Refereeing procedure

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ISSN (electronic): 1364-0380
ISSN (print): 1465-3060

Responsibility is split between the managing editors and the academic editors. The academic editors are responsible for all academic matters: communication with referees, deciding which papers shall be published, and overseeing (with referee's help if necessary) any substantial rewriting. The managing editors are responsible for administrative and production issues, for communications with authors and academic editors, and for moderating editorial discussions.

New submissions go first to a managing editor. Unless the managing editor judges the submission to be clearly unsuitable, the details of the paper and its electronic location are entered in the editorial log, which is accessible to all members of the editorial board. The managing editor then seeks an appropriate academic editor who is willing to act as "responsible editor" for the paper.

This editor is then responsible for obtaining one or more suitable referee reports and negotiating with the authors any major rewriting requested by referees. Responsible editors should not themselves serve as sole referee except in cases where a case for rejection is clear. Responsible editors can route communications with authors through the managing editor if they wish to stay anonymous, or they may communicate directly. It is important that authors be aware that there is no guarantee of acceptance, even if revisions are requested, see notes below. The responsible editor ultimately recommends rejection or acceptance, with a supporting case that includes the recommendations of the referee(s). The managing editor then circulates this recommendation and supporting case to the entire academic editorial board.

If rejection is recommended then there is a one week period in which other editors may make a case to reprieve the paper. If no such case is made, the paper is then rejected.

If acceptance is recommended (either by the original responsible editor or by another editor) there is a four week period for email discussion during which any editor may second the recommendation to accept or may make a case for rejection or for further review or revision. If any editor recommends rejection (with an appropriate supporting case) then, after a one week period for reprieve has elapsed, the paper is rejected. If further review or revision is called for then the responsible editor continues to handle the paper until he or she is ready to make a new recommendation to accept or reject. A paper can be accepted only if the four week discussion period has elapsed, two further editors have seconded acceptance, and no recommendation for rejection or further review is pending. If at the end of the discussion period the recommendation to accept is pending but two seconders have not yet been identified, then the managing editor appoints one or two further (willing) editors to evaluate the case; the paper is accepted only if these editors recommend acceptance. The three editors who accept a paper -- the nominating editor and the two seconding editors -- are identified in the finally published paper.

A paper is deemed "timed-out" (and rejected) if no final decision has been made about the paper within twelve weeks of the initial recommendation. The managing editor has the discretion to extend the time-out period if there is good reason or to otherwise adjust procedures in individual cases as appropriate.

After acceptance, the managing editors are responsible for obtaining any further minor corrections from the author(s), including any reformatting which is necessary, and for publication.

Notes

Authors are reminded that being asked for corrections or to rewrite parts of their work (usually at the request of the referee) does not imply that the paper will be accepted after correction. Technically this is an invitation to resubmit, with no guarantee of acceptance.

Papers submitted by academic editors are treated exactly as other papers except that the author is excluded from discussion. If a managing editor submits a paper then another (or an ad hoc) managing editor deals with the correspondence over the paper. Other editors should feel no obligation to treat papers submitted by editors with any special favour.

The responsible editor for a submission to G&T is expected to consult one or more external referees, unless the case for rejection is clear.

Editors should consider, before serving as responsible editor for a paper or seconding a paper, whether there might be an issue of conflict of interests. Examples when such conflicts might exist include: (a) The content of the paper reflects graduate work done under the editor's direction; (b) The editor is a current collaborator with an author of the submitted paper on a project referred to in the paper.