Once a manuscript meets the AMS submission and formatting requirements it is ready to begin peer review. The peer review process is overseen by the publication’s editorial board (the Editor-in-Chief and Editors), supported by AMS peer review staff. For a detailed description of the obligations of Authors, Editors, and Reviewers in the peer review process, see the AMS Ethical Guidelines for Authors and AMS Ethical Guidelines for Editors and Reviewers.
The Peer Review Process
The following is a general outline of the peer review process.
The Editor-in-Chief assesses each new submission to determine if the manuscript meets AMS standards and if it is within the scope of the journal topic areas. The Editor-in-Chief can make a decision of “reject” at this point, or can recommend to the author that transfer to a more appropriate AMS journal take place. For submissions that the Editor-in-Chief determines should undergo review, she or he assigns the manuscript to an Editor who will handle the peer review process and make decisions. When the Editor assignment is made, the corresponding author is sent an email identifying the assigned Editor. During peer review, correspondence from the assigned Editor or peer review staff and any automated reminders or notices concerning the manuscript will be emailed to the corresponding author. Corresponding authors should keep their email contact information in the AMS submission tracking system up to date.
The assigned Editor invites potential Reviewers for the manuscript. At least two Reviewers are required for each manuscript. Reviewers are asked to return their completed reviews within four weeks (two weeks for Expedited Contributions). Editors and peer review staff remind Reviewers of deadlines. Using the reviews and recommendations provided by the Reviewers, the Editor makes one of five decisions: Accept, Return for minor revisions, Return for major revisions, Reject, Transfer to another AMS journal.
When the assigned Editor has reached a decision, the corresponding author is emailed a decision letter. If the Editor requests a revision, the corresponding author should upload that revised version to the Editorial Manager, editing the existing submission. Authors should upload their revised manuscript and point-by-point responses to reviewers within two months of the revision decision. Authors may request an extension of this deadline from the Editor before the revision date lapses. Papers where a revision has not been uploaded by the deadline and where no extension has been requested may be considered “withdrawn” at the discretion of the Editor.
When the corresponding author submits a revision the Production staff complete a check to ensure the revision adheres to all requirements and is ready to go into production if accepted. The revision is then assigned back to the Editor who made the initial decision.
The decision date for a submission is the date the assigned Editor enters the decision into the AMS Editorial Manager tracking system. Note that the AMS tracking system, which records these dates, is set to Eastern (US) time zone, and it is ET (US) times and dates that are recorded, not the times and dates of the Editor’s time zone.