Peer Review: Editors at Frontiers

Considering becoming an editor for journals in your research community? What are the different editor roles at Frontiers and how do we support you? Find out more.

Considering becoming an editor for journals in your research community? What are the different editor roles at Frontiers and how do we support you?

Frontiers editorial boards

Frontiers’ editorial boards comprise of Field Chief Editors, Specialty Chief Editors, Associate Editors, and Review Editors. We work to attract the right experts, and in turn, support the research community in the field, expanding the Editorial Board when needed to cover emerging, hot, or growing topics.

Frontiers’ Publishing Development team works closely with our Chief Editors in identifying new opportunities in different research fields. Field and Specialty Chief Editors are established professors in their field and oversee their journal or section, prioritizing quality and growth. With their input, we research and analyze upcoming and highly cited areas to identify opportunities, and I thoroughly enjoy our editorial calls to discuss journal development and how we can best serve the research community.

As advocates for open-access, Frontiers Editors handle manuscript submissions for a fast, interactive and transparent peer review process. Our Publishing Operations teams work particularly on this process with our Associate Editors, who are high-impact researchers, approved by our Chief Editors, and invited to the board based on their expertise. Associate Editors manage the peer review process, working with expert reviewers from our Review Editor board or by inviting in external reviewers, if required. Our unique review platform fosters a collaborative review process and is different to that of any other publisher. It provides clear tracking of a manuscript, outlining the next task for editors, making the review process more efficient.

Why should you consider becoming an editor for Frontiers?

Frontiers’ editorial boards and guest editors represent the world’s top institutions.Without acceptance rate targets or financial incentives, they take editorial decisions to ensure science is improved through “impact neutral” peer review, in line with Frontiers’ editorial guidelines.  Associate and Review Editors volunteer their time and expertise to assess and offer improvements to the manuscripts they review. As an editor, your role is crucial for the quality and validity of science being published, benefiting future research and ultimately, leading to new discoveries that inform progress. Our open-science platform allows for the necessary scrutiny to ensure criteria and standards are met for publication.

To capture different areas of research within our journals, we collaborate on community-driven article collections called Research Topics, which are led by guest editors. As a guest editor you suggest and develop specific ‘Topics’, bringing visibility and interdisciplinarity to different areas of research. As a guest editor, you will bring your expertise in your field to the journal and attract the latest research while building a network of contributing authors, which also benefits your future collaborations and projects. In this role you also gain increased visibility and potential entry to our annual Spotlight Award, if your collection gains sufficient submitted articles.

How does Frontiers support your editor role?

The Frontiers Editorial Office provides support to more than 103,000 editors across 79 open-access journals. As a Publishing Development Specialist, I am involved in developing collaborations through our Research Topic article collections and ensuring editorial policies are followed, while assisting editors with tasks so that they can focus on the science quality and establishing research networks. All decisions on manuscripts are left to our experienced editors. Check out Part 1 of this blog series for details on the role of peer review in publishing.

We continuously innovate to improve our editorial services. More recently, Frontiers developed the Artificial Intelligence Review Assistant (AIRA), a tool which helps editors evaluate plagiarism, conflicts of interest, and matches suggested reviewers. Empowering editors with this kind of technology allows for quality at scale. And it is working! Last year, for example, 89% of our editors rated their experience as “good” or “excellent”. In addition, we are committed to recognizing the editors’ contribution. We disclose their names upon acceptance (which offers an added level of accountability) and we recently partnered with Clarivate – Publons on a new reviewer recognition service.

Should you decide to join our mission at Frontiers, you will be contributing to making high-quality science openly and freely available for us to all live healthy lives on a healthy planet. If you would like any more information about how you might join us, please feel free to contact us at

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