December 31, 2008, North Andover, MA, USA –Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS) was one of several journals pioneering a format known as Open Peer Commentary over 30 years ago. Particularly significant and controversial pieces of work are published from researchers in any area of psychology, neuroscience, behavioral biology or cognitive science, together with 10-25 commentaries on each article from specialists across these disciplines, plus the author’s response to them. The result is a fascinating forum for communication and discussion maintained by the careful selection of authors and commentators and refereeing of their contributions. This format anticipated the interactivity of a blog but situated it within the editorial system of an academic journal to maintain high quality. One indication of the success of BBS as an intellectual forum is its consistently high Impact Factor (17.462, JCR 2007 data), ranking BBStop of all 1865 journals in the Social Science Citation Index, as well as at the top of its subject category.
The BBS peer commentary format posed significant challenges for updating its online submission, review and response. After exploring alternative approaches, the online submission system of Editorial Manager, with its multiple configuration options, made successful transition possible.
Drs. Barbara Finlay, Cornell University, and Paul Bloom, Yale University, co-Editors of BBS commented, “Open Peer Commentary is essential to BBS, but is quite unlike the format of most journals. We were pleased that Cambridge identified a system that could be configured to address our needs.”
In the face of growing online competition from Blogs and social networks, the ability for publishers to continue to insist on high quality content while streamlining editorial workflow is a growing imperative. The application of Editorial Manager to the BBS editorial workflow is an example of how Cambridge is leading the way.
About Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is the publishing division of the University of Cambridge, one of the world’s leading research institutions and winner of 81 Nobel Prizes. Cambridge University Press advances learning, knowledge and research worldwide. It publishes over 230 journals and over 2,500 books a year for distribution in more than 100 countries.
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