Peer Review Process
Scientific progress in Geophysics requires the exchange and discussion of data and ideas. Annals of Geophysics is a publication dedicated to presenting the results of scientific research on Geosciences in an open-access environment. At the same time, it provides a forum in which to discuss that research and so provide for each and every paper its maximum possible impact. In a year of publication Annals of Geophysics will combine traditional peer review with 'Web 2.0' tools to facilitate community evaluation and discourse around the published article.
The peer review of each article is rigorous and concentrates on objective and technical concerns to determine whether the research has been sufficiently well conceived, well executed, and well described to justify inclusion in the scientific record. Then, after publication, all articles are opened up for interactive discussions and assessment in which the whole scientific community can be involved.
Unlike many journals which attempt to use the peer review process to determine whether or not an article reaches the level of 'importance' required by a given journal, Annals of Geophysics uses peer review to determine whether a paper is technically sound and worthy of inclusion in the published scientific record. The authors who wish to address their comments or opinions about the review process should use the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Criteria for Publication
To be accepted for publication on Annals of Geophysics, all kind of articles (Article, Review Article, Letter, Data/Field Survey) must satisfy the following criteria:
- The study presents the results of primary scientific research.
- Results reported have not been published elsewhere.
- Conclusions are presented in an appropriate fashion and are supported by data.
- The article is presented in an intelligible fashion and is written in standard English.
Annals of Geophysics Board of Associate Editors, and any invited external peer Reviewers, will evaluate submissions against these criteria. To expand on some of these criteria:
- Does the manuscript report on scholarly research?
Annals of Geophysics is designed specifically as a medium for scholarly scientific research.
Articles, Letters, Reviews and Data/Field Survey can be considered for publication in Annals of Geophysics but must apply the utmost rigour in the comprehensive and unbiased sampling of existing literature and must describe the methods used for the selection, inclusion and exclusion of data (see below).
- Have the results reported been published elsewhere?
Annals of Geophysics does not accept works that have already been published elsewhere.
- Is the article presented in an intelligible fashion and written in English?
Annals of Geophysics Staff do copyedit the text of accepted manuscripts; it is therefore important for the work, as presented, to be intelligible. Perfect, stylish English is essential and the language must be clear and unambiguous. If the language of a paper is poor, the Associate Editors should recommend that Authors seek independent editorial help before submission of a revision. Poor presentation and language is a justifiable reason for rejection.
- Overview of the Editorial Process
Annals of Geophysics will provide all Authors with an efficient editorial process. Our aim is to identify those submissions that warrant inclusion in the scientific record and present them to the scientific community with as few hurdles as possible.
The editorial process is run by the journal's Editor in Chief and Board of Associate Editors (AEs) who work together to orchestrate the peer-review process. The AE evaluates the paper and decides whether it describes a body of work that meets the editorial criteria of Annals of Geophysics. If the paper does, the AE seeks a couple of Reviewers among the scientists he/she considers expert in the field. A single-blind review is applied, where authors' identities are known to reviewers. Peer review comments are confidential and will only be disclosed with the express agreement of the reviewer.
After receiving the comments by both Reviewers, he/she adds a short comment and an opinion about the destiny of the paper. The AE can take the decision of a second revision process, asking the same Reviewers or, if he/she considers necessary, other Reviewers. Exceptionally, the AE can act as a Reviewer, and in this case he/she should ask only another revision.
After appropriate consideration by the AE, a decision letter to the Author is drafted by the Sector Editor.
There are several types of decisions possible:
- a) Accept in principle
- b) Minor revision. The paper is in principle accepted after revision based on the reviewer’s comments. Authors are given 1 month for minor revisions.
- c) Major revision. The acceptance of the manuscript would depend on the revisions. The author needs to provide a point by point response or provide a rebuttal if some of the reviewer’s comments cannot be revised. Usually, only one round of major revisions is allowed. Authors will be asked to resubmit the revised paper within a suitable time frame, and the revised version will be returned to the reviewer for further comments.
