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As Editor of the Journal of Traumatic Stress (JTS), one of my main objectives is to increase the author-friendliness of the journal. In so doing, I hope that my editorial team and I can convince trauma and PTSD researchers that JTS should be a primary outlet for their work. I want the entire process of submitting papers to the journal to be a positive experience, even if authors ultimately receive a rejection decision. I have been working towards this broad goal of increasing author friendliness by addressing several areas. First, my editorial team and I are reducing the time between manuscript submission and receiving an editorial decision. We are making good progress towards this goal, with authors receiving initial decision letters in about six weeks and final (i.e., acceptance) decisions in approximately 20 weeks. We have also decreased the time from acceptance of a paper to publication, with the goal to publish manuscripts no more than six months after acceptance. I am pleased to report that the journal is on track to achieve this goal within the next few months.
In addition to decreasing the wait time for the review and publication of accepted manuscripts, we have improved the quality of the decision letters that all authors receive from the journal. Rejection decision letters now routinely provide the key concern(s) that led to the rejection decision and revision decision letters provide authors with guidance on the key issues that should be addressed in the revised manuscript.
In addition to the efforts described, we have made the manuscript submission process easier for authors. Specifically, effective January of this year, the journal launched a “free format” submission option, in which authors do not have to adhere to journal formatting instructions when submitting manuscripts. Authors are only required to format papers according to the journal instructions if the manuscript receives a revise decision. We hope that the free format option during initial submission will make JTS an even more appealing option to authors. In addition to the free format submission option, we will be implementing Wiley’s Research Exchange (ReX) platform by the end of this year. The ReX platform automatically extracts author names, affiliations, and the abstract from uploaded manuscripts, which eliminates the need to manually enter this information into the submission portal. The ReX platform will result in a very easy and fast submission process.
I am hopeful that these changes will entice authors to submit their highest-quality work to the journal. I welcome suggestions from ISTSS members regarding other ways they believe the journal could be improved, and I’m always happy to receive feedback, both good and bad, about experiences that authors have had with the journal. As I serve in the role of Editor over the next several years, I will continue to use different outlets, including StressPoints, to keep ISTSS members apprised of changes to the journal. I encourage you to submit your work to JTS. If you have been submitting to the journal, I thank you for doing so. 

About the Author

Denise M. Sloan, PhD, is the associate director of the Behavioral Science Division at the National Center for PTSD and a professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine. She is the editor of the Journal of Traumatic Stress, the official publication of ISTSS.