The following is a statement of the Review of Finance‘s editorial policy.
We have a common policy, across all editors, as applying the same standards as a top-three finance journal. The following text (or a variant thereof) is included in the invitation letter to referees: “Please apply a similar standard to what you would apply to the top-three finance journals. Because we receive a very large number of manuscripts, we are interested in publishing only papers that make a substantial contribution to knowledge that is of interest to a general finance audience. Competent useful extensions and qualifications of previous work, or analyses of narrower questions, are best left to specialized journals.”
The following text is included in the invitation letter to referees: “If you believe the paper crosses the top-three bar and are recommending revision, please stratify your comments into (1) major concerns that the authors need to address for you to recommend publication, and (2) suggestions that you think will improve the paper but give the authors discretion as to whether to incorporate them. Our policy is to reach an accept/reject decision at the second round. Therefore, any concerns have to be raised upfront and not in later rounds.”
For further details, please see Berk, Harvey, and Hirshleifer (JEP forthcoming): “How to Write an Effective Referee Report and Improve the Scientific Review Process” and Spiegel (RFS 2012): “Reviewing Less, Progressing More”
Number of revision rounds
Our goal is to reach a decision on a manuscript at the second round. For manuscripts that are given an initial “revise-and-resubmit”, we aim to either give a rejection, acceptance, or conditional acceptance, at the second round. This is to minimize cases in which authors are put through several rounds of revision, and – related to the above – also to recognize that the authors are the owners of the paper, not the referees.
There will be (hopefully rare) cases in which authors will have not been fully responsive to concerns raised by the referees in the first round and the paper remains scientifically inaccurate. In most such cases, a second-round decision would likely result in a rejection. In rare cases, we may send the paper to a third round to give the authors one final chance to respond to the concerns.
If a referee raises new concerns in the second round that he/she did not raise in the first round (and do not relate to changes in the paper between rounds), we will likely ignore those concerns.
We sometimes receive papers that are well-motivated and have interesting results, but the topic is not the best match for a general-interest journal such as the Review of Finance. In such cases, we feel that the most helpful action is to clear the way for authors to submit it elsewhere by giving a quick desk-rejection decision, rather than delaying the authors by sending the paper to referees when the ultimate odds of success are likely to be low.
In most cases, the desk rejection decision will be taken by the assigned Editor, but sometimes it will be informed by a Screen Report. These are reports from one of our most trusted referees (among them, our Associate Editors) who is an expert in the topic of the paper
The refund applies only to desk rejection decisions without a Screen Report.
All published papers will now state which Editor accepted the paper, to increase Editor accountability and reduce any concerns with conflicts of interest. They will also contain the dates of initial submission and final acceptance to increase transparency on turnaround times. This will apply to all Advance Access papers henceforth; unfortunately, it is not possible to amend papers that are already on Advance Access as they are viewed as published and thus unchangeable.
The Review of Finance adheres to OUPs ethics guidelines, notably concerning authorship. The key points of this policy are summarised below.
Authors must clearly and accurately specify all contributors to the work. It is the submitting author’s duty to ensure that everyone who has contributed is rightfully credited, and that the list of authors truly reflects individual contributions. If disagreements over authorship emerge, we recommend following the COPE guidelines to resolve them.
Symbolic figures like Camille Noûs and AI-driven natural language processing tools such as ChatGPT are not considered authors. OUP will actively check for such entries in author lists. If AI tools have been used in any capacity—for instance, to assist in content creation, coding, or data analysis—it must be disclosed in the cover letter to the editor and mentioned either in the Methods or Acknowledgements section of the manuscript.
Citation of relevant work
It is the authors’ responsibility to search for and cite relevant work – failing to cite because the authors were not aware of related paper is not a defense, if the authors should have reasonably found such a paper. Of course, we recognize that authors should not be expected to know of every potentially related paper, particularly if it is in a different field, and it is a “grey area” whether the authors know of the paper or whether the paper is sufficiently related to warrant citation. However, in some cases, it is reasonably clear that the related paper should have been cited – for example, if it is the authors’ own work (self-plagiarism), or if the authors cite the paper in their other papers (showing that they know it).
Since failing to cite relevant work is a serious offense to the scientific research process, and substantially jeopardizes the journal’s reputation, we will impose a 2-year ban (from future submissions) to authors that knowingly fail to cite relevant work. This ban will apply to all authors of an offending submission. Given the “grey areas”, this ban will only be appointed in clear-cut cases.
Previously rejected papers
Papers previously rejected by the RF cannot be resubmitted. If a previously rejected paper is resubmitted with no cover letter acknowledging this, it will be immediately desk-rejected (with no refund) and a 2-year ban imposed on the authors. If authors submit a paper which is related to a previously rejected paper (but is otherwise a very different paper), they should acknowledge this in the cover letter. If the Editor considers it a sufficiently different paper then will be reviewed as standard; if not it will be desk rejected with the standard refund.
Submissions to multiple journals
Authors cannot submit a paper to the RF that is currently under review at another journal, nor submit to another journal a paper that is currently review at the RF (without writing to the Editor to explicitly withdraw the paper). Violations of this policy would be met with a 2-year ban.