Guidelines for referees

At Quantum, peer review should work towards improving papers. Referees are not expected to read through pages of complicated guidelines for refereeing or the full editorial policies. In order to obtain fair, meaningful, comparable, and maximally objective reports that focus on estimating the scientific quality of a submission, referees will be asked specific questions in an online form to be filled out in the browser.

Reviewer form (preview)

Private feedback

Visible only to editor.

  • Overall rating (1-5 stars).
  • For this manuscript, I recommend: “Accept as it is” / “Revise and resubmit” / “Reject.”
  • Comments for the editor.
  • If this work is accepted, do you think it warrants further media coverage? Would you be willing to write a short editorial based on your report?

Rating scale questions

Visible to editor and authors.

Rate the following statements as: Strongly disagree / Disagree / Neutral / Agree / Strongly agree.

  • The paper is technically correct, and the research methodology is appropriate and applied properly.
  • The manuscript clearly explains the limitations and range of applicability of the results, without overstating their significance.
  • The literature review is thorough given the objectives and content of the article.
  • The paper is professionally written, easy to read and free from major grammatical or spelling errors.
  • I would recommend this paper to a colleague or student working on the topic.

Open response questions

Visible to editor and authors.

  • Summary: what are the main questions posed by the paper, and how does it answer them? What is the main contribution of the paper?
  • Comment on the technical contribution of the paper, focusing on correctness and reproducibility. Are the proofs clear and easy to reproduce? Is the experimental or numerical data (or software) openly available? Are the experimental methods and/or mathematical tools appropriate? Do the technical results represent a significant step forward in this problem?
  • Comment on the conceptual contribution of the paper. Does it open new questions? Does it uncover limitations of previous approaches? Does it introduce a new perspective on the topic? Does it solve a long-standing problem? Does it make a widespread intuition rigorous, or prove it wrong? Does it provide a useful analysis of a failed experiment or fruitless technique? Is it a good review of a subject?
  • Comment on the presentation of the paper. Is it well written? Are the main results clearly laid out? Does the manuscript clearly describe assumptions and limitations?
  • Suggested changes and general comments.

General guidelines

Acceptance threshold

Quantum is selective. Correct research that incrementally improves a limited technique is below threshold. For original research, either a very significant technical or conceptual contribution or a nice combination of both is necessary for acceptance in Quantum. Literature reviews must be unbiased, comprehensive, and timely to be considered.

No strict deadlines

Quantum does not impose any strict deadlines on authors or referees. We believe that authors that seriously want to get their work published will re-submit their works as fast as possible and we think it is crucial to give referees the time they need to evaluate a work.

In the initial referral, referees will be asked to submit their review within 30 days and are encouraged to inform the editor if they predict it will take longer. Should the referee accept to review the submission, they will receive an automatic reminder every  two weeks. If no report is submitted in the given time, the editor will get back to the referee to confirm their willingness to write a report.

Conflicts of interest

Referees should declare whether there exists a potential conflict of interest regarding a particular submission, and, if appropriate, exclude themselves from handling that submission. Reasons for conflict of interests include: close collaboration with the author(s), personal relations with the authors, concurrent competitive research, same institution, and financial co-dependence.