Service charter is a commitment that aims to improve the service quality of the journal based on customer’s expectation. It is a document that highlights the information related to the services provided to the customer, the quality or the level of service expected by the customer, and the suggestions made the customer to help improve the service standard.
What are the associated benefits?
* A service charter can provide a low-cost model by providing online support in preference to printed journals.
* It provides a clear timeline for publication of the article. The reasons for the delay of publication after acceptance will be specified.
* The commitment to greater transparency can improve the researcher’s experience vis-a-vis the academic journal.
* It specifies whether the journal is peer-reviewed or not, along with the years of experience of the peer reviewers as well as editors. When this information is lucidly presented by the academic journal or the publisher, the whole process becomes more transparent.
* In case a manuscript is rejected, a detailed report will be sent to the author or the researcher so that he/she can work on the loopholes and enhance the quality of the manuscript for re-submission.
* Due to the accountability factor, the journal is committed to promptly addressing the customer’s feedback.
In spite of these advantages, the introduction of a service charter by academic journals is not being implemented widely.
The debate on reforms in the publication process needs to start with the top-ranked journals. There is need for greater transparency on how researchers follow various publication steps, starting from selection of their research topic to preparing the manuscript for submission, besides responding to reviewers’ queries.