Outliers, Consistency and Context: the Importance of Reporting Variability in Editorial Office Performance Data

Fast Facts:

A measure of variance is a summary statistic representing the amount of spread or scattering in a data set most commonly given as either a Standard Deviation or Interquartile Range.

If your data is normally distributed, it is appropriate to report the mean (average).  Standard deviation is usually reported in conjunction with the mean to describe how the data are distributed.

If your data is skewed or bimodal (not the standard bell-shaped curve seen for normally distributed data), it is more appropriate to report the median.  When reporting the median, use the interquartile range (IQR) to describe the data’s distribution.

This article was originally published in Volume 15, Issue 1 of EON (Editorial Office News) in February 2022 (Read the original article here).

July 21, 2022

By: Jason Roberts and Sherrie Hill

Are you reporting what you think is a key value in your performance reports? Does that statistic tell the whole story? Does your audience take away a full data-derived understanding of your journal stakeholder behaviors? Are you basing processing protocols off data points without full context?

Here is the problem: many journal offices report key indicators as single values such as total submission volume, number of reject decisions, total accepted manuscripts, number of accepted review invitations. This is appropriate since the value (e.g. the journal received 250 submissions in 2021) is based on a single count of an item. There were not 249 or 251 submissions, just 250 submissions. But other indicators that editorial offices report on, particularly anything that is a measurement of time, should ideally be provided with additional information such as a measure of variance.

Understanding simple statistics that add context

So, what is a measure of variance and why is it useful to provide such a measure? A measure of variance is a summary statistic that represents the amount of spread or scattering in a data set most commonly given as either a Standard Deviation or Interquartile Range. We appreciate both of these statistical concepts already sound daunting but hopefully this article will aid your understanding by using examples relevant to the editorial office experience. They are also easy to generate in MS Excel, if that is the software you use to analyze your journal data.

To help us better understand what we mean, Figure 1 (A and B) below perfectly illustrates how measures of variance can helpfully provide an enriched description of your journal’s performance.

Both journals presented in these visual examples have a mean turnaround time to post an initial decision of 30 days. The journal on the left (Figure 1a) has a neat-looking bell curve with the majority of decisions being posted close to the mean turnaround time. The journal represented in Figure 1b, with a distinctive “W” shape is in reality delivering a wildly variable service to its authors. Sometimes, it is very quick, on other occasions it is painfully slow. So, why should you care about that? Most obviously, repeat authors appreciate consistency of service delivery. If a journal fluctuates markedly in its performance, it may undermine a regular authors’ faith in the journal’s ability to repeatedly deliver strong and timely peer review. Authors have many journal options when it comes to submitting their work. All editorial offices, therefore, should be striving for consistency or run the risk of handing your competitors an advantage. Journals like to boast about visible improvements in processing efficiency. Indeed, a reduction in the mean turnaround time to initial decision is always welcome. But if a proportion of articles still endure a painfully slow peer review experience, despite an overall improvement in the journal’s overall performance statistic, that is not necessary a “win” for your journal.


It might be useful to explore this concept further with a more detailed example. For instance, if you were asked how long the reviewers for your journal take to submit a review, you actually cannot state a single, absolute, value of time. Some take 5 days, some take 15 days. Some reviewers will submit their review on the day the review is due, some will be early, some will be late. In these instances, you need to provide your audience with more information so that they have a better understanding of the actual situation. This is done by providing not only the mean (average) or median (middle value) for the data, but also a measure of how much variability is present. Again, we are doing this to determine the consistency of reviewer behavior.

Running with this example further, it might be tempting to just report the mean or median along with the minimum and maximum values (i.e. the time of the shortest interval between acceptance of the invitation to review and completion of the review). Additionally, if we subtract the minimum from the maximum value, we could report the range of our data. While this would give your audience information about the best and worst cases of the time taken for the reviewers to submit a review, that range value isn’t always informative. The table below, which is commonly seen in editorial office reports, illustrates the point. If you employed this table, you would actually be reporting that on average it takes a manuscript 41 days to receive an initial decision, but it could happen in as few as 7 days or as much as 130 days, as was the case in the most extreme examples over the time period measured. Problematically, the range is so wide, you actually could not give anyone a realistic idea of how quickly a new manuscript would move through the peer-review process.

Time to Initial Decision

Mean (average)

41 days


7 days


130 days


123 days


The range of data can be affected by both large variability in the data (i.e. that lack of consistency we referred to earlier) as well as by outliers. Outliers are data points that fall well outside what we would typically expect (for instance a manuscript taking 130 days to receive an initial decision, when 99% of manuscripts have received a decision in, perhaps, 80 days or less). If we consider the timing data most typically used in editorial offices, such as time to initial decision, time to final decision, time for a reviewer to submit their review, and so on, there are a multitude of ways that outliers can be introduced. What we need to do, in generating our reports is recognize these data points as outliers and then decide on how to report them. To ignore them, is to risk undermining faith in the summary statistics you present and possibly lead to unwarranted processing policy revisions or unnecessary hand-wringing if the summary data looks bad when compared with previous annual performance metrics.

