Core competencies for scientific editors of biomedical journals: Consensus statement

David Moher, James Galipeau, Sabina Alam, Virginia Barbour, Kidist Bartolomeos, Patricia Baskin, Sally Bell-Syer, Kelly D. Cobey, Leighton Chan, Jocalyn Clark, Jonathan Deeks, Annette Flanagin, Paul Garner, Anne Marie Glenny, Trish Groves, Kurinchi Gurusamy, Farrokh Habibzadeh, Stefanie Jewell-Thomas, Diane Kelsall, José Florencio LapeñaHarriet MacLehose, Ana Marusic, Joanne E. McKenzie, Jay Shah, Larissa Shamseer, Sharon Straus, Peter Tugwell, Elizabeth Wager, Margaret Winker, Getu Zhaori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Scientific editors are responsible for deciding which articles to publish in their journals. However, we have not found documentation of their required knowledge, skills, and characteristics, or the existence of any formal core competencies for this role. Methods: We describe the development of a minimum set of core competencies for scientific editors of biomedical journals. Results: The 14 key core competencies are divided into three major areas, and each competency has a list of associated elements or descriptions of more specific knowledge, skills, and characteristics that contribute to its fulfillment. Conclusions: We believe that these core competencies are a baseline of the knowledge, skills, and characteristics needed to perform competently the duties of a scientific editor at a biomedical journal.

Original languageEnglish
Article number167
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2017


  • Biomedical journal
  • Core competencies
  • Delphi
  • Editor role
  • Expert consensus
  • Scientific editor

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