Instructions for Handling Editors | sciencematters

Instructions for Handling Editors

Basic information:

  • In order to handle a manuscript as a handling editor (HE), you need to first register your information. On the homepage (, to the top right, there is a button called Submit. Clicking on “Submit” would lead to the page where you can register your information along with your email address – we prefer if you used an institution-affiliated email and not one at gmail or 

For registration, you need to provide a username and choose a password. You can also register via your ORCID, LinkedIn or Facebook login. Please fill in all the details and give only correct information. Providing incorrect information about you could forfeit your registration.

  • Once you register, you will be sent an email to confirm your registration. 
  • To handle a manuscript, please click on your personal menu and choose «Handling editor area». This should lead you to a dashboard with three tabs: «Pending, In review, Accepted». The manuscript for which you were invited as HE will be waiting for you in «Pending». 
  • Please read the abstract and accept the terms and conditions (no conflicts of interest) in order to view the entire document. 
  • Read the manuscript carefully, and verify whether you agree on the choice of reviewers made by the editorial team. You may change the preference order in which reviewers are invited by using the drag and drop tool. If you think other reviewers would be better suited, you may send the manuscript back with a comment and your suggested reviewers. Please note that ScienceMatters employs a triple-blind peer review process, you will not be able to know who is assessing the paper, as the reviewers that you select might not accept the invitation. If you agree to the reviewers, invite them using the button «send invitation to reviewers».
  • Once two reviews have been provided, you will assess them carefully with particular attention to the following: Remember that Matters publishes single observations, not full stories. Hence, please check whether the reviewers evaluated the paper solely on the following criteria: Technical quality, Originality and Impact. All observations which are technically well executed will be published at Matters (a score of 4 or above on a scale of 0-10, on the Technical quality). Outstanding observations, which have a score of above 8 in all categories or a total average score of 16/20 can be published in Matters Select. Observations, whose technical quality is scored below 4 on average will be rejected.
  • If you realize that reviewers have divergent scorings and opinions, on a manuscript, you may contact the editorial team to invite a third reviewer to assess the manuscript independently. In the case of three useful reviews, please note that the median score for technical quality will be decisive while considering the journal for publication. 
  • Once you have assessed the reviewer reports, please compliment the evaluation with your own assessment and take a decision: whether the authors need to revise the manuscript or whether it can be accepted as it is for a particular journal. Please choose the journal (Matters or Matters Select), which you consider most suitable for the manuscript and indicate whether there are major revisions, minor revisions or none. 
  • After you have picked a journal (Matters, Matters Select), we will forward your decision to the authors or contact you in case of open questions. The authors will then have the chance to resubmit their revised manuscript. 
  • The editorial team will send you the revised version and ask you for a second assessment. Did the authors address the reviewers and editors comment in a satisfying manner or not? You may then decide whether the paper needs to be sent out to the reviewers for an additional round of review (we advise this only if the reviewers have asked for MUST HAVE/ major revisions). If so, you have the option to send the manuscript to the same reviewers again. In the first case, reviewers re-assess the revised version and you’ll be notified once the two reviews are submitted. You may then choose the journal and forward the paper to the Editorial Office. In the second case, please choose the journal and inform the Editorial Office. Please respond in a timely manner so that we can send the final decision to the authors as soon as possible.
  • In case you need support contact us at