Production Process Explained

Production Process Explained

The editorial process here at MDPI is extensive. Here on the blog, we recently wrote about what your submission status means and how to submit your manuscript. There are many steps and staff members responsible for each process. Assistant Editors are usually the first line of contact, and it’s often presumed that they’re the only staff members involved with manuscript processing. However, there is a huge team responsible for taking your manuscripts from layout to conversion. This the production team.

The production team has many divisions including the layout team, proofreading editors, final check editors, quality control editors, XML editors, PDF editors, publication checkers, website editors and post-publishing check editors. Production team members have a keen eye and can spot mistakes easily. To ensure accuracy, they use intelligent tools which help them spot mistakes. It’s also a requirement for the production team to undergo vigorous training courses and numerous tests before qualifying for the role.


Within the editorial process, the layout team are responsible for formatting your manuscript to the guidelines of the journal. Layout editors use a combination of their skills, experience and specialized tools to format manuscripts.

Every aspect of the layout is transformed, margins, font size, affiliation order, indentation size, reference order, etc. And this can be different between journals.

Layout team members can also highlight any errors noticed in the manuscript such as mistakes in names and email addresses. Cross-checkers are also an essential part of the layout team. They’re responsible for conducting final checks on the manuscript, to double check the final format. It’s very important that all journals maintain the same standard. It’s crucial for MDPI to increase the citations of work by improving readability.


Proofreading editors are a relatively new division within the production team. Before production took over proofreading, assistant editors were responsible for this role. Not all journals have them, so some assistant editors still cover this.

Proofreading editors are responsible for proofreading manuscripts. Proofreading is critical, as it allows for the manuscript to be check from multiple angles. During proofreading, proofreading editors leave comments for the authors to check before publication. This generally ranges from ensuring that authors names are spelt correctly to ensuring the references are detailed and correct. This process is very important, as small mistakes can compromise the whole manuscript.

Final Check

The Final check editor as the name suggests is responsible for the final check of the manuscript before publication. This step in the production process involves following our strict guidelines to thoroughly check the manuscript for any mistakes. All deviations from the guidelines must be confirmed with other colleagues. This is to ensure that the changes are confirmed by the author and approved by the journal. The final check must take place before conversion.

XML Conversion

XML editors and quality control editors prepare the manuscript for conversion. For manuscripts to be displayed correctly on MDPI’s website, they must be converted into an XML file. They edit in accordance with the XML rules and upload this to quality control editors who perform final checks and can repair any faulty XML files. This process is also required for indexing.


Production’s work is still not complete: they also have a team that oversees producing the final PDF file. They edit the file to minimize space and to check the final format of the document. The publication checker then checks it for any errors; if none are found, it can be published.


Some manuscripts can be published before conversion. This is for cases where the manuscript has been extensively checked by production and has no further issues. Website editors or publishing editors can publish the manuscript from text files and produce the PDF file later. This allows the paper to be published without delays.

Post-Production Team

Following publication, production has a dedicated team associated with post-publication, including post-publishing check editors and website editors. They are extremely important parts in the production department. The post-publication checker team, reviews the article after paper publication. They are responsible for checking that the article’s key information on the website is correct. This includes details within the front matter and figures, as well as ensuring the article’s information accuracy.

Website editors are responsible for registering the DOI number for the article. In addition, they also upload any graphical abstracts or videos to the article page. They can also move the article to an appropriate section, Special issue, or Topic.

Final thoughts

Here at MDPI, we have a lot of steps and rigorous checks throughout the process, to ensure that your manuscript is the greatest quality. With dedicated staff members behind every simple process, its clear to see that your manuscript is in very safe hands at MDPI.

For more information on how to submit your manuscript, see our recent blog post on submission. You can also find more information on the author’s page.