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 Editor-in-Chief 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-in-Chief contacts the author with the decision.
  • If the Editor-in-Chief decides the paper is within the Journal's remit, the paper will be assigned to an Associate Editor.
  • The Associate Editor selects and assigns peer 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 a decision recommendation to the Editor-in-Chief based on the comments received. 
  • The Editor-in-Chief makes the final decision. 

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 

Submission
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. 

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. 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.  
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.

Post Acceptance
Once a manuscript is accepted the corresponding author must complete an Article Processing Charge (APC) payment form and an open access Licence to Publish (LTP) form on behalf of all authors, via our online portals. Links to the online portals will be provided upon acceptance of the article. Failure to promptly complete these forms will result in delay of publication.
Government employees from the United States and UK are required to complete relevant government open access license to publish forms which are available via the portal.
For further information on open access publication, funding support and self archiving visit our Open Access page.

Proofs 
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.