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Table 3 Competency-related statements a

From: A scoping review of competencies for scientific editors of biomedical journals

Item # b Competency-related statement # c
I. Dealing with authors  
Scientific editors should:  
1 Review study protocols and methods and encourage authors to make them publicly available 1
2 Ensure authors are aware of ethical authorship practices 5
3 Seek to help authors understand magnitude of effect 1
4 Assist potential authors in developing a spirit of inquiry 1
5 Develop wide acquaintance with potential authors 4
6 Demonstrate accountability to authors and ensure they are treated with fairness, courtesy, and objectivity 36
7 Provide constructive criticism to authors 3
8 Engage in mentorship and education of authors to help them produce work to best effect 30
9 Mediate sound communication between the comments of reviewers and responses of authors 4
10 Ensure publication decisions are clearly communicated to all authors 7
11 Interact with authors to confirm undisputed changes in authorship and act on any institutional findings concerning authorship disputes 1
12 Clarify the peer-review processes to authors 2
13 Negotiate manuscript publication delays with authors 1
14 Deal with authors who appeal against rejection 7
15 Ensure authors are informed about journal and article information and/or funding 13
16 Ensure that requests from authors that an individual not review their submission are respected, if these are well-reasoned 2
17 Engage in critical evaluation of authors’ manuscripts and the peer-review process itself 3
18 Provide active encouragement for revisions of manuscripts 2
19 Demonstrate experience as a competent author, academic, researcher, or reviewer 6
20 Demonstrate proficiency in dealing with author misconduct and other issues related to publication ethics 35
21 Work with publishers to defend author rights and pursue offenders 1
22 Act on concerns about plagiarism, data fabrication, or an authorship issue and follow-up with authors and then institutions 13
23 Request full disclosure of potential conflicts of interest by the authors 2
24 Support authors in dealing with breaches of copyright and plagiarism issues 4
25 Request appropriate documentation from authors when they submit manuscripts 6
II. Dealing with peer reviewers  
26 Develop, facilitate, and monitor the peer review process 32
27 Knowledge of different types of peer review 4
28 Encourage and demonstrate awareness of new findings on peer review and publishing and how these influence their journal’s processes 3
29 Review revised manuscripts 1
30 Provide guidance to peer reviewers 11
31 Ensure thorough statistical review 3
32 Ensure that peer review panels for individual papers are not biased 4
33 Evaluate and provide feedback to the reviewers on review quality 9
34 Ensure manuscript content is matched with the expertise of particular reviewers 13
35 Monitor and ensure the fairness, timeliness, thoroughness, and civility in the processing of manuscripts and in responding to queries from authors and reviewers 37
36 Demonstrate knowledge of the workings of the peer review process 7
37 Train peer reviewers 2
38 Ensure reviewer comments are shared with all peer reviewers 1
39 Synthesize reviews and make ultimate editorial decisions in light of peer reviewers’ comments 10
40 Evaluate manuscripts in light of reviewers’ critiques and various selection criteria 5
41 Demonstrate the ability to distinguish between objective peer reviewed research and reviews from opinion and the journal content from advertising and other promotional content 2
42 Ensure reviewers who consistently produce discourteous, poor quality, or late reviews are removed from the journal’s pool of peer reviewers 1
43 Ensure a decision is made on a manuscript when reviewers fail to submit a timely review 1
44 Ensure a very high standard of the referees, don’t accept sloppy reports from anyone 2
45 Demonstrate publication and reviewing skills and experience 1
46 Ensure that reviewers keep manuscripts, associated material, and the information they contain strictly confidential 6
47 Demonstrate sound judgment in the acceptance of research articles, editorials, and reviews that touch on current issues 7
III. Journal publishing  
48 Demonstrate knowledge of marketing and advertising policies, including ethical issues 9
49 Demonstrate knowledge of the article embargo process 1
50 Demonstrate knowledge of indexing services 7
51 Demonstrate knowledge of reprint processes 2
52 Demonstrate knowledge of the specifications of the journal 5
53 Demonstrate knowledge of the goals of the journal 4
54 Demonstrate knowledge of formatting of layout for journal issues 6
55 Ensure the content of manuscripts submitted for publication is checked for accuracy 1
56 Demonstrate knowledge of the different parts, purposes, and characteristics of different types of journals 4
57 Demonstrate understanding of the editorial office and operations 22
58 Ensure that selected/published research is correct 2
59 Demonstrate knowledge about legal issues relating to the position of scientific editor 5
60 Be aware of how design can be used to improve the readability of a document 1
61 Demonstrate understanding of one’s responsibilities and rights as a journal editor 14
62 Demonstrate knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the editorial staff 4
