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Guidelines for Reviewers

Author(s): 

Invitation

Like every peer-reviewed journal, Loci depends critically on the efforts of volunteer referees and editors. If you would like to review submissions for Loci, we welcome your interest -- please contact the Editor (see the Editorial Board list).

Instructions for Reviewers

First, thank you for agreeing to review material for Loci. Please read the article and try the software, if any. In evaluating the article and software, it may help you to read the Guidelines for Authors so that you know what Loci expects from authors. Then send an e-mail to the Editor or Associate Editor with whom you have been primarily communicating, with your conclusions about the following:

Correctness

It is, of course, a requirement that the article be mathematically correct. Any discussion of technology, pedagogy, or other issues should also be checked for accuracy. Please note any areas that you were unable (due to limits on either your time or your background) to check for accuracy.

Significance

Does the article present interesting new ideas? Note that a new presentation of old material using online resources can be both interesting and new if it will make the readers think about the old material in a new way, or if it illustrates a new approach to presenting the material to students. Is this article likely to spark new thoughts for the readers of Loci?

Appropriateness

Both mathematics and online resources of some form should be important to the article. One of the goals of Loci is to make full use of the web as a medium for the communications of mathematics.

In addition, Loci is aimed at the general membership of MAA. While it is perfectly appropriate for an article to be aimed at a specific slice of that membership (teachers of combinatorics, for example), the article shouldn't be something of interest to only a small group of researchers.

Usability

Is any software sufficiently user-friendly? Is it easily available? Were there difficulties downloading, installing, or accessing the software?

Recommendation

Your recommendation should be one of the following:

  1. Accept as is (possibly with a few typos corrected) -- a good and polished article should be accepted as is, expecting no substantial changes needed before publishing.
  2. Accept with revisions -- a good article that just needs some small corrections should be accepted with revisions, expecting only modest changes needed before publishing, but no need for additional reviews, and the changes to be verified by the Editor.
  3. Return for revisions -- an article which has a core of a good idea but needs substantial rewriting and will need to be reviewed again after revisions should be returned for revisions.
  4. Reject -- articles that are incorrect, uninteresting, or inappropriate for Loci should be rejected. (The Editor does read through the articles prior to beginning the review process, and will reject obviously incorrect or inappropriate articles, but prefers not to prejudge interest.)

Please be as precise as you can about how the article should be revised. Revisions can be as small as clearing up a confusing paragraph or suggesting that several sections be rewritten to emphasize some aspect of the material. It would be a service to the author and Editor if you would note any typographical errors or software bugs encountered during your review.

It is to be expected that articles will have more than one reviewer, and that different reviewers will make different suggestions and recommendations. All reviews are anonymous. Additional suggestions may also come from the Associate Editor who manages the review process. The Editor or Associate Editor will compile all comments and share them with the author. The final decision, while based on the recommendations received, will be made by the Editor. In particular, the division between "accept with revisions" and "return for revisions" offers the Editor some additional choices, including defering the decision about additional reviews until after the revisions have been completed and checked by the Editor.

Thank you for all your help.

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