|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 87-88
Editor's expectations from an author
Department of Burns, Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery, Safdarjang Hospital and VM Medical College, New Delhi, India
|Date of Web Publication||17-Aug-2015|
Dr. Karoon Agrawal
T-23, First Floor, Green Park Main, New Delhi - 110 016
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Agrawal K. Editor's expectations from an author. J Cleft Lip Palate Craniofac Anomal 2015;2:87-8
Journal of Cleft Lip Palate and Craniofacial Anomalies is completing its 2 years of existence. Submission of new articles during these 2 years has been encouraging. In spite of being a new journal its readership, login rate, and downloads have been exceptionally high. This has been possible only because of active contributors, timely reviews by dedicated peers, knowledgeable proofreaders, active members of the editorial board, and the diligent and efficient publishing team. In the last issue, I pondered over the responsibilities of the reviewers, who are the pillars of the editorial process and instrumental in bringing out a good quality journal.  This time I thought of highlighting authors' responsibilities.
The responsibility of submission of quality articles primarily rests on the shoulders of the researchers and the authors. Surprisingly, we do not talk or write much about this, probably because it is anticipated that a comprehensive "guidelines for the authors" is enough. Over the past 2 years of my editorship, I have realized that the system of detailed instructions does not work very well for our authors. Somewhere, we are missing the link between authors and their requirements. That is why I thought it is appropriate to present the responsibilities of the authors in a much simpler way.
Let us see the stages of the publication of an article in our journal. The author prepares two document files and figures. One consists of the covering letter, title page, and financial disclosure. The second file is the main manuscript. During online submission, the two document files and figures are uploaded at the appropriate links of the online system. On the quick survey, if the editor finds any major flaw in the submission, the article is returned back to the author for "technical modifications." If the author follows the instructions meticulously, there should not be a need for any major technical modifications. At present in our journal, technical modifications are required in 40% of submissions which is extremely high, meaning thereby that the authors are not giving enough attention to the instructions. The author corrects the shortcomings and resubmits quickly. Thereafter, the article is sent to the reviewers, who submit their comments within the stipulated time frame. The article is then forwarded to the authors for corrections and clarifications, which are re-examined by the reviewers. On the recommendations of the reviewers, the editor accepts the article, and it is then sent to the publisher for language correction, designing, and page set up. This is again sent to the authors for proofreading to be completed within a fixed time frame. It is also read by the editor multiple times. Once satisfied, the article is ready for publication.
In this process of publication, the authors' responsibilities are many fold. They have been enlisted as responsibilities in writing, authorship, and etiquettes of communication. Every section is equally important and relevant. The key points of good writing practices  are as follows:
- One should read and understand the requirement of the journal through "instructions".
- Writing should be clear and explicit.
- Use good language; poor language is distracting.
- Concentrate on technical accuracy as technical mistakes create doubt about the authenticity of the research.
- Repetition of the text is irritating, avoid it.
- Citations and bibliography must be accurate and follow the journal pattern.
- All figures and tables must be cited in the text appropriately.
- Copyright should be submitted separately at appropriate link, it is not part of the figures.
- To avoid bias either way, names of the institution and the authors should not be part of the manuscript.
- Avoid using others' material without his/her knowledge. Valid permission should be sought and should be produced on request.
- Acknowledge the contributions of nonauthors.
Once the manuscript is submitted, it is sent for peer review to two to five subject experts. They spend their valuable time and evaluate the scientific content of the submission. Simultaneously, the members of the editorial board ponder over the integrity of the authorship and ethical issues. Here the responsibilities of the authors are: 
- Avoid plagiarism, it is equivalent to theft. The manuscript must be absolutely original. Works published by others is owned by those authors and the publisher. Copying is not permitted at any cost. If there is a need to use the work or text of other publications, it should be appropriately cited or quoted. In this era of softwares and apps, it is easy to detect. In case plagiarism is proved, it invites immediate rejection.
- Avoid publication of the same data more than once. Disclose any repeat publication and acknowledge.
- Avoid submission of the same paper to more than one journal at the same time.
- Avoid gift or honorary authorship. Persons who have not contributed enough should not find a place in the list of authors.
- Ghost authors are persons with a significant contribution to the research or preparation of the manuscript but do not get a place in the list of authors. So list all authors meticulously, preferably in the order of their contributions. This will avoid missing out on names of persons who have actually contributed to the research and unpleasantness among colleagues.
Finally, frequent communication is required at every stage of the publication process. One needs to be responsive and should communicate expeditiously as follows:
- In case of doubt or need for any clarification regarding the publication of your article, please contact the editor through appropriate mode of communication.
- It is considered impolite if the corresponding author fails to respond to any communication from the editorial office.
- In the process of publication, when an inaccuracy is discovered, one must promptly inform the editor and/or the publisher.
- Be prompt at every stage of submission after a request for technical modifications, revisions, and proofreading. The aim of the review process is to select good and appropriate articles for the journal. Reviewers extend honorary services. Hence be polite while replying. You may not agree with some of the suggested modifications. You have the right to politely decline the suggestions.
Every member of the board is happy to have a conscientious author who understands the above responsibilities and executes promptly during the review and publication process. I wish all our authors read the "instructions" carefully before the submission of the manuscript and have a friendly communication with the editorial board.
| References|| |
Agrawal K. Reviewers: The undisputed pillar of journal publishing. J Cleft Lip Palate Craniofacial Anomalies 2015;2:1-3.
Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals. Int Comm Med J Editors 2014. Available from: http://www.icmje.org/icmje-recommendations.pdf
. [Last accessed on 2015 Aug 04].