
20 November 2023Posted inOperational Tasks
Post authorD.J. McPhee