Manuscript Handling

Why does this manuscript have a red sticky note?
This indicates a transferred manuscript with reviews. Avoid sending these papers out for an additional round of peer review when possible.

Why does this manuscript have a green sticky note?
This means an editor with another ASM journal has chosen to “Accept on Behalf of Microbiology Spectrum.” Check to make sure the author has responded to the final comments. Do not send this out for additional peer review.

Why does this manuscript have an "E" after the number and a note not to expedite?
COVID papers no longer need to be expedited. Ignore the “expedited” marker on these manuscripts.

What timelines am I expected to follow?
  • Response to Editor invitation: 2 business days

  • Editorial Rejection decisions: 4-5 business days

  • Decisions post-review: 30 calendar days

(See the Initial Evaluation page for details.)


 

Peer Review

A reviewer told me that they are co-reviewing their paper with their postdoc. Can the postdoc receive credit for the co-review?
If the reviewer has a Publons account, they should be able to add the postdoc as a “collaborator” to the review record in Publons using the instructions here. In the future, we hope to have a way of formally recognizing this in eJP as well.

I’m having trouble finding reviewers. What can I do?
We recommend inviting one of our Reviewing Editors.

If an author submits a manuscript that was originally reviewed at a non-ASM journal, may we consider those reviews?

Yes, we welcome submissions that include reviewer comments from a non-ASM journal.

You may make a decision based on these comments for an expedited review or ask for further external advice if needed.


Does Microbiology Spectrum offer Open Peer Review?
Yes, we encourage our authors to share the reviews and their responses to reviews at publication. Reviewers are under no obligation to disclose their identities and may choose to remain anonymous.

 

Decisions

I have a manuscript in which the reviewers suggested that the English needs to be improved. May I still accept it?
If language problems render the meaning unclear, please return the manuscript to the author for text modifications. Perhaps recommend a language editing service to the author using thetemplate snippet in the Modifications decision letter.

I’m ready to accept a manuscript, but there are minor issues with the text (i.e., minor typos, references are not formatted). May I still accept it, or should I send it back to the author?
Yes, minor errors in the text will be addressed during production. But if there are major language issues or missing material, please return the manuscript to the author for text-only modifications before accepting it.

I’m editorially rejecting a manuscript prior to peer review. In the decision letter template, whose signature appears?
The signature for editorial rejections (before peer review) is that of the Editor in Chief. For decisions post-review, the Editor’s name appears.



Policies

What should I do if I or a reviewer has ethical concerns about a manuscript?

Bring all ethical concerns to the Editor in Chief and ASM staff.

This includes:

  • comments from reviewers regarding concerns

  • editorial concerns regarding reviewer or author behavior

  • concerns raised by readers, authors, or other colleagues regarding articles published in the journal


What is the journal’s preprint policy?
We consider manuscripts that authors have posted in a recognized preprint archive.
Read ASM Journal's Preprint Policy.

I received an email from an author requesting an appeal. What do I do?
Follow the steps on the Appeals page.