Interactive Public Peer ReviewTM
- 1. Submission
- 2. Access review
- 3. Technical corrections
- 4. MS posted in ACPD forum
- 5. Comments
- 6. Revision
- 7. Revised submission
- 8. Peer-review completion
- 9. Final revised publication
The process of peer review and publication in the interactive scientific journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) differs from traditional scientific journals. It is a two-stage process involving the scientific discussion forum Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions (ACPD), and it has been designed to utilize the full potential of the Internet to foster scientific discussion and enable rapid publication of scientific papers.
Initial access peer review assures the basic scientific and technical quality of manuscripts posted in ACPD. Subsequent interactive discussion and public commenting by the referees, authors, and other members of the scientific community is expected to enhance quality control for papers published in ACP beyond the limits of the traditional closed peer review. Also in cases where no additional comments from the scientific community are received, a full peer-review process in the traditional sense, albeit in a more transparent way, is assured before publication of a paper in ACP.
Steps of the ACP process of peer review, publication, and interactive public discussion
Submission of original manuscript and editor assignment
Original manuscripts are submitted electronically and assigned to an editor covering the relevant subject areas (for details see subject areas).
The editor is asked to evaluate whether the manuscript is within the scope of the journal and whether it meets a basic scientific quality. If necessary, they may ask independent referees of their choice for support. They can suggest technical corrections (typing errors, clarification of figures, etc.) before posting in ACPD. Further requests for revision of the scientific contents are not permitted at this stage of the review process but shall be expressed in the interactive discussion. The editor is anonymous to the authors during this stage; their name will be revealed after acceptance of the manuscript as preprint.
The authors have the opportunity to perform technical corrections, which may be reviewed by the editor to verify requested corrections and prevent further revisions, which are not permitted at this stage.
Open discussion (6 weeks)
After acceptance of the manuscript for public peer review, it appears as discussion paper (preprint) in ACPD and is citable through DOI. The discussion phase represents a unique opportunity to engage in an iterative and developmental reflective process. During this phase interactive comments can be posted by designated referees (anonymous or named) and all interested members of the scientific community (named). All participants are encouraged to stimulate further deliberation rather than simply to defend their position. This enhancement lead process is offered to maximize the impact of the article. Normally, every discussion paper receives at least two referee comments. Authors are invited to take an active role in the debate by posting author comments as a response to referee comments and short comments of the scientific community as soon as possible in order to stimulate further discussion by interested scientists. For more information see interactive public discussion.
After the open discussion, the authors are expected to post a response to all comments within 4 weeks, in case they have not done so during the open discussion. The editor can also post additional comments or recommendations. Normally, however, formal editorial recommendations and decisions shall be made only after the authors have had an opportunity to respond to all comments, or if they request editorial advice before responding.
Submission of revised manuscript
Submission of a revised manuscript is expected only if the authors have satisfactorily addressed all comments, and if the revised manuscript meets the high quality standards of ACP (review criteria). In case of doubt, the authors shall consult the editor on whether they recommend preparation and submission of a revised manuscript or not. Normally, the revised manuscript should be submitted no later than 4 to 8 weeks after the end of the open discussion. If more time is required for manuscript revision, the authors can request an extension.
In view of the access peer review and interactive public discussion, the editor either directly accepts/rejects the revised manuscript for publication in ACP or consults referees in the same way as during the completion of a traditional peer-review process. If necessary, additional revisions may be requested during peer-review completion until a final decision about acceptance/rejection for ACP is reached.
Publication of final revised paper in ACP
In the case of acceptance, the final revised paper is typeset and proofread. Then it is published on the ACP website with a direct link to the preceding preprint and interactive discussion in ACPD. In addition, all referee and editor reports, the authors' response, as well as the different manuscript versions of the peer-review completion will be published (only valid for manuscripts submitted from 01 October 2013). All publications (preprint, interactive comments, final revised paper) are permanently archived and remain accessible to the open public via the Internet, and final revised papers are also available as print copies.
The timing indicated above is a guideline which may have to be modified according to the availability and response times of editors, referees, and authors.
The submission of comments and replies which continue the discussion of scientific papers beyond the limits of immediate interactive discussion is encouraged. Such peer-reviewed comments undergo the same process of peer review and publication as described above: after appearance and discussion in ACPD, they may also be published in ACP if sufficiently substantial.
If a manuscript that has been posted as a preprint in ACPD is not accepted for publication as a final paper in ACP, the authors have several options to proceed as outlined under frequently asked questions, point 6. For further information on the definition and standing of discussion papers, please read the EGU Position Statement.
Types of interactive comments
In the interactive public discussion in ACPD, the following types of interactive comments can be submitted for immediate non-peer-reviewed appearance alongside the preprint (manuscript in discussion):
- Community comments (CCs) can be posted by any registered member of the scientific community (free online registration). Such comments are attributed, i.e. posted under the name of the commentator.
- Referee comments (RCs) can only be posted by the referees involved in the peer review of the manuscript in discussion. They can be anonymous or attributed (according to the referee's preference).
- Editor comments (ECs) can only be posted by the editor of the manuscript in discussion.
- Author comments (ACs) can only be posted by the contact author of the manuscript in discussion on behalf of all co-authors. Co-authors can post CCs but not ACs.
The authors and editor of a manuscript in discussion are automatically informed via email about the appearance of comments in the interactive public discussion. Alert services are also available to other members of the scientific community. The interactive discussion is supervised but not actively moderated by the editors, who have the option of censoring comments that are not of substantial nature or of direct relevance to the issues raised in the manuscript in discussion or which contain personal insults. Authors are advised to follow the discussion of their preprint and to notify the Copernicus Publications Editorial Support and the handling editor in case of abusive comments. The ACP editorial board reserves the right to exclude abusive commentators.
All comments receive their own DOI and are fully citable and archived in ACPD. Comments can be composed by using the WYSIWYG editor for HTML content. More complex content can be uploaded as a *.pdf file and will be displayed as a supplement to the comment. Figures can directly be included in the comment.
The referees are asked to post one or more referee comments, and every registered member of the scientific community may post short comments as defined above. The authors of the discussion paper have the option (but no obligation) to reply by posting their own short comments individually, or by posting author comments collectively on behalf of all co-authors. The authors of a discussion paper are automatically informed via email about the appearance of comments in the interactive public discussion. Alert services will also be available to other members of the scientific community. The interactive discussion is supervised but not actively moderated by the editors, who have the option of censoring comments that are not of substantial nature or of direct relevance to the issues raised in the discussion paper or which contain personal insults. Authors are advised to follow the discussion of their preprint and to notify the Copernicus Publications Editorial Support and the handling editor in case of abusive comments. The ACP editorial board reserves the right to exclude abusive commentators.Phase 2: final response
After the open discussion, no more short comments and referee comments can be accepted. However, the contact author and the editor of the discussion paper have the opportunity to post final author comments and editor comments, respectively. The final response phase is generally limited to 4 weeks (can be extended to 8 weeks) and terminated by the authors as soon as they have sufficiently responded to the referee comments. Further author and editor comments can be posted, if appropriate. Before submitting a revised version of their manuscript for publication in ACP, the authors should have answered the referee comments and relevant short comments cumulatively or individually in one or more author comments. The author comments should be structured in a clear and easy-to-follow sequence: (1) comments from referees/public, (2) author's response, and (3) author's changes in manuscript.