Interactive Public Peer ReviewTM
- 1. Submission
- 2. Access review
- 3. Technical corrections
- 4. MS posted in ESurfD 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 Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf) differs from traditional scientific journals. It is a two-stage process involving the scientific discussion forum Earth Surface Dynamics Discussions (ESurfD), 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 review by competent editors assures the basic scientific and technical quality of manuscripts posted in ESurfD. 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 ESurf 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 ESurf.
Steps of the ESurf 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 associate editor covering the relevant subject areas (for details see finding an editor).
The associate editor is asked to evaluate whether the manuscript is within the scope of the journal and whether it meets a basic scientific quality. They can suggest technical corrections (typing errors, clarification of figures, etc.) before posting in ESurfD. 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 authors have the opportunity to perform technical corrections, which may be reviewed by the associate 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 manuscript in discussion (preprint) in ESurfD 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 manuscript in discussion 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 publish a response to all comments within four weeks, in case they have not done so during the open discussion. The associate editor can also publish 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 ESurf (review criteria). In case of doubt, the authors shall consult the associate editor on whether she/he recommends 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 associate editor and editor either directly accept/reject the revised manuscript for publication in ESurf or the associate editor 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 ESurf is reached.
Publication of final revised paper in ESurf
In the case of acceptance, the final revised paper is typeset and proofread. Then it is published on the ESurf website with a direct link to the preceding preprint and interactive discussion in ESurfD. In addition, all referee and associate 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 June 2015). 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 ESurfD, they may also be published in ESurf if sufficiently substantial.
If a manuscript that has been posted as a preprint in ESurfD is not accepted for publication as a final paper in ESurf, 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 on the Status of Discussion Papers Published in EGU Interactive Open Access Journals.
Types of interactive comments
In the interactive public discussion in ESurfD, 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 ESurf editorial board reserves the right to exclude abusive commentators.
All comments receive their own DOI and are fully citable and archived in ESurfD. 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 manuscript in discussion 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 manuscript in discussion 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 associate 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 associate editor in case of abusive comments. The ESurf 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 associate editor of the manuscript in discussion 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 ESurf, 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.