Assignment process, user view:

Assignment is in two stages. The first stage is for the editor to assign an MR# or Sequence Number (SeqNo) to each file. The second stage is to assign files to a reviewer. In order to distinguish these two actions, the former stage will be called "apply".

The status board is the main working page for the Editor. It should support the following:

1. Apply MR#:
First show a list of all the files that do not yet have a SeqNo. The Editor can examine these and select any line item to add a sequence number by clicking on an "apply" hyperlink. The next available SeqNo will be suggested, but if this is an ancillary file for an existing MS, he will not use that value but find the appropriate SeqNo in the list of all MSS under review. The SeqNo is what keeps all related files together. It takes some intelligence to do this, so it cannot be automated reliably.

In order to guide the editor in what MR# to apply, the system shows a table that lists all MSS at any stage of the review process until they are archived. Only initial MS submissions need to be listed, not all the ancillary files. These are the first ones to be submitted on a given title, and they have a SeqNo applied by the editor. Every other file that is submitted later and related to this title will be given the same SeqNo by the editor. This is a way to keep track of how files are related.

2. Assign a Reviewer to an MR# (MS or any of its related files):
Editor views status board, showing the list of all MSS available for review (have MR#). He clicks on an "assign" link on the list of MSS. (Some have no assignments, some may have 1, 2, or 3 or even more).

This click will open the Assign page with details about the MS at the top. This serves to remind the editor what manuscript is being assigned. Below this is a form where all of the reviewers are listed in a table. The table (select_reviewer.asp) lists all reviewers, sorted by:
1. relevance of discipline/expertise to MS
2. reviewers with no pending reviews
3. reviewers with fewest past reviews
4. reviewers with shortest average wait times

(Note: when reviewers sign up, they can indicate up to 5 areas of expertise. These are taken from the SAME list of 95 disciplines that the author selected for the MS. This allows an easy way to match them.)

Details about each reviewer may be seen by clicking on the reviewer's name, which pops up a window that shows the CV, academic interests and other details of the reviewer.

If a reviewer is also the author of the MS to be assigned, his/her name is listed, but there is no checkbox so that reviewer cannot be assigned to this MS.

The last column in the table is a Select checkbox. Reviewers who have already been assigned to this MS (if any) show checkboxes that are already checked.

To assign one OR MORE of the reviewers, the editor clicks on a checkbox to select them, then clicks the Submit button at the bottom of the list.

A confirm page shows what is to be done, and asks for confirmation. If confirmed, the page sends an email notification to the reviewer(s) and stores the assignment data in the database.

This sets the assignment review days value for each assigned reviewer to 1. It is updated every time the status board is opened for viewing. This variable is used to set the colors on the status board.


The Editor has set a policy that a review should be submitted within 30 days after assignment. If it is late, a reminder is sent. If it is late 60 days, another reminder is sent. If it is late 90 days, a final notification is sent indicating that a new reviewer will soon be selected for the review.

The Editor's status board uses dates and a color code to indicate at a glance which reviews are late. If it has been less than 30 days, the date is green. Between 30 and 60 days, the date is yellow. Beyond 60 days, the date is red.

The table of Reviews Assigned to Reviewers (pending) shows this color code, and for each file a "Remind" link is provided. When this is clicked, it opens a page that shows what reminders have already been sent to this reviewer, and how many days have elapsed since the assignment. This information helps to avoid sending excessive reminders. A button is provided that if clicked will send an automatic email reminder to this reviewer. A copy of the message that was sent is provided in the web page for checking.

Please note: The above descriptions are subject to change, and may not correspond to the actual behavior while the system is under development!

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