The Peer Review Process
Upon receipt of your manuscript, the Senior Editors assign it to a Scientific Review Editor (SRE), typically a member of the Editorial Review Board. The SRE requests critiques from at least two reviewers. Reviewers are asked to return a critiques within two weeks of their receiving of the manuscript. The SRE makes a recommendation to the Senior Editors based on the reviewers' critiques and his/her own reading of the manuscript. Based on this input, the Senior Editors decide whether the manuscript is suitable for publication, requires revision and addressing concerns otherwise, or must be rejected. This decision and the reviews are emailed to the corresponding Authors. Note that it often takes several days to acquire and SRE and Reviewers. Additional time is often required for the SRE and/or the Senior Editor to make recommendations and decisions. Hence, the time from initial submission to completed review with decision will almost certainly require more than two weeks.
Revised manuscripts with a separate cover letter and a separate response letter should be submitted via the online submission service. Each point made by a Reviewer or Editor must be addressed by the Authors, either by revision or rebuttal. The manuscript may go through more than review/revision cycle. Once the Editors and Reviewers are satisfied that the manuscript is of sufficient quality for publication, a Content Galley is produced by the journal.
The Iterative Content Galley Process
When a manuscript has successfully completed the review process, it is assigned to a Senior Editor to shepherd it towards publication. That Editor and the journal's Staff will work with the Authors to revise the content galley until it is ready for publication. Until the manuscript is published, all correspondence about the manuscript should be sent to the assigned editor or to staff.
The content galley is a new version of the manuscript that has been copy edited to prepare it for publication. The draft is annotated with comments and questions from the Copy Editor, the Senior Editor(s), and Staff. All comments and queries must be addressed by the authors.
Authors should review their galley carefully! This includes all figures, tables, and appendices that are referenced by links in the body of the galley. The Abstract should tell a complete story. The author names and affiliations and the Abstract must be perfect. The Abstract and author information is sent to indexers such as the National Library of Medicine (Pubmed, etc.). Errors in these items are extremely difficult to correct after publication. All figures and tables should have legends that allow a reader to understand the data being presented independently from reading the entire paper. Authors should also check any links to external databases (e.g., GenBank, OMIM) in their galley. Ultimately, the authors are responsible for the content of their articles.
Small corrections to a manuscript can also be made at the discretion of the Editors. If a manuscript requires extensive changes before it can be published, it may be subject to re-review.
Correcting a Galley
To make corrections to a galley, the authors need to tell the editor exactly what to change and how it should be changed. The original submission should never be modified and resent. When a manuscript has reached the galley process, the Editors have already invested considerable time in editing it; reverting to a previous version is no longer an option.
The preferred way to make corrections to a galley is to describe the change clearly and quote enough of the galley that the location to be corrected is uniquely identified. Use of line numbers helps. The corrections are sent in the body of an email message, not as an attachment. Unless requested by the Editor, files showing how to make the changes should not be sent. As an example, suppose a galley contained the following error:
The two dimensional electrophoresis in Figure 7 shows that that the 27 kD band from from the gel in Figure 6 is composed of two different proteins. It clearly follows that....
A request to correct this might read:
Delete the extra "that" in "Figure 7 shows that that the 27 kD band" in line 132
Another request for a correction might read:
Change both occurrences of the word "trancsription" to "transcription".
After corrections are sent to the Editor, the galley is revised and the corresponding author is sent the updated galley for inspetion. This back-and-forth may last several iterations. When the Editors and Authors are satisfied that all issues with the manuscript are resolved, the authors are asked to review the manuscript a final time. If the authors approve the galley, it is queued for publication. Publication typically occurs within 48 hours of completing the galley process.
Answers to Common Galley Questions
Can authors other than the corresponding author have a link to their email address?
Yes, each author may have their email address or an appropriate web address (URL) linked to their name in the article. Generally, the galley editor will include links for any authors whose email address is listed in the manuscript. The email addresses of other authors may be submitted at any time during the galley process.
What happens if the order of citation of the references changes during the galley process?
Not infrequently, during the galley process, the order in which references are cited will be changed due to author changes to the text, editorial changes to the text, or additions/deletions of references. To avoid confusion, the galley will maintain the original numbering of the references until all substantive issues related to the references are resolved. If references are being added to the galley, they will be assigned new reference numbers arbitrarily. Once the substantive issues are resolved, the Editors will renumber the references. However, it is the authors' responsibility to verify that the references were renumbered correctly.
Why is there extra space after italicized words?
Depending on your combination of computer, browser, and installed fonts, you may see what appears to be an extra space after italicized words. Computers treat type as a series of characters, each occupying a fixed rectangle. Programs form words by placing the rectangles as close together as possible. When "true" italics are unavailable, it is often simulated by "slanting" the characters and their rectangles. These techniques normally work quite well, but fall short when combined.
The figure shows the letter "X" as a roman character, an italics character, and a slanted character. Below that, the string of characters "italic," are shown with the rectangles for each character shown in red. When the word "italic" is slanted, it appears that there is an extra space between the word and the comma.
Why are some symbols replaced by strange sequences of characters (like ° for the degree symbol)?
Strings of the form "&letters;" are the ISO-8859 representations of various special characters. As the web browsers used by the vast majority of Molecular Vision readers support this standard, we adopted the use of these character replacements in 1997. Web browsers that don't follow this standard can't replace these cryptic sequences of characters with the special symbols they represent. If you are seeing these sequences of characters rather than the symbols, you might want to consider upgrading to a post-1997 version of your browser.
Why wasn't the galley updated with the last set of corrections?
When viewing galleys, it is important to RELOAD or REFRESH the pages to be sure the current revision of the galley is displayed. If any of the graphics were revised, it may be necessary to manually clear the browser's cache and restart the browser to see the current revisions. The galley header includes the date the galley was last updated.
When both the authors and the Editors are satisfied that the manuscript is ready for publication, it is dated, published, and announced on the Molecular Vision Announcements (MV-ANN) mailing list. A type-set PDF version, suitable for reprints, is produced simultaneously. Each article is a unique Web page that can be accessed with an appropriate URL (e. g., Wistow, Mol Vis 1995; 1:1 can be found as <http://www.molvis.org/molvis/v1/a1/>). The journal is duplicated on multiple computers in different buildings and regularly archived to tape and CD-ROM. Articles published in Molecular Vision are indexed in Medline, Index Medicus, and PubMed by the National Library of Medicine and in Biological Abstracts by BIOSIS. The Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) indexes Molecular Vision in Science Citation Index-Expanded, Current Contents/Life Sciences, Biochemistry-Biophysics Citation Index, and Biotechnology Citation Index. The Chemical Abstracts Service indexes selected Molecular Vision articles in Chemical Abstracts.