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Functioning of the SciPost Editorial College is governed by the following set of by-laws.
These complement and are subsidiary to the legal statutes of Stichting SciPost (hereafter: the Foundation).
Fellows of the Editorial College must be professionally active academics with a position of at least associate professor level or equivalent at a recognized university or research institute. They must possess an extensive publication record demonstrating world-leading research capabilities in at least one stated subject area covered by SciPost Journals. There is no age limitation.
The size of the Editorial College will be such that each stated subject area will be represented by at least 8 Fellows. There is no maximum. The number of Fellows caring for a stated subject area shall be adjusted to ensure a workload per Fellow limited to approximately one half-day per month on average.
If the number of Fellows in a stated specialty is below the required minimum number, or if the number of currently available Fellows in a stated specialty has diminished to a level where processing of Submissions becomes delayed, the Foundation has the right to directly nominate and immediately appoint individuals deemed to fulfill the eligibility criteria.
Foundation board members, members of the Advisory Board as well as current and past Fellows of the Editorial College can nominate candidates for an Editorial Fellowship. Candidates must fulfill the eligiblity criteria. These nominations shall be forwarded to the Editorial College for voting, at the latest at the next Virtual General Meeting. If a candidate secures a positive vote from at least three quarters of the Fellows currently caring for the candidate's stated main expertise, and if no veto is received from Fellows in other subject areas, from the Advisory Board or from the Foundation's Board, then the candidate is deemed elected, and is invited to join by the Foundation. Appointment to the Editorial College starts immediately upon receipt of a positive answer from the candidate.
An appointment as Fellow of the Editorial College is for a duration of 2 years.
The composition of the Editorial College is publicly known. The list of Editorial Fellows and their stated expertises is published on the website.
An appointment is renewable without limitation. A Fellow coming to the end of an appointment is automatically put up for re-election by the Editorial College, unless the said Fellow has informed the Foundation of his/her desire not to renew, or if the Foundation or the Advisory Board vetoes the renewal.
Appointment as an Editorial Fellow immediately ends upon:
The Editorial College, consisting of internationally-renowned scientists with a broad geographic distribution, does not physically meet. Meetings are instead organized using online facilities.
Once per year, Fellows of the Editorial College are asked to participate in a virtual general meeting. The meeting is organized by the Foundation and takes place over the course of one week during the month of January.
For the VGM, a special web page is activated, which is accessible only to Fellows of the Editorial College, members of the Advisory Board and Foundation Board members. This page contains items and points of discussion put forward by the Foundation, Advisory Board and Editorial Fellows, and can be consulted and acted upon by Board members and Fellows at their own leisure during the week of the meeting. The meeting is chaired by the Foundation's chairman. During the week of the meeting, Fellows are able to comment on individual items and bring forth motions for voting. Re-elections, new nominations to the College and suggested amendments to the By-laws must appear among the items at the meeting.
At the end of the week, the meeting is closed, and motions are put forward for voting, which is open online for one week after the end of the VGM.
Within one week following the end of voting, the Foundation implements the decisions taken and releases the minutes of the VGM to the Advisory Board and Editorial College.
At any time, the Foundation can call an Extraordinary Virtual Meeting, to discuss pressing issues with the Editorial College. This meeting must be announced at least one week before its scheduled start. An EVM otherwise follows the same procedures as a VGM.
The primary responsibility of the Editorial College is to run the editorial process for all SciPost Journals. The College shall strive for the very highest standards of professionalism achievable in the refereeing process.
Incoming Submissions are added to the pool of manuscripts under consideration for publication. This pool is visible to all members of the Editorial College, as well as to the Advisory Board and Foundation. Each item in the pool represents a single Submission's whole history, including possible earlier (pre-resubmission) versions.
Submissions in the pool can be in any of the following stages:
For each Submission added to the pool, five Fellows are sent an assignment request to become Editor-in-charge. The recipients of these requests are selected by matching the submission's specialty specifiers to the stated specialties of the Fellows, priority being given to Fellows marked as currently available. Other Fellows within the Editorial College do not receive an assignment request but can still view a Submission's details and volunteer to become Editor-in-charge through their visibility rights on the Submissions pool.
Each assigned Fellow can explicitly decline the assignment, stating a reason among: too busy, conflict of interest, insufficiently qualified or not interested. Each time a Fellow declines, a new assignment request is sent to a different Fellow. If 5 assignments are declined citing lack of interest, the Submission is returned to the authors and not considered for further processing towards publication.
The Editorial College must make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the pre-screening process be completed within 5 working days starting from the moment of submission. If this proves impossible (for example due to a large influx of submissions and current unavailability of specialist Fellows), the authors are informed of the delay and given the option of either withdrawing their Submission, or of accepting an open extension to the duration of their Submission's pre-screening process.
