Authors write and submit their paper to an IOP journal through the journals online submission system.
The editorial office checks the submission is in order and puts it through plagiarism checking software.
An editor reads the paper to see if it fits the journal scope and is well written. If the article is not a good fit for the original journal an editor may offer the author a transfer to another IOP journal.
If the paper is suitable the editor finds at least two reviewers with relevant subject expertise and reviewing experience.
The reviewers assess the papers originality, significance and rigor. In their report to the editor they provide suggestions for improvement and recommend that the paper be either accepted, revised or rejected.
The editor reads the reviewers reports and makes a decision. If the reviewers disagree the editor might seek advice from the editorial board.
The reviewers reports, along with the editors decision, are sent to the author. They may ask the author to revise the paper.
When the author returns the paper, the editor looks at the author’s response and any changes and decides again if it should be accepted, rejected or revised further.
They may consult a reviewer before they make a final decision when the paper is accepted.
The editorial office checks that the legal documents relating to copyright and permissions are in order and that the files are ready for the production team. An invoice is also sent to any authors that have chosen to publish gold open access.
The production team converts the files into XML (the industry standard for digital content) and the accepted version is put online within 24 hours.
The team formats the content to fit the style of the journal and may check for correct English language use.
A final proof is sent to the author to check before publication and the production team makes any final corrections before publishing the final version on IOPScience.