Guidelines for Associate Editors
Every paper will be assigned to an Associate Editor (AE), who will handle the paper throughout the review process.
Your first task is to carry out an initial evaluation of the paper to judge its basic suitability for the Annals of Statistics. When you receive a new submission, please spend about 30 minutes on this process. To be judged as suitable the paper must pass all the following criteria:
- Quality of writing and clarity of presentation. If a paper is poorly written or unclear, it is unsuitable for detailed review and it should be rejected on these grounds alone. There is no need for you to judge its scientific content.
- Interest to potential readers. We expect papers to make an interesting contribution; there is inevitably an element of subjectivity in judging the interest of a paper, and we are confident that our Associate Editors have the ability to do this.
- Novelty and originality. If a paper clearly does not make a reasonable original contribution then it should be rejected at this stage.
The ultimate acceptance rate for the Annals of Statistics has been around 20% to 25%. So it is reasonable (and only fair to authors) that as many as 50% of papers will be rejected at the evaluation stage.
Please record your evaluation via EJMS within two weeks of receipt of the paper. If you recommend rejection at this stage, please include an AE report to the author(s) and an additional short report that the Editor can use in his response to the author(s), but there is no need for the short report to be very detailed.
If you judge that the paper passes the initial evaluation you will move to the review stage. Each paper should be reviewed carefully by at least two referees. The review stage should be completed in two months if at all possible. The review should look in closer detail at the interest and originality of the paper, and at such things as whether it makes appropriate reference to the literature. We must do our best to ensure that published papers are technically correct but ultimately the responsibility for this rests with the author(s).
At the end of the review stage, you are asked to make one of the following
recommendations, elaborated in the Guidelines for Referees, to the Editor via EJMS:
(2) Requires minor revision
(3) Requires major revision
(4) Reject with resubmission
Only in case (1) will the paper not need to be seen again by the Editor or Associate Editor. In all other cases, please provide an AE report to the author(s) and an additional short report with explicit rationales (via EJMS) that the Editor can use as the basis of a report back to the author(s). This short report essentially serves as an AE report to the Editor. When one of recommendations (2) - (4) is made in the case of an initial submission, we would normally expect at least two referee reports to be available to the author(s). An AE report to the author(s), in addition to reports from referees, would be very helpful. In particular, a report from the Associate Editor, even it is only a brief one, is necessary if a recommendation is made in cases (4) and (5).
In every case, the EJMS system will allow the author(s) to receive the relevant referee reports after the Editor has made the final decision.