Let’s look at a few scenarios:

First, we will consider time for a reviewer to submit a review. Your journal might set the time limit for a reviewer to submit a review at 14 days. However, there are situations that arise that cause the journal to make exceptions. Sometimes the reviewer has an unexpected life event, or they may have an important deadline come up that they failed to appreciate when initially accepting the invitation to review. Rather than dropping this reviewer and beginning the process of locating a new potential reviewer (thus potentially taking considerable time to try to get this new individual to accept the assignment), most journals would rather grant the current reviewer additional time. There are also specialist reviewers, such as statistical reviewers, who all-too-frequently cannot finish their analysis in the allotted time and are routinely allowed additional time. If one of these reviewers also requests a due date extension, then their time to submit their review moves even farther away from the allotted 14 days. There are reviewers who are needed for niche submissions that require a particular reviewer’s specialized expertise. These reviewers are often top in their field and have busy careers. Most editors will be willing to wait additional time for their input. 

We see similar issues occur in our other timing values, such as time from editor assignment to initial decision. This data can be affected by newer, less experienced, editors taking longer to secure reviewers and make decisions. Guest editors, regardless of the journal and training they may receive, regularly take longer because they are simply not familiar with a submission system or processing expectations, and their assigned submissions can become stalled. Submissions on niche topics or of low quality might require extra time to move through the peer review process as the editor struggles to find the required number of reviewers. In short, there are a multitude of reasons why your data may be wildly inconsistent, some of which you can control for, others you can do nothing more than report and take account of their existence.

In summary, longer than expected review times and slow-moving manuscripts can cause our timing data to have outliers. Therefore, due to the potential presence of outliers, the range is not a good statistic to report (at least in isolation, without further statistics) because it can give a false impression of what is happening routinely.

Standard Deviations and Interquartile Ranges

Standard deviation (SD) is another common statistic that is frequently used to describe how data are distributed within a dataset. Standard deviation is a mathematical value calculated using the mean (average or μ) for the dataset.

In the editorial office, we would use the population standard deviation rather than the sample standard deviation since we know the actual value (time, measured in days) for every review that was submitted, for example. As a rule of thumb, your mean (average) +/- the standard deviation will tell you where 68% of your data will fall within your dataset.

For this sample case, we would report the time it takes a submission to reach an initial decision is a mean of 41 days (+/- 14 days). Therefore, most (68%) of the submissions will receive an initial decision between 27 to 55 days (i.e. 14 days either side of that mean of 41 days). As you can see, SD allows us to give us a more accurate representation of the spread of our data than the Range. To drive the point home further, a smaller standard deviation would reveal a more consistent performance because the spread of data from the mean is less pronounced.

Time to Initial Decision

Mean (average)

41 days


7 days


130 days


123 days

Standard Deviation

14 days


However, there are two potential issues with using standard deviation for editorial office timing charts. First, the standard deviation calculation assumes that your data is normally distributed. That means that you have just as many values that are higher than the mean (average) value as you do that are lower than the average and that they are evenly distributed in a bell shape (as shown in FIGURE 3). In general, there is no statistical reason that would lead to a journal’s timing data being normally distributed. For instance, reviewers can be wildly inconsistent on when they decide to return a peer review. This is true not just when we are comparing reviewer-to-reviewer performance, but even when we look at the consistency of an individual’s own performance across multiple manuscripts (i.e. sometimes they are fast, and sometimes they are slow). And then there are those pesky outliers we mentioned earlier that impinge upon calculating the mean accurately. For the particular data set that we are considering, our distribution looks like this:

As you can see, the histogram of the data doesn’t have the nice bell-shaped normal distribution that we saw in the previous standard deviation chart (FIGURE 3). That means that if we calculated a standard deviation, we could not say with confidence that a value is just as likely to fall the same distance above or below our mean (average) value.

Secondly, as you can see in the formula above, the standard deviation calculation uses the dataset’s mean (μ or average). The mean (average) often produces a good estimated value to represent a dataset unless, and this is crucial, there are outliers. As just mentioned, data point(s) that fall well below or above the expected value can significantly affect the calculated mean (average). Though you might have only a few outliers, the mean (average) could be affected enough to change the year-on-year data trend, which might not accurately represent how your journal is actually running. Its likely most journals at some point have experienced the case of a paper that took 200 days to complete initial peer review, completely throwing off your mean turnaround time in the process.

When reporting your timing data, it is safer to assume that the data is not normally distributed and that it might contain outliers. This is sometimes called “messy” data. However (and very importantly), there is a solution and one, frankly, we would love to see all editorial offices adopt. The interquartile range (IQR) is a better way to describe messy data. To calculate the interquartile range, all of the values are sequentially ordered from smallest to largest. Then the data is divided into four equal parts (quartiles). The middle two boxes contain 50% of all of your data points. This is called the middle fifty or interquartile range.

