Instructions for Referees

The SIAM Journal on Applied Algebra and Geometry depends heavily on our referees, and we are greatly indebted for maintaining the quality and timeliness of our journal. Thank you for your help in assessing manuscripts.

Editorial Policy

The SIAM Journal on Applied Algebra and Geometry publishes research articles of exceptional quality on the development of algebraic, geometric, and topological methods with strong connection to applications. This connection must be explained and whenever possible specific applications used as examples. The journal also publishes articles highlighting interesting algebraic, geometric, or topological problems arising from applications, provided that the connection to applications is clearly established. Papers in pure mathematics inspired by, but removed from, applications or on applications of one area of pure mathematics to another are best suited for other journals.

The areas from mathematics that are drawn on are interpreted very broadly, and include at least: algebraic geometry, algebraic, geometric, and topological combinatorics, algebraic topology, combinatorial topology, commutative and noncommutative algebra, convex and discrete geometry, differential geometry, multilinear and tensor algebra, number theory, representation theory, symbolic and numerical computation.

The application areas include at least biology, coding theory, complexity theory, computational geometry, computer graphics, computer vision, control theory, cryptography, data analysis, game theory and economics, geometric design, machine learning, optimization, quantum computing, robotics, social choice and voting theory, statistics, theoretical computer science, and any other applications which substantially use methods from algebra, geometry, or topology. Submissions on computational methods or that include mathematical software are particularly welcome.

Articles for the SIAM Journal on Applied Algebra and Geometry must be accessible and of wide interest to mathematicians working in related or application areas. They must contain substantially new results and relate them to the existing literature in a scholarly fashion.

Brevity is encouraged, with a suggested maximum length of 25 pages. We emphasize the use of online resources.

Referees will be asked for their report within two months. Editors may summarily reject papers that in their opinion are not suitable for publication in the journal.

Submission of a manuscript to a SIAM journal is representation by the author that the manuscript has not been submitted simultaneously for publication elsewhere, and papers that have been published elsewhere will not be considered. An exception may be made occasionally for a substantially revised conference proceedings paper, provided that it is so identified in the submission letter and in the paper itself.

Review Process
The manuscript submission and peer review process is broken down into the following steps:

  1. The Author submits a manuscript.
  2. The Editor-in-Chief assigns a Corresponding Editor. The Corresponding Editor may assign an Associate Editor to handle the review for the paper. The Associate Editor selects Referees to review and report on the manuscript.
  3. The Associate Editor selects Referees to review and report on the manuscript.
  4. The Referees review the manuscript.
  5. The Associate Editor makes a recommendation. The Corresponding Editor makes a decision based on the Associate Editor's recommendation and the referee reports. The author is contacted.

Navigating the System
When invited to serve as a referee there are two ways to gain access to the manuscript.

  1. You'll receive an email with basic information about the submission and 3 links - 1 to accept the assignment, 1 to decline the assignment, and 1 to view the manuscript before deciding whether to accept or decline.
    Accept referee assignment: If you accept, the link will automatically log you into the system and take you directly to the files for the pertinent paper.
    Decline referee assignment: If you are unable to review this manuscript and must decline we appreciate any suggestions of potential referees. You can suggest other reviewers or offer any observation on the paper by emailing [email protected].

  2. You can alternately access your files by logging into the system at Enter your user name and password. You are then taken to your "Home" page. It will have different categories of tasks. If there is something pending, there will be a red arrow next to a manuscript link. Click on this link and you will be presented with a "Manuscript" screen containing:
    • Information about the submission, and links to the manuscript and author cover letter
    • Links to Accept/Decline to serve as a referee
    • A link to contact journal staff

If you accept the referee invitation, you'll gain access to a page with additional links to "check status" and "Review Manuscript."

Review Manuscript
Once you have accepted the referee assignment you will be presented with a "Review Manuscript" link. Clicking on this link displays your assessment screen. Here, you can enter your recommendation and report.*

* Note that in giving a recommendation, along with a free-form text box that allows you to copy and paste a report and /or comments, you must:

Select from a drop-down menu. This manuscript is:

Select from a drop-down menu. I recommend:

The free-form text box for your report follows, directly below.

There is also a text box available if you wish to include a private message to the editors. Comments entered here are not meant to be seen by the author(s).

If you prefer to work offline, you may find it faster and easier to download and print the manuscript, draft your review remarks in plain text or TeX, and copy and paste into the referee remarks text area on this screen.

NOTE: As a referee, you have the option of attaching a file to deliver your report. It is recommended, however, that you instead use the text box on the Referee Recommendation Screen to type or paste plain text or TeX code. PDF and Word file attachments are not recommended, as referee confidentiality may be compromised. However, if you must send an attachment know that it may be forwarded to the author by the Corresponding Editor, so be sure to first edit the file for profile information that  - if left in place - could disclose your identity as the owner/creator. See for information on finding and removing identity clues in referee reports.

Private Message to Editor
As mentioned above, a referee wishing to make a point to the editor that is not meant for the author can use the text box labeled "Private Message to Review Editor." This is found directly below the "Detailed Comments" text box where you enter your report. The "Private Message to Review Editor” text box is optional, and should be used only for items not to be forwarded to the author.

Supplementary Materials
SIAGA authors are encouraged to submit Supplementary Materials to complement articles. They might include additional figures or examples, animations, data sets used in the paper, computer code used to generate figures or tables, or other materials that are necessary to fully document the research contained in the paper or to facilitate the readers' ability to understand and extend the work.

If you are refereeing a paper that does include Supplementary Materials, along with the manuscript itself, know that the Supplementary Materials are generally not refereed but are available to you, as a referee. As part of your review you are asked to give the materials at least a cursory look and verify that they are appropriate to accompany the article. You may suggest changes, including removing extraneous Supplementary Materials or moving items from the main text to the Supplementary Materials.

The author is also asked to submit an index of the supplementary materials. You should find a listing of each item along with a brief description and a justification for why the item should be included. This should be helpful in judging the appropriateness of the materials. Full guidelines on the journal's Supplementary Materials policy are available at

Getting Help
If you need additional help, click on the help signs throughout the system. A help dialog will pop up with context sensitive help. You can also email [email protected] with questions.

Manuscript Status
To get the status of your assigned manuscript(s):

  1. Log into the system at
  2. Click on the link represented by the manuscript tracking number and abbreviated title.
  3. Click on the "Check Status" link at the bottom of the displayed page.

This procedure displays tracking information on the manuscript.

NOTE: Author rights to unpublished manuscripts:
All manuscripts are privileged documents; an author retains the right to the unpublished work. A referee should not use results or ideas obtained exclusively through the refereeing process in his or her own research.

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