Associate Editor training

This page provides training for Associate Editors handling manuscript for any ecology journal. Resources cover: How to assess a manuscript on initial submission, finding reviewers, how to assess reviewer comments, handling revisions, and writing good recommendation letters to authors.

Finding Reviewers
Podcast
Training videos


Finding reviewers

Finding reviewers can sometimes be a bit of struggle and we know this is a common bugbear. We’ve created this section to offer some hints and tips for finding reviewers. We encourage you to use reviewers beyond those that immediately come to mind in order to broaden the diversity of peer reviewers and give more people the experience of reviewing.

1. Recommended and opposed reviewers

In general, authors are asked for names of recommended and opposed reviewers when they submit a manuscript. Authors should give a short justification for opposing a reviewer, either where the reviewer is listed or in the cover letter. Unless the author lists an excessive number of opposed reviewers, we normally respect their request. If you do invite an opposed reviewer, perhaps to get to the crux of a scientific argument, please check the authors’ reason for opposing that person first, in case the reason is not due to a difference in scientific opinion and, when evaluating their review, do bear in mind that a person was listed as opposed. Please also consider this when selecting and inviting other reviewers.

We encourage you to invite recommended reviewers but, where possible, we suggest at least one review should be from a non-recommended reviewer. To find out more about using recommended and non-recommended reviewers check out this pair of blog posts from Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

2. References in the manuscript

The reference list of the manuscript is a great starting point for finding possible reviewers. Look through the reference list for relevant references or authors that have been cited a lot. Using Web of Science, Scopus or even Google Scholar, you can drill down further to look at the citations of relevant authors. Looking at other publications and the authors’ research should give a good idea of their suitability to review.

3. Journal/Author Name Estimator (JANE)

To use this great online tool for suggesting reviewers, simply paste in the abstract and select ‘find articles’. This tool can work well if the abstract is well-written; it is based on data in PubMed, which contains some ecology so worth a go if you’re out of options.

4. Collaborative peer review

The BES journals support collaborative peer review as it allows early career researchers to gain experience of reviewing whilst being mentored by their supervisor. If you are tempted to invite a big name in the field but think they might decline, you could suggest that they review the paper collaboratively with their PhD student or research group. Our guidelines on collaborative review can be found here, check with your Editorial Office if collbaorative peer review is supported on the journal you work on.

5. Suggested reviewers from declined reviewers

Often reviewers that decline have the option of suggesting other reviews, make the most of these suggestions and check out the suitability of the suggestions.

6. Top tips from our Editors

Rob Freckleton, Senior Editor for Methods in Ecology and Evolution gives his top tips for finding reviewers.

Marc Cadotte, past Senior Editor for Journal of Applied Ecology, gives his top tips for finding reviewers.

Natalie Cooper, Associate Editor for Methods in Ecology and Evolution gives her top tip for finding reviewers.

Laura Graham, Associate Editor for Methods in Ecology and Evolution gives her top tip for finding reviewers.

Luca Börger, Associate Editor for Journal of Animal Ecology gives his top tip for finding reviewers.

Podcast

Coming soon


Training videos

How to handle an original submission
Handling a revision compared to a new submission
What to look for in reviewer comments when writing a recommendation
What makes a good recommendation


How to handle an original submission

Rob Freckleton, Senior Editor for Methods in Ecology and Evolution explains as a Senior Editor what he looks for in an original submission and what is the first thing an Associate Editor should be looking for.

Marc Cadotte, past Senior Editor for Journal of Applied Ecology explains as a Senior Editor what he looks for in an original submission and what is the first thing an Associate Editor should be looking for. 

Natalie Cooper, Associate Editor for Methods in Ecology and Evolution explains what she looks for when handling a new submission as an Associate Editor.

Laura Graham, Associate Editor for Methods in Ecology and Evolution explains what she looks for when handling a new submission as an Associate Editor.


 Luca Börger, Associate Editor for Journal of Animal Ecology explains what he looks for when handling a new submission as an Associate Editor.

Handling a revision compared to a new submission

Rob Freckleton, Senior Editor for Methods in Ecology and Evolution explains how an Associate Editor should hande a revision compared to an original submission.

Marc Cadotte, past Senior Editor for Journal of Applied Ecology explains what makes a good recommendation from an Associate Editor.


Natalie Cooper, Associate Editor for Methods in Ecology and Evolution explains How an Associate Editor should hande a revision compared to an original submission. 


 Laura Graham, Associate Editor for Methods in Ecology and Evolution explains How an Associate Editor should hande a revision compared to an original submission.


 Luca Börger, Associate Editor for Journal of Animal Ecology explains How an Associate Editor should hande a revision compared to an original submission.

What to look for in reviewer comments when writing a recommendation

Rob Freckleton, Senior Editor for Methods in Ecology and Evolution explains what an Associate Editor should look for in reviewer comments.

Marc Cadotte, past Senior Editor for Journal of Applied Ecology explains what an Associate Editor should look for in reviewer comments.

Natalie Cooper, Associate Editor for Methods in Ecology and Evolution explains what she looks for in reviewer comments.


Laura Graham, Associate Editor for Methods in Ecology and Evolution explains what she looks for in reviewer comments.

Luca Börger, Associate Editor for Journal of Animal Ecology explains what he looks for in reviewer comments.

What makes a good recommendation


 Rob Freckleton, Senior Editor for Methods in Ecology and Evolution explains what makes a good recommendation from an Associate Editor.

Marc Cadotte, past Senior Editor for Journal of Applied Ecology explains what makes a good recommendation from an Associate Editor.