63 Identify and address issues related to data protection and confidentiality 2
64 Demonstrate knowledge of journal metrics and research impact 9
65 Demonstrate knowledge of online publishing and products 13
66 Demonstrate knowledge of the parts, purposes, and characteristics of audio and video clips 2
67 Demonstrate awareness of intellectual property issues and work with publisher to handle potential breaches 1
68 Demonstrate knowledge of technical-economical aspects of medical journal production 16
69 Explore and embrace innovative technologies 5
70 Maintain close contact with the latest trends in electronic media (e.g. tablets) 4
71 Engage in multimedia publishing practices 3
72 Act as a gatekeeper and guarantor of publications, checking both the quality and scope of research published in the journal 81
IV. Journal promotion  
73 Maintain knowledge of important developments and trends in one’s own field 10
74 Demonstrate knowledge of history of journals and scientific publications 2
75 Demonstrate knowledge of national and regional variations between journals 3
76 Demonstrate knowledge of political and geopolitical issues 2
77 Demonstrate familiarity with associations and their educational resources 5
78 Stay on top of updates in one’s field 3
79 Demonstrate knowledge of, and work to maintain and improve the journal’s policies, vision, scope, content, processes, and goals 20
80 Ensure decisions are based on the validity of the work and its importance to the journal’s readers 4
81 Ensure controversial topics (political, ethical) are dealt with 3
82 Stimulate others to write articles and editorials 3
83 Engage in the promotion of scholarly research and best practices in conducting and reporting it 9
84 Entice leading researchers to submit to the journal 7
85 Serve as ambassador for the journal in establishing its visibility and image 10
86 Motivate physicians to read, ponder, and implement the information provided 1
87 Seek feedback/opinions on the journal 4
88 Enhance public understanding of science 3
89 Demonstrate understanding of who one’s constituency is 44
90 Demonstrate a responsibility to the scientific community 8
91 Hold paramount the interests of the particular journal’s readers 26
92 Engage in communication with the public 8
93 Engage with existing and new scientific communities 2
V. Editing  
94 Demonstrate knowledge of policies for submission of manuscripts 1
95 Demonstrate broad and detailed knowledge of the skills needed to refine a piece of scientific work and shepherd it through to publication 27
96 Demonstrate knowledge of typography 4
97 Demonstrate knowledge of and experience with online editing 1
98 Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamentals of editing various types of science copy 3
99 Enforce ICMJE authorship guidelines 2
100 Ensure logic and consistency of manuscripts 2
101 Demonstrate the ability to assess the quality of papers 7
102 Ensure papers selected are clinically relevant 3
103 Ensure papers selected have a clear story-line 1
104 Demonstrate the ability to select material for its merit, interest to readers, and originality alone 11
105 Ensure papers selected are suitable to the journal 4
106 Ensure papers selected for review are meaningful 5
107 Ensure manuscripts are triaged judiciously (for journals that use such a process) 2
108 Demonstrate the ability to form preliminary opinions on a submitted manuscript’s relevance 8
109 Demonstrate the ability to make fast, good decisions about papers 6
110 Demonstrate the ability to make difficult decisions 5
111 Demonstrate the ability to exercise excellent judgment 8
112 Handle manuscripts in the areas of one’s expertise and assist in finding persons qualified to handle papers in those areas outside one’s expertise 2
113 Engage in and maintain interactions and good relations with media 11
114 Select, curate, and comment on articles for publication 1
115 Ensure alterations recommended based on peer reviewers’ comments can be justified 1
116 Demonstrate experience or familiarity with manuscript tracking software (e.g. ScholarOne, AllenTrack, PeerTrack, BenchPress) 6
117 Demonstrate aptitude in using technology (computers, Internet, e-mail, Manuscript Submission Systems) to perform his or her editorial duties) 12
118 Possess a degree in medical editing or be trained as a journal editor 2
119 Demonstrate the ability to write editorials 2
120 Demonstrate working knowledge of the language in which the journal is published 6
121 Demonstrate skills in speed reading, skim reading, and critical reading 2
122 Demonstrate an aptitude for reading widely, deeply, and continually 3
123 Demonstrate experience and/or training in medical journal writing 11
124 Demonstrate understanding of the parts, purposes, and characteristics of tables, charts, graphs, and images 12
125 Demonstrate familiarity with scientific units, numerals, symbols, and nomenclature 17
126 Demonstrate familiarity with the presentation of data and data presentation problems 3
127 Demonstrate familiarity with the basic concepts of statistics 12
128 Demonstrate knowledge of literature reviews 1
129 Demonstrate familiarity with the principles of scientific investigation 3
130 Demonstrate familiarity with types of evidence 2
131 Demonstrate familiarity with scientific referencing 4
132 Demonstrate familiarity with clinical research design 6
