Timeline for switching your journal to Scholastica
This article will walk you through the process of moving your journal to Scholastica. We’ll go over some key concepts and tools within Scholastica that you should know about, as well as best practices you can implement to get the most out of your journal’s Scholastica account.
If you have any questions about Scholastica at any point, contact our helpful support department. You can reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via live chat through the window at the bottom-right of any page when you’re logged into your Scholastica account.
Phase 0: Manage your reviews in progress
If you’re transferring an existing journal to Scholastica, chances are you have at least a few manuscripts that are currently under review in your old system. When transferring your journal, we recommend managing the manuscripts you already have with your current system and using Scholastica to accept and manage new submissions. In doing this you’ll be able to start your Scholastica account fresh and initiate a regular editorial process for Scholastica submissions from the start.
Reviewers can be added to your journal in two ways:
1. By inviting them to review a manuscript through your journal account
There is no need to import all of your reviewers into Scholastica at once. The journal's reviewer database in Scholastica is designed to grow organically: as individuals are invited to review manuscripts they are automatically added to your Your Reviewers. As you ask reviewers to review manuscripts on Scholastica, they will be invited to join Scholastica and, upon acceptance, will be added to your collection of “Past Reviewers.” You can easily find your past reviewers in the Scholastica Reviewers table and on the Reviewers page.
2. By importing them
Importing reviewers allows you and your editors to easily reference and invite reviewers that you've worked with in the past even though they may not yet have Scholastica accounts. Learn more about the requirements for importing reviewers here.
Phase 1: Create your Scholastica account and set up your journal
Create your individual account
Getting started on Scholastica is easy. First: create your individual account. Just click sign up on the Scholastica homepage and follow the prompts. You’ll login through this individual account to create and manage your journal on Scholastica.
Create your journal account
Once you have a personal Scholastica account you can create a journal. Just click “Start a journal” on your Dashboard and follow the prompts. By default, new journals are hidden from public view until we activate them, so you don’t have to enter all of your journal details perfectly at this point - you’ll be able to review and edit it all before (and after) making your journal public.
There’s a more detailed walk-through of the journal creation process in our Editor Guide.
After you create your journal, a Scholastica representative will email you to offer help setting up your journal. This person will be your contact when you are ready to make your journal public on Scholastica.
Make it your own
With your journal account set up (but still private), you’re free to tweak your journal settings with Scholastica’s configuration options. Click “My Journals” and then “Settings” and you’ll see all kinds of things about your journal that you can modify (including all the information you entered while you were setting up your journal in the previous step).
Since you created the journal, you are the ‘Admin’ and are the only person who can access the configuration settings. Your other editors won’t be able to modify your journal settings but, if you ever need to, you can transfer the Admin role to someone else so they can manage the journal from their individual Scholastica account.
Here are a few things you should check on while customizing your journal:
Your Reviewer Form: Reviewers will be asked to provide feedback on manuscripts via your journal’s reviewer form. You can customize this form with specific questions. Additionally, you can designate which responses (if any) should be made available to the manuscript’s author once an article decision is issued. Here is a more detailed article about customizing your reviewer form.
Configuration Options: In the configuration options section of your journal’s settings, you’ll find many customizable features, such as whether or not authors should be asked to suggest reviewers when they submit, or which events should trigger email notifications and to whom. We’re happy to answer questions about any of these configuration options if you have them - just contact support!
Templates: When inviting editors to work with your journal, inviting reviewers to read a paper, or issuing a decision on a manuscript to its author, Scholastica gives you the ability to use message templates. You can edit these templates at any time, but if you want to update them now you can do so by going to the pages where you would take the actions associated with the message you want to set up. For instance, if you want to create a decision template, click on one of the sample manuscripts in the manuscripts table. Next, click “Make Decision” and you’ll see the page where you would compose a decision letter. Your templates are listed on the right. Just click the small pencil icon for one of them and you can create a new template. Save it, and anytime you or one of your editors makes a decision that template will be available in the list!
Phase 2: Prepare your editorial team
Once you’ve created your journal, you’re almost ready to bring the rest of your editorial team onto Scholastica. Now is a good time to think about how you can make Scholastica fit to your team’s workflow.
Here are a few of the tools in Scholastica that can help you shape your workflow:
Tags: A useful and flexible tool we offer for keeping your manuscripts organized is manuscript tags. You can create manuscript tags to help your team keep track of where each manuscript is in the review process, or tags that help sort different types of manuscripts. For instance, you may want to keep book reviews separate from articles and adding a tag, such as “Book Review” to all book reviews, is a simple way to do that. Any editor can add tags to a manuscript, so it can be helpful to set up a tagging scheme and share the plan with everyone on your board in order to keep your journal’s tags consistent.
Manuscript Assignments: Another helpful time-saving tool is manuscript assignments. You can manually assign manuscripts to editors from the manuscripts table as submissions arrive, or you can have Scholastica automatically assign manuscripts to certain editors. In the latter case, Scholastica will evenly distribute manuscript assignments to the editors you’ve chosen to receive automatic assignments. Editors can easily filter the manuscripts table to see only their assigned manuscripts.
Communicate the switch
Once you have a clear plan for how you’d like your team to use Scholastica, you should let them know about it! Tell your editors about the workflow you’d like to use and share any tips you’ve picked up about using Scholastica. It can be helpful to write this plan out and share it with the whole team. You can also use the sample manuscripts we've automatically submitted to your journal as examples to work through with your team. If any of your editors want additional orientation, contact us and we’ll be happy to set up a training.
We also recommend sharing our editor guide with your board - it has lots of information about the basics of using Scholastica - and letting them know how to reach out to our support department if they need assistance.
Bring ’em on
Once you’ve given your editors a primer on how to use Scholastica, invite them to join the site. You can do this by going to the My Journals tab > Settings > Manage Editors. Below the editor table (at first, you’ll be the only editor listed), click “Invite Editor” and you’ll be able to send an email invitation to each of your editors.
Recipients of your editor invitations will be prompted to create Scholastica accounts, if they don’t already have one. Make sure everyone registers their account using the exact same email address to which you sent their editor invitation. To see what the editor invitation and sign-up process looks like, check out this help article on the topic.
If anyone accidentally deletes the editor invitation email or has trouble signing up, you can resend the invitation or revoke their outstanding invitation and send them a new one.
Phase 3: Get ready for prime time
Once your editors are able to access your journal within Scholastica and are all on the same page in terms of workflow, you should do one last review of your journal’s public-facing information. Your journal’s Description and Author Guidelines will be important for shaping the submissions you get, so make sure they’re in tip-top shape. Here’s a post from our blog about crafting your submissions guidelines.
With your journal set up the way you’d like, let the Scholastica representative who contacted you when you initially created your journal account know and he or she will make your journal publicly visible on Scholastica.
Add a link to your site
If your journal has its own website separate from Scholastica, be sure authors who go to that website know they can submit their manuscripts via Scholastica. You can do this by adding a link to your Scholastica journal page in the submissions section of your separate journal website. We’ll also create a submissions button you can add to your own site that directs authors right to your submissions page on Scholastica. Just let us know if you’d like one.
Don’t be a stranger
We’re happy to help answer questions you have about Scholastica at any point. Drop us a line via chat or email and encourage your editors, reviewers, and authors to do the same. During normal business hours, we can usually get back to your email within the hour!