Editorial Process

Summary of the editorial process

  • The author submits a manuscript and it receives a tracking number.
  • The editorial office perform an initial quality check on the manuscript to ensure that the paper is formatted correctly.
  • An Associate Editor is assigned to the manuscript and decides whether to send the manuscript out to review. If the decision is not to send the manuscript for review, the Editor contacts the author with the decision.
  • If the Associate Editor decides the paper is within the Journal's remit, the paper will be assigned to reviewers. This can take some time dependent on the responsiveness and availability of the reviewers selected.
  • Reviewers are given 14 days from acceptance to submit their reports. Once the required reports are submitted the Associate Editor will make the final decision based on the comments received.

Authors are able to monitor the status of their paper throughout the peer review process.

Pre-submission Enquiries
The Editors encourage authors to submit manuscripts in full and aim to provide an efficient time to decision, which, if the manuscript is deemed unacceptable for the journal, allows authors to submit elsewhere without delay. All other pre-submission enquiries should be directed to the editorial office 

Papers should be submitted via the Journal's online submission system
Before submitting a manuscript, authors are encouraged to consult both the Guide to Authors and Editorial Policies sections of this website to ensure that the paper adheres to formatting and policy requirements - this will help to enable efficient processing of the manuscript once received.
For inquiries related to submission requirements, please contact the editorial office

Peer Review Terminology:
Gene Therapy and Springer Nature are participating in a pilot of NISO/STM's Working Group on Peer Review Terminology.

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and STM, the International Association of Scientific, Technology and Medical Publishers have recognized a need to identify and standardize definitions and terminology in peer review practices in order to help align nomenclature as more publishers use open peer review models.

A peer review terminology that is used across publishers will help make the peer review process for articles and journals more transparent, and will enable the community to better assess and compare peer review practices between different journals.

The following summary describes the peer review process for this journal:

  • Identity transparency: Single anonymized
  • Reviewer interacts with: Editor
  • Review information published: None

The full terminology is detailed here.

We would welcome feedback on the Peer Review Terminology Pilot. Please can you take the time to complete this short survey.

Peer review
​To expedite the review process, only papers that seem most likely to meet editorial criteria are sent for external review. Papers judged by the editors to be of insufficient general interest or otherwise inappropriate are rejected promptly without external review. 
Manuscripts sent out for peer review are evaluated by at least one independent reviewer (often two or more). Authors are welcome to suggest independent reviewers to evaluate their manuscript, however these must not be colleagues who are close associates, collaborators or family members. All recommendations are considered, but it is at the Editor’s discretion their choice of reviewers. ​By policy, referees are not identified to the authors, except at the request of the referee.  
Reviewer selection is critical to the publication process, and we base our choice on many factors, based on expertise, reputation and specific recommendations. A reviewer may decline the invitation to evaluate a manuscript where there is perceived conflict of interest (financial or otherwise).
Once  a sufficient number of reviews are received, the editors then make a decision based on the reviewers' evaluations:

  • Accept - The manuscript is appropriate to be accepted as it stands. 
  • Minor or major revision - In cases where the editor determines that the authors should be able to address the referees’ concerns in six months or less the editor may request a revised manuscript that addresses these concerns. The revised version is normally sent back to some or all of the original referees for re-review. The decision letter will specify a deadline for receipt of the revised manuscript and link via which the author should upload to the online submission system. When submitting a revision authors are asked to upload (1) A rebuttal letter, indicating point-by-point how the comments raised by the reviewers have been addressed. If you disagree with any of the points raised, please provide adequate justification in your letter. (2) A marked-up version of the manuscript that highlights changes made in response to the reviewers' comments in order to aid the Editors and reviewers. (3) A 'clean' (non-highlighted) version of the manuscript.
  • Reject with the option to resubmit - In cases where the referees' concerns are very serious and appear unlikely to be addressed within six months, the editor will normally reject the manuscript. If the editor feels the work is of potential interest to the journal, however, they may express interest in seeing a future resubmission. The resubmitted manuscript may be sent back to the original referees or to new referees, at the editor’s discretion. If the authors decide to resubmit, the updated version of the manuscript must be submitted online as a new manuscript and should be accompanied by a cover letter that includes a point-by-point response to referees' comments and an explanation of how the manuscript has been changed. 
  • Reject outright - Typically on grounds of specialist interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems.

