The problem: An author will send in an article with 2 or 3 distinctly different problems that need resolution before we can accept their article. The first editor rejects the article for problem #1; author fixes it, the second editor rejects it for problem #2; author fixes it, the third editor rejects it for problem #3; author fixes it and a week to 10 days has passed before we are finally able to accept the article (meanwhile the author is frustrated over the process).
The solution: We have databased the dozens of article problem templates so that our editors can check multiple problems that are wrong with an article – and this generates a custom templated email to our member that explains each problem and how to correct it in ONE single email rather than 2-3 emails back and forth.
We choose (3) to be the maximum number of problems that we can notify a member about his or her article because…well, if an article has 4 or more problems, we probably will not be able to accept it.
This was a complex system to setup and we will be tweaking the custom generated messages for another couple of weeks so that even though it is a custom generated email; it should sound as if it was a personal email sent on behalf of the reviewing editor.
The plan is to improve on this new system by expanding the detail of our problem status so more articles can be accepted and fewer “general” problem messages are sent.