Review Policies

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

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 $300 nonmember fee, you will receive the standard $240 refund; the $60 is not refunded and instead gives you a one-year SFS membership.

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 individual circumstances that require 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 and we will try not to “move the goal posts” on you. 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.

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, think again: we use desk rejections to keep your paper from unnecessary delay when an editor believes 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 errors within a referee’s report lead to the rejection of your paper, we will listen to you via the formal appeals process. You should avail yourself of it when you think it is warranted. Keep in mind that while we will take your appeal seriously, in the end we may still decline to publish your paper.

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

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