Editorial Decision-Making: Guide to the Editorial Process


Editorial decision-making is important in determining the content we see or read. It governs what gets published and what doesn’t and finally influences the way of various media platforms. In this blog post, we will discuss the steps of the editorial process, get to know who makes editorial decisions, and understand the importance of the first phase.

The Editorial Steps

The editorial process is an organized approach employed by media organizations to ensure the quality and application of their content. While the specifics may vary between platforms, the general steps include:

Ideation and Planning: This first stage involves brainstorming ideas, identifying topics of interest, and creating an editorial calendar. It sets the groundwork for the entire process.

Content Creation: Authors, journalists, or content writers write articles, essays, or reports based on agreed-upon topics. They conduct research, gather information, and craft engaging content.

Editing and Review: Editors review the content for accuracy, clarity, grammar, and style. They may suggest revisions, fact-check information, and ensure adherence to the publication’s guidelines.

Decision-Making: Here’s where editorial decisions come into play. The editor-in-chief or a designated team evaluates the content based on its quality, relevance, and alignment with the platform’s goals. They decide which pieces should get published, revised, or rejected.

Source: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/s/editorial-and-peer-review-process

Fig 1: A sample editorial process and peer review.

Understanding Editorial Decisions

An “editorial decision sent to the author” refers to a communication sent from the editor to the author informing them of the decision made on their submitted piece. It could be an acceptance for publication, a request for revisions, or, unfortunately, a rejection.

Several factors guide editorial decisions, including the content’s alignment with the publication’s target audience, editorial standards, correctness, individuality, and quality. The editorial team makes these decisions to provide valuable, reliable, and engaging content to the audience.

Who Makes Editorial Decisions?

The editor-in-chief or an editorial team overseeing content production makes editorial decisions. These individuals understand the publication’s goals, target audience, and content approach. They influence their expertise and knowledge to make informed decisions that align with the platform’s vision. In some cases, contributors or subject matter experts may also get involved in decision-making processes, especially when evaluating specialized content.


Editorial decision-making is a vital process that shapes the content landscape we engage with daily. By understanding the editorial process, the individuals involved, and the significance of each step, One idea to improve the effectiveness of the writing would be to provide examples of how editorial decisions can impact the content we see or read. This would help illustrate the editorial process’s importance and make it more relatable for the reader. Additionally, incorporating quotes or insights from individuals involved in the editorial process could add a human element to the writing and make it more engaging. Finally, breaking up the text with subheadings or bullet points could help to make the content easier to read and digest. Understand how content is curated, ensuring its quality, relevance, and value to the audience.



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