Manuscript submission and review guidelines and procedures
for Practicing Geophysics (new journal experiment)
Practicing Geophysics (PG), the new journal experiment, uses the same general submission, review, and decision guidelines and procedures in place for Geophysics. These Practicing Geophysics-specific guidelines and procedures reflect the industry focus and early author-editor-reviewer engagement stressed by the new journal experiment. Practicing Geophysics soliciting editors engage authors and reviewers early in the submission, review, and revision process to help authors develop articles. A major difference between PG and Geophysics is that authors may make preliminary submissions using electronic slide-set presentations.
Volunteers involved in the review process
- Editor—Kees Wapenaar
- Assistant Editor—Yonghe Sun is coordinating the initial and overall activities for the PG experiment.
- Associate Editors—These editors solicit and edit contributions for various topics, acting in an associate editor’s capacity with respect to the review process.
- Advocates—These are people recruited at various companies to identify publication-worthy materials and encourage their creators to submit them.
- Reviewers—These are subject-matter experts who review manuscripts assigned to them by Associate Editors.
Manuscript submission procedure
- Author(s) either independently or after prompting by a PG Associate Editor or Advocate prepare(s) an electronic slide-set presentation or a full manuscript for submission, following Geophysics’ Instructions to Authors as applicable.
- Author(s) make their submission using the Geophysics submission system. Author(s) indicate the submission is for the new journal experiment and in a cover letter identify its topic area and Advocate, if applicable, from those described in the Practicing Geophysics topic descriptions.
- Author(s) may note in cover letter information other potential contributions from the same organization and provide contact information for prospective author(s).
- Author(s) may complete and submit the questionnaire about the new journal experiment.
Manuscript review and decision procedure:
- SEG staff evaluates the submission for completeness and works with the author(s) to resolve any deficiencies and route complete submissions to the Assistant Editor.
- The manuscript is routed by Assistant Editor (ASE) to the Associate Editor (AE) for submissions in the subject area closest to that of the submission.
- The Associate Editor recruits two or three reviewers for the manuscript within seven days.
- Each reviewer submits an independent evaluation of the paper within
- Fourteen (14) days for a complete manuscript submission.
- Seven (7) days for a preliminary presentation submission (e.g., PowerPoint) so that reviewers can assess its technical merit. The PG experiment allows preliminary presentation submissions for early engagement of editors, authors, and reviewers. The reviewers are asked to assess the technical work’s merits and suitability for development into a full article formally submitted for peer review, and to provide technical feedback that would aid authors in preparation of a full article. If the evaluations of the presentation are favorable, the authors will be asked to write a full article within eight (8) weeks (the same time Geophysics authors are allowed for a “moderate revision”), and the same reviewers will be used to review the full article submission.
The reviewers are encouraged to return reviews before the deadline.
- Each paper is evaluated by at least two reviewers.
- The AE submits a decision recommendation together with his or her comments for author(s) no longer than seven (7) days after the reviewer evaluations are all completed or within seven (7) days of the evaluation due date having passed with the required two evaluations having been completed. An AE should conduct any follow-up discussion with reviewers within this seven-day window. The AE should not wait for overdue reviewers unless new backup reviewers are assigned to prevent indefinite waiting for a nonperforming reviewer whose review was needed to obtain the required number of reviews. If a new reviewer is assigned, that reviewer gets a new due date, and that date of the completion of the new reviewer’s review determines a new due date for the AE to submit a recommendation.
- Because the AE in many cases is the soliciting (thus not anonymous) editor, it makes sense for the AE to communicate the intermediate decisions (i.e., revision requests) directly to author(s). However, this is not possible in the current online peer-review system, so the ASE will forward the AE’s revision requests to author(s).
- As with Geophysics, authors have five (5) weeks to submit a minor/moderate revision, eight (8) weeks for a moderate revision, and ten (10) weeks for a moderate/major revision.
- The Associate Editor and the Assistant Editor process and judge the revision according to the same procedure used for Geophysics. Because the Practicing Geophysics experiment is being conducted within the pages of Geophysics as supplemental issues or sections, the final recommendation to accept or reject is sent to the Editor, who will make the final decision.
- An acceptance decision is conditioned on the author(s) satisfying SEG’s publication requirements (e.g., figures of acceptable quality, copyright transfers executed, etc.).
- Journal scope: See the separate document “FAQs on the scope and execution for practicing geophysics” that discusses the criteria for directing articles among Geophysics, The Leading Edge, and Practicing Geophysics, by audience, application maturity, and editorial execution. The contributions should be relevant to geophysical applications in the subsurface and near-surface resource industries. The papers should be important for establishing technically sound geophysical practices; documenting geophysical exploration concepts, insights, pitfalls, and workflows; and improving geophysicists’ technical proficiency. The papers may be multidisciplinary in nature (involving geology, engineering, computing, instrumentation, etc.), reflecting the various activities of geophysicists (e.g., acquisition, processing, interpretation, drilling, production).
- Rejection: A paper should be rejected if its written incomprehensibly, lacks substantially new and important content, or contains fundamental errors. Negative results and failure cases are elements of progress. Their presence should not lead to a judgment that a submission is flawed and not worthy of publication.
- Revision: Practicing Geophysics emphasizes author-editor-reviewer partnership in a constructive review-revision process to develop worthy materials into published articles. For papers with technical shortcomings or incomplete analyses, reviewers and editors should provide detailed suggestions for revision. Use constructive comments, avoid harsh words, and consider phrasing some requests in the form of questions and choices. Some industry authors may have moved on to other projects or other companies when the reviews are returned and may not be able to justify using additional resources to perform additional substantial technical work. In revision suggestions, consider giving the authors options:
- to complete the work and create a watertight case; or
- to clearly identify the technical deficiencies of the work, to tone down the technical claims, and to propose further studies for authors or interested readers.
A piece of work might be quite appropriate to answer a timely business question but not complete in a more rigorous or academic sense. For example, most interpretations are probably incomplete but sufficient to inform a management decision. Publication of such work could be beneficial to readers.
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