About RAA

Peer Review Process

Posted: Mar 21, 2022

When a paper is submitted, authors may identify individuals who they believe have conflict of interest and should not serve as referees. Likewise, individuals who are asked to review a paper should identify any potential conflicts of interest, so the editor can determine whether these are substantive enough to disqualify that reviewer.

General procedure

Step 1. Manuscript Processing and Checking

Manuscripts can be submitted electronically or by email to RAA now, and these manuscripts first go through a checking process at the editorial office. The editorial office first check that all files arrived intact, then print the paper, to check for any major errors that would prevent the paper from being refereed. If problems arise you will be contacted by the editorial office. During this process a manuscript number is assigned. Our tracking system is based on this number, so we ask that you always refer to it when inquiring about your paper.

Step 2. Assignment to an Editor-in-Chief

The manuscript will be assigned to an Editor-in-Chief to look over and then assigned to a Scientific Editor (SE) to oversee its peer review.

Step 3. Assignment to a Scientific Editor

The peer review process will be overseen by the SE. A small fraction of the manuscripts may be returned to their authors at that point, if they are inappropriate for the RAA or if the English is so poor that a referee will be unable to review the paper. The latter are returned with advice on how to correct the deficiencies.

The RAA currently has 24 SEs, and the Editors make every effort to assign each paper to a SE with expertise in the relevant subfield.

Step 4. Assignment to a Referee and the Review

The SE will read your paper, draw up a list of prospective referees, and recruit a reviewer for your paper. You may suggest possible referees, especially if the subject addressed by your paper is a very specialized one, but usually we prefer to select one independently.

In most instances referees are asked to return a report within 4 weeks of receiving the paper. This requirement may be relaxed for unusually long or complex papers, where more time is needed for a thorough review. If a report is not received by the deadline, the SE or editorial office will remind the referee on a regular basis. Taking into account to the initial handling of the paper, you can generally expect to receive a report within 4 weeks of submission. You can check our website for the status of the paper automatically.

Step 5. Responding to the Referee Report

The SE or Editorial Office will edit the referee report to remove identifying information (unless the referee waives anonymity), confidential comments, and any other inappropriate remarks before forwarding it to you. The SE may also provide clarification or comments of his own.

If the report recommends that the paper be revised and re-submitted, the SE or Editorial Office will provide instructions for resubmitting the paper. Your submission should include a cover letter that describes your response to the referee report point by point.

Step 6. Reviewing the Revised Manuscript

When your revised manuscript is received, it will be checked as before and forwarded directly to your SE. At that stage the editor will decide whether to accept the revised paper, return it to the referee for a second review, or to return it to you for further revision.

In some instances this process will be repeated for a second or third time, especially if the revisions to the original manuscript were of a substantial nature.

Step 7: Acceptance

Your SE will make the final decision on whether to accept the paper for publication, and you will be informed of acceptance by email.