Editorial and Peer Review Process

We recommend reading this section, especially if it is the first time that you are submitting an article to GEUS Bulletin. Here, we outline the editorial process from the moment we receive your submission through to publication, including how to report an issue with your submission.

All research papers published in GEUS Bulletin are peer-reviewed by at least two scientists who are expert in their fields. Submissions are by the GEUS Bulletin online submission system and undergo the process outlined in the following sections.

Topics covered in this page include:

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Initial checks

All manuscripts are initially examined by one or more members of the editorial team and run through CrossRef Similarity Check plagiarism software. A manuscript that fails the plagiarism check or falls outside of the journal’s remit may be unsuitable for publication. Manuscripts will be returned to the corresponding author if the submission is incomplete (i.e. missing or incomplete figures or text), or requires significant editing for language, readability or structure.

The corresponding author will be notified if the submission is unsuitable for publication in GEUS Bulletin, along with an explanation. Likewise, we will notify the corresponding author if the manuscript, figures or tables require revisions before they can proceed to peer review. We will always provide feedback and instructions to help authors prepare their manuscript for resubmission.

Related information is available in the following pages: Preparing an initial submission and Formats and publishing criteria

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Peer review

Submissions deemed suitable for peer review will be assigned to a subject editor, who arranges for the submission to be reviewed by at least two scientists who are experts in their fields. After receiving the reviewers’ comments, the subject editor takes the decision to accept the manuscript subject to a full readability and language edit, request revisions (with or without another round of peer reviews) or to reject the manuscript. Their decision is based on feedback from the reviewers and their own editorial judgement and will be clearly communicated to the corresponding author with a detailed explanation, intended to help the authors in future submissions to this or any other journal.

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In preparing a resubmission, authors should read and address all the comments and edits from the reviewers and the editor handling their submission. Depending on the extent of revisions required, authors may be asked to prepare their manuscript according to the ‘initial submission’ guidelines or the ‘final submission’ guidelines. Authors should follow the editor’s instructions to ensure that they submit the correct files for production and copyediting. After receiving the revised files, the subject editor takes the decision to accept the manuscript subject to a full readability and language edit, request further revisions (with or without another round of peer reviews) or to reject the manuscript.

Related information is available in the following page: Preparing a final submission

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To maintain the professional level of articles published in GEUS Bulletin, all articles must undergo a thorough language and readability edit prior to production and publication. This is conducted by a member of the journal editorial team before the files are sent to production. No significant scientific changes or addition of figures or data can be made at this point.

At this stage, our editorial team ensures that the manuscript is generally readable and suitable for a broad geoscientific audience, follows a good structure with a clearly defined research question, aims and objectives, and so far as possible adheres to subject- and regional-specific standards. For example, ensuring the correct spelling of Greenlandic place names. The editorial team also checks that the total word count and display items adhere to the guidelines and that the final submitted artwork files (figures and tables) are ready for publication. This stage may require multiple rounds of edits between the editorial team member and the corresponding author.

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Once the editorial team member and corresponding author have agreed on the final version, the accepted version is sent to production. The corresponding author will receive the typeset proofs for their approval. No significant changes or addition of figures or data can be made at this point.

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Approved PDF proofs are published immediately online at www.geusbulletin.org. Articles published in or after 2019 are available in PDF format, and accessible formats including epub, HTML and a ‘side by side’ view designed for optimal reading, online.

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Types of peer review

GEUS Bulletin adheres to a semi-open or a single-blind review process. Specifically, the editor’s name will always be made known to the authors and reviewers. The authors’ names will always be known to the subject editor and reviewers. And by default, the reviewers' names are included in the published PDF of the article. However, a reviewer can request to remain anonymous when they return their review comments. In such cases, it is the reviewer’s responsibility to ensure that they have anonymised their comments and any edited manuscript file included in their review.

The editorial team aims to complete the initial in-house checks within 5 working days, but this may be delayed during busy periods or the holidays. Authors should note that it can take 2 weeks (sometimes more) to assign an editor and find suitable reviewers, and for all reviewers to accept and receive the manuscript files.

For short, rapid communication articles, we ask reviewers to return their comments within 2 weeks. For all other articles we request that comments are returned within 6 weeks. However, we appreciate that reviewers volunteer their time to deliver a comprehensive and considered review, so these deadlines are flexible.

Related information is available in the following pages: Author instructions and Reviewer instructions

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Reporting a dispute

How to report a dispute largely depends on the nature of the dispute, who is raising it and the stage at which the dispute is raised.

Most disputes that arise during the editorial and review process can be resolved between the editorial team and the authors or reviewers. For example, where the authors dispute the validity of comments made by a reviewer, or where the authors disagree with a subject editor’s advice for resubmission. Usually, such issues can be discussed between the parties, and a consensus reached.

In the first instance, we ask that the parties discuss the issue to try to find a solution. Where a dispute cannot be resolved in this way, the issue can be raised with the editor in chief.

All complaints, appeals or allegations of misconduct can be addressed in writing to the editor in chief at complaints@geusbulletin.org.

Read more about how to report a dispute, declare a competing interest and raise an anonymous complaint in our publishing ethics pages.

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Pre-submission editing services

Poorly written English or poor structure are rarely reasons enough to reject a manuscript. However, a poorly written manuscript or an illogical structure, can distract the reviewers. Manuscripts that suffer from these issues, to the extent that they are likely to prevent the reviewers from judging the scientific merits of the work, will be returned to the authors with advice for how they might improve and prepare a resubmission.

For GEUS lead- or corresponding-authors, we offer a pre-submission language and developmental editing service of manuscripts, for free. Here, the authors will receive an edited and commented version of their manuscript, and a short summary report by email to highlight the main areas that could benefit from revision before submission.

Using this service in no way guarantees acceptance of a manuscript. But it does help authors to prepare their manuscript to a good level of English, with a logical structure and catches any editorial inconsistences before the manuscript is submitted for peer-review. This helps to ensure that the subject editor and reviewer can concentrate solely on the scientific merit of the work without distractions. This service is only available to GEUS-affiliated lead- or corresponding authors. It is currently performed by the editor in chief, Catherine Jex, and as such is subject to availability. Email enquiries@geusbulletin.org to find out more about this service.

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