Online submission systems are increasingly a window into a larger ecosystem of author and publisher services. Tools can facilitate both author and publisher processes, but should be balanced to offer benefits to both. Collection of vital author data upfront, such as ethical approvals and conflict of interests, ensures both adherence and minimal delays. Completion of legal forms online offers a quick, minimum effort pathways for both authors and editorial offices, and reduces lost paperwork and missing forms. E-commerce transactions can be made during submission or after acceptance, cutting bureaucracy for OA publications. Integration of plagiarism and duplicate checking tools prevent accidental and malicious duplication. ORCID opens the door to a larger user space, enabling the attribution of content from submission onwards, and has the potential for better tracking of end-to-end publishing outcomes, from submission to citation. Development to incorporate funder information has the potential to take this even further, relating funding to outcomes.
In short, online submission is part of a larger mechanism, and any online submission and review system has to continue to incorporate the bigger picture of services.