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Review and Refund Policies

Our goal is to provide a high-quality review experience for our authors with fast turnaround times and quality reports.

Revision Rounds

Our goal is to make a decision on every manuscript in two or three rounds. This is a goal, not a promise. There will be circumstances that require additional rounds.

We will do our best to make this goal a reality, but we need your help. Your paper’s editor will strive to provide a clear road map explaining what the revision must accomplish before it meets our publication standards and we will try not to “move the goal posts.” As part of this, you need to do what the editor asks; half-hearted attempts to meet the editor’s requirements will result in rejection.

120-Day Turnaround Time

If we take longer than 120 days to send your decision, we will refund your submission fee. We do this to show that we take turnaround times seriously. Our editors seek to create the shortest possible submission-decision cycle that also allows for the production of quality reviews and decisions.

Please note: If you paid the nonmember fee, you will receive the standard member fee refund; the additional amount is not refunded and instead gives you a one-year SFS membership.

Desk Rejections

As part of our fast turnaround policy, the editors will “desk reject” (“summarily reject”) papers they think are very unlikely to meet the journal’s publication criteria. If your paper is desk rejected, the journal will refund $100 of your submission fee, but you will not receive a referee’s report.

Please keep in mind that a desk rejection does not necessarily mean the editor thinks your work is bad. Articles may receive a desk rejection if the editor simply believes it isn’t appropriate for the journal. On occasion the editor may recommend another outlet; for example, very applied papers might be encouraged to try a practitioner-oriented journal.

If you think a desk rejection is unfair, consider this: we use desk rejections to keep your paper from unnecessary delay when an editor believes the journal is not an appropriate outlet for your paper. This is part of our guarantee that our editors will treat you with respect and honesty.


If you believe that errors within a referee’s report lead to the rejection of your paper, we will listen to you via the formal process. Keep in mind that while we will take your appeal seriously, we may still decline to publish your paper.

Invited Papers

The editors will occasionally invite authors to submit papers that are potentially attractive to the journal. The submission fee for an invited paper is waived for the first round; subsequent rounds require the submission fee unless the editor specifies otherwise.

Please note: An invitation to submit is not a guarantee that the journal will publish your paper.

Invited Dual Submissions

The submission fee for an invited dual submission is waived for the first round; subsequent rounds require the submission fee.

Please read the dual submission policy.

Withdrawing a Submission

If you request that the journal withdraw your submission from consideration, please note that your submission fee will not be refunded.