OAE operates a rigorous peer-review process. In most cases, this is a single-blind assessment with at least two independent reviewers, followed by a final acceptance/rejection decision by the Editor-in-Chief. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for the academic quality of the publication process, including acceptance decisions, and new Editorial Board members.
A summary of the editorial process is given in the flowchart below. The following provides notes on each step.
Submission to Soft Science is implemented online only using our editorial system MESAs. You will be guided through the process step by step, and you will be able to track the progress of your manuscript through the system. MESAs automatically converts the article’s source file into a single PDF, which is used in the peer review process. Please note that we will still need the source files for further processing after acceptance.Reviewer exclusions
You are welcome to exclude a limited number of researchers as potential editors or reviewers of your manuscript. To ensure a fair and rigorous peer review process, we ask that you keep your exclusions to a maximum of three people. If you wish to exclude additional referees, please explain or justify your concerns—this information will be helpful for editors when deciding whether to honor your request.
New submissions are initially checked by the Managing Editor from the perspectives of originality, suitability, structure and formatting, conflicts of interest, background of authors, etc. Poorly prepared manuscripts may be rejected at this stage. If your manuscript does not meet one or more of these requirements, we will return it for further revisions.
Once your manuscript has passed the initial check, it will be assigned to an Assistant Editor, and then the Editor-in-Chief, or an Editor in the case of a conflict of interest, will be notified of the submission and invited to check. The Editor-in-Chief, or the Editor may reject manuscripts that they deem highly unlikely to pass peer review without further consultation. Once your manuscript has passed the editorial assessment, the Editor-in-Chief will assign it to an editor to organize peer-review.Publishing ethics
All manuscripts submitted to Soft Science are screened using CrossCheck powered by iThenticate to identify any plagiarized content. Your study must also meet all ethical requirements as outlined in our Editorial Policies. If the manuscript does not pass any of these checks, we may return it to you for further revisions or decline to consider your study for publication.
Soft Science operates a single-blind review process, which means that reviewers know the names of authors, but the names of the reviewers are hidden from the authors. The scientific quality of the research described in the manuscript is assessed by a minimum of two independent expert reviewers. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for the final decision regarding acceptance or rejection of the manuscript.Confidentiality
All information contained in your manuscript and acquired during the review process will be held in the strictest confidence.
Your research will be judged on scientific soundness only, not on its perceived impact as judged by editors or referees. There are three possible decisions: Accept (your study satisfies all publication criteria), Invitation to Revise (more work is required to satisfy all criteria), and Reject (your study fails to satisfy key criteria and it is highly unlikely that further work can address its shortcomings). All of the following publication criteria must be fulfilled to enable your manuscript to be accepted for publication:
Authors are required to submit the revised manuscript within one week if minor revision is recommended while two weeks if major revision recommended or one month if additional experiments are needed. If authors need more than one month to revise their manuscript, we usually require the authors to resubmit their manuscript. We request that a document of point-to-point response to all comments of reviewers and the editor should be supplied along with the revised manuscript to allow quick assessment of your revised manuscript. This document should outline in detail how each of the comments was addressed in the revised manuscript or should provide a rebuttal to the criticism. Manuscripts may or may not be sent to reviewers after revision, dependent on whether the reviewer requested to see the revised version and the wishes of the editor. Apart from in exceptional circumstances, Soft Science only supports a round of major revision per manuscript.
If you believe that the editorial decision about your manuscript was based on factual errors, you can contact us at email@example.com. Please state the manuscript number and describe in detail why you believe the decision was erroneous. Your appeal will be seen again by the handling editor, who will revisit the previous decision in light of your comments. Please note that we do not allow multiple appeals: a second decision will be final.
Once a manuscript is acceptable, a letter of the official acceptance will be sent to authors.Pre-release online and production
Each accepted manuscript is pre-released online and produced synchronously.
The work of pre-release online is completed immediately after acceptance decision received.
The production work includes language editing, copy editing, format conversion, proofreading etc. Before publication, authors are provided with a PDF version of their manuscripts for proofreading, where major changes are not allowed.Language editing
OAE provides a free English editing service for all accepted manuscripts. However, an additional fee will be charged to authors if very extensive English corrections must be made during the revision stage. Please contact English-Editing@oaepublish.com for more details.Proofreading corrections
The corresponding author will receive an e-mail with a link to our editorial system, which lets you annotate, correct errors introduced during proofreading, and submit the final version online. You can edit text, comment on figures/tables, and answer questions that arose during the processing of your article. All instructions for proofreading corrections are provided in the e-mail. We will do everything possible to get your article published quickly and accurately, so please submit all of your corrections within 24 hours. Please check carefully before replying, as we cannot guarantee the inclusion of any subsequent corrections. Please note that we can only publish your article once we have received your revisions or notification that you are happy for us to proceed with publication as is.Official online publication
After the production work mentioned above completed, the version of pre-released online will be removed from the website only with official publication version kept online.Open access
Your article will be free for everyone to read—immediately and permanently. You retain the copyright and personal scholarly usage rights, and we will have the publishing and distribution rights. Once it is published, people will be able to download, copy, and share your article. We provide authors with a choice of publishing under the Creative Commons licenses CC-BY. The license will help maximize the impact of your article, getting the most reach and use out of it. Here are the details:Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY)
This license lets people distribute and copy your article as long as they credit you. They can create extracts, abstracts, and different versions, such as translations. Under this license, people can also include your article in a collective work, and mine the text and data—including for commercial purposes. All this is possible, as long as they do not claim that you endorse their adaptation, and do not damage your reputation.Article processing charges
Soft Science is an open access journal—everyone can read the research we publish for free. When a paper is accepted for publication, the article processing charge is $600. There are no additional charges based on color, length, figures, or other elements. For more details, please refer to Soft Science Article Processing Charges.Copyright
Soft Science adopts "Attribution 4.0 International License" for publication. Authors are required to sign a License to Publish (which can be downloaded from the journal's Author Instructions), granting OAE, which identifies itself as the original publisher, exclusive rights to publish their articles, and granting any third party the right to use the articles freely as long as the integrity is maintained and the original authors, citation details, and publisher are identified.Embargo
Submitted and accepted articles must remain privileged documents and must not be released to the press or the public, in any format including print, television, Internet, etc., until the manuscript appears online either as ahead of print or as a final publication. OAE allows authors to post their manuscripts on not-for-profit preprint servers or to discuss it at scientific conferences, but these should not be discussed with the media.Erratum and correction
We will publish a correction of your article if a significant error is discovered after publication. An Erratum will be published if we introduced the error or a Correction if the author introduced the error.Retractions
Articles may be withdrawn, retracted, removed, or replaced after publication if they contain substantial errors that cannot be corrected by publishing an Erratum or a Correction, or if ethical violations come to light after publication. You can find more information in Soft Science Editorial Policies.Authorship Disputes
To manage authorship disputes, we follow COPE guidelines, particularly "How to spot authorship problems [PDF]". Typically, if all authors agree, the authorship can be updated via a Correction. If not, we require an authoritative statement from the authors' institution(s) about who qualifies for authorship.