First review stage
Submitted articles are sent to an associate editor who recruits qualified reviewers for peer review. To see what may be expected from each review report, please consult the ‘For Reviewers’ section of the present website. It is AIJ policy to obtain three reviews (usually) or two reviews (in special circumstances) for submitted papers.
Note that it is common for articles to be rejected without review by the editor-in-chief or the associate editor, if the submission is considered to be too weak, or out of scope for the journal.
Reviewers are asked to return their review within 6-8 weeks (4-6 weeks for Research Notes). Actual reviewing time from the author’s point of view may be significantly more, because of both the time it takes to recruit reviewers, and the additional delays by some of the reviewers. The average time for a first decision on a submitted paper (not including papers rejected without review) is currently about 20 weeks.
The first review stage may result in the article being rejected, accepted, or receiving a major or minor revision invitation. A major revision is an invitation to submit a significantly revised article which will be subjected to a second round of review. A minor revision will typically be checked by the associate editor without a second round of review, but it is not uncommon that associate editors request a second review by selected reviewers.
Second review stage
If the article is given a revision invitation then the author has the option of revising the article and resubmitting it, and it will be considered as the same article from the administrative point of view. The revised article should be accompanied by a memorandum where the author explains whether and how she/he has acted on the suggestions by the reviewers. It is of course not obligatory to meet all the reviewers’ requests, but then an explanation of why this has not be done must be supplied.
Even if an article has been rejected, the associate editor may, on rare occasions, invite the submission of a new article that is based on similar contents as the first one, but where improvements have been made based on reviewers’ comments as well as in other ways. Such submissions will be registered as new submissions from our point of view. The journal will not generally accept to consider improved submission of rejected papers, unless they have been invited by the associate editor.
An article can normally not obtain ‘major revision’ more than once, so the reviewing of a revised article will normally result in either a minor revision, an accept or a reject. Exceptions to this rule are rare.
Authors will not know the identity of the reviewers and associate editor, unless they themselves choose to divulge their identity. Reviewers know the identity of the authors. Reviewers normally get to see the other reviews of the same article after they have returned their own review, but will normally not know the identity of the other reviewers. Exceptions to the last rule are sometimes made in case of strongly conflicting reviews, where the reviewers may be invited to interact in order to find out whether this leads one of them to adopt the other one’s position on the paper.