Refereeing a manuscript for SIADS need not be daunting or time-consuming. The following guidelines are offered to make the job easier.
- The most important task that you, as referee, can do, is to assess the overall significance and contribution of the paper, and its appropriateness for SIADS (please see Editorial Policy).
It is not necessary to check all details, as it is primarily the responsibility of the author to ensure the manuscript is correct. You should, however, be reasonably assured that the results are correct.
Significant errors should be pointed out, and are grounds for rejection if they cannot easily be rectified. If you are aware of related work not cited by the author, which would diminish the claim to originality of this work, please include that information in your report.
- The second most important contribution the referee can make is to judge the work on its overall clarity, readability, and presentation. The manuscript must not be painful to read.
If the organization of the manuscript is confused, if the English is poor, or if there are many minor mistakes, you should not hesitate to return the paper with a recommendation that it be rejected, or at least be rewritten.
The introduction and conclusion sections must be clearly written. They should set the context in which this paper makes its contribution and explain why the results in the paper are interesting.
Keep in mind that it is not sufficient that the paper present new and correct results. There must be enthusiasm for the results on mathematical or scientific grounds or for their potential applications.
- Although SIADS is an all-electronic journal, there are page limits and, even more importantly, file size limits. Generally, manuscripts should not exceed 40 pages in length and/or five megabytes in file size. Supplemental files should not exceed 50 megabytes in size. Exceptions to these limits must be justified to the editor-in-chief by the author. If these limitations are exceeded, and haven't been approved by editor-in-chief in advance, please contact the SIAM office immediately. Also, it is important to check that all graphical material is relevant to the mathematical or scientific points made in the document, regardless of file size.
- Your report should be submitted via the web-based system within six weeks. Clearly state your reasons for a recommendation and put those comments that can be forwarded directly to the author(s) in a separate section of your report.
If you recommend revisions, state whether or not you prefer to review the paper again before it is accepted.
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. 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.
If you need extra time (a few extra weeks) beyond the limit, that is generally no problem, and is often faster than having the editor send the paper to someone else. But please let the SIAM office know if this is the case. If you cannot serve as a referee, please decline and, if possible, suggest others qualified to review the work.
Author Rights to Unpublished Manuscripts
Please note that 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.