Managing the Paper Review Process under PROSE

The PROSE Publication Review and Organisation System supports the manuscript review process for journals and conferences. This document describes the use of PROSE from the perspective of the person managing the review process, that is, the person allocating reviewers and making the decision about whether each paper is accepted for publication based on the reviews received. Depending on whether the PROSE is being used for a conference or journal, and the organisation of the event, the person managing the review process might be the any of the following:-

This document is applicable to all of these, who will be referred to in the text as a 'Chair'.

1. Paper Submission

When an author submits a paper, they do so using the 'Submit Paper' PROSE screen.

Authors enter their personal information onto this page and specify the path/filename of the paper (which must be a PDF document). On clicking on the 'Submit Paper' button at the bottom of the web page, the information is added to the PROSE database and the paper is uploaded. The paper is allocated an identifying code, and password, which are displayed on the screen. The author may use this information to log in to PROSE and check on the progress of the paper. An email, confirming receipt of the paper, and containing the login information, is sent to the author at the email address they have supplied.

Reviewers need to be assigned to the paper. How this is done depends on the way in which PROSE has been set up for your event (conference or journal)

An email is also sent to whoever has been assigned to manage the review process, informing them that there is a paper on PROSE that needs their attention.

2. Logging in to PROSE

Each PROSE user will receive a User Id and Password when their details are added to the PROSE system. This will come in the form of an automated email from PROSE itself. These details should be kept safe, as they will be required for using PROSE.

If a user forgets their password, but still knows their User Id, there is a 'Forgotten Password' facility on the PROSE login screen. This will enable PROSE to send a new password on receipt of the User Id and the email address that PROSE associates with that User Id.

In addition, each email that PROSE sends out contains a link that can be used to generate an email to the user containing the login details.

3. The 'List Papers' Screen

When a Chair logs in to PROSE they will see a screen similar to Figure 1, showing the papers for which they have responsibility.

Figure 1 - 'List Papers' Screen

The 'List Papers' screen contains a list of papers that have been allocated to the Chair. The information shown on this screen is as follows:-

Clicking on the Show Paper Titles link causes the titles and authors of the papers to be displayed in addition to the other information.

Where the paper carries a red flag (), it indicates the need for action on behalf of the Editor or Chair. For example, this might be the need to allocate a reviewer, or make a decision on publication when completed reviews have been entered.

Each paper identification code is itself a link to the 'Paper Details' screen.

4. The 'Paper Details' Screen

Click on a paper code and the 'Paper Details' screen, showing full information about the paper, is displayed; for example Figure 2. Clicking on the Version 1 link would cause the full text of the paper to be displayed.

If necessary, clicking on the 'Withdraw Paper' link will result in the paper being rejected and removed from the PROSE system. This might be necessary if the paper was grossly unsuitable for the event, if an author had uploaded the wrong paper, etc.

Figure 2 - 'Paper Details' Screen

5. Allocating a Reviewer to a Paper

The 'Paper Details' screen for Paper ISP05-017 (Figure 2) shows that no reviewers have been allocated to the paper (if they had been assigned they would be visible at the bottom of the screen). To allocate one or more reviewers it is necessary to follow the 'Add Reviewer' link. This takes you to the 'Assign Reviewer to Paper' screen, shown in Figure 3. At this point a search can be performed of the Reviewers' database to find a Reviewer, or a new Reviewer can be added to the database.

Figure 3 - 'Assign Reviewer to Paper' Screen

6. Finding a Reviewer who is already on the Database

To find a Reviewer that is in the database, either the Surname, or the Technical Expertise of the reviewer, must be entered in the appropriate fields, and the 'Search' button clicked. If a surname has been entered, the database entry relating to that Reviewer will be displayed, if they are on the database. If Technical Expertise has been entered, multiple Reviewers may be returned, if their expertise matches the requirements. For example, Figure 4 shows the 'Assign Reviewer' screen after a search was performed on the surname 'Dunsmith'.

Figure 4 - 'Assign Reviewer' screen after a search

7. Assigning a Reviewer to a Paper

To add Dr Dunsmith as a Reviewer for this paper it is necessary to check the check-box next to the Reviewer's name, then click on the 'Add Reviewers' button. Figure 6 shows the 'Paper Details' screen when two reviewers (not Dr Dunsmith) have been allocated.

