Review Policy

Our goal is to provide a high quality review experience for our authors. That means a fast turnaround, quality reports, and a decision and revision process that does not result in “author torture.” If you like what we offer, make The Review of Financial Studies the first place for your submissions. If you are unhappy, write to us and let us know why.

    • If we take over 120 days to make a decision we will refund your submission fee in full. We do this to show that we take turnaround times seriously. The journal’s editors seek to create the shortest possible submission-decision cycle that also allows for the production of quality reviews and decisions. Please keep in mind that, if you paid the $300 nonmember fee, you will receive back $240 as your refund; the $60 is not refunded and instead gives you a one-year membership to the Society for Financial Studies.
    • Our goal is to have a decision on every manuscript in two or three rounds. This is a goal, not a promise. There will be individual circumstances that cause a particular paper to take additional rounds. We will do our best to make this goal a reality, but we will 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. We will try not to “move the goal posts” on you. As part of this, you need to do what the editor asks. Halfhearted attempts to meet the editor’s stated requirements will result in a second round rejection. The editors at the RFS will spend time laying out what we want from you, but less time babysitting papers from unresponsive authors. In general, responsive authors should find that their articles go from submission to publication in substantially fewer rounds.
    • As part of our fast turnaround policy the editors will “desk reject” (also called “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 particularly “bad.” Articles may receive a desk rejection if the editor simply believes it is inappropriate for the RFS. 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, think again. At the RFS, we use desk rejections to keep your paper from unnecessary delay when an Editor believes the RFS 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 a negative referee’s report has lead to the rejection of your paper and that errors within the report lead to the decision, we will listen to you. The RFS has a formal appeals process and you should avail yourself of it when you think it is warranted. Please do not abuse it! Keep in mind that while we will take your appeal seriously, in the end we may still decline to publish your paper.

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