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Top Tips for Associate Editors

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  1. Tip 1

    The number of reviewers, which is typically set to 2, means that however many invitations to review are sent, when the first two come in the rest are sent politely phrased, "thank you maybe next time" letters. If you set it to 3 then, then the system waits for three, and so on. You can invite however many reviewers you want to or you can invite two and then add as/if needed.

    To change the number of reviewers to secure from the default of 2 to the number you need, use the pull-down box on the grid of reviewers screen, then press the “update” button. There are actually several places this box is located, and all of them work fine. Here's a picture:

    It is recommended to have 2 reviewers but sometimes you might need a tie-breaker or other circumstances might arise. It is personal choice whether to invite more reviewers than needed upfront -- if we were going out of town we might do that and in other circumstances we might invite two and then wait and see. It may be that if person x declines, person y is a better choice; but if person b declines than person c must be asked. We absolutely respect our associate editors to make the right call in these matters, perhaps even almost paper by paper decisions. As always any question with the system, please write to the editorial office ( not the editor.

  2. Tip 2
  3. If a paper ought to have a CIF (Crystallographic information file), but it does not, email us at the Editorial Office to obtain one from the author. We'll upload it and let you know. The paper can be in regular review in the meantime, but cannot go past AE decision. More CIF-related tips: (1) If there is a CIF, after regular review is complete, let us know and we'll "Assign Technical Editor". (We often just do this without a prompt but never hurts.) (2) If there were problems to solve in revision in the CIF, then let us know to "Assign Technical Editor" for the revised paper.

  4. Tip 3
  5. AEs should ensure that every paper they recommend for acceptance is ready for public viewing: the accepted paper will be the preprint and, eventually, the post-print. It will be a public document. Thus, even a paper with glowing reviews should still be sent a revision letter because the authors deserve one final chance to amend the document and the revision letter contains valuable info for the authors.

  6. Tip 4
  7. Never copy a link from one letter to another letter to send to someone else. Every link is specific to a person and a stage in the relational database. (You can copy and paste a nice intro paragraph from one reviewer to another reviewer -- but not the links.)

  8. Tip 5
  9. To avoid creating duplicate or wrong entries in the database for reviewers, start by searching. Here's a picture: