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“Progress is impossible without change” said George Bernard Shaw, and in this issue of Editors’ Update we explore some of the innovations that are fuelling that change, both at Elsevier and across the publishing industry.

One of the most exciting things about innovation is its close companion, opportunity. In Clarifying attribution in a digital world, we learn how an increase in online content has inspired a re-evaluation of the traditional approach to authorship. Mike Taylor of Elsevier Labs explains how a new model, contributorship, could offer us a richer set of definitions and help to simplify attribution across disciplines.

New email alert delivers faster manuscript turnaround times focuses on a technological innovation that has produced promising results during a recent trial. Editors who took part in the Empower traffic light email pilot found overall decision times on manuscripts reducing. This service has now been opened to all journals.

New developments also inspired the two pilot projects outlined in Increased transparency benefits authors and journals. Both projects take advantage of recent technological innovations to increase journal- and article-level information provided to authors. Learn more about Journal Insights and Article Usage Reports and what they mean for your journal.

Reference simplification will streamline author submission process takes a novel approach to an age-old problem, the heavy time burden involved in formatting references. This multi-stranded review of references is designed to save on author time and simplify the submission process. One aspect will automatically be applied to all journals while others are available on an opt-in basis. Find out more.

And one recent innovation that has had an impact on all of our lives is the rapid advance of online social networks. In Making the most of social media we take a look at the Elsevier channels available and examine what it takes to build an effective profile.

As always, our final article, Editor in the Spotlight, offers an opportunity to meet one of our senior editors. Professor Richard Knowles, founding editor of the Journal of Transport Geography, has just handed over the reins to his successor. In this Q&A he reflects on his 20 years as an editor.

Coming up…

Open Access logoEditors’ Update is traditionally published on a quarterly basis but this April we will be bringing you a one-off Special Report on Open Access. This will coincide with the Research Councils UK guidance for its revised Policy on Open Access, which comes into effect on April 1st. Keep an eye on your inbox for the email alert.

Finally, a big thank you to those of you who took part in our recent poll on Editors’ Update. Following a suggestion by one of our readers, Terry Tan, we asked you: What is a reasonable time period for a peer review? Our sister publication, Reviewers’ Update, decided to run the same poll. Read on to discover how you and your reviewers voted.

Timeframe Editors Reviewers
Two weeks 18% (65 votes) 22% (107 votes)
One month 49% (176 votes) 59% (286 votes)
Two months 20% (70 votes) 16% (77 votes)
Three months 7% (25 votes) 3% (12 votes)
Longer 6% (20 votes) 1% (3 votes)

I always look forward to hearing your views. Please feel free to email me at and let me know how we can ensure Editors’ Update continues to meet your needs.