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Ergo has exactly this kind of system. You see when referees are invited, whether they agreed to referee, when their report is due, whether it's completed and what the verdict is.


Agreed: Ergo has fully solved this problem already, and journals are good to the extent that they are like Ergo (from a management perspective, anyways).

I no longer submit to journals that use email as the submission system, since that is basically the paradigm of "not like Ergo" (e.g., dialectica). The journal that all the recent stories were about (Pacific Philosophical Quarterly) used email for submissions, too.

Nicolas Delon

I don't want to understate the transition costs of moving away from (or customizing) Editorial Manager or ScholarOne Manuscripts, but Ergo has simply provided a proof of concept that other norms are possible. Anything short of what they do requires justification—-transition costs might be one such justification, but I don't see many others.

Bandwagon Jumper

I’ve long evangelized Ergo’s system. It is quite clearly the best one I’ve submitted to to in terms of transparency.


Nicolas Delon is right I think. I’ll mention particular kind of cost.

I worked a handful of years ago as an editorial assistant and the journal was affiliated with Wily and used their manuscript manager partner. I would like everyone to do the Ergo thing but there are advantages to being connected to a publisher. They cover a lot of production costs, they paid my salary indirectly, and they do still add prestige by putting the journal into libraries (to be clear, I think we should rock that boat as a discipline but the top journals are still print journals with big distribution). But if you want those advantages and their general infrastructure for whatever reason, you are going to be using their management system. Those can be tweaked and customized a bit, but only a bit (at least the one I used). It seems clear to me from older posts here and elsewhere that Phil Imprint and Ergo have had to work hard to break free from the old norms and have sometimes struggled to pay for things. I’m thankful they are blazing the trail but many journals will see important advantages in publisher connections and that will bring with it their rules and systems.


Journals that seem to use the same management software still differ in the kind of information they provide to authors. For examples, it seems that Analysis, Thought, and AJP all use ScholarOne, but in Analysis the author gets more fine grained statuses ('referees invited', 'awaiting referee reports', etc) whereas in the other two the author mostly gets a general 'under review' status that could mean anything from 'an editor was assigned' to 'the reports are in'.

I'm assuming that implementing something like what Analysis does, for journals that already use ScholarOne, isn't too difficult (happy to be corrected). I don't really understand why more journals are not doing this.

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