MRS journals, including The Journal of Materials Research, MRS Communications, and MRS Energy & Sustainability—A Review Journal, encourage submissions from all qualified authors, including its principal editors, associate editors and editors-in-chief. In order to avoid situations of real or perceived conflicts of interest, it is the goal of the journals to conduct the review of papers authored by editors using the same high ethical standards that are used for the review of all MRS journal submissions.
Because it is beneficial for MRS readers and authors to understand each journal's policy on reviewing and publishing, especially the work of its own editors, the paragraphs below describe MRS's policy.
Manuscripts submitted to JMR, MRS Communications, or MRS Energy & Sustainability in which no editors are primary or coauthors are sent first to the editor-in-chief or an associate editor. That individual assigns them to a principal editor who has technical expertise in the subject matter of the research topic. The principal editor is responsible for finding competent reviewers, assuring that the reviews are comprehensive and fair, and recommending to the editor-in-chief whether the manuscript should be accepted, revised or rejected. The final decision is the responsibility of the editor-in-chief. Even for the no-editor-as-author editorial process, the identity of the principal editors and reviewers for a manuscript is kept confidential from everyone not directly involved in the review process.
Principal and Associate Editors
Any manuscript authored or coauthored by one of the relevant journal’s principal or associate editors will be sent first to the editor-in-chief. He will either act as principal editor or assign the manuscript to another qualified principal editor. The same review process as for non-editors will be used, but the editor-in-chief will closely monitor the process to ensure a thorough, unbiased, confidential review. As with all MRS journal submissions, principal editor and reviewers’ identities will remain confidential. If accepted, the manuscript will not receive preferential treatment in publication order.
Submissions of papers for which the editor-in-chief is primary or coauthor will be handled using a review process in which the editor-in-chief has no editorial contact or influence. Editorial responsibility will be delegated by the chair of the journal’s Advisory Review Board to an associate editor or a qualified Advisory Review Board member who will either oversee the review or assign an appropriate principal editor to invite reviewers. The surrogate editor-in-chief will ensure that the manuscript receives a thorough, unbiased and confidential review. In order to preserve principal editor and reviewers’ anonymity, the review will not be conducted via the journal’s Manuscript Central site, to which the editor-in-chief has universal access. Instead, all correspondence after manuscript submission will take place outside of the system and will be maintained in a separate confidential file at MRS headquarters. Reviewers will be notified that the paper is authored by the editor-in-chief and assured that their identities will not be revealed in order to encourage them to submit a candid review. If accepted, the article will not receive preferential treatment in publication order.