Reviewing process

Important note

As most of our authors are new to peer-review publication, we would like to emphasize two points.

  • Peer review process takes time. Each round of review requires several researchers to read your manuscript carefully, check your results and write a detailed critique. The typical time scale for the whole reviewing and editing process can be a few months.
  • The criticisms that will inevitably be leveled against your work may be severe. You should do your best to respond to these criticisms in as clear and scientific a way as possible. If you feel that the reviewers may have misunderstood or misinterpreted your results/theory then please feel free to respond in a polite manner with solid and clear scientific arguments.

How does reviewing work ?

Reviewing is the key part of any scientific work. When you submit a manuscript to Emergent Scientist, it goes through the following steps:

1. Editorial pre-filtering

The manuscript is read by an editor, who estimates its relevance for the journal. Does the manuscript follow the basic guidelines provided as instructions ? Are there obvious flaws in the work ? Is the required sectioning respected ? Are the context and purpose of the work clearly state ? If this quick check is passed, the manuscript is forwarded to the referees. Otherwise, it is sent back to the authors with an explanatory note.

2. Peer review

The editor selects 2 or 3 referees, who are knowledgeable in the field of the manuscript. Each referee assesses the manuscript independently, using the criteria described below. They provide a feedback to the editor in the form of a note containing three points :

  1. A general recommendation (Not suitable for publication / Publishable after modification / Publishable as it stands).
  2. A comment about the recommendation.
  3. A detailed report about the manuscript, including positive and negative critics of the manuscript under scrutiny, and recommendations on how to improve it.

3. Scientific validation

Based on the reports provided by the referees, the editor decides the status of the paper:

  • The manuscript is scientifically validated for publication. This decision is usually reached after several revisions of the initial manuscript. Go to the next step !
  • The manuscript is publishable material, but there are still revisions to make before publication. Authors are invited to revised their manuscript following the referees' comments. Go back to step 2 !
  • The manuscript does not match the expectations of the journal as it stands, but authors are invited to re-submit their work after substantial modifications following the referees recommendations. Go back to step 1 !
  • The manuscript is too far from the journal line to be published.

In any case, the editor comes back to the author with the referees' reports and a letter explaining his or her decisions.

4. Editor validation

A scientific paper is not only expected to be scientifically sound, it should also match writing requirements. Is the content pedagogical enough ? Does the introduction set the context well enough ? Does the conclusion provide clear overview of the work and its perspectives ?

In traditional publications, this aspect is supposed to be included in the referees' assessments. At EmSci, the editor in charge of the paper can guide the authors once their work has been scientifically validated.

This step involves direct discussions between the editor and the author, and is supposed to converge quickly. If some issues concerning the scientific results of the paper are raised in the process, the editor can ask an additional check to the referees.

5. Production

The manuscript is then sent to the production office, where the formatting of the paper is done, together with a spell checking. After validation of the proof by the authors, the paper is published online.

Emergent Scientist puts special efforts into providing authors a clear and constructive feedback. Whether your manuscript is accepted or not, we believe that peer-review will help improving the way you do science.

Assessment grid

In order to offer a transparent reviewing process, EmSci the evaluation grid given to the referees to homogenize the assessment criteria.

EmSci papers should be pedagogical and methodologically exemplary. Reviewers should be able to answer positively to the question "“would I give this article as a model to my own students if they were trying to write something, or willing to read about this subject ?”

Yes No questions
Yes No
Does the paper respect the format of EmSc (sectioning (incl. Dead Ends), length) ?
Is the length appropriate ?
Should the English writing of the manuscript be improved ?
Would you recommend your own students to read and imitate this work ?
General overview : 1(weak) – 4(high)
1 2 3 4
The paper presents an interesting and/or original topic.
The aim and main results of the study are clearly identified.
The presentation is pedagogical, notably in terms of figures.
The bibliography is up-to-date and complete.
Original and referenced works are clearly identified as such.
The paper is pleasant to read.
Introduction : 1(weak) – 4(high)
1 2 3 4
The problem is clearly stated.
The work is well motivated.
The reader wants to know more.


Method : 1(weak) – 4(high)
1 2 3 4
Relevant orders of magnitude are clearly identified.
Key scientific processes and mechanisms are clearly identified.
The method used is appropriate.
Results : 1(weak) – 4(high)
1 2 3 4
Theoretical, numerical and experimental results are clearly identified.
A proper treatment of experimental uncertainties has been carried out.
Figures are of a high standard and figure captions contain sufficient detail.
Discussion : 1(weak) – 4(high)
1 2 3 4
Theoretical results are tested against numerical results and/or experiments.
The agreement between theory and experiment is discussed honestly and transparently.


Mathematical Background : 1(weak) – 4(high)
1 2 3 4
The mathematical background is appropriate to the main topic of the paper.
The use of lemmas, propositions and theorems is appropriate with respect to the relative importance of their content.
The definitions are well motivated.
Results : 1(weak) – 4(high)
1 2 3 4
Results are original and clearly stated.
The proofs are clear and well-organized.
Computations are understandable and well-presented.
Figures are of a high standard and figure captions contain sufficient detail.
Discussion : 1(weak) – 4(high)
1 2 3 4
Limitations, applications and corollaries of the main results are clearly stated.
Examples are consistent with the content of the paper.


Experimental section or Materials and methods : 1(weak) – 4(high)
1 2 3 4
Description of the materials, methods, procedures and theoretical models are correct.
Chemical analysis is rigorous when appropriate.
List of materials and chemical products is detailed.
Hazard class and category code(s) of the chemical product are mentioned.
Results and discussion : 1(weak) – 4(high)
1 2 3 4
Theoretical, numerical and experimental results are clearly identified.
Results are carefully analyzed.
A proper treatment of experimental uncertainties has been carried out when appropriate.
Figures are of a high standard and figure captions contain sufficient detail.
Results are clearly interpreted and criticized.
Results are compared to (or carefully interpreted with) literature.
The agreement between theory and experiment is discussed honestly and transparently.

For all sections

Dead-end : 1(weak) – 4(high)
1 2 3 4
Areas of difficulty discussed appear relevant to the study.
Clear statements are made about what did not work during the study.
A short discussion of the reasons for failure is provided.
Conclusion: 1(weak) – 4(high)
1 2 3 4
Main results are clearly stated.
Some perspectives are given.