The first Fellow of the Editorial College who accepts an assignment, or who volunteers while perusing the pool, becomes Editor-in-charge of the Submission, under the conditions that:
Upon appointment of the Editor-in-charge, the online Submission Page is automatically created and opened for contributed Reports and Comments, and the Editor-in-charge is required to immediately open a refereeing round.
Upon appointment of the Editor-in-charge, or resubmission after a major revision, a refereeing round must be opened. At least 3 referees must be invited to provide a Report. Referees can accept or decline the invitation; if a referee declines or fails to commit within 5 working days, the Editor-in-charge must seek an alternative referee.
The indicated duration of a refereeing round is 4 weeks for normal papers and 8 weeks for Lecture Notes, counted from the moment one of the invited referees first accepts to provide a report. Referees will automatically be sent reminders of impending deadlines.
Besides the invited Reports, contributed Reports and Comments can also be provided by registered Contributors. Although anonymity can be requested by the Contributor upon submission of a contributed Report, this implements anonymity on the public interface only: the identity of the authors of all contributed Reports are accessible to the Editor-in-charge of the Submission. It is forbidden for the Editor-in-charge to reveal those identities in any way, except to members of the Editorial College or of the Advisory Board if it is deemed necessary.
The Editor-in-charge must ensure that referees he/she invites to report on a given manuscript are in particular not in conflict of interest, personal or hierarchical relationship with any of the authors and more generally fulfill the conditions stated in the referee obligations. Similarly, the Editor-in-charge must verify that the authors of contributed Reports and Comments also fulfill these conditions. If in doubt, the Editor-in-charge must disregard the Reports and Comments in question when formulating the Editorial Recommendation.
At the end of the stated duration, submission of Reports on the Submission Page is deactivated. The Editor-in-charge invites the authors to finalize their responses to any submitted Reports and Comments before the Editorial Recommendation is formulated.
For the refereeing round to be considered valid, at least one invited Report must be obtained. If none of the invited referees have responded within the first round, the Editor-in-charge must start a second round and invite three new referees. If no invited or contributed report has been obtained at the end of the second round, the paper is deemed as being rejected due to lack of interest.
An Editorial Recommendation is formulated by the Editor-in-charge at the end of a refereeing round. The recommendation is based on the invited Reports, eventual contributed Reports, eventual Comments together with the Editor-in-charge's own assessment of the Submission. Such a recommendation is not made publicly visible. The recommendation can be for:
A recommendation to Publish as Select, Publish or Reject is immediately forwarded to the Editorial College for decision. It is at this stage not communicated to the authors.
If the Editorial Recommendation is for a minor or major revision, it is communicated directly to the authors, who must then resubmit. Upon resubmission, the Editor-in-charge can either start a new refereeing round or directly formulate a new editorial recommendation.
The decision to publish or reject a paper is formally taken by the Editorial College. After being formulated by the Editor-in-charge, the Editorial Recommendation is forwarded to all Fellows. At this point, the recommendation can be one of three possibilities:
Submissions which are deemed to be of superlative quality (top 10% of the manuscripts published) by the Editor-in-charge can be put forward for potential publication as Select. In this case, all Fellows of the Editorial College in the relevant discipline can participate in the decision, except for those in conflict of interest, personal or hierarchical relationship with any of the authors. The Editor-in-charge by definition supports this promotion to Select and does not need to vote; other Fellows are asked to agree, abstain or disagree with the recommendation to publish as Select. The Submission is promoted to Select if either:
If the editorial recommendation is to publish the paper, Fellows with expertises corresponding to those of the Submission can vote to agree, abstain or disagree with publication. The Submission is accepted if:
If the editorial recommendation was to accept the paper, but the voting conditions for acceptance given above are not met, then the recommendation is changed to a request for revision and is forwarded to the authors, and further consideration of the manuscript follows the rules for resubmission.
If the editorial recommendation is to reject the paper, specialist Fellows are asked to agree, abstain, or veto the recommendation.
If a majority of specialist Fellows agrees to reject, the paper is rejected.
If a majority is not reached and a Fellow vetoes the recommendation to reject the paper, that Fellow automatically takes over as Editor-in-charge of the Submission and is required to start a new refereeing round.
Otherwise, if a majority is not reached but no Fellow has vetoed the rejection recommendation, the paper is rejected.
Upon rejection, the authors are informed, the Submission Page is deactivated and its contents removed from public view, unless the authors explicitly request otherwise.
Post-acceptance, the paper is handled by the production team, who produce the final version of the manuscript and ensure compliance with publication requirements (including outbound references linking). The final version is assigned a DOI and published online in the appropriate SciPost Journal.
The present By-laws can be amended by: