Guidelines for Reviewers

Reviewers play a very important role in the editorial process of Survey Methodology and this role is acknowledged, unless requested otherwise, in the December issue of the Journal. Reviewers will find below some guidelines that should be useful when assessing the suitability of manuscripts submitted to Survey Methodology and writing reports for the authors.

Basic criteria for suitability of manuscripts

Survey Methodology usually publishes innovative theoretical or applied research papers, and sometimes review papers, that provide new insights on statistical methods relevant to National Statistical Offices and other statistical organizations. A detailed list of topics of interest is provided on the main page of the journal web site (

Guidelines for writing reviewers’ reports

Survey Methodology uses the Scholar One System for managing manuscripts submitted to the Journal. Reviewers can write comments specifically for the editors and/or comments for both the editors and authors. The objective of the reviewer’s report for the authors is to provide constructive comments to help authors improve their manuscript. Detailed comments for the authors are particularly useful if a revision of the manuscript is suggested. A few points to consider when preparing a report for the authors are provided below:

  • All manuscripts published in Survey Methodology should satisfy the above basic criteria. In particular, they should contain something new and relevant that does not exist in the current literature; e.g., a new statistical method, a new view on a statistical problem or topic, an adaptation of existing methods that solves a relevant practical problem, etc.
  • Readability is also an important criterion for manuscripts published in Survey Methodology. Reviewers are thus encouraged to make comments aiming to improve the clarity of manuscripts.
  • Reviewers should try to make point-form comments and be as specific and clear as possible.
  • Except for review papers, most manuscripts should usually contain an empirical section, such as a simulation study or an application to real data.
  • In order to facilitate the timely publication of manuscripts submitted to Survey Methodology, reviewers should request additional theory or empirical studies only when it is felt necessary for the suitability of the manuscript. For instance, an additional simulation scenario is often interesting but may not be necessary depending on the context.
  • Manuscripts submitted to the short notes section should contain less than 3,000 words, including tables, figures and references. Short notes should be reviewed with the same standards as regular manuscripts. However, it must be kept in mind that short notes should stay short. The previous guideline is thus particularly relevant for short notes. Their empirical section is expected to be not as extensive as regular manuscripts.
  • When handling a revised manuscript, the role of the reviewer is to determine if the authors have properly addressed comments on the previous version. Unless errors are found that were not identified in the previous review, reviewers should avoid making new suggestions that could delay significantly publication of the manuscript, such as considering another simulation scenario or developing theory further. On the other hand, it is appropriate to insist that the main points raised in the previous version be properly dealt with, or at least be given an appropriate response.

Time allocated for reviewing a manuscript

Six weeks are allocated for reviewing a new manuscript, and four weeks are allocated for a revised manuscript. Because we are trying to facilitate timely publication of manuscripts submitted to Survey Methodology, reviewers should try their best to return their report by the due date. If more time is needed and/or the deadline cannot be met, it is the reviewer's responsibility to discuss this with the Associate Editor (or Editor) and arrive at a mutually agreeable completion date.


Reviewers’ recommendations and comments will be used anonymously. Their identity will not be revealed, except with their prior permission. Authors’ submissions should also be treated in confidence.  All relevant correspondence, therefore, should be kept confidential.

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