Handling editors at Frontiers make an initial assessment to ensure a manuscript is scientifically robust and fits within the scope of the journal and specialty section to which it was submitted. They can either be Associate Editors, who are permanent editorial board members for each specialty, or Research Topic Editors, who are hosting a specific special issue with Frontiers over a defined period of time.
After this first check, the handling editor decides whether to send the manuscript out for review or recommend it for immediate rejection to the Specialty Chief Editor.
In the former case, the handling editor invites reviewers and directly oversees the interaction between the reviewers and authors during the collaborative peer review process. Based on the reviewers' recommendations, and ensuring all quality, validity and ethical standards have been met, handling editors then make the final decision on acceptance or else recommend the manuscript for rejection to the Specialty Chief Editor.
Both handling editors and reviewers who endorsed publication are named on published articles, to acknowledge their contribution and ensure accountability.
See full review guidelines