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Review process

Journal of Fluid Mechanics uses a single-anonymous model of peer review. The author does not know the identity of the reviewers, but the reviewers know the identity of the author.

Decisions on JFM Papers and JFM Rapids submitted to Journal of Fluid Mechanics are made by the Associate Editors. An initial assessment will be performed, and the Associate Editor may reject without review if they determine that the topic is inappropriate or of if the work is of insufficient quality to merit peer review. The Associate Editor will then make the final decision guided by the advice and recommendations of at least two expert referees. Interim decisions requiring revisions may be made prior to final acceptance of a paper.

JFM Rapids are prioritised in peer review to ensure rapid publication. If the Associate Editor chooses to send the manuscript for peer review, reviewers are asked to provide reports with a short turnaround. Referees will be asked to comment specifically on: the timeliness and potential for exceptional impact of the submitted manuscript; and the clarity and completeness of the arguments presented in the submitted manuscript. In order to be accepted for publication in JFM Rapids, papers must be strongly endorsed by the referees and should require only minor revisions to improve clarity, usually without recourse to a second round of reviewing. In this case, and at the discretion of the editor, some additional pages may be allowed to address specific points raised by the reviewers, such as the addition of an extra figure or some explanatory text.

Papers that are rejected having been submitted as a JFM Rapids are rejected on behalf of the whole Journal and may not be submitted for consideration by another associate editor of JFM, whether for JFM Rapids or JFM Papers.

In cases where the editor, guided by the reviewers, judges that a paper has merit but requires substantial revision that will require significant reviewing, a decision of `revise and resubmit' will be given. On re-submission, such papers will be handled as standard JFM papers and if accepted will not subsequently appear as JFM Rapids.

JFM Perspectives are submitted by invitation only and handled by the Perspectives Editor who will make the final decision guided by the advice and recommendations of expert referees and Members of the Perspectives Editorial Board.

Focus on Fluids are by invitation only and are not subject to peer review. They are handled by the Book Review and Focus on Fluids Editor.

Decisions on other types of publication such as Editorials, Corrigenda etc. are made by the Editor in Chief, who may consult expert referees or other Editorial Board Members.

Movies, either of experiments or simulations are considered as integral to the paper and therefore will form part of what is refereed. Other supplementary material, not essential for understanding the paper will be assessed by the Associate Editor handling the submission for appropriateness but it will not be refereed for accuracy.

This journal allows co-reviewing, meaning an invited reviewer can work with a more junior colleague to review a manuscript for the purpose of reviewer training. If you are the original reviewer invited by the journal, you must:

  • Contact the Associate Editor who invited you, to ask them to approve the co-review
  • When you submit your review, add the co-reviewer’s name to the ‘Confidential comments to the Editor’ section of the referee report.

If you are the co-reviewer, you must assess any competing interests you may have, and either decline to be a co-reviewer, or declare any competing interests you may have to the journal by emailing the Associate Editor handling the paper you are co-reviewing.

Please see Cambridge's co-reviewing policy for more details.

Appeals process

JFM has an appeal procedure which provides authors with the opportunity to respond to the editorial decision on their manuscript, should they think that their manuscript was treated in an unfair manner during the peer-review process. Appeals will only be considered if they refer to a specific manuscript and must be based on evidence that either (1) an editor or reviewer made a significant factual error/a major misunderstanding of a manuscript, or (2) the integrity of the editorial decision-making process was compromised. Authors have the right to appeal to the Associate Editor or Editor-in-Chief against any decision taken on their manuscript at any stage. An appeal will be considered at the discretion of the Editorial Board of the Journal. If you have submitted an appeal and are awaiting an outcome, you should not submit your manuscript for publication elsewhere until you have notified this journal that you wish to withdraw your manuscript from consideration.

How do I appeal?

Step 1: Requests to have the decision on a submission re-considered should be made in the first instance to the Associate Editor who handled the submission and made the decision. Send a rebuttal letter to the Associate Editor, explaining clearly why you disagree with the decision on your manuscript and including a detailed response to any points of contention in the referees' reports. The Associate Editor will consider your appeal and either invite you to submit a revised paper or confirm the original decision.

Step 2: In case you remain unsatisfied with the Associate Editor's response after Step 1 or at any stage should you consider that your submission was treated unfairly, you should send a letter of appeal to the Editor-in-Chief via the Journal email ( Your letter should explain clearly the grounds for your appeal and be based on rational arguments.

Step 3: The Editor-in-Chief will consider the grounds of your appeal and if he considers there to be a prima facie case to consider may assign one of the Deputy Editors to consider the appeal in detail. All appeal requests are handled on a case-by-case basis and the Deputy Editor's or Editor-in-Chief's decision is final. Appeals are normally considered on the basis of whether or not the process of review was conducted appropriately. Papers will not routinely be sent for further review.