Publications Assistant (Multiple Vacancies)
The Public Library of Science (PLoS) - San Francisco, CA

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As a member of the editorial operations team, the Publications Assistant is organized and conscientious, handling day-to-day tasks to ensure the smooth running of their journal.

Key tasks include providing a professional service to authors and reviewers, assisting them with the submission system and supporting the professional editors working for the journal. Applicants should have good IT skills and experience with online systems or databases would be an advantage.

The Publications Assistant will be a confident and highly organized self-starter with first class communication and problem solving skills; be a team player, organized and conscientious with good attention to detail and the ability to manage their own workload and meet competing deadlines.

Please note: this is not a writing role.

  • Operating our online peer-review software to facilitate the peer review process for the journal
  • Assisting authors, reviewers, and academic editors by answering queries by email and phone
  • Supporting the in-house Editors, Editorial and Publications Managers in their tasks
  • Fielding questions from scientists, members of the public and the press about the journal
  • Liaising with authors to ready manuscripts for acceptance and production by the journal
  • Assisting with the gathering of statistical data for the journals (as required)
  • Maintaining and uploading journal operation processes workflows as directed
  • Troubleshooting routine manuscript issues, providing input on manuscript discussions and escalating issues when appropriate
  • Undertaking special projects as directed by your line manager
Qualifications and Experience:
  • A university degree or equivalent is preferred
  • Excellent communication skills (written and verbal)
  • Organizational skills (especially the ability to prioritize, meet deadlines and multitask)
  • Technical proficiencies (knowledge of Excel, Word, file types and file conversions)
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • An interest, and preferably experience, in STM or academic publishing
  • Undertaking special projects as directed by your line manager

Tool Proficiency – Working knowledge of our online submission system, Editorial Manager, as well as Salesforce, Google Docs, and knowledge bases where appropriate. Competent use of all tools to facilitate the peer review process

Journal Process Knowledge – Thorough understanding and mastery of editorial processes and workflows. Use of this information to assist authors, reviewers, academic editors, and colleagues with complex questions and problems

Communication – Excellent verbal and written communication

Workload Management ‑ Efficient and timely use of resources; process oversight to ensure they are maintained. Deadline consciousness.

Good judgment – Demonstrates ability to analyze data and deploy common sense, logic, and problem-solving skills with minimal supervision

Self-motivated – Action oriented, proactive, and anticipatory. Does not wait to be told what to do; tenacious. Demonstrates a strong work ethic and shows initiative

Sense of urgency – Recognizes priorities and shuffles work effectively to deal with urgent issues. Demonstrates calm under pressure

Accountability – Demonstrates understanding of the role and ownership of problems. Seeks guidance when required. Excellent follow-through. No excessive absences

Integrity – Possesses strong ethics; maintains discretion and confidentiality. High degree of professionalism

Organization – Excellent organization skills. Demonstrated ability to organize, prioritize, meet deadlines, and multitask. Exemplifies productive work habits

Responsibility – Demonstrated ability and maturity to support the Publications Managers in their tasks, and act as back-up as needed. Able to work independently for assigned work and projects

Relationship builder – Creates strong working relationships and trust with co-workers. Decisive and tactful when working with multiple stakeholders

Leadership – Sets a good example for the team. Trains and/or mentors new or existing Publications Assistants. Proactively undertakes a project or takes the lead on an existing process