Since the IQR is based off sequential order, we report out the median (middle) value for the dataset rather than the mean (average). This is the number that falls exactly in the middle of all of the values once they are sequentially ordered. In our graphic, the median is shown as Q2. Any outliers that exist in the dataset do not affect the median since we only consider the sequential order for the values. Just like how you calculate a mean in Excel, it is just as simply to deploy Excel to calculate your IQR using the formula builder functionality.

The next thing that we need to tell our audience is how much variability there is in the dataset. For IQR, we do this by reporting the value that is the separating point between the first and second quartiles (Q1) and the value that is between the third and fourth quartiles (Q3). 

Time to Initial Decision


42 days


35 days


45 days


10 days

For our example, we would report that the median time to initial decision was 42 days and the interquartile range was 10 days (calculated thus: 45 days [Q3 value] – 35 [Q1] days). When reported as a value, it is understood to mean that 50% of the data points were within a 10-day span including 42 days. However, you should not divide the IQR in half and report it as a +/- value (such as 42 days +/- 5 days). Since our dataset is not necessarily normally distributed, there is no statistical reason to assume that a value is equally likely to fall above or below the median value. For the data in the table above, you will notice that the median value is not equidistant between 35 and 45 days. Again, Excel’s formula builder can do all the heavy lifting for you here and tell you the Q3 and Q1 value and the IQR.

When preparing editorial office charts or tables for key indicators that are based on a range of values, you should include not only an estimated value (median/mean) but also some indication of how much that value might vary within your given dataset (the measure of variance such as SD or IQR). Unless you are able to determine if your dataset is normally distributed and does not have outliers, it might be more prudent to report the median and interquartile range rather than the mean (average) and standard deviation. Giving your audience the median value and the IQR will provide sufficient information to predict the outcome of various events occurring in the journal. We appreciate that most journals just report a simple mean statistic, not least because even the most mathematically illiterate of us can grasp a simple concept such as the mean. We are advocating, strongly, however, that editorial offices switch to using the median and including the interquartile range to illustrate the spread of data.

Why you should care?

If your job is simply to generate statistics on performance to give to an editor or if you use data to change management practices at your journal it is imperative you are employing the correct and most effective techniques to interpret meaning in your data. Therefore, the utility of providing measures of variance for setting context for understanding performance metrics can not be understated. In short, when analyzing your data you really should ask yourself: is whatever you are measuring consistent? Are a few outliers disrupting your overall performance statistics? You don’t want to make decisions based on results that may have been heavily skewed by outliers.

You may not be statistically inclined. You may be intimidated by data and the act of generating reports. But many editors and editorial board members do possess the requisite interpretive skills and, truly, will appreciate the added statistical context you would provide when supplying a measure of variance.

As this article has demonstrated, it requires little effort to generate these additional statistics but in doing so, you can provide additional depth to the story your data tells.

Figure Legends:

Figure 1a – Bell curve/normal distribution

Figure 1b – Bimodal distribution

Figure 2 – Standard deviation equation

Figure 3 – Bell curve with standard deviations

Figure 4 – Skewed distribution

Figure 5 – Interquartile range



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Randy Townsend


Randy Townsend, MPS, (he, him, his) translates organizational vision and mission into clear priorities and practical goals to ensure alignment and collaboration. He has been a leader in policy implementation and publishing strategy. Randy is currently president of the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) and has served in leadership positions for the Council of Science Editors, AM&P Network’s Association Council, and co-chaired DEIA Committees for AM&P Network and SSP. He has actively supported C4DISC and contributed to the development of many of their freely available resources. Randy was the inaugural editor-in-chief for the GW Journal of Ethics in Publishing and is an Associate Professor of the MPS in Publishing program in the College of Professional Studies at George Washington University.

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Brook graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature. She began her career in the scholarly publishing industry in 2006 and has enjoyed progressively responsible roles in managing peer review and journal production processes. Brook is currently a consultant at Origin Editorial. Prior to joining Origin, Brook worked at the American Gastroenterological Association as the managing editor of their flagship journal, Gastroenterology. Brook is a member of the International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE) and currently serves on their Board of Directors.

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Rebecca began her career in publishing with Mosby in St Louis, MO, in 1997. A 5-year editorial assistant position for Kidney International segued into a 15-year proofreading role for Wiley. She has proofread and copy edited for Graphic World, a publishing services company in St Louis, MO, and, more recently, she is a developmental copy editor for the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (Wiley) and a copy editor for TrueLearn, a testbank preparation tool for medical students. In 2019, Rebecca joined the Origin family as a contractor, working as an editorial assistant for the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association, as well as copy editor and proofreader of multiple projects.

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Libby contracts with Origin as a peer review manager for the National Academy of Medicine and editorial assistant for the American Institute of Physics and American Psychological Association. She is also a freelance academic manuscript editor and managing editor of the journals Policy and Society and Policy Design and Practice. In addition, Libby has significant experience in academic administration, through roles at the National University of Singapore (2015-2018) and the University of Pennsylvania (2006-2012). Her experience includes developing an assessment of faculty research output, quality and impact for annual review; designing and executing benchmarking against peer and aspirant schools; working with faculty and research centers on grant applications; and serving as a project manager for numerous international training programs funded by various U.S. government agencies.

