Clarification and Appeals

If something in the editor’s decision letter or the review materials is unclear or inconsistent, authors may email questions to the editorial office to request clarification from the editor before revising their manuscript (if you are appealing a decision, note the separate instructions for appeals).

Editors cannot discuss submissions or the review process directly with authors (by phone, video, in person, etc.).

The designated corresponding author should email all clarification requests to the editorial office (not the editor in chief or handling editor) on behalf of all authors and is expected to coordinate communications with co-authors.

Staff will upload your written clarification request to the peer review system where it will only be visible to the editor and the associate editor (reviewers will not see authors’ clarification requests). The editor will decide whether to consult with the associate editor, and the editor will provide a response that will be archived in the system (reviewers will not see the editor’s response).

Requiring written requests for clarification is not meant to act as a barrier. This process ensures good record-keeping and transparency, and it gives the editor sufficient time to consult with the AE and reflect on answers before responding.


JCR does not provide or approve formal revision plans. The editor will consider your request and try to provide the best possible feedback. However, clarification from the editor does not guarantee a positive outcome and should not be mistaken as a signal of approval of a specific revision plan. If a revised manuscript is submitted, it will be evaluated by the entire review team.

How to Appeal a Decision at JCR

(updated September 24, 2021)

If you believe that a serious error has occurred in the review of your paper and has materially impacted the manuscript decision, you may submit a written appeal to the editorial team.

All appeals must be submitted within four (4) months of receiving the decision letter.

To appeal a decision, the designated corresponding author should email the appeal letter to the editorial office (not the editor) as an attachment in Word or PDF format.

The appeal letter may not exceed three (3) single-spaced pages (all other manuscript formatting requirements apply).

Appeals should, critically, only cover the specific error or point of the appeal (i.e., should not include other issues raised in the review and how they could be addressed).

We will consider appeals that are professionally addressed and are not abusive to the review team. Only one appeal should be sent and must state that all authors are aware of and agree with the appeal; non-authors should not be involved.

Please explain where you believed the error occurred and how the error was critical to the manuscript decision.  Please explain which of the below errors you believe describes the situation:

  1. an error in the review process (e.g., reviewers submitted overly brief or superficial reviews)
  2. AE/reviewer factual error (e.g., the AE or a reviewer cites the results of a study incorrectly or misreads a table; the AE or reviewer makes an incorrect globalization such as “the authors didn’t provide any new data” when new data was in fact provided)
  3. inappropriate review behavior (e.g., the AE or a reviewer contacts the author(s) about the paper outside of the review system; the AE or a reviewer exerts personal pressure on authors)

Note that decisions are very rarely overturned. Appeals will be considered by the editorial team as a whole and may take up to eight weeks to receive a reply.

If you have any questions, contact the editorial office.