8. Entering a New Reviewer onto the Database

If a reviewer is not present on the database, they can be added by a Chair. Before a new Reviewer can be entered, it is necessary to ensure that they do not already exist on the Database by performing a search. For example, if it is wished to add a Reviewer with the surname 'Hong', a database search should be performed with the name 'Hong' in the Surname field.

Figure 5 - Creating a New Reviewer

Figure 5 shows the result of the search confirming that the Reviewer is not already on the database. Having confirmed that the proposed Reviewer does not exist on the database, they may be added by clicking on the 'Create New Reviewer' button.

9. Withdrawing a Reviewer

Figure 6 - 'Paper Details' screen with reviewers assigned

The screen in Figure 6 shows that Paper ISP05-006 has had two reviewers assigned, Drs Patel and Schmitt, with the reviews being due on 5 March 2005. If it was necessary to withdraw either or both of the reviewers, this could be done using the 'Withdraw Reviewer' links provided.

10. The Decision Following The Completion Of The Reviews

The status of the paper stays at 'Awaiting Reviews' until both reviews have been submitted. At that point, PROSE sends an email to the Chair notifying them that the reviews have been received and a decision must be made. The paper status goes to 'Awaiting Decision'. The Paper Details screen (not shown here) will contain the two reviews, and the following options will be available to the Chair:-

Withdraw Paper

The author is sent an email informing them that the paper has been withdrawn and the reasons. The status of the paper goes to 'Archived (withdrawn)'. The review process stops.

Reject Paper

The author is sent an email informing them that the pape rhas been rejected, and the reasons for this. The paper status goes to 'Archived (Rejected)' and the review process stops.

The authors may resubmit, as a new paper in which case a new paper number will be allocated and the review process will start afresh.


The paper is accepted without the need for modifications. The status of the paper goes to 'Accepted Without Change'. The authors are sent an email informing them of this, and asking them to perform a final check for typos, then upload a final version of the paper.

When the authors upload the final version of the paper the status goes to 'Final Paper Received Awaiting Decision' and the Chair is emailed to inform them that there is a paper awaiting their attention.

If the Chair accepts the final paper, the status goes to 'Accepted Awaiting Publication Files' - see Section 11 to continue.

Accept Subject to Revision

The paper is accepted subject to the authors completing specified changes. The changes are detailed in the review screens available to the author when they log in to PROSE. The paper status goes to 'Accepted Subject to Revision'. The authors must upload a revised version of the paper when they have completed the modifications.

When the revised paper is uploaded the paper status goes to 'Awaiting Decision' again, and the options Withdraw, Accept, Accept Subject to Revision, Reject, Assign Additional Review, are again presented to the Chair - return to the start of Section 10 to continue.

Assign Additional Reviewer

If required, perhaps because of a conflict between reviewers' opinions, it is open to the Chair to allocate another reviewer. If this is done, the paper status goes to 'Awaiting Reviews' until the new review is submitted, at which point the paper status goes to 'Awaiting Decision' - return to the start of Section 10 to continue.

11. Uploading the Publication Files

Under PROSE, the review process is conducted entirely using PDF copies of the paper. When a paper has been accepted following review, it is necessary to supply the files that the publisher requires so that the paper can enter the next stage in the publication process. We call the files that the publisher requires the 'Publication Files'. These are often editable word-processor versions of the paper, so that header, footer, page-number, or other information can be added to format the papers into a form suitable for the proceedings or journal.

PROSE allows the publication files for each paper to be uploaded into a directory. The publisher is then given access to that directory via FTP, so that they can inspect and download the files.

When the review process has been completed the paper status will be 'Accepted Awaiting Publication Files'. When the author logs in they will see a link Upload Publication Files. Clicking on this link takes the author to a screen that allows the upload of the paper component files. At any point the author can choose to suspend the process by selecting Upload More Files Later.

When all the files have been uploaded the author terminates this stage by selecting Done - All Files Uploaded. At this point the status goes to 'Accepted Publication Files Received'.

The 'Upload Publications Files' stage is completed at this point. However, the Conference Programme Committee Chair or Journal General Editor may need to request further publication file uploads.