Invited Publishing Workflows: Soliciting Content from Authors

In addition to the traditional unsolicited manuscript submission strategy, some journals are also structured to invite Authors to submit content – either as their primary business model or occasionally for specific purposes. Instances include if the journal is seeking a specific asset type, such as video content, or if the journal is interested in producing special issues. Invited workflows can be leveraged for a publisher’s entire portfolio or only a subset of journals, and can enable editorial offices to tailor content towards current trends, capture important developments for researchers/practitioners, support journal quality and growth, and validate the need for a new journal in an emerging field or broaden the scope of an existing journal.

Additional benefits for invited content workflows can include slightly faster publication times in comparison to regular unsolicited articles (due to advanced planning and accelerated peer review), potential to be cited more often (e.g. Elsevier reports that special content articles attract 20% more citations in the first two years than articles published in regular issues!), expanded networking and partnership opportunities between journals and researchers in their targeted field, and added value to an Author’s CV. Types of solicited content varies, but can include original research, reviews, individual articles, opinion/commentary pieces, letters to the Editor, videos, etc. Sometimes there is sensitivity with open access (OA) journals requesting payment via article processing charges (APCs) if the Author is extended an invitation to contribute. As such, some journals may opt to offer incentives for invited Authors, such as APC discounts on established/high-reputation journals, full waivers for newer journals without indexation, and extra post-publication promotional opportunities. However, Authors are wise to be wary of the risk of predatory journals and are encouraged to remain vigilant by taking the added precaution of verifying if the journal is reputable prior to accepting the assignment.

Editorial Manager® (EM), the leading manuscript submission and peer review management system, supports invited workflows for commentaries, proposals, linked submissions, letters to the Editor, and more though configurable Article Types. Journals may locate relevant and qualified Authors through various means, such as Methods collections, tapping into Editors’ personal network, targeted searches through databases such as Scopus or Web of Science (WOS). Publishers are increasingly prioritizing custom guidelines/policies for editorial office staff of how to promote diversity and inclusivity in their Author search and selections. In EM, the Author search functionality is similar to the Reviewer search workflow, and Editors can invite one or more Authors to contribute one or more submissions. If desired, Editors can upload an Author List file (ALF) – which contains Author information and helps avoid proxy registering for each researcher – through the Author Selection Summary page and the system automatically validates and identifies duplicates of missing data.

To learn more about how to leverage invited workflows in EM, check out our recent tutorial presentation or contact your Aries Account Coordinator.