Review Procedures

Manuscript Submissions: Authors must submit manuscripts to SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization (SICON) in electronic form. Hard-copy submissions will not be considered. Authors must enter submissions directly into the Journal Submission & Tracking System at Authors should submit both the manuscript and a cover letter in PDF format.
Note: Figures, if any, must be embedded "inline" in the manuscript.

After the submission has entered SIAM's tracking system, the corresponding author receives an e-mail acknowledging receipt and providing the manuscript number. Authors are asked to include the manuscript number in all correspondence regarding the paper.

Once SIAM has processed a new submission, a copy of the manuscript goes to the journal's Editor-in-Chief (EIC) along with any reference material the author may have submitted. The EIC decides which Corresponding Editor (CE) and which Associate Editor (AE) are best suited to handle the review. Note that SICON papers are assigned to two editors for review: an Associate Editor, who obtains referee reports and makes a recommendation on the papers' publishability to a Corresponding Editor. The CE uses the AE's reports and recommendation to make a final decision on the paper and the CE handles all communication with the author. Note that the EIC can reject any papers that are clearly inappropriate for SICON without assigning them to editors.

Note on Manuscript Length: Papers will generally be limited to 20 journal pages. This limit may be exceeded; however, deviation from the page limit will require that the author justify the added length and that the referees and editors be convinced that a longer paper is necessary.

Direct Submissions: Members of the Editorial Board occasionally receive submissions directly from authors. In such cases the editor will ask the author to resubmit the paper to the SIAM office through the Journal Submission & Tracking System at This procedure ensures that the SIAM office will have the opportunity to access the manuscript for proper processing and tracking throughout the review process. Editors should not review a new submission without the approval of the EIC, who assigns the CE and AE for each paper.

Papers authored by Editorial Board members:  Papers authored by Editorial Board members are subject to the same anonymous peer review process as other papers. Submissions to the journal authored by a Corresponding Editor will be handled by the Editor-in-Chief. Submissions to the journal authored by the Editor-in-Chief will be directed to the Vice President for Publications, who will oversee the review process.

Status Changes. Once the Associate Editor has obtained referee reports and made a recommendation on a manuscript, the Corresponding Editor reviews the reports and makes a decision. The author receives an e-mail from the CE informing him/her of the decision. Anonymous referee reports are generally included, along with the AE’s comments.

The various status designations used by SIAM are discussed below. Note the distinctions among the following statuses: rejected, in revision, minor revision.

Acceptance (A). The CE generates an acceptance letter through the web-based system. This goes to the corresponding author via e-mail. In a follow-up step, SIAM staff contacts the author for TeX files to launch the production process.

In revision (V, V1, V2). When an author is asked to revise a paper, there is no guarantee that the revised paper will be accepted for publication. Usually, in fact, such revised papers must again be refereed. The CE's letter should make this clear. The author receives reports and an e-mail requesting revisions. The e-mail contains a link that the author may use to submit the revised version directly into SIAM’s web-based system. Also, a deadline of no longer than six months for the revision should be stated.

Minor Revision (PA, PA1, PA2, PA3). Unlike one that is "in revision," a paper that is PA is more likely to be accepted as long as the author(s) makes the changes specified, but there is no promise and the editor may still reject it. The revision is minor; no major changes are necessary in order to make the paper acceptable. The author receives a decision letter and referee reports. The letter may state whether the editor intends that the revised paper will be sent back to the referees or not.

Rejection (RJ). A paper that is of poor quality should never be transferred to another SIAM journal. The decision letter should leave no doubt as to the status of the paper. The author receives the rejection letter and may also get referee and AE comments.

In review (R, R1, R2, R3). The paper is with the EIC, or with the CE or the AE who is handling the review process. Referees are usually contacted and asked to send reports.

In review, re-routed from one editor to another (RR). This status change can be effected only by the EIC. It occurs in one of two situations:

  1. An editor cannot handle a given paper due to heavy workload or other considerations and requests that the paper be re-routed to another editor. The EIC should inform the SIAM office of the change in editors, and the Publications Manager or Editorial Associate can take care of the change in editors in the web-based tracking system.
  2. An editor has not handled a paper in a timely or responsible fashion and the EIC determines that the paper must be re-routed to another editor.

Reports Sent (RS, RS1, RS2, RS3). The Associate Editor has made a recommendation to the Corresponding Editor who considers the recommendation and referee reports before making a decision.

Withdrawn (W). An author can withdraw a paper. The editors, the SIAM office, and the EIC must be notified. A paper is also considered withdrawn when an author fails to revise a paper within a reasonable amount of time. SIAM asks authors to revise and resubmit papers within six months. The decision to close a file out is made jointly by the SIAM office and the CE, AE, and/or Editor-in-Chief. Files are never closed without first giving the author ample opportunity to submit a revision.

Transfer. Papers that are of high quality but are inappropriate for SICON can be transferred to another SIAM journal for consideration. Both EICs involved and the author(s) must approve the transfer. The EICs must agree before the author is consulted. If the author agrees to the transfer, the original paper is marked rejected (RJ) and a new file is opened with a different manuscript number. The submission then goes through the system to the EIC of the second journal. However, SIAM staff should first include a “General Note” on the electronic file indicating its history as a transferred paper.

Reports. Various reports can be run by SIAM staff. Selected reports are run and distributed to the journal EICs on a monthly and quarterly basis. One report shows all papers in process, while others emphasize papers that have remained in one status for an unusually long time.

The Editorial Associate working with SICON sends AEs an Individual Editor Report every three months. This report shows all papers assigned to that editor and specifies “overdue” and “flagged papers.” CEs also receive reports that specifically address flagged (in a round of review longer than six months) papers.

It is helpful if the editors respond within one week to the Editorial Associate. The editors should tell the Editorial Associate approximately when the review will be completed. SIAM receives the greatest number of author inquiries about flagged papers and it is important that authors be reassured that the review is proceeding. CEs also receive reports on papers awaiting author revision for more than six months. The Editorial Associate offers to contact the author to see if the author intends to complete the revision.

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