Authors must carefully read the following information to fully understand their role during the peer review process of their article.

The Peer Review Process

AOS operates a transparent, post-publication peer review model. Articles are published immediately after a quick review by AOS editors, followed by transparent peer review by author-invited referees. Referee reports are made publicly available along with referees’ details. Authors may submit revised version of their article based on referees’ recommendations. When applicable, each version of an article is assigned a unique digital object identifier (CrossRef DOI) allowing each version to be independently citable. Members of the scientific community who are registered on AOS are allowed to leave public comments on the published article.

Corresponding authors are allowed to invite independent referees during manuscript submission process. Alternatively, corresponding authors may choose from a pool of expert referees suggested by AOS during manuscript submission step. Authors are allowed to suggest a minimum of three and up to five referees. Author-invited independent referees will then be contacted by AOS on author’s behalf.

Authors should avoid inviting referees with any potential and/or actual financial and non-financial competing interests. Following are some situations that are considered competing interests:

  1. Referee works at the same institution as any of the authors or have worked recently in the past 3 years.
  2. Referee has recent (within the past 3 years) or ongoing collaboration with any of the authors.
  3. Referee co-authored a paper with any of the authors within the past 3 years.
  4. Referee works on the same research topic and is looking to publish same findings.
  5. Referee has been a mentor or mentee to any of the authors in the past 3 years.
  6. Referee has other competing interests such as financial, personal, professional, intellectual, religious or political, that might influence the review outcome.

Above situations are just some examples and we ask authors to contact us if they are unsure of anything that they feel may constitute a potential competing interest.

Referees could assign one of the three approval statuses to an article:

  1. Approved: This status could be given if a referee deems that the manuscript is of acceptable scientific standard, and requires no further changes.
  2. Approved with Reservations: If the manuscript is of acceptable scientific standard but could be improved further with a revision. Authors may submit a revision in response to the referees’ comments.
  3. Not Approved: If the article lacks basic scientific and technical standard and does not conform to the criteria listed in AOS publishing guidelines. Any changes required to the manuscript for improvement may be so extensive that submitting as a new manuscript may be more feasible.

Corresponding authors may respond to referees’ comments by either leaving a direct reply to referees’ comments or by submitting a revised manuscript depending on the referees’ recommendations.

Where appropriate, we encourage authors to submit a revised version of their article based on referees’ recommendations. All published versions of an article are linked and maintained permanently. Each version of an article is assigned a unique digital object identifier (CrossRef DOI) to allow each version to be independently citable.

Authors must follow same ”Article Guidelines” to prepare the revised version. However, authors must include an additional section titled “Amendments from Previous Version” before the Abstract section in the manuscript. In the Amendments section, authors should include a summary of changes made to the previous version and point readers to appropriate sections for full information.

Up to two revised article versions will be published free of charge (excludes the original version). Any additional versions will then be charged at regular ”Article processing charges" for respective article type.

Referees who approve an article with “Approved with Reservations” may change their decision to “Approved” based on the revision(s) submitted by the authors.

Referees who assign an article a “Not Approved” status may change their decision to either “Approved with Reservations” or “Approved” status based on the revision(s) submitted by the authors.

Once assigned, the “Approved” status cannot be changed to “Approved with Reservation” or “Not Approved” status by the referees.

An article is said to have passed peer-review when it receives at least 2 “Approved” statuses or 1 “Approved” and 2 “Approved with Reservations” statuses from referees. Irrespective of the peer-review status, articles published in AOS will be immediately indexed in Google Scholar and assigned a DOI. However, only the articles that have passed peer review will be indexed in other bibliographic databases.

AOS is committed to providing a rapid publishing platform and ensure peer review process takes place in a timely manner. In most cases, referees will submit their reports within two weeks of accepting the request.

If there is a significant delay from a referee to submit their report, then an alternative referee may be assigned based on author’s suggestion. Authors must contact us to provide details of alternative referees, where applicable.

In the event where review process is pending without any referee report for more than 3 months, authors may either suggest new referees or request to discontinue their article from review process. AOS will continue to host such article as a preprint copy and grant permission to the authors to submit their article to other journals. Authors must notify AOS before submitting to other journals, if they wish to do so.