In line with Diamond Open Access Journal ethics, Geomorphica promotes a fair, transparent, and open evaluation process for submitted manuscripts. In order to reduce bias, we have decided to opt for a triple-anonymous review process, whereby the authors, reviewers and associate editor are anonymous. The reviewer’s reports, as well as the authors’ responses to reviews, will become public at the same time as the accepted paper is published by the journal.
The Geomorphica editorial team emphasizes that the main purpose of the review process is to verify the scientific soundness of submitted manuscripts while helping improve the quality in an interactive process involving the authors, the reviewers, and editors. The reviewing process consists of several steps which are outlined below.
The author should follow the author guidelines to prepare their manuscript for submission. Once a manuscript is submitted, a first check is carried out by the managing editor to ensure the suitability of the manuscript to the journal, scientific and formal soundness, level of plagiarism and accessibility. In case this initial check flags any problems, the authors are contacted. Once the initial check is passed, the manuscript is sent to the Editor-in-Chief (EiC) who asks two Associate Editors (AEs) to handle the manuscript.
Quality control and reviewer search
A first AE will be in charge of checking the editorial criteria of the manuscript, communicating with reviewers.
To save time for authors and peer-reviewers, only those papers that seem likely to meet our editorial criteria should be sent for formal review. Papers may be judged by AE1 (whilst seeking advice from other editorial board members, if required) to be rejected promptly without external review for any of the following reasons:
- of insufficient interest
- outside the scope of the journal
- not sufficiently original
- written with grammatical or other errors sufficiently severe as to prevent meaningful scientific review;
- illustration of poor quality;
- non-compliance with data requirements;
- or otherwise inappropriate
If a paper is rejected without external review as per the reasons above, it is Geomorphica’s policy to provide clear reasons for this decision and constructive guidance on whether further work (e.g., with the language) can potentially improve the paper to the expected standard of a submitted manuscript. New submissions of deeply revised manuscripts are possible. Guidance may also be given on whether the manuscript may be submitted as a different publication type.
Manuscripts judged to be of potential interest to our readership are sent for formal review. AE1 will know the authors’ identity and can check for potential conflict of interest or link between authors and reviewers. They will seek 2 reviewers, although additional reviewers may be sought if found necessary. The researchers suggested by the authors to review the manuscript or to be avoided will be taken into account.
AE1 will also check data availability.
Reviewers are given three weeks to review manuscripts. This deadline can be extended at the discretion of the AE. Reviewers should follow the Geomorphica review form to suggest ways of improving the manuscript, and may provide an annotated version of the original submission. The reviewers should stay anonymous and are expected to refrain from attempts to identify the authors. All reviews should be respectful to the author(s) and unacceptable behaviours will not be tolerated. Reviewers can be in disagreement with the authors but are expected to conduct constructive reviewing in any case in order to allow for (subsequent) academic debate.
The second AE does not know the author’s identity. AE2 will receive and synthesize the anonymous reviewer’s reports and submit a recommendation to the Editor-in-Chief. That way, we can ensure a triple-anonymous reviewing process. In the review model used by Geomorphica, this process will remain confidential until the manuscript is accepted.
The AE will base their recommendation to accept/revise/reject the paper on the review reports, the annotated submission (when suitable), and their own evaluation of the submitted manuscript.
The EiC will make a decision based on the manuscript, AE recommendation and the reviewers’ reports. They will inform the authors, reviewers and AE about the decision.
- Reject with encouragement to resubmit
- Revise with Major modifications (revised version expected within 4 months)
- Revise with Moderate modifications (revised version expected within 2 months)
- Revise with Minor modifications (revised version expected within 1 month)
Should a manuscript be rejected, the entire submission and peer-review process remain confidential. In this case, no document is published (not the submission, nor reviewer’s reports, nor author’s responses).
Reject with encouragement to resubmit
The manuscript is not found suitable to be published in the present form. However, the authors are encouraged to address the reviewers’ and AE comments and may resubmit to Geomorphica. No deadline is given.
Revise with Major modifications
If major revisions were requested, the AE may send the response to reviewers and revised manuscript to the reviewer and give them a short time frame (~2 weeks) to check if the modifications are appropriate. However, in order to reduce reviewer workload and quicken the publishing process, the revised version may not be sent back to reviewers if the AE judges that the revisions are adequate.
This is the most common type of decision following a first submission.
Revise with Moderate modifications
In case of moderate modifications, the AE is unlikely to send the revised manuscript to both reviewers, but might still send it to one of them.
Revise with Minor modifications
When a manuscript is resubmitted after a request for minor modifications, the revisions are generally checked by the AE to ensure that all points were addressed. It is expected to be rapidly accepted if the modifications are adequate.
Once it is accepted, the manuscript will go through copyediting. After the final approval of the proofcopy, it goes to production to be put into an Issue and then published
The manuscript will be published in Diamond Open Access (no publication costs for authors and no access cost for readers), together with the review reports and authors’ responses to reviews.
Authors should expect to receive a decision from editors on their initial submission within eight weeks. Geomorphica will normally expect a revised version of the manuscript, together with a rebuttal letter, to be submitted within 6 months of receiving the peer review comments.