Submission of Revisions
Authors submitting a revised manuscript after review are asked to include the following:

  1. A rebuttal letter, indicating point-by-point how you have addressed the comments raised by the reviewers. If you disagree with any of the points raised, please provide adequate justification in your letter.
  2. A marked-up version of the manuscript that highlights changes made in response to the reviewers' comments in order to aid the Editors and reviewers.
  3. A 'clean' (non highlighted) version of the manuscript.

Accept in Principle
Once a manuscript has successfully been through peer review and has been recommended for acceptance, the Associate Editor will send an "accept in principle" decision. This signifies that the manuscript is ready to be accepted pending quality control checks performed by the Editorial Office.

Post Acceptance
Once a manuscript is accepted and typeset, the corresponding author will be prompted to complete and sign a Licence to Publish form on behalf of all authors. Failure to complete the form will result in delay of publication.

Springer Nature does not require authors of original research papers to assign copyright of their published contributions. Authors grant Springer Nature an exclusive licence to publish, in return for which they can re-use their papers in their future printed work. Springer Nature’s author licence page provides details of the policy.

The corresponding author will be prompted to choose Standard or Open Access publication.

Standard Publication 
Manuscripts published under the standard method of publication will be behind a paywall, requiring readers to pay to view the article, either via their institutional or personal subscription or on a pay-per-view basis. Authors will need to complete the standard Licence to Publish form when prompted.
Government employees from the United States, Canada and the UK are required to complete the license to publish form relevant to them.

Open Access Publication (gold open access)
Authors can opt to pay an article processing charge (APC) for their article to be made open access online immediately upon publication. Open access articles are published under a CC BY Creative Commons license, which allows authors to retain copyright to their work while making it open to readers.

The cost for open access publication in Gene Therapy is £3,190/ $4,790/ €3,690 (VAT or local taxes will be added where applicable).  

If authors opt to publish via the open access route then the corresponding author will receive instructions to complete and sign an open access License to Publish (LTP) form on behalf of all authors, and will be contacted to arrange payment of the associated article processing charge (APC).
Please note this process must be completed prior to publication and failure to do so will result in delay of publication.
Government employees from the United States, Canada and the UK who wish to publish open access are required to complete the open access license to publish form relevant to them.

Please note with regards to payment that usual credit terms are 30 days from receipt of invoice. Failure to pay your invoice within the stated credit term may result in the open access status of the paper being rescinded, with the paper being placed behind the paywall. You may also be subject to such penalties as restrictions on your ability to publish with Springer Nature in the future, involvement of a third party debt collection agency and legal proceedings.

To facilitate self-archiving we deposit open access articles in PubMed Central and Europe PubMed Central on publication if the article meets the PMC deposition guidelines; full details of our deposition policies are found under the "Self-archiving manuscript deposition and digital preservation" information here. Authors are also permitted to post the final, published PDF of their article on a website, institutional repository or other free public server, immediately on publication.
Visit our open research site for further information about licenses, APCs, and our free OA funding support service.

Please also see the Open Access and Self-Archiving page for more information.

For inquiries related to publication agreements and publication charges, please contact Author Services.

The Springer Nature e-proofing system is a unique solution that will enable authors to remotely edit /correct article proofs. The corresponding author will receive an e-mail containing a URL linking to the e-proofing site. Proof corrections must be returned within 48 hours of receipt. Failure to do so may result in delayed publication. Extensive corrections cannot be made at this stage.
For more information and instructions on how to use the e-proofing too please see here.

Online First
The final version of the manuscript is published online in advance of print. Online First represents the official version of the manuscript (Version of Record) and will subsequently appear, unchanged, in print.