Can I customize my submission form?

With over 1,000 journals using Scholastica for peer review management ranging in discipline from STEM to the Humanities, we understand that each journal may have different needs when it comes to collecting information that’s crucial to the peer review process during the submission stage. That's why our submission form is ready-built with easy customization options to gather and/or require additional data fields as needed.

This help doc walks through current submission form customization opportunities to help you provide more instructions for authors and get more information from them before peer review, ensuring your workflow is as efficient as possible.

Please note: These customizations are only available for journals subscribed to our Peer Review System. Journals that participate in the law review submission pool cannot request these changes.

Click on a customization option below to jump to the section.


I want to require specific information from authors (e.g., ORCiD, Institution, etc.)

Our submission form currently requires authors to include their first / last name and the email address for the corresponding author while other fields like Institution and Department are optional.  

If your journal wants to require that authors fill out a specific field upon submission, our form is flexible enough to require any combination of the following fields :

  • ORCiD (learn more here)
  • Institution
  • Department
  • Degrees
  • Emails of non-corresponding authors
  • Link to a personal website

Note : Please be thoughtful when choosing specific information to be required as the required fields will appear for all co-authors as well as the corresponding author. For example, if you want to require the ORCiD field for the corresponding author, that field will also be required for all co-contributors to the manuscript.

Where does this information appear post submission? 

All of the information will appear under the Author Details section of the Editor Work Area. This allows your editors to easily refer to the information when necessary.

How to add this field to your submission form

Please email support@scholasticahq.com with the exact fields that you would like to require. 

Reminder : Please be thoughtful when choosing specific information to be required as the required fields will appear for all co-authors as well as the corresponding author. For example, if you want to require the ORCiD field for the corresponding author, that field will also be required for all co-contributors on the submission.


I want my authors to specify the type of article they are submitting

Some journals have different submission vetting and reporting processes based on the type of submission that an author is making. By adding the ‘Article Type’ field to your submission form, you can make managing and tracking submissions by type easier for your editorial team.

Definition : What is an Article Type? 

Broadly speaking, an article type is a general category that a manuscript may fall into. Some examples of article types include Book Review, Conference Proceedings, Research Brief, Original Research, etc. 

What Article Types should I choose?

As a best practice, we recommend journals use article types that correspond to the industry-standard options included in JATS, though article types can be unique to your journal’s needs.

As a general rule, you'll want to provide article type options that are obvious enough that your submitting authors can easily understand which type their submission belongs to. As long as that is apparent, your options can be whatever makes the most sense for your journal. 

Note : If you are using Scholastica’s OA Publishing Platform, then when you publish an article, you will still be required to choose an article type for each article that is stored/recorded for indexing purposes and must conform to JATS XML standards. The article type entered on the submission form does NOT impact the article type chosen during publishing (image of choosing the article type when publishing). 

Where does this new field appear on the submission form? 

The Article Type field will appear in the Metadata section of the form immediately following the title field. 

Where does the Article Type appear for editors?

The Article Type will appear in two places : 

1. In the Manuscript Table

There will be a new column titled ‘Article Type’ (you’ll also be able to search the Manuscript Table by Article Type).

2. In the Editor Work Area

The Article Type will appear in front of the title of the manuscript in the Editor Work Area.

Additionally, if your journal requests a data pull, the article type will be included in the data that we provide you.

Where does the article type appear for reviewers? 

The Article Type will appear in front of the title of the manuscript in the Reviewer Work Area 

How to add this field to your submission form

Please email support@scholasticahq.com with the exact list of Article Types that you would like added.


I want my authors to affirm specific information about their submission

Peer review depends on trust, and a big part of that is authors complying with journal policies. One way to ensure that an author has complied with your policies is by adding an “affirmations” section to your submission form. Each author will be required to check all affirmations prior to confirming and submitting their manuscript.

Examples of affirmations

  • The paper complies with ethical policies
  • All authors listed on the paper contributed substantially
  • This manuscript is not under consideration elsewhere
  • The authors have included an attached conflict of interest disclosure form 

Where do the affirmations appear on the submission form?

Once added, there will be a new section called ‘Affirmations’. The corresponding/submitting author will be required to check all affirmations prior to confirming and submitting their manuscript.

