Copernicus Publications has established an innovative online editorial support system, the Copernicus Office Editor, to automate the selection of associate editors and reviewers. This helps to minimize the time that a paper spends in review. Associate editors are selected based on their own expertise and on a set of manuscript subject areas supplied by the authors. A first choice should be made which most closely describes the paper. If possible an additional second choice should also be given. The latter will be used if no associate editor is available who matches the first choice.
After submission of a manuscript, the Copernicus Office Editor sends an email request to every associate editor whose subject areas match the first choice index terms. Based on the manuscript information and abstract, the addressed editorial board members are asked to act as the responsible associate editor for the new submission. As soon as one of them accepts the task, he/she is assigned as the associate editor for this submission and receives the complete manuscript. The authors are informed accordingly.
If none of the initially addressed associate editors accepts the task within a few days, the request is extended to associate editors whose subject areas match the second choice index terms. In case of another unsuccessful call, the request is extended to all members of the editorial board.
If none of the editorial board members is available to start the review process, the executive editors are asked to assign the manuscript to one of the associate editors.