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Carolyn worked in book publishing and as a freelance writer before taking on her current role. She works on the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Archives of Rehabilitation Research and Clinical Translation. Carolyn earned a BA in English from SUNY College at Cortland, studied at SUNY Binghamton, and later completed a Media Bistro Boot Camp for Journalists. She was proud to serve two-year terms on the boards of Camp Puzzle Peace (an organization that provides recreational opportunities to individuals with autism) and ISMTE. Carolyn lived in Chicago for many years and now lives in Rochester NY.

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Detra currently works at the ISPOR. Her title is Senior Manager, Publications. Since 2018, she has been a freelance managing editor for Origin Editorial. Detra has 20 years of scholarly publishing experience. She began her career at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Michigan) at the Society of Research in Child Development (SRCD) as an editorial assistant. Within three years, she was promoted to Publications Manager at SRCD. In 2011, Detra relocated to her home state of Illinois to be closer to family and friends. Detra accepted a position at the American Academy of Dermatology as a managing editor for three journals from 2011 to 2021. Detra has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and two Master of Science degrees. One from Northwestern University in Managerial Communications. The other is from Pace University in Publishing. In 2021, she received a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion certificate from Florida State University. Detra has served on multiple committees for publishing organizations such as CSE and ISMTE. Detra is currently the Chair of the Workshop Committee for ISMTE. She has published two articles in scholarly publishing magazines: · Article title: "How to Acknowledge Your Reviewers" · Article title: "Using Metadata to Make Strategic Decisions for Your Journal." She has published two articles in scholarly publishing magazines: · Article title: "How to Acknowledge Your Reviewers" · Article title: "Using Metadata to Make Strategic Decisions for Your Journal"

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Liz has been supporting the Journal of Chemical Physics for over 13 years. With a background in journalism and library and information science, she has extensive knowledge in both editorial/publishing and systems administration. When she's not on the computer, Liz enjoys walking her dog, playing trivia with her boyfriend, and eating burritos.

Christine Urso



Christine’s experience in scholarly publishing spans over 25 years. She joined the Origin Editorial team in 2013 and currently manages the peer review of Biomicrofluidics, AIP Advances, Structural Dynamics, and the annual Magnetism and Magnetic Materials conferences, providing excellent editorial support to editors, reviewer, and authors. Before joining Origin, Christine worked as a data conversion specialist, troubleshooting and correcting author-submitted data files for the American Institute of Physics (AIP). She then became a production editor responsible for copyediting, proofreading, and preparing journals for publication and managing the peer review for four AIP-owned physics journals, Conference Proceedings Program, and three ASTM engineering journals and books series. She also pioneered a new open access journal, assisted in the setup of new journal test sites, and implemented and streamlined peer review processes to decrease time to publication. Christine is also a member of ISMTE.

Carolyn Sperry



Carolyn worked in book publishing and as a freelance writer before taking on her current role. She works on the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Archives of Rehabilitation Research and Clinical Translation. Carolyn earned a BA in English from SUNY College at Cortland, studied at SUNY Binghamton, and later completed a Media Bistro Boot Camp for Journalists. She was proud to serve two-year terms on the boards of Camp Puzzle Peace (an organization that provides recreational opportunities to individuals with autism) and ISMTE. Carolyn lived in Chicago for many years and now lives in Rochester NY.

Laura Rempel



Laura started her career as a medical transcriptionist for an allergy and asthma clinic. In 2000, she began working as an Editorial Secretary for Applied Physics Letters. During this time, she was the lead in the setting up of the peer review and editorial management system, PXP, for the journal. She provided input in the development and implementation for the needs of the journal’s editorial team. She joined the Origin Editorial team in 2013 and continued to work for Applied Physics Letters as an Assistant Peer Review Manager. In 2015, she assisted in the launch of APL Photonics, managing the editorial office and assisting editors with the peer-review process, preparing manuscripts to send to production, and managing the peer-review database. More recently, she has added the role of Peer Review Manager for The Journal of Chemical Physics. Laura is also a member of ISMTE.

Linda Boniello



Linda has been in academic publishing her entire career. For the past 20+ years she has worked in peer review management and operations. At the American Institute of Physics (AIP) she managed peer review for five AIP-owned physics journals, three ASTM engineering journals, AIP Conference Proceedings, and the annual Magnetism and Magnetic Materials conference. She wrote and maintained a peer review manual and developed sample manuscripts for 13 journals published by AIP. In 2013 she joined Origin Editorial and currently manages peer review for three journals in the AIP Publishing portfolio. She is a member of several professional organizations, including ISMTE. Linda loves working in peer review because of the communication it allows with authors, reviewers, and editors from around the world. Earlier in her career, Linda was a copyeditor at AIP for several Physical Review journals. She wrote a copyediting manual for staff and was on the editorial team that updated the AIP Editorial Handbook, 2nd ed. She was instrumental in setting up the first freelance copyediting program at AIP and became a cottage employee herself for a while when her two boys were born. When she returned to work in-house, Linda was responsible for training and supervising overseas copyediting vendors and a large American cottage copyediting staff. She created two major copyediting style manuals for use by the cottage staff, independent contractors, and vendors. Linda also worked as a copyeditor for Pergamon Press, Aptara, and Cold Spring Harbor Labs. She received a BA in English from Adelphi University.

