Reviewer Guidelines for AMS Journals

Your review of this manuscript is a vital part of the process of communicating research ideas, accomplishments, and progress in the sciences covered by the AMS journals. You are asked to make an evaluation and provide recommendations to ensure the scientific quality of the manuscript, including figures and tables. Note that reviewers are not expected to rewrite a paper, and that a clear distinction must be made between errors on the part of the author and differences of opinion between author and reviewer.

Some questions to bear in mind as you compose your review include the following:

  • Does the paper fit within the stated scope of the journal?
  • Does the paper identify a gap in scientific knowledge and add new knowledge to the overall body of scientific understanding, or repeat another study to verify its findings? 
  • Is the paper free of errors in logic?
  • Do the conclusions follow from the evidence?
  • Are alternative explanations explored as appropriate?
  • Are biases, limitations, and assumptions clearly stated, and uncertainty quantified? 
  • Is methodology explained in sufficient detail so that the paper's scientific conclusions could be tested by others? 
  • Is previous work and current understanding cited and represented correctly?
  • Is information conveyed clearly enough to be understood by the typical reader?
  • Are all figures and tables necessary, appropriate, legible, and annotated (as appropriate)?
  • New (December 2019) WAF and WCAS reviewers: Authors now have the option of including a short (120 words) significance statement with their manuscript immediately following the abstract. See the guidelines for significance statements for more information. Reviewers should consider the following in evaluating significance statements:
    1. Is the significance statement consistent with the content of the article? Does it either over- or understate the importance of the study and its findings?
    2. Is the significance statement written in language that is understandable to educated laypersons outside of the paper’s subject area? Jargon and technical wording must be replaced by terms familiar to non-specialists.

Please note the areas in which you are satisfied with the manuscript. In cases where you find deficiencies please specify how they can be remedied or, if you believe the manuscript cannot be modified to reach the standard AMS requires for publication, state why you feel this is true. The more detail you provide the better your review can assist the Editor in judging the paper's suitability for publication and also provide useful information to the author for improving the paper in revision. Please list the most serious concerns first, perhaps classifying them into the following groups: Fatal Flaws (if any), Major Comments, Minor Comments, and Typos. Within each group, please number the comments and provide specific page and/or line numbers from the manuscript.  

If the manuscript has numerous grammatical mistakes that inhibit the ability of a reader to understand the arguments, you may recommend rejection without writing a detailed review. The AMS wishes to encourage the international exchange of scientific results through its journals, but it recognizes that peer reviewers should not be required to fix manuscripts needing excessive revisions to English spelling and grammar. The authors may wish to employ a professional manuscript editing service in such situations.

Reviewer recommendations provide a consistent set of guidelines to the Editor; your review should begin with your overall recommendation: Accept as is (no changes), Minor Revisions required (no need to see the revised manuscript), Major Revisions required (need to reevaluate the revised manuscript), Reject, or Transfer (please specify the appropriate journal if possible). By AMS policy all reviews are considered anonymous unless you specifically indicate in your comments to the Editor that you wish to waive your anonymity.

We greatly appreciate your time and effort in preparing the review. Please contact the Editorial office if you have any questions.