Instructions to Editors & Reviewers

Procedures and Standards for Associate Editors and Reviewers of Geoscience Canada Manuscripts

Overview

| Readers | Contents |

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Readers The intended readers of this document, in order of priority, are:

associate editors and series editors

reviewers, and

authors.

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Contents This document contains the following topics.

Topic

See Page

Background

2

Associate/Series Editors

3

Reviewers

8

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Background

| Description | Manuscript acceptance criteria |

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Description Geoscience Canada is the journal of the Geological Association of Canada (GAC®’s vehicle for publishing review-type and broad-interest-type articles in the geological sciences, which are well-illustrated and written in a style that will interest and inform the non-specialist reader with a geoscience background.

To accomplish this, Geoscience Canada relies on dedicated volunteers, both editors and reviewers, to carry out the ‘peer-review’ process in a timely manner, on manuscripts that are submitted to the journal for publication.

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Manuscript acceptance criteria Manuscripts are considered for acceptance on the basis of the following criteria:

The subject matter

falls within the broad scope of earth science, as defined in the “Glossary of Geology” (fourth edition)

is likely to be of general interest to the membership of the GAC®, and

is concerned with or preferably related to earth science in Canada.

Articles are

technically sound and can be understood readily by the non-specialist with a geoscience background, and

well illustrated, with good use made of simple line drawings to express concepts clearly.

Any controversial matters are treated in a rational manner, without undue polemics or stress on personalities.

NOTE: Authors can find detailed guidelines for the preparation and submission of manuscripts in a document entitled: “Instructions to Authors Contributing to Geoscience Canada”.

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Associate/Series Editors

| Responsibilities | Goal | Review procedure | Reviewer selection | Reviewer monitoring | Review screening | Editor’s final checklist |

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Responsibilities An associate/series editor is responsible for

selecting suitable reviewers for a manuscript or a series of manuscript(s)

ensuring that these reviewers complete their reviews in a timely manner

making a recommendation vis-à-vis publication of the manuscript

checking the accepted manuscript(s) for compliance with Geoscience Canada standards, and

keeping the editor(s) apprised of progress so that manuscripts can be scheduled for publication.

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Goal The goal of the associate/series editor is

to facilitate the ‘peer-review’ process, and

thereby ensure a timely flow of high-quality manuscripts for publication in Geoscience Canada.

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Review procedure The review procedure comprises three parts:

reviewer selection

reviewer monitoring

review screening

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Reviewer selection Follow the steps below to complete the reviewer selection part of the procedure.

Step

Action

1

Record the date the manuscript is received from the author(s) or editor(s).

2

Immediately prepare a list of potential qualified reviewers, taking note of

any recommendations from the author(s), and

the names of authors referred to in the list of “References” at the back of the manuscript.

3

Make initial contact with a potential reviewer by telephone or e-mail

providing details about the manuscript, and

asking if he/she can complete a review in four to six weeks.

If the answer is yes, then go to the next step.

If the answer is no, then contact the next reviewer on the list (from the preceding step).

4

Obtain and record all the needed contact information of the reviewer, including proper mailing and courier addresses.

5

Immediately prepare a covering letter to the reviewer, which records the anticipated date of completion of his/her review.

6

Send the covering letter, together with a copy of the manuscript and a copy of the “Geoscience Canada Referee Report”, to the reviewer by e-mail, mail or courier, whichever method(s) is (are) most appropriate.

7

Record the date the manuscript was sent to the reviewer.

8

Send a copy of the covering letter to the editor(s).

9

Repeat steps 3 through 8 until two reviewers are selected.

NOTE: The selection of two reviewers should be completed within one week of receipt of the manuscript.

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Reviewer monitoring

Step

Action

1

Contact each reviewer by e-mail or telephone four weeks after the manuscript was sent, asking him/her if their review will be completed within two weeks.

If the answer is yes, then

send a thank-you note on behalf of Geoscience Canada for completing their review in the allotted time, and

proceed to step 5.

If the answer is no, then

ask how much additional time will be needed, and

proceed to the next step.

NOTE: This does not apply to anyone who completes their review in less than four weeks. He/she deserves a deluxe thank-you letter on behalf of Geoscience Canada.

2

Contact the editor(s) regarding the delinquent reviewer(s) to

advise when his/her review will likely be completed

provide the reviewer’s contact information to the editor(s), and

decide whether or not to extend the deadline.

If the decision is to extend the deadline, a new completion date is fixed (go to step 4).

If the decision is not to extend the deadline, go to the next step.

NOTE: The new completion date will normally be one week past the original due date, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

3

Ask the reviewer to return the manuscript immediately and repeat steps 3 through 8 in the “reviewer selection” part of the procedure.

4

Contact the delinquent reviewer one week before the extended deadline, asking him/her if their review will be completed by that deadline.

If the answer is yes, then express thanks on behalf of Geoscience Canada and proceed to the next step.

If the answer is no, then go to step 3.

5

Record the date when the completed review is received.

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Review screening

Step

Action

1

Read the comments from both reviewers, including each completed “Geoscience Canada Referee Report”, and use the table below to determine the appropriate response.