Benita Hammer



Benita has more than 30 years of experience in the scientific publishing world. She began her career as a proofreader, then copy editor for American Institute of Physics (AIP), working on 12 journals. She joined their newly formed Quality Assurance team and helped create the inaugural QA manual for outside vendors that is continued to be used. In 2010, Benita moved to peer review, providing editorial support to editors, reviewers, and authors. Joining Origin in 2013, Benita now manages the peer review of AIP Publishing’s Physics of Plasmas and Structural Dynamics, as well as management of the production-side of AIP Conference Proceedings. She also managed the submission-side of AIP Conference Proceedings and the Russian-translation journal, Low Temperature Physics. She is a member of several professional organizations, including ISMTE. Benita copyedits for Cold Spring Harbor Labs, her public library newsletters, as well as books and dissertations for people in her community. Outside of work, Benita remains involved in community service, raising awareness and funds for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. She is also a member of a scholarship committee that provides grants for further education to graduating high school students. Benita received her BA in English from Hofstra University.

Alexis Wynne Mogul



Alexis Wynne Mogul, a former physicist, has worked in the scientific publishing industry for nearly 20 years. She in an expert manager of people and editorial and production processes, and she specializes in supporting authors, reviewers, and editors. Alexis got her start in the industry as a copy editor for Science (AAAS), and has since worked as a production editor, managing editor, and editorial director for numerous scientific and medical journals. For six years she built and managed a large team that supported PLOS ONE during the height of their submission volume. Since joining Origin Editorial in 2017, Alexis has enjoyed working with a number of client journals and societies in various editorial roles. She now serves as the Author Services Manager for a large client, and she looks forward to offering her scientific and editing expertise to the awardee teams with an eye toward customer service and collaborative communication.

Jen Charat



Jen’s background is in trade publishing—mostly on the adult side, but she has worked on some young adult and juvenile books as well. Jen graduated from Harvard College with a degree in English and American Literature and Language and thereafter worked for New York-based publishing houses such as HarperCollins, Henry Holt and Co., and Harcourt, Inc. Jen ran her own editorial consulting shop, working with literary agents, trade publishing houses, web marketing firms, and private clients on projects ranging from books and articles to screenplays and SEO content. Jen is currently working as a project manager, a social media manager, and an annual conference coordinator for the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. She also provides editorial support to the editorial office of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association journals.

James Galipeau



James is the Assistant Managing Editor for the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI). He has a Master’s Degree in Sport Psychology and a PhD in Education (Psychopedagogy) from the University of Ottawa. His doctoral research was focused on how to construct an informal learning environment in a small group setting (i.e., a “community of practice”). James worked for eight years as a Senior Clinical Research Associate at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) before joining the Origin team. His main focus there was on studying the effectiveness and improving the quality of training for authors, peer reviewers, and editors of biomedical journals. Since beginning at Origin, James has taken a keen interest in developing ways to leverage the remote working environment and flexibility within one’s workday to improve job performance and enhance self-care, particularly through physical activity and nature. In his free time, James competes internationally in the sport of adventure racing, traveling around the world to compete in Adventure Racing World Series events.

Judy Connors



Judy has worked in the scholarly publishing industry for over 30 years and has experience in almost every aspect of scholarly publishing from working with a variety of content providers, such as for- and not-for-profit entities, pharmaceutical companies, advertising agencies and trade publications to create and curate content to drive action and make an impact. A detail-oriented, approachable, and engaging communicator with strong interpersonal skills, she is an excellent team and individual contributor who has exceptional editorial and organizational skills.

Lynn Purdy



Lynn began her career in the Biological Research Division at Argonne National Laboratory for 10 years as group secretary for the Beagle Project typing manuscripts, research grant proposals, and inputting data tracking each dog’s history. She also served as the Administrative Secretary to the Assistant Division Director. In 1984 she transferred to the Review of Scientific Instruments Editorial Office as an Editorial Assistant managing the office and processing manuscripts through the entire peer-review system. She also attended national and international conferences interacting with the participants handling submissions through the peer-review process. She assisted in the development and testing of the journal’s original 4D data system and current PXP system. Lynn joined Origin Editorial in 2013 as an Assistant Peer Review Manager overseeing the editorial office and assisting editors on Review of Scientific Instruments. She has worked on the Journal of Applied Physics and is presently the APRM on Physics of Fluids. She has recently taken on the role of Peer Review Manager for AIPP. Lynn is a member of ISMTE.

