Instructions for Referees

The SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis (SINUM) 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 Numerical Analysis publishes original research articles of the highest quality concerning the development and analysis of numerical algorithms. Articles should present a decisive advance in the design and/or mathematical analysis of a significant numerical method or class of methods. Appropriate topics include the rigorous study of convergence of algorithms, their accuracy, their stability, and their computational complexity. Results in mathematical analysis, such as functional analysis or approximation theory, are appropriate to the extent that they contribute to the analysis of numerical algorithms. The inclusion of computational results is appropriate when it helps to advance the understanding of the behavior or the range of applicability of the algorithms under study. However, papers consisting primarily of computation are usually best suited for other journals. Articles may focus on applications of numerical methods, especially new applications, but such articles should demonstrate an interplay between the application and the algorithm design or analysis.
Articles for the SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis must be written in clear and idiomatic English and must be accessible and of interest to a range of numerical analysts. They must contain substantially new results and relate them to the extant literature in a scholarly fashion. While the journal has no formal limits on manuscript length, a paper exceeding 20 journal pages will be published only in the exceptional case that the author has fully justified the length to the referees, associate editor, and editor-in-chief.

Papers that have been published elsewhere will not be considered. An exception may be made occasionally for a substantially revised conference proceedings paper, provided that it is so identified in the submission letter and in the paper itself.

Review Process

The manuscript submission and peer review process is broken down as follows:
  1. The Author submits a manuscript.
  2. The Editor-in-Chief assigns an Associate Editor to act as Review Editor for the paper.
  3. The Associate Editor assigns Referees.
  4. The Referees review the manuscript and send reports.
  5. The Associate Editor makes a decision and the author is contacted.

Navigating the System

All SINUM papers go through review in the web-based Journal Submission & Tracking System:

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 you will be able to enter your review of the manuscript in the web-based system when you are ready.
    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 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, using your user name and password. You are then taken to your "Home" page. It will list your assignments. If you are required to perform a pending action item, 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" screen. This screen asks for a recommendation and for a report.*

* 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, you have 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 Review 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

SINUM 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

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 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.

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