The Editor Experience at Springer Nature

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The Source
By: Penny Freedman, Tue May 28 2019
Penny Freedman

Author: Penny Freedman

In 2018 we asked journal editors and board members at Springer Nature to tell us about their experience working on their journal, the major issues they face, and the positive points they take away from their work. Over 5,000 editors across BMC, Springer Open, Palgrave, Springer, and Nature Research journals completed the survey. We thank everyone that took the time to share their feedback. Read on for some of the key findings and ways we can help.

Editor Survey 1 © Adobe Stock by NicoElNino

Communication and Satisfaction

We were happy to see that 72% of editors rate the communication they have with staff at Springer Nature as “excellent” or “good.” It was also inspiring to learn that 79% of editors feel “very” or “quite motivated” in their role.

Time Spent on Editorial Tasks

We found that on average editors are spending 2 hours and 30 minutes on editorial tasks each week. Almost all editors are involved in managing peer review, but other activities include working on journal development, making editorial decisions about papers, the journal and editorial board, and writing content for the journal.

60% of editors are interested in taking on new responsibilities. The responsibility that editors most want to take-on is improving the quality of the submissions of the journal. Other tasks that editors have a substantial amount of interest in performing are doing more to promote their journal, having more say in their journal’s development, and investigating areas that their journal should move into.

Areas of Improvement

Finding peer reviewers is a cause of  frustration of our editors, with 49% finding issue with the task. Many pointed to the well-known difficulty of recruiting reviewers. One editor lamented:

“I have one manuscript for which I've contacted 14 relevant potential peer reviewers which have been incredibly time consuming to find and this makes me reluctant to take on additional assignments.”

22% of editors feel a lack of networking/communication with other editors as a cause of frustration. More specifically, 33% of editors do not feel like they are a part of a network of their journal’s editors.

How our Imprints Compare

Finding peer reviewers is the top frustration across all of our journal imprints. Interestingly, the second most reported frustration differs across our many brands. Springer and Palgrave editors feel that the second most frustrating thing is the heavy workload on their journal, while BMC and Scientific Reports’ editors pointed to a lack of networking communication with other editors.

Addressing the needs of our editors

We appreciate all feedback good and bad, and are constantly working towards improving the editorial experience at Springer Nature. Visit our Editor page to stay updated on new policies, resources, and services. Other considerations:

  • If you’re an editor of a Springer Nature journal, the new Reviewer Finder tool will be rolling out shortly to all of our journals. Some of our editors have already had a chance to try it out. By plugging in the details of the manuscript you need reviewers for, you will be able to find reviewers faster and easier. More information to come soon!
  • Check out our booths at upcoming conferences in your discipline area to connect in-person. We are happy to chat and hear more about your journal’s plans and your publishing questions.
  • Take part in the conversations happening on our Grand Challenges portal. Your insight into these pressing issues is valuable and needed. Great a stronger connection with your academic peers.
  • Look out for e-mail updates in your inbox. Make sure our e-mails are not routing into spam. Your inbox is the most direct way we can reach you with quarterly updates on your journal’s performance and growth. You can sign up for the Source newsletter too.
  • Follow us on social media! Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

Let us know what else you would like to see from us in the comments.

Penny Freedman

Author: Penny Freedman

Penny Freedman is a Marketing Manager on the Author Experience & Services team, based in the New York office. She works closely on sharing insight and guidance on the benefits and services available to our editors, reviewers, and authors.

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