Refereeing Procedure and Policy
Refereeing Procedure and Policy for Journals Published by the Royal Society of Chemistry
The referees' reports constitute recommendations to the appropriate Editor, who is empowered to take final action on manuscripts submitted. The Editor is responsible for all administrative and executive actions, and is empowered to accept or reject papers. It is the Editor's duty to see that, as far as possible, agreement is reached between authors and referees; although the referees may need to be consulted again concerning an author's reply to comments, further refereeing will be avoided as far as possible.
3.1 Adjudication of disagreements
If there is a notable discrepancy between the reports of the two referees, or if the difference between authors and referees cannot be resolved readily, a third referee may be appointed as adjudicator. In extreme cases, differences may be reported to the appropriate Editorial Board for resolution.
When a paper is recommended for rejection, the Editor will inform the authors. Authors have the right to appeal to the Editor if they regard a decision to reject as unfair. The Editor may refer to the Editorial Boards any papers which have been recommended for acceptance by the referees, but about which the Editor is doubtful.
The anonymity of referees is strictly preserved from the authors, and reports should be couched in terms which do not disclose the identity of the writer. A referee should never communicate directly with an author, unless and until such action has been sanctioned by the Society, through the Editor.
A referee should treat a paper received for assessment as confidential material. If a referee needs to consult colleagues to help with the review, the referee should inform them that the manuscript is confidential, and inform the Editor. Information acquired by a referee from such a paper is not available for disclosure or citation until the paper is published.