Guidelines for editors, navigating Scholastica and FAQs.
Editorial discussion forum
We use the manuscript Quantum Editorial Board Communication for discussions among editors and admins regarding the editorial process and Scholastica. (Links will only work if you are logged in to Scholastica as an editor.)
Shall I accept or reject?
If you are unsure, you most likely shouldn’t choose either of the two options. Both “accept” and “reject” are final decisions that can not be changed later and which do not leave the authors with any means of replying! In almost all cases when a paper has been neither desk rejected right away or received to negative reports in the first round the right choice after the first round of refereeing is to choose “revise and resubmit”. We have templates in place to communicate to the authors how likely an accept or reject after revisions is. Please add to these information on what need to be changed in order to make accept more likely.
If even after the first round of refereeing it is not clear whether a paper is interesting/significant enough to be accepted please coordinate with other members of the editorial board and try to reach a consensus. If the decision is reject, please communicate this well to the authors! On the other hand, please avoid rejecting a manuscript after two rounds of refereeing because it is not significant enough. This is a waste of time and very annoying for authors and should have been obvious earlier.
Scholastica is a great platform for handling peer review – and its resubmission interface is its Achilles’ heel. We have notified Scholastica about the following issues and they are working on it. In the meantime, we have a few workarounds of mixed elegance.
The issues below stem from the fact that resubmissions are treated as new submissions for many practical purposes. Scholastica keeps track of different versions of a paper (for example, different versions link to each other), but not of previous referees.
[Update: as of March 2017, resubmissions are automatically assigned to the original editor!]
Are the referee reports from the first round of submissions visible to reviewers?
This is not provided by Scholastica at the moment. If you want to share the original decision and reports with reviewers, you may:
- Go to v1 of the manuscript >> Read decision >> Print decision. Save as pdf.
- Go to v2 of the manuscript >> Additional files >> Add the pdf.
The decision pdf includes the initial referee reports (except for confidential comments for the editor), so it should be all that you need. This pdf will also be visible to new referees that you invite to review v2.
Warning: please make sure that you print and share the decision, and not the original reviews directly, as they contain confidential information (like the reviewers’ names and comments to the editor).
Must referees fill in all the questions in the referee form again?
Yes, at the moment Scholastica does not have a feature for an updated referee report form for the second round of revision, nor to make the answers voluntary. At the moment, our solution is to tell referees that they can simply fill in most spaces with “see above”, ” – “, etc. These instructions are already written on the template for the invitation letter to review the revised manuscript.