SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing

Instructions for Referees



SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing (SISC) depends heavily on our referees, and we are greatly indebted to you for maintaining the quality and timeliness of our journal. Thank you for your help in assessing manuscripts.

Sections

Papers published in SISC appear under one of three sections, as follows:

  1. Methods and Algorithms for Scientific Computing. Papers in this category may include theoretical analysis, provided that the relevance to applications in science and engineering is demonstrated. They should contain meaningful computational results and theoretical results or strong heuristics supporting the performance of new algorithms.
  2. Computational Methods in Science and Engineering. Papers in this section will typically describe novel methodologies for solving a specific problem in computational science or engineering. They should contain enough information about the application to orient other computational scientists but should omit details of interest mainly to the applications specialist.
  3. Software and High-Performance Computing. Papers in this category should concern the development of high quality computational software, high-performance computing issues, novel architectures, data analysis, or visualization. The primary focus should be on computational methods that have potentially large impact for an important class of scientific or engineering problems.

Review Process

The manuscript submission and peer review process breaks down as follows:

  1. The author submits a manuscript, indicating the section of SISC that the work fits.
  2. The editor-in-chief assigns a section editor.
  3. The section editor assigns an associate editor to act as review editor for the manuscript.
  4. The associate editor selects referees to review and report on the manuscript.
  5. The referees review the manuscript.
  6. The associate editor makes a decision and the author is contacted.

Navigating the System

All SISC 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 email with basic information about the paper, and a link to view the manuscript. When you use the link to gain access to the web-based system and to see the paper, you are presented with a link to accept the assignment, and a link to decline the assignment.
    1. 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.
    2. 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 email. 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 located here using your user name and password. You are then taken to your "Home" page. It will list your assignment via a manuscript link. After clicking this link, you will be presented with a screen containing:
    1. Information about the specific manuscript and the paper in PDF format.
    2. Links to Accept/Decline to serve as a referee.
    3. A link to contact journal staff.

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:

  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Fair
  • Poor
  • Not appropriate for the journal

Select from a drop-down menu. I recommend:

  • Reject
  • Return to the author for major revisions, outlined in report
  • Publish after minor revisions, outlined in comments
  • Publish as is

Other Notes

Text Box for Reports

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 or TeX, and copy and paste into the referee remarks text area on this screen.

NOTE: As a referee, SISC 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. PDF and Word file attachments sometimes contain hidden information that reveal your identity. 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 more information on finding and removing identity clues in referee reports.


Private Note to Editor

There is also a text box available if you wish to include a private message to the editor. Comments entered here are not meant to be seen by the author(s).


Supplementary Materials

SISC 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. See Instructions for Authors for the full guidelines on the journal's Supplementary Materials policy.


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 contact SIAM if you need assistance.


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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