Editorial Review Process for Journal of Marriage and Family

What happens to a manuscript once it's submitted to JMF?

Typically, there are seven steps to the editorial review process:

  1. The editor examines the paper to determine whether it should be reviewed. If not appropriate for the journal or unlikely to be successful in the review process, the manuscript is rejected outright (about 35% of JMF submissions).
  2. The editor or editor-designate identifies three potential reviewers. Typically, these are specialists in the subject matter or method used in the reported study; one may or may not be from the Journal's editorial board. These potential reviewers are automatically invited to review the manuscript. Once they agree to do so, they are given 21 days to complete the review. Once the review is completed, reviewers submit (a) comments to the author(s) and (b) comments to the editor at Manuscript Central. Comments to authors are about the appropriateness and adequacy of the theoretical or conceptual framework, literature review, method, results, and discussion. Reviewers often include suggestions for strengthening the manuscript. Comments to the editor are in the nature of the significance of the work and its potential contribution to the literature. Reviewers may comment to the editor as well about their expertise in relation to the subject matter.
  3. The editor examines the reviews and decides whether to reject the manuscript, invite the author(s) to revise and resubmit the manuscript, or seek additional reviews. In rare instances, the manuscript is accepted with almost no revision. Almost without exception, reviewers' comments (to the author) are forwarded to the author. If a revision is indicated, the editor provides guidelines for attending to the reviewers' suggestions and perhaps additional advice about revising the manuscript.
  4. The authors decide whether and how to address the reviewers' comments and criticisms and the editor's concerns. The authors submit a revised version of the manuscript along with a revision memo briefly summarizing how they have answered the concerns of the reviewers and the editor.
  5. The editor or editor-designate invites reviewers to evaluate the revised manuscript. Typically, at least one of the original reviewers will be asked to examine the article.
  6. When the reviewers have completed their work, the editor or editor-designate examines their comments and decides whether the paper is ready to be published, needs another round of revisions, or should be rejected.
  7. If the decision is to accept, the paper is in press and the article should appear in print in approximately six to nine months. The journal's copy editor reads it for correct style (in-text citations, the reference list, and tables are typical areas of concern), clarity, and grammar. The authors are asked to respond to the copy editor's queries. Following these corrections, page proofs are mailed to authors for their approval. At this point, only essential changes are accepted. Finally, the article appears in the pages of the journal and is posted on the journal's website hosted by publisher Wiley.