- d) Rejection. If additional experiments are needed to support the conclusions, the manuscript will be rejected and the authors will be encouraged to re-submit the paper once further experiments have been conducted. In case the article has serious flaws, and/or makes no original significant contribution. No offer of resubmission to the journal is provided.
Upon acceptance, the manuscript is checked by Annals of Geophysics Staff to ensure that it is in a form that will allow it to be efficiently handled by our production system. The Authors will be queried and allowed to make any final minor revisions that are needed.
This is the final stage at which Authors will see their manuscript before publication. The Authors' files will be carefully tagged to generate XML and PDF files, but will be subject to a short and simple copyediting. It is therefore essential that Authors provide a thoroughly proofread and checked manuscript, following the Author checklist and any comments from Annals of Geophysics Staff.
III. Reviewer Selection
Selection of Reviewers for a particular manuscript is the responsibility of the AEs and is based on many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations of Authors and academic Editors, and the AE's own knowledge of a Reviewer's past performance.
As part of our editorial procedure, we confer with potential Reviewers before sending them manuscripts to review. Reviewers should bear in mind that even these initial messages or conversations contain confidential information, which should be regarded as such.
- Writing the Review
The purpose of the review is to provide the Editors with an expert opinion regarding the quality of the manuscript under consideration. The review should also supply Authors with explicit feedback on how to improve their papers so that they are acceptable for publication on Annals of Geophysics. Although confidential comments to the Editors are respected, any remarks that might help to strengthen the paper should be directed to the Authors themselves.
A good review would answer the following questions:
- What are the main claims of the paper?
- Are the claims properly placed in the context of the previous literature?
- Do the data support the claims? If not, what other evidence is required?
- Who would find this paper of interest? And why?
- In what further directions would it be useful to take the current research?
- Other Questions for Consideration
In case of manuscripts deemed worthy of publication, we would appreciate additional advice from the Reviewer on the following:
- Is the manuscript written clearly? If not, how could it be improved?
- Have the Authors provided adequate proof for their claims without overselling them?
- Have the Authors treated the previous literature fairly?
The review process is strictly confidential and should be treated as such by Reviewers. As the Author may have chosen to exclude some people from this process, no one who is not directly involved with the manuscript (including colleagues and other experts in the field) should be consulted by the Reviewer unless such consultations have first been discussed with the AE. Reviewers must not take any confidential information they have gained in the review process and use it before the paper is published. Even after publication, unless they have the permission of the Authors to use other information, Reviewers may only use publicly published data (i.e. the contents of the published article) and not information from any earlier drafts.
VII. Timely Review
Annals of Geophysics believes that an efficient editorial process that results in timely publication provides a valuable service both to Authors and to the scientific community at large.
Although Reviewers remain anonymous during the review process, they may waive this anonymity to promote open and transparent decision-making
- Editing Reviewers' Reports
The Associate Editors and Annals of Geophysics Staff do not edit any comments made by Reviewers that have been intended to be read by the Authors unless the language is deemed inappropriate for professional communication or the comments contain information considered confidential. Such remarks should be reserved for the confidential section of the review form, which is intended to be read by the Sector Editors only.
In their comments to Authors, Reviewers are encouraged to be honest but not offensive in their language. Unfair criticism can be rejected by the Sector Editor and/or the AE.
- Competing Interests
As far as possible, we respect requests by Authors to exclude Reviewers whom they consider to be unsuitable. We also, as much as possible, try to rule out those Reviewers who may have an obvious competing interest, such as those who may have been collaborators on other projects with the Authors of this manuscript, those who may be direct competitors, those who may have a known history of antipathy with the Author(s), or those who might profit financially from this work. Because it is not possible for all such competing interests to be known by a particular Editor, we request that Reviewers who recognize a potential competing interest inform the Associate Editors or journal Staff and recuse themselves if they feel that are unable to offer an impartial review.
When submitting your review, you must indicate in the box provided whether or not you have any competing interests. On occasion, Reviewers may be asked to offer their opinion on a manuscript that they may have reviewed for some other journal. This is not in itself a competing interest. That two journals have identified the same person as especially well qualified to judge the manuscript under consideration does not in any way decrease the validity of that opinion and may perhaps even enhance it.