Instructions for Referees

The SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics (SIAP) depends heavily on our referees, and we are greatly indebted for maintaining the quality and timeliness of our journal. Thank you for your help in assessing manuscripts.

Editorial Policy

The SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics publishes research articles on mathematics applied to the physical, engineering, financial and life sciences. Submitted articles should contribute to the mathematical and to the underlying physical understanding of specific scientific problems. Papers should display a roughly equal balance between the development of the application and of the analysis. Manuscripts applying known methods to previously solved problems or providing mathematical analysis in the absence of significant scientific motivation or application will not be accepted.

Examples of appropriate topics include problems in fluid mechanics, including complex fluids, soft matter, interfacial problems, reaction-diffusion problems, sedimentation, combustion, and transport theory; solid mechanics; elasticity; electromagnetic theory and optics; mathematical biology, including population dynamics, biomechanics, infectious diseases and physiology; linear and nonlinear wave propagation, including scattering theory and wave propagation in random media; inverse problems; nonlinear dynamics; stochastic processes, including queuing theory and finance; signal processing; and image processing. Mathematical techniques include asymptotic methods, bifurcation theory, dynamical systems theory, multiscale methods, and probabilistic and statistical methods. The foregoing list is not exhaustive, however, and papers addressing the mathematics involved in new application areas not listed here are also welcome.

Submission of a manuscript to a SIAM journal is representation by the author that the manuscript has not been published or submitted simultaneously for publication elsewhere. If some form of the paper has appeared previously, even in a conference proceedings, this fact must be indicated clearly in both a cover letter and a footnote on the first page of the paper.

Due to space limitations, papers should occupy no more than 20 journal pages. This limit can be exceeded; however, substantial deviations from the page limit require that the referees, editor, and editor-in-chief be convinced that the increased length is both required by the subject matter and justified by the quality of the paper.

Review Process

The manuscript submission and peer review process is broken down into the following steps:

  1. The Author submits a manuscript.
  2. The Editor-in-Chief assigns a Section Editor.
  3. The Section Editor assigns an Associate Editor to act as Review Editor for the paper.
  4. The Associate Editor assigns Referees.
  5. The Referees review the manuscript and send reports.
  6. The Associate Editor makes a decision and the author is contacted.

Navigating the System

All SIAP papers go through review in the web-based Journal Submission & Tracking System; http://peerreview.siam.org/.

When invited to serve as a referee there are two ways to gain access to the manuscript.

  1. You'll receive an e-mail with basic information about the paper, a link to accept the assignment, and a link to decline the assignment.

    Accept referee assignment: If you accept, the link will automatically log you into the system and take you directly to the files for the pertinent paper.

    Decline referee assignment: If you are unable to review this manuscript and must decline we appreciate any suggestions of potential referees. You can suggest other reviewers or offer any observation on the paper by e-mailing siap@siam.org. You can also enter your observations or suggest other referees directly into the system after you click the decline link.

  2. You can alternately access your files by logging into the system through http://siap.siam.org. Enter your user name and password. You are then taken to your "Home" page. It will list your assignments. If an item is pending, there will be a red arrow next to a manuscript link. After clicking on this link, you will be presented with a "Manuscript" screen containing:
    • Information about the specific manuscript.
    • A link to see the manuscript
    • Links to Accept/Decline to serve as a referee
    • A link to contact journal staff
If you accept the referee invitation, you'll also gain access to links to "check status" and "Review Manuscript." If there are no red arrows visible on the "Home" page, then there is no pending work.

Review Manuscript

Once in the system you will be presented with a "Manuscript" screen. At the bottom of this screen under "Manuscript Tasks" is a "Review Manuscript" link. Clicking on this link displays the "Review Manuscript"
* Note that in giving a recommendation, along with a free-form text box that allows you to copy and paste a report and /or comments, you must:

Select from a drop-down menu. This manuscript is:

Select from a drop-down menu. I recommend: The free-form text box for your report follows.

There is also a text box available if you wish to include a private message to the Review Editor. Comments entered here are not meant to be seen by the author(s). Finally, a manuscript evaluation form is available, but the use of this is optional.

If you prefer to work offline, you may find it faster and easier to download and print the manuscript, draft your review remarks in plain text, and copy and paste into the referee remarks text area on this screen.

Again, the manuscript evaluation form is optional; the drop-down recommendations and report are required.

NOTE: As a referee, SIAP offers the option of attaching a file to deliver your report. It is recommended, however, that you instead use the text box on the Referee Recommendation Screen to type or paste plain text or TeX code. File attachments are not recommended, as referee confidentiality may be compromised. However, if you must send an attachment know that it may be forwarded to the author by the Reviewing Editor, so please be sure to first edit the file for profile information that—if left in place—could disclose your identity as the owner/creator.

See here for specifics on how to remove hidden identity clues from PDF and Word files.

Supplementary Materials

SIAP authors are encouraged to submit Supplementary Materials to complement articles. They might include additional figures or examples, animations, data sets used in the paper, computer code used to generate figures or tables, or other materials that are necessary to fully document the research contained in the paper or to facilitate the readers' ability to understand and extend the work.

If you are refereeing a paper that does include Supplementary Materials, along with the manuscript, know that the Supplementary Materials are generally not refereed but are available to you, as a referee. As part of your review you are asked to give the materials at least a cursory look and verify that they are appropriate to accompany the article. You may suggest changes, including removing some extraneous Supplementary Materials or moving items from the main text to the Supplementary Materials.
The author is also asked to submit an index of the supplementary materials. You should find a listing of each item along with a brief description and a justification for why the item should be included. This should be helpful in judging the appropriateness of the materials.

Full guidelines on the journal's Supplementary Materials policy are available at http://www.siam.org/journals/siap/supplementary.php.

Getting Help

If you need additional help, you can click on the help signs throughout the system. A help dialog will pop up with context sensitive help. You can also e-mail siap@siam.org if you need assistance.

Manuscript Status

To get the status of your assigned manuscript(s):
  1. Log into the system with your password.
  2. Click on the link represented by the manuscript tracking number and abbreviated title.
  3. Click on the "Check Status" link at the bottom of the displayed page.
This procedure displays detailed tracking information on the progress of the submission and review.

NOTE: Author rights to unpublished manuscripts:

All manuscripts are privileged documents; an author retains the right to the unpublished work. A referee should not use results or ideas obtained exclusively through the refereeing process in his or her own research.

Renew SIAM · Contact Us · Site Map · Join SIAM · My Account
Facebook Twitter Youtube