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General


The Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (JCAP) is an international, peer-reviewed, online-only journal created by the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) and the Institute of Physics Publishing (IOP Publishing), following the success of SISSA's first online journal, JHEP. SISSA is in charge of the peer review and production of submissions, while IOP Publishing is in charge of their online publication and of subscriptions.

Scope


JCAP covers all aspects of cosmology and particle astrophysics including:

  1. CMBR
  2. Cosmic rays
  3. Dark matter
  4. Magnetic fields and plasma
  5. Neutrinos
  6. Particles and cosmology
  7. Galaxies
  8. Large scale structure of the universe

The Journal's scope should not be regarded as fixed and will evolve and adapt over time to the changes in research trends.


Editorial policy


From the outset, the Journal' s main aim was to provide fast and efficient online publication tools to the scientific community, while keeping that community in charge of every aspect of the peer-review and publication process, in order to ensure the highest quality standards in the Journal.

Consequently, the Advisory and Editorial Boards, composed of distinguished and active scientists in the field, jointly establish with the Scientific Director the Journal' s scientific policy and ensure the scientific quality of accepted articles. Editors and referees operate anonymously, but they can reveal their identity to the authors.

When submitting a paper to the Journal, contributors must look up the JCAP list of keywords and choose the ones that best define the subject of their work. The JCAP system will then automatically assign the submission to a member of the Editorial Board by choosing the best match of the author's keywords with the areas of expertise of the available editors, taking editor workload into account. Editors take full responsibility for the submission, either reviewing the preprint themselves or sending it to as many referees as may be necessary. Editors may also consult a fellow member of the Editorial Board.

The criteria for acceptance are scientific quality, originality and relevance. Length should be appropriate to the information presented. Editors are asked to apply a strict quality filter in selecting contributions for publication.

Manuscripts submitted to JCAP must not have been published or be under consideration for publication in other refereed journals, nor should they be sent to other journals while still being considered for publication in JCAP.


Organisation chart


JCAP is organised as follows:

  • Scientific Director
  • Advisory Board
  • Editorial Board
  • Editorial Office at SISSA Medialab
  • Publishing Office at IOP

The Scientific Director is in charge of supervising the Editorial Board and monitoring the quality of the Journal. The Scientific Director is first instance for an appeal in cases of disagreement between authors and editors.

The members of the Advisory Board periodically review the Journal and advise on its scientific policy. The Advisory Board is consulted by the Scientific Director in the event of a major disagreement between authors and editors.

The Editorial Board is JCAP's most important asset. Editors are in charge of the peer-review of submissions and take themselves the final decision on whether or not to publish a contribution. JCAP has a large Editorial Board, in order to provide competent coverage for all the areas indicated by the keywords and thus avoid generic decisions or the inappropriate selection of referees. The Editor in charge takes full responsibility for the paper. (S)he can assess it him/herself or send it to one or more referees.

The Editorial Office is in charge of supervising the functioning of the Journal in collaboration with the Editorial Board. SISSA Medialab, where the Editorial Office is based, runs the software system that automates the editorial process. The Editorial Office monitors the Journal daily, provides assistance to authors, editors and referees, and takes action in close collaboration with the Scientific Director in the event of any problems or delay that may arise.

The Publishing Office at IOP is responsible for the marketing and distribution of the Journal, including the publication of accepted contributions. As for archive preservation, IOP and SISSA are committed to maintaining the archive and take appropriate steps in the event of significant technology changes.


The JCAP software system


JCAP is a joint SISSA-IOP publication. SISSA controls the peer-review and production of submitted manuscripts, while IOP is in charge of the publication of papers, which can be read and downloaded at http://iopscience.iop.org/jcap. The editorial website is hosted at SISSA (https://jcap.sissa.it/jcap) , where a web-based software system has been developed and is used to process submissions and run the entire editorial procedure: the submission of preprints, their automatic assignment to the appropriate editors, the review by referees, the contacts between editors, referees and the Editorial Office, the revision of contributions, the production stage and the delivery of typeset articles to the Publishing Office at IOP, as well as the administration of the Journal. Editors, referees and authors have their personal web pages, where they take action or check the status of preprints.

The software system developed at SISSA relies on a powerful database that stores the files of the contributions, their metadata and, most importantly, all the correspondence between the journal users (authors, editors, referees, the Editorial Office and the typesetters). Authors, editors and reviewers, therefore, have direct access to all the information, files and correspondence items appropriate for their role in their personal web pages. All users have a single username and password to access their home page on the JCAP website for all of their different roles (author, editor or referee).

Published papers are available online through IOP's Electronic Journals service. Contributions are published as soon as they are available in their final form. Online publication offers enhanced features and functions:

  • Powerful search engines replace the table of contents and indexes used by paper journals. Readers can `cluster' search results by topic.
  • Extensive reference linking. IOP is part of CrossRef and also has bilateral reference-linking agreements with other physics publishers.
  • Contributions, published in two different file formats (PDF and HTML), are hypertextual, with links within the articles themselves and to the papers quoted in the references.
  • Multimedia. JCAP encourages authors to submit multimedia files to enhance the online version of published research articles. Multimedia enhancements typically consist of video clips, animations or supplementary data.
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