Guidelines for Authors

Submission process

Submission: Authors are only required to supply the arXiv reference of the pre-print (which must be posted to or at least cross-listed with quant-ph). Authors are encouraged to suggest a handling editor and may also suggest referees and provide supplementary files. To submit a work to Quantum, follow the instructions in the box below. There is no fee upon submission.

Format: There are no typesetting, format or length constraints. The main contributions, assumptions, and results of the work should be made clear in a non-technical summary in the beginning, for the benefit of all readers. Cover letters are not necessary, as Quantum expects manuscripts to speak for themselves. Reviews should contain the word “review” in the title and state the intended target audience in the abstract.

Template: Authors are encouraged to use the Quantum document class for typesetting the final version, ensuring a consistent look while providing maximal compatibility with existing LaTeX document classes. This is however not mandatory.
The Quantum document class and a template document with further instructions is available on github, CTAN, and via the following direct download links:

Terms and conditions: By submitting a manuscript to Quantum, you confirm that you agree with Quantum’s terms and conditions and editorial policies. In particular, you certify that:

  • you have the permission of all co-authors and other right holders to pursue publication of the work in Quantum,
  • you are not infringing on anyone’s copyright with the material contained in your work,
  • you will be fully liable for any charges resulting from copyright infringement, and
  • you will not submit this work to any other publishing venue unless it is terminally rejected by Quantum.
  • the work is not currently under consideration at and has not previously been published in any other journal.

In addition, authors, referees and members of all boards of Quantum commit to follow the Code of Conduct laid out in the terms and conditions.

You will be taken to Scholastica, our peer review platform. You will be asked to log in or create an account. Please use the field “suggested referees” to also list 2-3 Quantum editors who could handle your work.

Editorial criteria and peer review

What: Quantum is a highly selective journal, publishing original research and reviews (theoretical, experimental, and numerical), as well as works showcasing the utility of new software for quantum science.

Acceptance criteria: Quantum aims to select:

  1. Original research that:
    • Significantly advances the particular sub-field of quantum science
    • Contains a very significant technical or conceptual contribution
    • Provides evidence that the employed methods or obtained results go significantly beyond the state of the art
  2. Reviews that:
    • Address a need for a standard reference on a topic or fill a gap in the literature
    • Summarize a coherent body of knowledge in a way that facilitates further progress
    • Cover the relevant literature comprehensively and concisely
  3. Software showcases that:
    • Demonstrate the ability of a newly introduced software package to address a significant scientific challenge and facilitate further progress
    • Show that such software has capabilities that clearly go beyond the state of the art

Acceptance threshold: Correct but incremental work is below threshold and an absence of negative reviews is not in itself sufficient for acceptance; referees should make a case for why a work deserves to be published. Submissions are judged based on the following editorial criteria:

  • Technical correctness
  • Significance of the contribution
  • Clarity of presentation and verifiability/reproducaibility
  • Honest statement of scope and limitations

Not taken into account are:

  • Expected number of citations.
  • Wide scope / whether a work is aiming at a broad or interdisciplinary audience.

Quantum reserves the right to desk reject a work in case the editors have substantial doubt whether it meets the acceptance criteria and would thus be unlikely to make it through peer-review.

Review process: In a first step, a Quantum editor who is an expert in the field of your manuscript is identified and will then read it, discuss it with the editorial board, and make a decision as to whether to send it out to referees. This takes 2-4 weeks. Many papers are rejected at this phase, and these decisions cannot be appealed. If the paper is desk rejected, the editor will justify their reasoning in the rejection letter; note that this is a decision based solely on the scientific merit of the paper, it will have been discussed with several editors, and is final.

Submissions sent out for peer-review are reviewed by at least two referees according to the editorial policies of Quantum. Referees are given 1 month to review the paper but in practice it often takes longer, up to 2-4 months, to receive enough reports in order to make a well founded editorial decision. Referees and editors are full-time researchers and their volunteer work is not always recognized by their institutions or grant committees. Quantum respects the referees’ time and work and asks authors for some patience.

Editorial rejection should only happen on scientific grounds. Incremental refereeing is discouraged: referees should either accept, reject, or accept under clearly spelled out conditions in the first round. Referees are asked specific questions in the referee form to obtain comparable and fair reports. Quantum may offer optional dual consent open review in the future.

Editorial decision and publication

Upon acceptance: Authors upload an approved final version of the manuscript to the arXiv, which will become the published version of the paper. The running costs of Quantum are covered through a voluntary fee (article processing charge). Please see the payment page for the applicable fees and payment methods.

DOI: For the final accepted version of the manuscript, DOI linking is mandatory. Quantum is a member of Crossref, therefore in all publications by Quantum all references to works that have a DOI must contain clickable hyper-links to the URLs under associated with the work’s DOI. A link to the publisher homepage is not sufficient. Works that do not have a DOI may, of course, be cited without a link. For more information on how to add appropriate links, please consult the latest version of the template of the Quantum document class.

Publication: The published work is given a DOI and is announced in Quantum. All works are published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence and the final version must previously be uploaded to the arXiv by the authors under the same license. Publications in Quantum can be cited by volume and article number, and are indexed in the webofscience and on Google Scholar, so that citations count for citation metrics. Authors and other copyright holders retain the copyright on their works without restrictions.

Publicity: If provided by the authors, a non-technical abstract or popular summary is also released by Quantum and publicized in social media. For exceptional publications, the editor may ask a referee or external expert to write a short viewpoint about the paper.

Appeal: To submit an appeal against an editorial decision, please use the appeal form, on which you can also find further information on how appeals are handled.

Post publication

Errata: Authors are strongly encouraged to notify Quantum of any corrections and modifications made to already published papers. Errata to papers published in Quantum can be uploaded by the authors as a new version to the arXiv. More detailed information can be found on our Crossmark policy page.

Name change policy: If your name has changed after your manuscripts’ publication, write us an email and we will change it everywhere on the website and in our systems.  We recommend changing your name on the arXiv before [instructions here] but this is not necessary. If you have updated the arXiv version of your published papers, let us know.

Quantum will never ask you for “proof” of name change, notify your coauthors or list the previous name, unless you explicitly ask us to. We want to make this process as easy as possible for authors, so if you’ve gone through it please let us know if there’s anything we could improve.

The fastest way of getting your request processed is to email, which forwards to the executive board (Christian Gogolin, Lídia del Rio and Marcus Huber) and to the two editorial assistants (who are not researchers). Alternatively, you can email any individual member of the executive board. In the latter case, whoever receives your email will keep it confidential even from the remaining members of the executive board, unless you explicitly tell us otherwise.

Some technicalities: we can change the name on the paper’s webpage, the paper’s pdf, the DOI metadata, and internal systems. We can also change it in the list of references of other papers published in Quantum that refer to yours. We cannot easily change it on Scholastica’s records (the external platform where the peer review process takes place, and which stores for example the reviews your paper received and editorial discussions). We contacted Scholastica, who told us that users can change their name by logging in to their account and changing it under “my profile”. The change should be reflected along the platform, but not on stored pdfs, or lists of authors if you weren’t the corresponding author. If it’s important to you not to have a record of the previous name even in this closed environment, we can ask to delete the manuscript from Scholastica, and just keep a record elsewhere of the review process with the correct name.