Anita Bell



Anita began her career in the legal field working for various law firms. After graduating from college, she landed a job working for the American Heart Association as an editorial assistant. Currently, she is the Managing Editor for the Head & Neck journal. Anita enjoys volunteering for different organizations such as Baker Ripley American Cancer Society and many different church organizations. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her family, cruising, relaxing and enjoying life.

Erin Hernandez



Erin joined Origin in 2020 bringing decades of academic publishing experience. Erin is the managing editor for two journals owned by a large commercial publisher. She also works on Peer Review for various APA journals. Erin received her Bachelor of Arts in English specializing in Book Publishing from Hofstra University and also holds Project Manager Professional (PMP) certification.

Adam Etkin



Adam is an established leader in the scholarly publishing industry with over twenty years of experience and a proven track record of taking concepts, technology, and businesses from idea to reality. He is highly experienced with all aspects of the publishing environment including journals, books, submission and peer review, ethics, plagiarism, access models, funding mandates, budgeting, publishing and hosting platforms, metrics, XML, print and digital production, multimedia, mobile applications, all related technology and more. Adam founded PRE (Peer Review Evaluation), a suite of technology and data driven services designed to support and strengthen the peer-review process on behalf of researchers, publishers, and libraries. He is a highly regarded and sought-after speaker at many world-wide industry conferences and events with a true passion for technology and the publishing industry.

Meghan McDevitt



Meghan has spent her entire career in the scholarly publishing industry and is an experienced editorial office professional specializing in the efficient management of peer-reviewed publications. She is President of ISMTE (2022-2023) and has been an active member since 2011, including serving as the Editor of Editorial Office News (2014-2016) and as the society’s Treasurer (2017-2018). Meghan was the 2018 recipient of the ISMTE Award for Excellence. At Origin, she is the managing editor for a large client. Meghan began her career as an editorial assistant for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy at the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and later became the assistant manager of clinical publications where she oversaw the development of clinical practice guidelines. Prior to joining Origin, Meghan was the managing editor of The Journal of Pediatrics where she transitioned the editorial office to an electronic workflow, standardized the Editorial Board selection and onboarding processes, and worked with journal editors to evaluate the journal’s policies and practices in relation to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Meghan attended the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio and graduated with degrees in English and French

Meg Weist



Meg is dedicated to providing enhanced editorial support for editors, reviewers, and authors in a variety of STEM disciplines. Meg came to publishing through the sciences initially assisting in the development of Engineering and Computer Sciences texts. Moving to journal publications, Meg served as the Managing Editor for over a decade on the American Journal of Medical Genetics through its transition from a single entity to its current multipart format. In joining Origin Editorial, Meg brought experience in two of the major online peer review platforms, working in both academic and medical environments, in-house and in distributed editorial office operations. She has worked on several journals under the Origin auspices. She is a member of CSE, ISMTE, and EFA. She is a past ISMTE Board member and has served on several ISMTE committees, including Education & Standards and the annual Conference Workshop.

Megan Ventura



Megan earned her BA degrees in English Literature and French Language at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After graduation, she began working as an Editorial Assistant for Physics of Fluids. She later went on to earn her Masters in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston. Megan further refined her academic publishing skill set at SAGE Publishing where she served as an Associate Editor for the Education and Criminology/Criminal Justice lists. After joining Origin Editorial, she has assisted the teams for Physics of Fluids, Journal of Applied Physics, Applied Physics Letters, and Physics of Plasmas.

Ravi Govindaraj



Ravi is a peer-review management enthusiast and passionate to explore new frontiers in the Scientific journal publications. He holds M.Tech in Biotechnology from VIT University, Vellore, and B.Tech in Biotechnology from Anna University, Chennai. His research was focused on development of indigenous dialyser at Anna University, Chennai. He has worked on various research projects involving treatment of various industrial effluents, Bioethanol production and nano-drug delivery. His analytical skills in research were recognized with a ‘Best poster award’ for his project focused on development of polyphenol loaded avocado oil nanoemulsion for topical application in a national conference. In addition, he has received various awards like ‘Special Achiever award’, ‘Achiever award’ and ‘Excellent performer award’ for all-round outstanding performance in extracurricular, co-curricular and sports activities. His intellectual competence is outlined with his GATE, BEC-Vantage and NCAT qualifications. He has led national symposiums, NSS, and Chess teams. He has several years of experience in the editorial/publishing industry with prominent publishers like Springer Nature, Taylor and Francis and Scientific Scholar.

