This description of Online Academic Journal manuscript review procedures is given so that authors, reviewers, and readers will better understand the paper selection and publication process. The first step in manuscript evaluation is an examination by the Editor-in-Chief of papers submitted to the journal. The Editor-in-Chief first tests the manuscript for the several criteria of subject scope, archival editorial style, apparent scientific validity, topical importance, timeliness, relationship to prior publication, conciseness, appropriate references, and length. Precise requirements are given on the Online Academic Journal Web site.
If it passes these first tests, the paper is sent to a journal’s Associate Editor with the most direct knowledge of the subject matter and of expert reviewers in the field. The Associate Editor then evaluates the paper according to the same criteria and, in most cases, has the paper sent to two or more reviewers in the field for confidential review. The review report form is designed both to encourage the reviewer’s objectivity and to ensure the thoroughness of his or her evaluation. Considerable significance is attached to the review reports.
Each reviewer is asked to judge the technical validity of the manuscript and the extent of its advance beyond work previously published. The reviewer is asked also for advice concerning the specific merits and/or deficiencies of the manuscript. However, the decision to publish, to require major revision before publication, or to reject for reasons cited lies first with the Associate Editor and ultimately with the Editor-in-Chief. It takes a minimum of a month after receipt of the manuscript to accomplish the evaluation and review steps discussed above.
The next step is up to the author. If the paper has been rejected or if extensive revisions have been requested that the author believes are incorrect or unwarranted, he or she is entitled to submit a point-by-point rebuttal to the Editor’s statement of reasons and the reviewers’ comments. The rebuttal then is analyzed by the Editors, and a final decision is made, although there may be a need for an additional review cycle. Authors who revise their papers must make an effort to do so within the stated time period.
A reviewer who feels strongly that a particular paper should not be published may choose to write his or her criticism as a Comment. The author then will be allowed to write a closing response for publication in the same issue as the Comment. Formal acceptance will not occur until the author has complied with all of the revision requests (if any) made by the Associate Editor and has prepared the paper in the Journal archival style. (Or the Associate Editor may accept the author’s rebuttal, as described above.)
When a paper is formally accepted, it will be scheduled for publication in a forthcoming issue, and the author will be informed of the tentative date. Depending upon the number of papers awaiting publication and projected size of issues, this may require that papers be scheduled an issue ahead. When feasible, papers will be published in the order of their original receipt. A file with galley proofs will be sent to authors for correction and release approximately two weeks prior to publication.
How is peer review done in the Journal of Chemistry Letters?
Scholarly publication is a means to present your new work to be communicated in academic circles and peer review is at the heart of this process. Peer review, also known as refereeing, plays a central role in the selection of material with significance and excellence in content for publication in academic journals. Upon receiving a new manuscript, the Editor-in-Chief briefly reviews the manuscript to verify if it is in accordance with the journal’s policies such as aims and scope and style guidelines. If accepted at this initial step, the manuscript will be placed in a queue for being refereed by reviewers. Journal of Chemistry Letters practices double-blind peer review. Under double-blind peer review, identifying information of a submitted manuscript will be removed before sending the manuscript to reviewers and the identity of the authors and the reviewers will be kept the secret from either party to ensure fairness and objectivity of the process. Journal of Chemistry Letters benefits from a community of volunteer reviewers enjoying distinguished academic records who are most versed in the subject matters falling within the scope of the journal. The editorial team will reach a common conclusion based on the evaluations by the peer reviewers as to whether accept or reject the manuscript. If the manuscript is conditionally accepted, the authors will be asked to address the issues raised by the reviewers and heed the demands of the editorial team. Revised manuscripts will be reviewed to check if the revisions are satisfactory. If the final decision is to accept the manuscript for publication, the authors will be informed and asked to fill the copyright transfer agreement and conflict of interest forms to transfer all rights under copyright to Journal of Chemistry Letters. Accepted manuscripts will be published in the nearest issue of the journal.