All incoming Submissions to SciPost Journals are peer-reviewed using SciPost's peer-witnessed refereeing process, implementing the highest standard of refereeing available. The procedure follows this pattern (this is a summary; the actual rules are set out in the Editorial College by-laws under `Submissions processing'):
- Pre-screening: the Submission is internally forwarded to Fellows of the Editorial College, for them to consider becoming Editor-in-charge. If a Fellow expresses interest in the submission, he/she becomes Editor-in-charge and the process can move forward, otherwise the authors are informed that the paper shall not be considered further. This pre-screening process is rapid and occurs within at most 5 working days.
- Following successful pre-screening, a Submission Page is activated (this is similar to a Commentary Page, but with Reports also enabled). The Submission is immediately opened to Contributor Reports, Comments and Author Replies, all of which are vetted by an Editorial Fellow before eventually appearing online.
- The Editor-in-charge starts a refereeing round (whose duration depends on the Journal, see below), inviting specific Contributors to provide an Invited Report.
During a refereeing round, registered Contributors to SciPost can volunteer a Contributed Report, and authors can continuously provide Replies to Reports and Comments.
The contents of Reports are publicly viewable, but the author of the Report can choose public anonymity (which is then known to Editors only). Authors are informed by email if a Report or a Comment on their paper is vetted through and published online (authors are welcome to respond, but should not feel obliged to do so before the refereeing round is closed).
- At the end of the refereeing round, 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.
- Reports, Replies and Comments are then assessed by the Editor-in-charge, who formulates an editorial recommendation.
- If the editorial recommendation is for publication or rejection, it is forwarded to the Editorial College, which takes the binding editorial decision by consultation of the relevant specialty's Editorial Fellows. If the recommendation is to publish the paper as Tier I (targeting approximately the top 10% of articles considered), Editorial Fellows of all specialties get the chance to support or object to this promotion.
- 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.
- After being taken by the Editorial College, the editorial decision (consisting in either a publication offer, or rejection) is communicated to the Authors.
- If the authors accept an eventual publication offer, the manuscript is sent to the production team. The final version is published online in the relevant SciPost Journal. The publication page links back to the original Submission Page and its contents.
- If the manuscript is rejected or authors withdraw their Submission, the Submission Page is deactivated and all its contents removed from public view.
The duration of refereeing rounds depends on the Journal: 4 weeks for traditional articles, and 8 weeks for Lecture Notes.