Alice Landwehr



Alice started her career in medical publishing and editing with The Journal of Pediatrics as an Editorial Assistant, becoming the journal’s first Senior Editorial Assistant and Press Release Writer, and eventually serving as its Managing Editor, when she transitioned the journal from a paper-based system to the online submission and review system Editorial Manager. She has provided publication management services for peer-reviewed journals such as Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine; Disability and Health Journal; Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology; Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology; Gastrointestinal Endoscopy; Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry; and others. She also worked for the American Board of Radiology as Senior Content Editor and Assistant Director of the Standards Division and for the University of Arizona Press, an academic and literary book publisher, as Art and Typesetting Assistant for the production department. Alice has a Bachelor’s of Arts in English from Northern Kentucky University and a Graduate Certificate in Professional Editing and Writing from the University of Cincinnati. She currently lives in Tucson, Arizona, and she leads fun and supportive low-impact Zumba Gold and EnerChi exercise classes for active older adults and beginners, currently online and in-person.

Wendy Krank



Wendy has worked in various professions and passions, including portrait photography and banking, before entering the field of medical publishing. Previously she worked at Mayo Clinic Arizona as a medical administrative assistant, credentialist, and general surgery residency coordinator for the Department of Medical Education. Wendy became managing editor for the neuroscience publications of Cephalalgia and Headache Currents. She joined the Origin Editorial team in March of 2018. At present, she supports the editorial office for ASHA journals. Wendy has previously provided editorial office management services for Restorative Medicine, Anesthesiology, and ILAR Journal. Wendy was a previous board member for ISMTE. She has database skills using these two platforms ScholarOne and Editorial Manager manuscript management systems.

Ann Casper



Ann is Editor-in-Chief of Penelope Institute—an institute for the profoundly gifted. She is also an academic editor with extensive journal experience as Managing/Copyeditor for Animal Sentience and Senior Editor/Editorial Intern Mentor for Society & Animals. She has 17 years of editorial experience, including as a photojournalist, ghostwriter, production editor, and editorial assistant. Ann has also tutored English Language Learners, classmates and colleagues at University of Wisconsin–Madison, graduate students in engineering, K–12 immigrants and refugees, and gifted students. In addition to editing publications in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, Ann is also collaborating to build her own editing website and form a creative collective with fellow musicians, writers, filmmakers, and artists. Ann loves learning about architecture, psychology, and classical music. For fun, she writes poetry; hosts open mics and performs standup comedy at the local tea bar; practices vinyasa yoga; bikes; and ventures to parks, concerts, and museums. Ann also enjoys moonlighting as a cat and dog “Nanny” in Chicago.

Alicia Byrne



Alicia has been with Origin Editorial since 2014, when she joined the team as the Managing Editor for Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, the official journal of the Wilderness Medical Society. Alicia brings a background in editorial processes, copyediting, and proofreading to Origin. She also edits the biannual Origin newsletter and is a member of ISMTE.

Abbie Flynn



As part of the marketing team, Abbie maintains Origin Editorial's and Origin Reports' social media accounts. For Origin Reports, she coordinates webinars, handles client communications, and manages the company's blog. Abbie also creates product demonstration videos and updates the Origin Reports website.

Sherrie Hill



Sherrie has been with Origin Editorial since 2017. She has worked in the editorial office for several journals and is currently working as the Assistant Peer Review Manager for the American Journal of Audiology. Additionally, Sherrie is the Project Manager for the editorial office reporting software application, Origin Reports. She uses her background in engineering to help design the customized editorial office charts, tables, and reports available in the application. Sherrie also provides personalized customer support for all Origin Reports users with reporting issues or questions.

Diane Dunham Drexler

Client Coordinator/Consultant


Diane began as a chemistry and physics instructor, providing a seamless transition to academic publishing. She served as the Publications Manager for the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology and managed its premier journal Neuropsychopharmacology. Later, she steered the college’s new initiative, Neuropsychopharmacology Reviews, from its launch through the sixth volume, including liaising with the publisher’s medical illustrator to create NPPR’s signature graphics. Diane has worked closely with abstract management submission designers and production teams to create online meeting abstracts and eBooks. She is exceptionally skilled in eJP, EM, and believes in a collaborative effort. Joining Origin Editorial in 2012 as the Publications Director for the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, she managed the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation until her more recent role of Peer Review Manager for Applied Physics Letters at the American Institute of Physics. Additionally, she manages the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, a publication of the National Lipid Society. Diane serves on several committees at ISMTE and is a member of CSE. She has Diane received her undergraduate degree from The University of Mary Washington in Virginia and her MEd in Secondary Science from Converse University in South Carolina.

Steve Cavanaugh

Client Coordinator/Consultant


Steve got his start in publishing with Mosby Year-Book in Philadelphia in 1995, after working as a teacher, chef and various sundry jobs up and down the East Coast of the US. After returning to the Boston, Mass area, he worked in IT until returning to publishing with the journal Pharmacotherapy in 1999. He joined the Origin Editorial team in 2013 and has worked on a variety of journals in medicine, environmental science and physics.

Denise Kuo

Client Coordinator/Consultant


Denise is a highly accomplished journal operations professional with 20 years of experience in scientific publishing. She has expertise in team leadership, customer relationships, and leading successful complex projects to implement efficiencies for improved productivity and reduction in costs. Denise is respected as a strong people leader excelling at developing and mentoring teams in providing high-quality, meaningful insight to senior management and other stakeholders for positive results. Before coming to Origin, she served as Director of Journal Operations, Circulation Journals and JAHA at the American Heart Association where she was responsible for ensuring standardization and implementing workflow efficiencies across the 13-journal portfolio. She is a member of ISMTE and CSE. She has served as a CSE Mentor and as a member of the SSP Marketing and Communications Committee.

Glenn Collins

Client Coordinator/Consultant


Glenn graduated from Cornell University in 1991 with a BS in Biology. After working in a microbiology lab for a few years at Pall Corporation he started his STM publishing career at John Wiley and Sons in 1995. He left Wiley and moved to San Diego in 2000 where he first worked for the journal Brain Research before becoming the managing editor of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC). After twelve plus years as the Executive Managing Editor of the JACC journals Glenn moved to Origin Editorial where he assumed the role of Publications Director/Managing Editor for the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM). In this role he oversees the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and its open access companion the Archives of Rehabilitation Research and Clinical Translation. In 2021 Glenn assumed the position of Director of Sales, Publications and Social Media for ACRM. Glenn has helped develop and launch five (and counting) new journals in the STM field. Glenn is a past president of ISMTE.

Dave Allen

Client Coordinator/Consultant


Dave has over 21 years of publishing experience. He started his publishing career with the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, which self-published a journal and textbook, eventually becoming the Director of Publications. He then moved to take editorial leadership of CIG Media Group, LLC, which operated eight clinical oncology journals. From there he became a Publisher for Elsevier, specializing in oncology and radiology, with a portfolio of 12 journals, overseeing their operations for seven years. Dave moved to Origin Editorial in 2018 where he continues to manage journals as well as provide consultations for scientific societies. His Origin clients have included the American Association of Thoracic Surgery, the American Heart Association, and Cochrane. Dave has recently started as the Editorial Director for a large client. Dave has extensive experience in project, people, and budget management in the private and non-profit sectors. His experience includes developing and implementing new initiatives; creating and managing complex workflows and processes; forecasting and developing budgets; supervising employees; and collaborating with commercial sponsors, governing boards, and society leaders. Dave is the vice chair of the ISMTE Sponsorship Committee.

Erin Landis

Managing Director


Erin has more than two decades of leadership, strategic planning, project management, and relationship-building experience. As the Managing Director of Origin Editorial, she guides strategy, business development, and operations. Before Origin, she was the Vice President of Publications for the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), where she oversaw the editorial and financial operations, as well as the strategic direction of several GI-related publications, including five peer-reviewed journals. Erin recently served as the president of ISMTE and serves as the chair of the Global Event Oversight Committee and as a member on the Education & Standards Committee. She’s also a member of SSP and CSE where she has served as a mentor. Also, she is a current member of the CSE DEI Committee. She also served as co-chair of the Publishing Professional Peer Group for the Council of Medical Specialty Societies and was a member of the writing group for the C4DISC Toolkits for Equity Project’s “Antiracism Toolkit for Organizations.” Erin received her degree in psychology from The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA.

Kristen Overstreet

Senior Partner


Kristen oversees operations for Origin Editorial and Origin Reports, including managing the process of finding experienced team members to provide services to Origin’s clients. Kristen is a Past President of the ISMTE Board of Directors and currently serves the ISMTE on the Early Career and North America Meeting committees. She is also a member of the CSE, recently serving on their IAB Task Force, and FORCE11, serving on the Research Data Publishing Ethics Working Group. For more than 20 years, Kristen has been known for elevating journal operations and improving journal and peer review management through use of effective policies and procedures. She provides consultation to Origin clients regarding effective peer review management and speaks regularly on peer review operations and ethics at industry meetings.

Jason Roberts, PhD

Senior Partner


Dr. Roberts is a globally recognized peer review management specialist, publisher and intermittent academic investigator on all matters related to the conduct of peer review. He is focused on improving the quality, rigorousness and successful delivery of scholarly communications, regardless of discipline. After earning a doctorate in Geography from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, Dr. Roberts began a career in publishing at Blackwell Science in Oxford, England and then Boston, Massachusetts, eventually becoming a Senior Editor of US-based medical journals. In 2010, Dr. Roberts formed Origin Editorial, one of the first, and now largest, independently owned companies to offer professional peer review management for journals. Dr. Roberts is a past-president of ISMTE. Dr. Roberts has a particular interest in improving standards of reporting in biomedical journals and the monitoring of publication ethics issues. He has contributed book chapters and research articles on these topics and collaborated closely with the EQUATOR Network, the Ottawa Centre for Journalology and the Committee on Publication Ethics. Dr. Roberts is a co-author of Peer Review: Reform and Renewal in Scientific Publishing” (2017, Against the Grain Publishing). He currently sits on the editorial board of the journal Research Integrity and Peer Review and is a frequent reviewer for papers on the subject of peer review for Learned Publishing and The BMJ