Once sufficient reviews are received, an important editorial
function begins. This is the point at which your own technical
expertise and judgment is of the utmost importance. It should
first be pointed out that for a paper to be published in the
Transactions, the following requirements must be met.
The absence of these ingredients is cause for not accepting
the paper (i.e. either rejecting the paper or requiring a resubmission).
Arriving at a publication decision is often the most difficult
task of an Editor. It should be stressed that the
final editorial judgment belongs to the Editor and
Editor-in-Chief, not to the referees. The job of the Editor
requires more than simply determining the majority vote among
the referee reports received. You must be familiar enough with
the paper to carefully consider the points raised by each of
the referees and weigh each of these with your assessment of
the credibility of the review and your own technical judgment
of the paper. The Editor should write his/her decision rationale in the main body of
decision letter to articulate how the decision is reached!
Given the above, one approach is as follows:
If all reviewers unanimously recommend accepting or rejecting
the paper, you will usually follow the recommendations of
the reviewers, after quickly reading the paper yourself and agreeing with the detailed comments.
If the reviews are mixed (most papers will fall into this
category), it becomes necessary to more carefully read the
paper yourself and to analyze each review in light of your
own reading and understanding of the paper, your own assessment of the overall
credibility of each review, as well as the relative importance
of the points raised in each review. The process usually leads
to a decision that is consistent with at least one of the
Once you have made the decision, a draft decision letter (email)
is automatically generated. This letter will clearly state the
decision and will include the comments for the authors from
the reviewers. You may also add comments to the main body of the letter (STRONGLY RECOMMENDED!). It is
also the editorial policy that the names of reviewers not be divulged
to the authors and all care must be taken to avoid inadvertently
divulging referee-related information to the authors. You are encouraged to remove identity identifying
information and inflammatory words from reviewers' comments.
Your decision, referred to as a preliminary decision in the
tool, is then passed to the Editor-in-Chief for final approval. As part
of this process, you have the opportunity to give comments to
the Editor-in-Chief. It is helpful to provide a sentence or two indicating
what the referees recommended and your rationale for the decision.
Note that just before making the preliminary decision, those
reviewers that did not provide a review should be told that
you no longer need their help. This is done by clicking the
"can" icon next to those reviewers' names.
Finally, if you are having difficulties making a publication
decision or would like additional editorial input before making
a decision, please feel free to contact the Editor-in-Chief.
Decision to Reconsider, Major
Revisions (Revise and Resubmit)
Accept vs Accept with Minor Revisions
Decision to Reject
Classifying Papers and Paper Lengths