Information and Guidelines for Reviewers
The editorial board manages all submissions to IMWUT, and comprises:
- A group of Editors, including the Editor-In-Chief. Their primary role is to assign new submissions on to appropriate Associate Editors, and ensure that reviewing processes run smoothly.
- Associate Editors (AEs), whose primary responsibility is to manage the review process for individual submissions.
The initial review process is expected to take approximately 8 weeks, in the following phases:
1. Handling: Upon initial submission, the Editors will determine whether the submission is appropriate for IMWUT, or should be desk rejected to avoid waste of time by reviewers. Furthermore, the assigned associate editors can also propose papers for quick reject, with the Editors’ approval.
- Desk reject by editors: no reviewers assigned, and editors provide a short note. We usually have desk rejections for: lack of anonymization, template/formatting issues, insufficient action taken to address reviews from a past rejection from IMWUT, or where the paper is out of scope. Note that even if the Editors do not desk reject a paper for being out of scope, the Associate Editors can also choose to recommend rejection for this reason too.
- Quick rejection by Associate Editors: the Associate Editors look at their assigned submissions and based on an initial read, say whether they are highly likely to choose "reject" if they were to write a full review, rather than recommending major or minor revisions. The "reject" can be for any reason that a normal reject is -- low quality, low impact, flawed work, out of scope, not novel, etc. They discuss any paper nominated, and if they agree on recommending quick reject the editors must also agree. If so, then only the handling Associate Editor is asked to write up a summary of the reasons for the rejection.
The quick reject process may seem harsh, as it only provides a small amount of feedback. It was brought in to allow IMWUT to provide rapid feedback to authors given its high submission rate. This process means that that reviewer load is focussed on the papers that have a high chance of improving and impacting the community, i.e. those that have a chance of receiving a major revisions recommendation or better.
2. Review: The submissions that are not desk rejected or quick rejected will be assigned to two Associate Editors (primary, secondary). The primary (1AE) will manage the review process, and also assign two additional external reviewers. The secondary (2AE) simply provides a review. It is expected that external reviewers should be able to make an independent intellectual contribution, and therefore should come from a different university than the 1AE, and there should not be a dependency relationship such as the 1AE being the supervisor. External reviewers should have high expertise on the topic of the paper(s) they are asked to review. PhD students and IMWUT AEs should not be assigned as external reviewers, unless there is a very compelling reason to do so. As part of the review process the Editors reserve the right to get additional input from others on the Editorial Board for any paper so as to make the best decision for acceptance. External reviewers will be asked to provide a detailed review of the submission and will be asked to provide a summary judgment placing the paper into one of the following categories:
- Accept with Minor Revisions: There are only minor changes required to make the submission suitable for publication. The AE is responsible for ensuring the changes are made before the paper is fully accepted for publication.
- Major Revisions Required: The AE and reviewers feels that there is potential for a publishable outcome for the submission, but not without a significant revision to address issues enumerated by the reviewer.
- Reject: The reviewers do not feel that either of the categories above is appropriate.
3. Decision: The AE will lead an online discussion with the reviewers, focusing on any differences of opinion. The AE will make a recommendation on the decision using the three categories above, and write a meta review of the submission explaining that recommendation and detailing any required minor or major revisions. This recommendation will then be communicated by the Editors to the authors. Subsequently, the process depends on the outcome of the review:
- Accept with Minor Revisions: Authors must address the points raised in the reviews and particularly the meta-review and submit the updated version for the AE to provide final approval within 4 weeks of the notification. Authors may communicate through the submission system with the AE for clarifications. If the AE is unable to address a concern, the authors should contact the Editors.
- Major revisions: The meta review will summarize specific expectations for how the paper needs to be modified for the revision to be considered. Authors will be allowed to upload a revision of their paper at one of the subsequent 2 quarterly submission deadlines. The authors may communicate anonymously through the submission system with the AE for clarifications. If the AE is unable to address a concern, the authors should contact the Editors. Revisions should use colour to highlight the changes to the document, and also include a statement on how the reviewer comments are addressed. Upon receipt of the revision, the AE will request reviews from all of the original reviewers. If the AE feels the need, a new reviewer (or reviewers) can be invited, and the results of the past review(s) will be shared with them. This round of reviews will result in a decision of either “Accept with Minor Revisions” or “Reject”. Revisions should use color to highlight the changes to the document, and also include a statement on how the reviewer comments are addressed. Upon receipt of the revision, the AE will request reviews from all of the original reviewers. If the AE feels the need, a new reviewer (or reviewers) can be invited, and the results of the past review(s) will be shared with them.
- Reject: The authors will receive a clear indication from the Associate Editor’s meta review as to why the paper was rejected. Concerns about the review result should be referred to the Editors. A rejected submission may be resubmitted to IMWUT at any future deadline. However the authors must declare using the submission form that the paper was previously submitted and rejected and the prior reviews will be made available to the new AE/reviewers. Papers submitted with no changes are likely candidates for Quick Reject. Papers which are not Quick Rejected will be assigned to a different AE.