Monday, June 16, 2008

How Editors Make Decisions

How do editors take the two or three reviews and make a decision?

Decisions made by editors are not strictly “majority rules” or the average recommendation.

Sometimes the most severe criticism is what the editor relies on; sometimes it is the most respected reviewer (e.g., associate editor, particular expert, senior scientist).

In some cases, previous submissions by the authors have not resulted in publishable manuscripts. Given this history and marginal reviews, the editor may opt to reject the manuscript for fear of not receiving an acceptable revised manuscript.

Sometimes the reviewers may have indicated certain concerns---the sum of all the concerns from all the reviewers may be such that the manuscript cannot be revised and resubmitted in a reasonable time, so the editor rejects the manuscript.

Other times, it is a combination of many of these reasons.

Finally, the manuscript may simply not be appropriate for the journal. In these cases, the editor may recommend transferring the manuscript to another journal.

Photo by Getty

Friday, June 6, 2008

AMS Publications Commission meeting

I have recently returned from the AMS Publications Commission meeting. Nearly all Chief Editors of all the AMS journals were present, as were the Publications staff, Chief Editorial Assistants, and the director of Publications Commission Dave Jorgensen.

The main issues at the Publications Commission meeting were the high costs of color figures in AMS journals, the long time between when a manuscript is accepted by the editor and when it appears in print, and the declining number of submissions in most of the journals. Some evidence suggests that these concerns are related. The Publications Commission is resolved to reducing the cost of color figures to authors, reducing the time to publication to a goal of 120 days (the Director of Publications bet the Publications Commissioner that we would be averaging less than 160 days by June 2009), all while maintaining the high editorial standards and publication quality that the AMS offers.

More from the Publication Commission meeting in future posts.

May MWR Highlights

The May 2008 issue of MWR has the following paper on an upper-air dataset for North America that extends back to 1922.

A Monthly Upper-Air Dataset for North America Back to 1922 from the Monthly Weather Review by Tracy Ewen, Andrea Grant, and Stefan Brönnimann

There is also a four-part series on the potential vorticity diagnosis of the severe convective regime by Gold and Nielsen-Gammon.

April MWR Highlights

In the April issue of MWR, I would like to highlight the following two papers.

Climatology of Tropical Cyclogenesis in the North Atlantic (1948–2004) by Ron McTaggart-Cowan, Glenn D. Deane, Lance F. Bosart, Christopher A. Davis, and Thomas J. Galarneau Jr.

This paper presents a climatology of tropical cyclones showing that baroclinic effects (not the latent heat release) are important during 60% of tropical cyclogenesis events.

High-Resolution Observations and Model Simulations of the Life Cycle of an Intense Mesoscale Snowband over the Northeastern United States by David R. Novak, Brian A. Colle, and Sandra E. Yuter

The Novak et al. paper is especially noteworthy because they created dual-Doppler analyses from the operational WSR-88D network for the first time.