SAWE Announces Peer Review Policy

The SAWE Board of Directors has approved a policy creating a Peer Review Committee (PRC) consisting of Subject Matter Experts within the SAWE who will review all technical Products prior to publication.  This committee has been formed in order to bring the SAWE in line with other organizations that ensure that Products published by the SAWE are technically accurate and useable by both our members and others who may access our Products.

The PRC is charged with reviewing papers, articles, Standards, and Practices, Handbooks, and Textbooks that the SAWE distributes for technical accuracy in logic, equations and calculations.  Any problems with these will be referred back to authors for reconciliation before approval for publication is issued. The Committee is primarily reviewing submissions for technical content accuracy, not for editorial problems such as misspellings or grammatical errors.  Guidelines for the committee are complete and distributed to committee members. The committee is checking submissions for inaccuracies in five (5) different categories. The first three categories define problems that must be reconciled before publication. The last two are essentially courtesy checks that reveal problems that are not technical in nature and will not result in mandatory reconciliation before publication approval is attained.

Category 1 (Equation Problems) checks submissions for inconsistencies within equations and incorrect equations.

Category 2 (Premise Problems) ensures that a submission supports any premises, plausibility and completeness of any examples, and for consistency between the stated objective and the conclusions drawn.

Category 3 (Logic Problems) checks submissions for illogical statements or references.

Submissions with Category 1, 2, or 3 difficulties will be returned to the author(s) with suggested remedies for reconciliation.  The revised products can then be resubmitted for review. Any Category 1, 2, and 3 difficulties must be resolved before publication approval will be issued.

The following two categories are general submission difficulties that are not technical in nature and will not be reasons for publication disapproval.  However, author(s) may choose to fix the errors before final acceptance for publication.

Category 4 (General Typos) are typographical errors spotted by the PRC which should be addressed.

Category 5 (Communication Clarity) The PRC can offer help in such areas as verb-subject agreement, run-on sentences, and use of colloquialisms.  The purpose here is to aid the author in increasing reader’s understanding of the submission. Authors may choose to ignore this advice.

Many companies already subject prospective Products to internal peer review, which is a positive that undoubtedly captures many of the impediments to publication that the PRC might catch.  In essence, the Peer Review Committee is but a final check by a panel of Subject Matter Experts and should be a welcome addition to the mass properties community.

The PRC is obligated to respond to submissions within one week (seven days) of receipt of a submission, with either constructive comments or approval as written.  The chairman of the Peer Review Committee has committed to respond to authors within the stated week whether or not a submission meets the Guidelines for publication, and if not, what actions must be pursued in order for a submission to be accepted for publication by the SAWE.  It is not the intention of the SAWE to prevent publication, nor impede the rate at which submissions are accepted, but to ensure that the SAWE is held in the high regard which the SAWE deserves.

 

Robert Zimmerman

SAWE Vice President – Technical Director

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