If the reviewers…

Then…

Both recommend rejection

Formulate a letter to the author(s) indicating that their manuscript has been rejected and state the reasons why (go to step 4).

Both recommend publication

Go to the next step.

Disagree

Read the manuscript yourself to determine if further review is necessary.

If the answer is yes, then repeat steps 3 through 8 in the “reviewer selection” part of the procedure.

If the answer is no, then go to the next step.

2

Check the manuscript for compliance with the standards in “Instructions to Authors…” and make additional recommendations regarding wording and illustrations, if warranted.

3

Formulate a letter to the author(s)

detailing what needs to be done to the manuscript to make it acceptable for publication, and

providing a time line for the revisions to be completed and returned to the editor(s) for final approval.

4

Send the covering letter and manuscript to the author(s) by e-mail, mail or courier, whichever method(s) is (are) most appropriate.

NOTE: The screening of the reviewer’s comments and preparation of the response to the author(s) should be completed within one week of receipt of the completed reviews.

5

Record the date the manuscript is sent to the author(s).

6

Send a copy of the covering letter to the editor(s), along with a copy of each reviewer’s comments/recommendations.

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Editor’s final checklist When the answer to each of the following questions is “yes,” the revised manuscript is ready to send to the editor(s) for final approval.

Step

Action

Check

1

Has (have) the author(s) satisfactorily addressed the points raised by the reviewers and the associate editor?

2

Does the revised manuscript comply with the “Instructions to Authors…”?

3

Are the digital files of the text, figures and tables in the appropriate formats?

4

Is the revised manuscript well organized and readable:

do paragraphs have topic sentences;

are sentences grammatically correct;

is the word usage appropriate, and

is the wording both precise and concise?

5

Do the figures and tables meet the simple and clear quality standards for Geoscience Canada?

6

Have you asked the author(s) if they are aware of the page charges for colour figures?

7

Are all illustrations sized appropriately, i.e. one, two or three column width?

8

Are the references in the format used by Geoscience Canada?

9

Have you cross-checked the references against the revised text?

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Reviewers

| Responsibilities | Goal | Peer review process | Reviewer’s final checklist |

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Responsibilities A reviewer is responsible for

reading a manuscript in his/her area of expertise

judging its merits from both grammatical and scientific/technical perspectives

offering suggestions to the author(s) for improving the manuscript, and

making a recommendation to the editor(s) regarding the suitability of the manuscript for publication in Geoscience Canada.

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Goal The goal of the reviewer is to

decide whether or not a manuscript is suitable for publication in Geoscience Canada, and

offer constructive suggestions to the author(s) for improving the manuscript.

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Peer review process Follow the steps in the table below to complete the “peer-review” process.

Action

1

Read the information about the manuscript immediately after it is supplied by the editor, including the

name(s) of the author(s)

title of the manuscript

numbers of pages and illustrations, and

manuscript summary.

Determine if you will put yourself in a “conflict of interest” situation by acting as a reviewer of this manuscript.

If yes, decline to be a reviewer.

If no, proceed to the next step.

Action

2

Determine if you can complete the review within the allotted time given by the editor.

If yes, inform the editor immediately and confirm that he/she has your correct

mailing address

courier address, if different from above

telephone number(s), and

e-mail address.

Also indicate if you want an electronic (pdf) version of the manuscript sent to you.

If no, decline to be a reviewer.

3

Send an e-mail acknowledgement to the editor (associate editor) upon receipt of the manuscript.

4

Read/scan the “Instructions to Authors Contributing to Geoscience Canada” prior to reading the manuscript.

NOTE: The above document is available on the GAC® website (GCauthors.php)

5

Critically read the manuscript keeping in mind the “Instructions to Authors…”, including the Geoscience Canada criteria for accepting a manuscript for publication.

6

Complete the blank “Geoscience Canada Referee Report”, which accompanied the manuscript.

NOTE: Reviewers are encouraged to offer supplementary constructive suggestions for improving the manuscript on a separate page(s).

7

Prepare a covering letter to the editor (associate editor) with your recommendation vis-à-vis publication of the manuscript, which includes any comments that you do not want made known to the author(s).

8

Send this letter along with your completed review and all parts of the manuscript to the editor prior to the pre-established deadline.

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Reviewer’s final checklist When the answer to each of the following questions is “yes,” the manuscript is ready to send to the editor.

Step

Action

Check

1

Have you read the “Instructions to Authors…”?

2

Have you completed both sides/pages of the “Geoscience Canada Referee Report”?

3

Have you included constructive suggestions for improving the manuscript on a separate page(s)?

4

Does your covering letter to the editor (associate editor) include recommendations vis-à-vis publication of the manuscript?

5

Do the figures and tables meet the simple and clear quality standards for Geoscience Canada and have you indicated where changes are required?

6

Did you use the Gage Canadian Dictionary and Glossary of Geology (4th edition) to verify spelling and word usage?

7

Does the manuscript have a summary rather than an abstract?

8

Are the references in the format used by Geoscience Canada?

9

Have you cross-checked the references against the text?

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