Guidelines for editors
1. Agreement to handle manuscripts
- Edit at least 6 manuscripts per year and help to achieve short manuscript processing times as well as a fairly even distribution of editorial workload. Please respond to the editor calls and consider handling submissions outside your personal subject areas. Check regularly the list of unassigned manuscripts; the same list is usually sent out once a week by the editorial support.
- Please react promptly to editor assignments by the executive editors/editorial support for manuscripts that were not picked up in the regular editor calls.
- If you are asked by authors to handle their manuscript, refrain from accepting the request. The executive editors will make a decision on how to proceed when it will not be picked up during the regular editor calls.
- If you notice a resubmitted manuscript that you rejected previously, but that does not appear to be sufficiently revised according to the previous editor and referee comments, please inform the executive editors, unless the authors justified the resubmission in the information about previous/concurrent submission or preprint.
2. Initial decision
- Your initial decision is anonymous during the access review. Your name is not revealed to the authors in the automatic notification emails about editor assignment, rejection before/after quick reports, or other final statuses (except in case of acceptance for ACPD).
- Do not consult referees for quick reports in the access review unless their input to the decision is absolutely necessary, e.g., if the manuscript is at the edge of the editor's expertise. The decision about acceptance/rejection (low quality and/or out of scope) is made by the handling editor, not by the referees.
- Pay particular attention to the 'publishable significance statement/short summary' and 'article scope statement' to ensure that the article is suitable for publication in ACP.
- Accept only manuscripts within the journal scope.
- Manuscripts outside the scope – especially investigations that are primarily of local or technical interest – should be rejected prior to public review and discussion in ACPD. After this stage, it is normally not appropriate to reject a manuscript for being out of scope. If appropriate, you may suggest recategorization of Research Articles into Measurement Reports or Technical Notes, see manuscript types. Contact the corresponding author(s) by personal email and state that you are willing to proceed with the manuscript as a Measurement Report or Technical Note. If they agree, they should (i) ask the editorial support to recategorize the manuscript, and (ii) at the same time send a revised manuscript. The only change to be made is that the title has to start with "Measurement report:" or "Technical Note:". If the authors disagree, they may withdraw their manuscript or you should reject it.
- You may suggest that a manuscript fits better into another EGU journal. In this case, please reject the manuscript as being out of scope and select the alternative journal from the list provided in the review system. This will enable the authors to transfer the manuscript without the need of resubmission.
- For Measurement Reports, make sure that the data presented are openly accessible in accordance with the EGU data policy.
- During the access review, your name is not revealed to the authors in the automatic notification emails about editor assignment, rejection before/after quick reports, or other final statuses (except in case of acceptance for ACPD). If you would like to remain anonymous at this stage, make sure not to include your name in any editor decisions. You may ask the executive editors to forward your suggestion of manuscript recategorization to the authors.
- According to the special issue (SI) guidelines, SI submissions are sent out in the regular calls to all editors and not to SI editors. If you handle a manuscript submitted to a special issue, please check whether it is in its scope: if you are unsure, please contact the SI coordinator(s).
- Check the similarity report but do not base your decision on the similarity index alone. In case of a high index, carefully check the actual overlap with the sources listed in the similarity report. Reasonable self-referencing in the introduction and method sections should be regarded as less critical than extensive similarities in the results, discussion and/or conclusions sections. Note that theses and documents uploaded on preprint servers/repositories/archives are not peer-reviewed publications and, thus, similarity to documents by the same authors should not be considered plagiarized. If the reference list is erroneously included in the similarity report, you can request a new report from the editorial support. If plagiarism is suspected, please inform the editorial support or the executive editors.
3. Review process
- If you handle a manuscript that is not in the Research Article category, remind the referees of the manuscript type specific guidelines in the personal message during referee nomination.
- Make sure that at least two referees post their comments in the interactive public discussion of every preprint in ACPD (preferably within the first four weeks of open discussion). If necessary, please complement automated emails by personal emails or telephone calls, etc.
- If you cannot find a sufficient number of referees, ask the authors for suitable referee suggestions. In case of significant delays in the review process or other rare and unusual cases, you may substitute a referee report by an editor comment or make a decision based on a single report if appropriate.
- Nominate previous or new referees after the first round of referee comments only if necessary. Usually, the recommendation of minor revisions does not require contacting the same referee again.
- Make sure that authors post their response to all relevant referee and public comments in the interactive discussion before considering a revised manuscript for ACP.
- If the public review and discussion reveals major deficiencies that appear very unlikely to be sufficiently improved upon revision, it may be appropriate to discourage submission of a revised manuscript.
4. Final decision
- In cases of a substantial and scientifically useful but non-public exchange between authors and referees or other commentators, please consider copying and publishing the exchange in an editor comment (provided that all involved parties agree to the publication). See for example: https://acp.copernicus.org/preprints/acpd-2008-0250/, https://acp.copernicus.org/preprints/8/S12406/2009/acpd-8-S12406-2009.pdf, https://acp.copernicus.org/preprints/8/S12426/2009/acpd-8-S12426-2009.pdf
- Enforce high quality standards for final revised papers in ACP by iteration of review and revision or rejection of deficient manuscripts. Posting of a preprint in ACPD does not guarantee acceptance for ACP: http://www.atmospheric-chemistry-and-physics.net/peer_review/review_criteria.html
- In cases where you decide to accept a manuscript that has been critically reviewed, please write a personal email to the critical referees, briefly explaining your decision and thanking them for their effort. Otherwise, referees might get the impression that their input is not valued. When the majority of referees were very critical and after extensive discussions, the editor should normally conclude with a public editor comment.
5. Further information on interactive open access publishing
- Be aware that the interactive open access publishing philosophy of ACP emphasizes the value of free speech and efficient public exchange and scrutiny of scientific results in line with the principles of critical rationalism. Accordingly, editors and referees are supposed to critically comment and evaluate manuscripts, to help authors improve their manuscripts, and to eliminate clearly deficient manuscripts. However, authors shall not be forced to adopt the editors' or referees' views and preferences. Instead, the readers shall be able to make up their own mind in view of the public review and discussion. In case of doubt, editorial decisions shall favour free speech of scientists, and in the end, scientific progress and history shall tell if – or to which degree – they were right: https://www.atmospheric-chemistry-and-physics.net/pr_acp_Poschl_FrontiersNeuroscience2012_MultiStageOpenPeerReview.pdf
- Further general guidelines and background information are given on the journal web pages about the obligations for editors, publication ethics, and general terms.
- Make sure that ACP papers are correctly referenced in related publications for which you are an author, editor, or referee (in ACP and other journals). Ensure that the final revised papers (rather than the preceding preprints) are referenced as soon as available.