Robert Terry uses Bento 4 to track articles, authors, and reviews for the foreign language education journal he edits.
Editing an educational journal takes more than just a red pen and a keen eye. It takes a lot of coordination, planning, and organization. That's why retired foreign-language professor and editor Robert Terry uses the new Bento 4 to track articles, authors, and reviews for the foreign language education journal he edits.
"There's a lot of information to track with an article," says Terry. "I have the authors fill out a form that basically tells me what the article is about, the levels of education it pertains to, who would be interested in it, and what kind of article it is. I use Bento to match articles with reviewers and to track all of that data. It's extremely easy to use and I couldn't do my work without it."
Terry taught French at the University of Richmond in Virginia for more than 39 years. Today he's retired, but continues to use his knowledge and experience editing a professional journal about foreign language education. "The journal I work with focuses on general theory, research, and classroom practice in language teaching. It's great for me because I lived it for 40 years and I get to keep up with the latest in my field and contribute my own knowledge."
Articles submitted to most educational journals are reviewed by experts in the field. In Terry's field there are many experts in many different areas of foreign language education. To match articles to appropriate reviewers, he needs a lot of information. With Bento 4, he can log the information and match authors to reviewers in minutes.
"Authors and reviewers both submit information: authors tell me what the article is about and reviewers tell me about their areas of expertise. I match the instructional levels, the foreign language educators who would be most interested in the article, the type of content, the relevant language(s), and key terms that describe that content," he says. "I put all that into Bento and I can see at a glance which reviewer will be a good match for an article."
Terry also keeps track of author and reviewer contact information and tracks the status of each article. "I can do a quick search and find all the articles that have been published, rejected, or are being considered, articles by a particular author, who has reviewed what article, or anything," he says.
The retired professor built the database in less than a week and has been refining it to better meet his needs ever since. "I can design the forms to look exactly like I want," he says. "It's incredibly easy to work with Bento. I just choose a type of field from the menu and drag and drop it in the form just where I want it."
Terry also synchs his Bento database with his iPhone and iPad. "I use my iPhone and iPad to access the data," he says. "If I have a question that comes up when I'm at home or anywhere away from my office, I can pull up the information right away. That's a tremendous advantage compared to other database applications."
The professor is taking his database on the road. "I'm speaking about how I edit and select articles for the journal at an upcoming conference," he says. "I'll be demonstrating how Bento can be used to track articles and make editing and publishing easier."
Bento has been a boon for the retired professor. "Every time I launch Bento I discover something new I can do with it," he says. "With Bento 4 I'll be able to print address labels directly from records and synch my iCal to-do items. It really feels like Bento can do everything."