Publication Process and Timeline: Seven Stages

Stage 1: Receipt and Acknowledgement of Your Submission Package (1-2 days)

Acknowledgement of JoSS’s receipt of your submission is sent to the designated Corresponding Author by JoSS staff within a day or two of receipt. If you do not receive this, please follow-up with an email inquiry to

JoSS Staff will note whether your submission package is complete, including your cover letter, manuscript, Copyright Transfer Agreement, and Permission Request Form (as appropriate). If any elements are missing from your submission, Staff will remind you in the letter acknowledging receipt that your submission is not considered to be complete without them, and your submission will be held aside until the missing items are provided.  

JoSS Staff will also perform a quick check of your paper’s formatting, especially for References, and will not proceed with Stage 2 unless your paper and References have been formatted and prepared as described in the Initial Submission Template. If your submission does not meet JoSS formatting requirements, you will be notified about the need for changes in the letter acknowledging receipt, and your paper will be held aside until you re-submit a properly formatted manuscript.

Stage 2: Identification and Securing of the Principal Parties to be Involved with Your Submission: the Technical Area Editor (TAE) and the Reviewers (2-4 weeks)

Through JoSS Staff, the Editor-in-Chief (EiC), or their duly-appointed representative, invites an expert Technical Area Editor (TAE) from among the JoSS corps of TAEs to serve as the lead for identification of appropriate Peer Reviewers and for decisions related to your submission.

Upon accepting the assignment, the TAE has the authority to decide that the paper is not appropriate for JoSS (because of subject matter scope issues), is not ready for peer review (because of incompleteness of its presentation), or is otherwise unsuitable for JoSS review and publication. If the EiC concurs, JoSS Staff communicates this decision as a “Request for Resubmission” to the Corresponding Author.

Otherwise, the TAE identifies and recommends appropriate potential Peer Reviewers for the submission, who will then be invited to participate, with details of the review request, by JoSS Staff. [The TAE also has the authority to determine whether a paper is appropriate in scope or ready for review in terms of completeness and thoroughness of its treatment of the topic, and may have JoSS Staff communicate to the Corresponding Author any such shortcoming and declining to accept the paper as written, before the review stage.]

Stage 3: Peer Review (4 weeks)

Once Peer Reviewers commit to the task, they are given four weeks to review your submission and return their comments. (A minimum of two expert Reviewers is required for a paper to move forward towards publication in JoSS.) They are expected to abide by JoSS Guidelines and the JoSS Publication Ethics and Malpractice Statement, as well as conducting a professional substantive technical review. Accuracy of the submission’s references, originality of the paper, appropriate crediting of the Authors, and maintenance of anonymity standards (between Reviewers and Authors) are expected to be key considerations during their review. 

Stage 4: Preliminary Publishing Decision, Based on Review Comments, Sent to Author (1-2 weeks)

The TAE reviews the Peer Reviewer comments received and makes a preliminary decision (with which the Editor-in-Chief must subsequently concur) based on these comments and their own professional judgement, to either: a) “Conditionally Accept” a submission pending satisfactory response to peer review comments,  or b) return the manuscript to the Author as not ready for review or publication, termed “Request for Resubmission.” JoSS expressly encourages Authors of the latter category of papers to rewrite and resubmit them.

Preliminary publishing decisions are based on such factors as: relevance to the Journal’s scope; contribution and importance to the field of study; originality and integrity of the manuscript; accurateness of the reference cites; and clarity of the presentation of the subject.

In case of a temporary absence of the TAE, to effect a timely decision, the EiC, or their duly appointed representative, has the authority to make this preliminary decision himself, based on the comments received and his own professional judgement. After the Editor-in-Chief’s concurrence or action, JoSS Staff will send notice of this preliminary publishing decision accompanied by Reviewer comments and any further instructions to the Corresponding Author.

Stage 5: Author Revision (4 weeks)

If your submission has been conditionally accepted, JoSS staff will notify you of this decision and forward the received Reviewer comments to you for your revision in response. You are then given four weeks to return the revision (to along with a separate item-by-item description of your response to each Reviewer comment.

If your original submission is not accepted, you are notified accordingly (often with Reviewer comment files for future improvement of your paper), and encouraged to rewrite and resubmit your paper on your own timeline.  

Stage 6: Final Publishing Decision Made and Notification Sent to Author (1-2 weeks)

After the return of your revised manuscript, the TAE reviews it to determine whether you have adequately responded to Reviewer comments to his or her satisfaction, to make a final publication decision with which the Editor-in-Chief or representative must concur. After EiC concurrence, you will receive notice of the final publishing decision from JoSS Staff. If there are any further adjustments to be made by the Author, you will be given such requests in that communication. The Editor-in-Chief (or representative) may, in their own discretion, proceed to a final decision prior to receiving the TAE’s decision. 

Stage 7: Final Editing – Layout – Publication (2-3 weeks; publication timing depends on upcoming JoSS issue schedule)

Upon final acceptance of your submission, JoSS Staff edits the revised paper for formatting, consistency, and grammar; should there be major changes or questions about edits that might have altered your substantive meaning, the staff editor will send specific portions or all of your paper to you once more before layout. Otherwise, you will next see your paper when published in the upcoming JoSS issue. Layout staff creates the final copy for publication, and uploads the product to the JoSS website ( in a new JoSS issue, published and announced in the JoSS Bulletin (JB) on the date of the upload and publication of the issue’s articles.