peer review process
Manuscripts submitted to IUCr journals undergo peer review in order to assess their suitability for publication. Peer review is carried out by independent experts who assess each manuscript on its merits in order to inform the editor's decision on whether to accept it for publication in an IUCr journal. In all cases the IUCr attempts to ensure that peer review is carried out in a timely manner.
Once a manuscript has been submitted online, it is sent to the Main Editors. They decide whether it is suitable for peer review, or whether it should be rejected without further review. Articles considered suitable for peer review will be assigned to a Co-editor. The Co-editor is responsible for the review process and for accepting or rejecting the article.
Authors may also suggest possible referees for their manuscript, for example scientists with particular expertise in the relevant field. Ultimately though the selection of referees is the Co-editor's responsibility and the Co-editor will make a judgement as to which referees to invite to review a manuscript. Usually two referee reports are required for each manuscript before the Co-editor reaches a decision on whether to accept or reject it, or ask the authors to revise the manuscript in line with the referees' comments. If the revisions are minor in nature, then usually the revised manuscript will be accepted without further review. However, if the revisions are major, then the Co-editor may arrange for the revised manuscript to be seen again by the referees.
All papers accepted should satisfy the requirements that the work is original and new, that the work is sound and technically up-to-date, and that the conclusions are firmly based on the observations or reasoning given. In addition, each paper should make a substantial contribution to crystallography.
Manuscripts are reviewed single blind, meaning that authors do not know the identity of the referees, but the referees have sight of the authors' names. Referee reports are anonymised to ensure they do not contain any personally identifiable information. Manuscripts in peer review are treated as confidential.
In the case of a disagreement arising between an author and a Co-editor, the Main Editor will adjudicate as stated in the author grievance procedure. Authors may appeal to the Editor in chief of IUCr journals if they are still aggrieved by the decision.