Occasionally an author will conclude that the referee erred in reviewing his paper. To resolve these disputes, the RF follows the following procedure.
The author sends a letter detailing the issues in dispute to Editor who handled the original manuscript. At least two weeks must elapse between the receipt of the decision letter and the sending of the letter. (Sometimes, authors might express concerns to the Editor about a referee report but stop short of a dispute. We similarly will not reply to such emails if they are sent within two weeks).
The Editor can either desk-reject the dispute or send the letter to the referee, asking him/her to respond to the Editor on whether s/he agrees or disagrees with the issues raised by the author.
If the author and referee have agreed to disagree and the Editor agrees with the original referee, the author can initiate the following dispute procedure:
1. Please submit your appeal manuscript and materials via the Editorial Express system and select the €800 Appeal payment option during the submission process.
2. The Managing Editor has the option to desk-reject the dispute, in which case €700 of the submission fee is refunded. Otherwise, the Managing Editor will assign a Dispute Editor who differs from the original Editor. The Dispute Editor will send the paper to another referee, along with all of the relevant correspondence from the first review, including the correspondence between the author and the first referee. The original paper will be sent; the authors do not have the opportunity to revise the paper, since the grounds for a dispute is that the referee erred in the evaluation of the original manuscript (not that the authors believe they can address the referee’s concerns).
Based on the advice of the dispute referee, his/her own reading, and potential consultation with other editors or associate editors, the Dispute Editor will either uphold the initial rejection, or change it to a revise-and-resubmit or (conditional) acceptance. If the Dispute Editor agrees with the authors that the first referee erred, the RF will refund the incremental €800 fee. This is irrespective of whether or not the RF eventually publishes the paper. The referee payment for a dispute is €400.
Desk rejections cannot be appealed.