The following describes the workflow of the Limnology and Oceanography: Methods office. Much of the work is conducted through the online Manuscript Submission and Review (MSR) system.
Authors may upload their manuscripts all at once or can return to complete the process later. When the submitting author indicates that the submission is complete, s/he receives an acknowledgement by e-mail from the Editorial Office. Co-authors will receive copies if their e-mail addresses have been provided.
The Editorial Office checks whether the manuscript is complete and follows the general rules for manuscript preparation before passing the manuscript to the Editor-in-Chief. Manuscripts that are poorly prepared or fail to follow the journal's guidelines may be rejected.
The Editor-in-Chief determines whether the manuscript appears to meet the general criteria for the journal. Manuscripts that are insufficiently clear, or lack evidence that the method is substantially new and promising may be rejected without further consideration. A resubmission may be encouraged with appropriate modifications, or discouraged.
If the manuscript meets these initial criteria, the Editor-in-Chief will assign the manuscript to an appropriate Associate Editor.
The Associate Editor examines the manuscript and may recommend that the manuscript be rejected without review. If so, the Editor-in-Chief will inform the authors that the manuscript should be withdrawn from consideration. A resubmission may be encouraged with appropriate modifications, or discouraged.
For manuscripts accepted for consideration, the assigned Associate Editor selects primary and alternate reviewers from personal knowledge and using a database of reviewers. The Editorial Office may suggest that an alternate reviewer be used if a primary reviewer has a poor record of returning reviews, has a conflict of interest, did not provide an adequate review of a previous version, or has received too many other review requests recently.
The Associate Editor requests reviews from the proposed reviewer list until two reviewers have agreed. Reviewers who do not respond to the initial invitation letter within one week receive a reminder letter. If the reviewer has not responded within two weeks, an alternate reviewer is contacted.
Reviewers are given four weeks after they have agreed to the review to submit their reviews through the online MSR system.
Reviewers who have agreed to a review but have not yet submitted the review receive two reminder e-mails.
Reviewers submit their reviews through the MSR system. The assigned Associate Editor is automatically notified as reviews arrive.
The Associate Editor may recommend immediate acceptance, but usually will recommend one of three decisions.
Conditionally accept. Original manuscripts are likely to be accepted but require revision.
Do not accept; resubmission is invited. These manuscripts are potentially worthy of publication, but very extensive revision is needed. The revised manuscripts should be so substantially changed that they are effectively new submissions. Such resubmissions are treated as new manuscripts, and a new round of review will be required.
Do not accept; resubmission is not invited. These manuscripts may contain material worthy of publication but are unacceptable or unsuitable for Limnology and Oceanography: Methods.
The Editor-in-Chief will either approve the recommendation of the Associate Editor (the usual case), or in unusual cases will work with the Associate Editor to develop a final decision.
The Editor-in-Chief will notify the author(s) of the final decision. The decision letter will include comments by the Associate Editor and reviewers. Conditionally accepted manuscripts will include the changes required in order for a revised manuscript to be accepted. Reviewers receive a courtesy copy of the final decision letter.
Authors are allowed one to three months to submit a revised version of a conditionally accepted manuscript. After that time, manuscripts are treated as new manuscripts and must undergo a new round of review.
If required revisions are minor in scope, they may be accepted by the Associate Editor. At the Associate Editor's discretion, manuscripts that required more substantial revision may undergo a second round of review, often by the same reviewers.
The Associate Editor will recommend one of three decisions:
Accept. The revised manuscript is accepted, other than changes in style and format that may be required by the Associate Editor or the Editorial Office.
Reject. With rare exceptions, revised manuscripts that are rejected may not be resubmitted. Revised manuscripts are likely to be rejected if the Associate Editor is not satisfied that the author(s) have made every effort to address all the concerns raised by both reviewers and editors.
Remain conditional. In some cases, an Associate Editor may recommend further revision. These manuscripts are likely to be accepted eventually, but acceptance remains conditional upon the results of additional revision.
Once a manuscript is accepted, the Associate Editor or Editorial Office may edit the manuscript to make it conform to the guidelines for Manuscript Preparation. The Associate Editor may recommend some changes to improve readability and clarity. The edited manuscript is returned to the author(s).
Authors may be asked to prepare a final submission copy that incorporates minor changes recommended by the Associate Editor, and is submitted to the Editorial Office. The Editorial Office will communicate with the corresponding author to obtain final, publication-quality versions of figures.
The final manuscript undergoes an automated copyedit that makes up to hundreds of changes required to bring the manuscript into conformity with the journal's style. Additional manual copyediting will be performed to check on grammar, spelling, citations, text and figure styles, and other elements that are not addressed by the automated copyedit. Authors may be asked to submit revised versions of figures if they do not meet the journal's style. If figures provided by authors still do not meet with journal style requirements, the figures will be edited and authors will be charged an additional fee ($8/figure, or higher).
Figures will undergo image highgrading to check and adjust resolution, dimensions, color space, and cross-platform compatibility.
Final versions of manuscripts, with acceptable figures, are sent to the journal's production services contractor for composition. Proofs are sent as PDF files directly to the submitting author and must be returned within two weeks with notes on any necessary corrections due to errors in composition. Changes requested in proof that are not due to composition errors will result in additional charges to the authors. The production services contractor will add any such corrections and deliver the final PDF files to the Editorial Office.
Articles are posted as soon as the final, corrected PDF files are received, in the order they are received.
When the final PDF file is produced, the Editorial Office will receive an invoice for production of that article. The Editorial Office will determine the amount owed by the authors from the journal's publication charges policy, and will inform the ASLO Business Office. The Business Office will then bill the authors.