Initial evaluation, also known as initial assessment is an essential procedure for the English journals, to provide the quickest service for authors, avoid the over-burdening of referees and ensure the high quality of the manuscript. Only those manuscripts which pass this initial review process will be forwarded to referees for further review.
A manuscript may be returned to the author(s) without external review if, in the opinion of the Editor, the manuscript falls into one or more of the following categories:
- the manuscript clearly falls outside the scope of the journal;
- the work is of poor scientific quality such that it is clearly not suitable for publication in a top-tier scientific journal;
- the manuscript is of insufficient general interest for the journal and would be better suited to a more specialised journal;
- the novelty of the work falls below that required for the journal;
- the manuscript represents undue fragmentation of the research into multiple papers;
- the manuscript contains redundant information or significant amounts of material that has already been published elsewhere or is under consideration by another journal;
- the quality of the English in the manuscript is so poor as to render the science presented unclear;
- the manuscript has already been reviewed and rejected by a different RSC journal, and the author(s) have made little or no attempt to address the advice of the Editor and/or referees already given;
- the conclusions drawn by the manuscript are well known or have been previously published.
Authors have the right to appeal against any decision taken on their manuscript at any stage. In the case of an appeal, further opinions will be sought on the manuscript’s suitability for publication in the journal. After the appeal process the Editor’s decision is final.