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| general | timing for processing contributions |
| the referee web page | how to write the report |


Referees must be registered to JCAP. Registration gives access to your personal pages for all the roles you play in the journal (author, referee, editor). There you can perform all the actions connected with the stages in the editorial procedure.

You can sign in to JCAP either by using your JCAP username and password or via your ORCID. If you sign in via your ORCID account, you will be requested to enter your JCAP username and password only the first time in order to correctly connect your ORCID and JCAP accounts.

If you cannot remember your JCAP username and password, please do not register again, just click on "Forgot your username?"/"Forgot your password?" on the JCAP home page.

After signing in you can also update your profile, change username and password and connect your JCAP account to your ORCID account by clicking on "modify my personal data".

ORCID iDs are 16-digit numbers which will usually be presented in the form of a web address that leads to the researcher's profile, for example They provide a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher. Associating your ORCID iD to your JCAP profile helps JCAP to keep your personal records correctly updated for all the roles you play in the Journal (author, editor, referee, ...).

Sometimes, when an editor wants to appoint as referee someone who is not a registered user, (s)he can register the new user. If you have been registered in this way, you will receive an e-mail with temporary username and password that you should modify as soon as possible for scurity reasons.

Communication tools are available on each page to communicate with the journal editorial office. Please ALWAYS use these tools instead of normal e-mail. These messages will be saved in the data-base and associated to the document they refer to, which is crucial for the efficiency of the editorial procedure.

In the spirit that scientists' work should be compensated we have instituted a token fee to be paid to our referees. For further information see our guidelines for referees.

For every submitted preprint the editor in charge of the editorial procedure can turn to one or more referees for an opinion. Referees and editors are expected to follow the guidelines below:

Timing for processing contributions

JCAP aims at reducing time for processing papers with respect to traditional journals. The following table gives estimates for the different stages in the review procedure. Naturally they are intended as a guideline, as scientific quality and relevance will have priority over speed.

Preprints are sent to the editor in charge immediately upon submission.

Editors should send the new preprints to one or more referees within 5 days.

If this should not occur the editor will receive a reminder from the Editorial Office.

If the editor does not react within a week of the paper's submission the scientific director will take action.

If the referees do not react, the editor should take action as quickly as possible.

Referees should accept/decline the assignment within 4 days of the editor's request.

If this should not occur the Editorial Office will send the referee one or more reminders.

If the referee does not react to the reminder the Editorial Office will inform the editor who should take action as quickly as possible.

Referees should review papers in 4 weeks at most (from the date of the editor's review request).

The referee web page

The pending preprints in the referee pages are divided into sections displayed like an index:

  • New submissions: newly submitted preprints that an editor has asked you to review.
  • Revised preprints: submissions that have been reviewed, for which the editor requested a revision. The editor-in-charge would like to know your opinion on the resubmitted version.
  • Preprints revised with minor revision: preprints that have been reviewed, for which the editor requested a minor revision. The editor-in-charge would like to know your opinion on the resubmitted version.
  • Appeals against rejection: preprints rejected by the editor, for which the author has sent an appeal. The editor has decided to reconsider the preprint which is now assigned to you for a review.
  • Preprints to be checked and reviewed again: preprints previously accepted for publication for which the author has requested changes in the proofreading stage that require the editor's approval. The editor has requested that the authors resubmit a revised version, which is now assigned to you for a review. The previous version of the preprint is available for comparison under the link "all versions".

When a preprint is assigned to you as a referee, you are kindly requested to accept or decline the assignment by using the appropriate buttons at the bottom of your referee pages for the preprint in question (i.e. JCAP _001P_0104). This is to make sure you have read the editor's review request and to inform her/him whether you will be able to review the submission in an appropriate time frame.

The report must be prepared in a separate file (TeX/LaTeX), according to the guidelines in how to write a report and should be pasted in the appropriate form. Please remember not to sign the report: the editor-in-charge will know your identity from the system. A standard, editable message addressed to the editor is also available on your referee pages after you click the "send report" button. You can edit this message.

Furthermore, in the top part of the page there are two navigation bars. The top one provides access to the tool for modifying your personal data and to this instructions. The bottom one leads to all archived contributions, under the tag "my reviews".

  • My reviews are all the articles which you have been asked to review. You can access all the versions of the preprint up to the one that you have been referee for.

For each version you are enabled to see all the reports written by you and any other associated document that the editor-in-charge has enabled you to access (referee reports by other referees, cover letters, editor reports...).

How to write the report

To be considered for publication in JCAP , contributions must contain significant new material, must be of high quality and scientific interest, must be written in good, scientific English, and must be on subject matter covered by the Journal (please see the Journal keywords).

Please bear in mind that one of the aims of JCAP is to vet the large number of preprints and select those preprints that truly satisfy the above requirements.

Reviewers are expected to follow the Journal guidelines for referees.

On the grounds of the referee report the editor will take the final decision and write the report to be sent to the authors.

If you are requested to review a preprint that has already been reviewed (for instance a revised version) it is useful to look at the section "all versions" (in the gray navigation bar towards the top of the page), to evaluate the previous history of the preprint. You will be able to see all previous versions of the preprint. For these versions, the editor-in-charge can decide which of the referee reports, cover letters and editor reports you should have access to.

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