Editors' Responsibility for Publishing High-Quality Research Results: A Worldwide Study Into Current Challenges in Quality Assessment Processes
The contemporary scientific community faces significant challenges in assuring research credibility. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an even greater interest in swift publications of valid research results, and individual editors of reputable academic journals might feel pressured to ensure high quality of published papers. Aiming to explore how editors perceive their management of the quality assessment processes and to identify decisions and processes which editors believe to be the most critical for securing high-quality publications, we conducted a qualitative survey. 258 editors of scientific journals from 42 countries participated in the study. Key findings of the first part of the study show that across disciplines, editors perceived the manuscripts as excellent if they were innovative, scientifically sound, well-written and well-argued, addressed a significant topic, contained useful results, and had the potential to change (improve) something. Secondly, originality emerged as the leading quality criteria in manuscript quality assessment, followed by validity and significance. Finally, results indicate that factors influencing the overall complexity of editorial quality assessment are: (i) clearly defined minimum threshold of required quality, (ii) consistency of assessment between individual quality criteria, and (iii) experience of the editor.
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