133 Demonstrate knowledge of types of manuscripts 9
134 Be working towards a deeper understanding of multiple research epistemologies 1
135 Assist non-native speakers in dealing with language issues 7
VI. Ethics and integrity  
136 Demonstrate knowledge of issues around registration (i.e. trials, systematic reviews, protocols) 4
137 Demonstrate knowledge of and adherence to the principles of editorial independence 25
138 Demonstrate expertise in ensuring the ethical integrity of publications 33
139 Identify and address allegations of fraud or plagiarism 9
140 Demonstrate understanding of privacy, confidentiality, and anonymity issues 13
141 Identify and address issues related to conflicts of interest 34
142 Identify and address issues related to industry-sponsored research 6
143 Separate decision-making from commercial considerations 3
144 Demonstrate knowledge of the ethical approval process for research involving humans and animals 7
145 Ensure the respect and privacy of patients described in clinical studies 7
146 Safeguard the rights of study participants and animals 9
147 Demonstrate understanding of issues related to dual-use research (research with multiple purposes or applications) 2
148 Identify and apply appropriate reporting guidelines 5
149 Guarantee access to, and long term preservation of, the published information 3
150 Encourage debate on important topics related to the journal 2
151 Promote higher standards of medical journalism 1
152 Identify and work to avoid publication bias 3
153 Demonstrate knowledge of COPE resources for editors, authors, and peer reviewers 5
154 Demonstrate knowledge of copyright issues 2
155 Demonstrate knowledge regarding problems with multiple publications (e.g. salami, duplicate, redundant) 9
156 Identify and address incongruities and bias in manuscripts 1
157 Recommend publication of papers that meet standards of scientific rigor 2
158 Identify and address issues related to image manipulation 2
VII. Qualities and characteristics of editors  
159 Demonstrate experience and broad knowledge of the field(s) covered by the journal and of the people working in those fields 19
160 Demonstrate the ability to work in a team 14
161 Delegate/divide the workload 4
162 Communicate clearly with others 16
163 Effectively summarize manuscripts in fields outside your experience 1
164 Possess a Doctorate or Master’s Degree in related content area 8
165 Demonstrate an academic education that includes science training or experience in a research environment 17
166 Demonstrate experience and aptitude in conflict resolution 6
167 Demonstrate excellent organizational, project, and time management skills, including the ability to work under considerable time pressure 20
168 Maintain part time professional practice 2
169 Maintain membership in learned societies and editing-related associations 5
170 Be recognized as a distinguished scholar in one’s field 8
171 Maintain an active research portfolio/is employed in a research-oriented university or institute 5
172 Demonstrate past experience on an editorial board 1
173 Demonstrates competence as a practitioner in their field 2
174 Demonstrate strong interpersonal skills 5
175 Demonstrate good analytical skills 6
176 Demonstrate effective critical appraisal skills 4
177 Demonstrate the ability to achieve consensus among opinionated scientists 1
178 Demonstrate leadership skills 20
179 Demonstrate political and public relations sense 3
180 Demonstrate self-motivation 5
181 Demonstrate enthusiasm 4
182 Demonstrate tolerance and persistence 5
183 Demonstrate boldness 6
184 Demonstrate independent thinking 4
185 Maintain visibility and respect among peers and in the larger scientific community 4
186 Maintain rigid criteria 1
187 Demonstrate the ability to perpetuate or challenge master narratives 1
188 Exercise convictions with a positive attitude 1
189 Demonstrate a willingness to reconsider decisions 8
190 Demonstrate practicality 3
191 Demonstrate decisiveness 4
192 Demonstrate personal interest in medical ‘journalology’ or ‘editology’ 3
193 Demonstrate an enjoyment of learning and a questioning mind 3
194 Demonstrate the desire to advance their field of study 15
195 Have access to a good academic network or have the potential to grow one 2
196 Demonstrate patience when dealing with authors and reviewers 4
197 Demonstrate knowledge of processes related to the editorial board 10
198 Respond promptly to complaints 7
199 Act with integrity and accountability 39
200 Engage with social media to reach out beyond the usual specialist audiences 22
201 Demonstrate knowledge of the parts, purposes, and characteristics of manuscripts 3
202 Demonstrate knowledge of open access models 2
Other potential competencies  
203 Statements related specifically to the Editor-in-Chief position d 68
  1. a The order in which the statements are presented is purely for purposes of organization and is not intended to convey any type of ranking
  2. c Corresponds to the Item(s) columns in Tables 1 and 2
  3. b Number of extracted competency-related statements across all data sources in the scoping review
  4. d This item contains all statements pertaining only to potential competencies of Editors-in-Chief. Despite these potential competencies not being directly relevant to this scoping review, we nevertheless wanted to account for them in our results as they did fit our inclusion criteria