How to add this field to your submission form

Please email support@scholasticahq.com with the exact wording that you would like to appear next to each checkbox.


I want to add specific file upload fields (e.g. Waivers, Cover Letters, Figures, Tables, etc.)

If your journal would like authors to submit specific documents / files in addition to the main manuscript file, you can add specific upload fields to the Files section of your submission form. Examples of specific files may include a cover letter, tables, a copyright waiver, or a conflict of interest disclosure form. Our submission form allows you to add these specific file upload fields to ensure that an author will know which files to submit, including all required documents during the submission process. 

Note: The main manuscript file is always required for file uploads and cannot be disabled.

Example of when an author does not upload required files

How will editors access the files? 

All files can be viewed by going to the manuscript details page and scrolling down to the “Files” table. All of the files included with the submission will appear in the table, labeled as requested.

How to add this option to your submission form

When you add custom file upload fields, you can control everything from the label of the file to the file extensions that are allowed. 

To add this option, please use this template to provide the details for the new file fields that you would like to add. Email your completed spreadsheet to support@scholasticahq.com.

The table below is an example of the information that we need from you in order to add this option to your submission form.

Label Hint Text Do you require this (Yes/No) Will you allow single files or multiple files (Single/Multiple) What file types are allowed
Cover Letter None Yes Single .docx, .pdf
Title Page None Yes Single .docx, .pdf
Figure(s) Figures must be a minimum of 1080px wide or long Yes Multiple .jpg, .svg, .png
Table(s) Tables must be labeled sequentially, e.g.: "Table 1", "Table2", etc. Yes Multiple .docx, .pdf, .xls, .csv
Scan of Medical License If comfortable, please upload a scanned image of your medical license No Single .jpg, .png, .pdf

I want to include special instructions for each Section

You may find that authors regularly email your journal to ask about certain submission guidelines or perhaps you’ve found that you’re frequently following up with researchers post-submission because they forgot to include required information when submitting. 

In order to try and prevent this extra work, you can include instructions for one or more entire steps (sections) on your submission form. The instructions that you add can help to better guide your authors through each step of the submission form, helping you get ahead of questions and hopefully reducing the likelihood of information being unintentionally omitted. 

Where do these instructions appear on the submission form? 

You can add instructions to any section of the submission form. Below are the current sections on the submission form: 

  • Metadata
  • Authors 
  • Files 
  • Reviewers (*Optional, based on your Configuration Options setup)
  • Affirmations (*Optional, see above)

Example of what it would look like to add instructions to the ‘Metadata’ Section

How to add this field to your submission form

Please email support@scholasticahq.com with the section title and the exact wording for the instructions that you would like to appear within that section. If you would like to add instructions to more than one section, please clearly label the section along with the corresponding instructions. 


FAQs

What is a Section, Field, Label, etc.?

Anatomy of the submission form 

Below we point out some of the most common terminology we use when customizing your submission form.

Sections vs Fields

  • Sections are the "steps" in the submission form that the author has to complete before they can submit. This includes the "Metadata",  "Authors", "Files", etc. You can find these on the left hand side of the submission form.
  • Fields collect specific information within each section. Each section includes one or more fields (e.g. the Metadata section includes fields for Title, Keywords, etc).

Labels and hint text

  • The label is the name that is given to a specific field (e.g Title, Abstract, Primary Manuscript) 
  • The hint text is the small instructional text that is provided underneath the label displayed in gray

To learn what the standard submission form looks like, see Submitting a Manuscript

How do I enable the Reviewers to recommend / avoid section?

  • To allow authors to suggest reviewers during their submission, admin editors can go to the configuration options of their journal's settings and click on "Author Options." From there they can check the boxes to enable the feature that allows authors to recommend / avoid reviewers

How do I collect optional demographic information from authors?

If you're the admin editor of your journal on Scholastica, you can toggle on/off the optional demographic information when authors submit to your journal. For step by step instructions, see this help doc : Demographic information on Scholastica

I want to make an update that I don't see here. What should I do?

If you want to make a change that you don’t see here please reach out to support to see if we currently offer that modification or to request that we build the option in the future!