Appeals Process

If you believe that errors in the decision process if corrected will lead the editor of your paper to consider a revision, you may wish to avail yourself of the journal’s appeals process. Please do not abuse it! The appeals process is designed as an alternative procedure to ensure authors and their work are treated fairly. Availing yourself of this process does not guarantee that the final decision regarding your paper will change in any way!

  • You cannot appeal a decision until at least two weeks after you have received a decision on your paper. Until the two week period has ended the editors will not accept or respond to any communication about your paper. Many in the profession–not you of course–have received a negative report and in the heat of anger have mailed out a note that they later regretted sending. If you have a legitimate grievance it will remain legitimate two weeks later.
  • Please ensure your letter of appeal does not contain identifying information (author names, affiliations) so that the letter may be sent to a reviewer.
  • Availing yourself of the appeals process requires the payment of an accompanying fee of $700. Your appeal should include a formal letter describing what errors you think have occurred and why you believe their resolution should change the editor’s decision. The letter must be clear, concrete, and concise.
  • To submit an appeal click on submissions in the navigation bar and follow the menu to submissions. Eventually you will reach a point in the process when you will be asked to check a box if you are submitting an appeal. Click it and your paper is submitted as an appeal. Please do not send appeals directly to an editor. All of the editors have been asked to funnel all appeals through the formal process. This helps to ensure that all authors are treated as equally as possible.
  • Once your appeal has been received the executive editor will read over the existing file and your letter. The executive editor will either manage the appeal directly or appoint an appeal editor for the manuscript. Authors are welcome to suggest a possible appeal editor, but the assignment will depend on several factors, including editorial workloads, expertise, and conflicts of interest. At this point the appeal editor will come to one of two decisions.
    • Reject the appeal: If, in the editor’s view, a further review of the paper will not change the ultimate outcome, the process ends here. You will receive back an explanation (potentially brief) of why the editor believes that further consideration is unlikely to be productive.
    • Proceed with the appeal: If the editor believes the appeal should go forward, two new referees will examine your paper. The first referee will receive the paper as if it is a de novo submission. This referee will not receive any information about the paper’s history. A second referee will be selected to examine the entire file. The report from this second referee may be very brief, especially if the second referee believes that the initial review came to the right conclusion. Once the editor has both reports he will send back a decision regarding whether to continue with the editorial process. This decision is final.
  • If the editor has decided to terminate the editorial process after receiving an appeal and you are unhappy with the decision, you can write to the Executive Editor. While your complaint will be noted, the editor’s decision will not be overruled. If you are unhappy with the Executive Editor you should write to the President of the Society of Financial Studies. Presumably, if there are enough such letters, the Society will seek out the services of another Executive Editor.
  • You are entitled to no more than two unsuccessful appeals every four years. No exceptions!
  • If the initial decision on your paper is changed to a Revise and Resubmit or Acceptance, the RFS will refund 100% of the appeal fee.

The fee for submitting an appeal has been set to several times the regular submission fee because these requests put a tremendous strain on editorial resources. An appealer is asking for a more through and detailed manuscript review. Since the goal is to try to correct possible mistakes rather than to make new ones, a tremendous time commitment is involved.

Appeals Process Outcomes

Data represents December 12, 2005 through January 3, 2017

There have been 179 appeals. Of those, 1 is under review as of January 3, 2017. We update the statistics on this page twice yearly.

  • Accepted for eventual publication: 23
  • Rejected: 148
  • Return for revision: 7
  • Withdrawn 1

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