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Peer review process

Peer review is the process used to assess whether an academic paper is suitable for publication based on the quality, originality and importance of the work. Your paper is evaluated by expert peers in the field, known as referees, with a publication decision made by the journal editors.

Role of the Editor

Upon submission, Editors will assess the general suitability of your paper for the journal. If deemed suitable, the Editor will select referees for your paper, based on their scientific interests and background. The Editors may welcome suggestions for specific referees from you or your co-authors in some cases. When referee reports are received, an Editor will make an initial decision along the following lines:

  • To unconditionally accept the paper
  • To request mandatory amendments with likely acceptance
  • To request major revision and encourage resubmission
  • To reject the paper outright

The referees provide supporting remarks and their comments are generally very helpful for improving the quality of submitted papers.

Role of the referee

When asked to review a paper, typically referees are asked to comment on the following aspects of it:

  • Scientific merit and accuracy
  • Originality and motivation
  • Appropriateness for the journal
  • Clarity and conciseness
  • Structure and balance
  • Presentation, repetition and length
  • Referencing

The referees provide supporting remarks and their comments are generally very helpful for improving the quality of submitted papers.

How long will peer review take?

This can vary dramatically, from several days to several months, for different research areas and depending on the responsiveness of referees. Check the journal website to see if it provides any information on typical review times. Often authors may track the progress of their paper online.

Can I appeal if my paper is rejected?

This depends on the journal policy. Often, if you can provide sufficient justification for an appeal and you can scientifically refute the reasons for the original rejection decision, then your appeal will be considered by the journal Editors. Check with the publisher.

Contour plot representing various maximum invariant masses of combinations of quarks and leptons

Contour plot representing various maximum invariant masses of combinations of quarks and leptons N Srimanobhas and B Asavapibhop 2011 J. Phys. G: Nucl. Part. Phys. 38 075001.

The Peer Review Process