Comments in Physical Review E
The Comments section is solely for publications that criticize or correct papers of other authors previously published in the Physical Review E. Each Comment should contain an abstract and should clearly state the paper to which it refers. The contents of a Comment should be directed to the physics in the paper being criticized; statements on other matters, such as perceived citation omissions, are not generally suitable for publication as Comments, and can be addressed most effectively through direct contact with the authors of the original paper. To be considered for publication, a Comment should be written in a collegial tone (free from polemics) and must be pertinent. A Reply to a Comment must also conform to these requirements. An Erratum by the authors of the original paper (with appropriate acknowledgment, if necessary) is preferred whenever it will suffice in place of a Comment and Reply.
The reviewing procedure for Comments is usually as follows:
- The paper is sent to the authors whose work is being criticized. These authors should provide a report, following the normal guidelines for referees. This report will be sent to the authors of the Comment for possible revision with the understanding that the Comment will be reviewed further. At this stage, the authors of the original paper should send only a report suitable for transmission to the authors of the Comment; they will be given the opportunity to write a Reply at a later date.
- After suitable exchanges between the involved parties, the Comment, along with relevant correspondence, is sent to an “uninvolved” referee for anonymous review. If the recommendation is to accept the Comment, the authors whose work is being commented on are given the opportunity to write a Reply. This Reply will also be reviewed; usually by the “uninvolved” referee(s).
- After the Comment and Reply are accepted for publication, the authors of the Comment are sent a copy of the Reply for their information, but should not alter the Comment unless requested to do so by the Editor. The Comment and Reply are usually published in the same issue. If, however, the Reply is unduly delayed, it may be published in a later issue; if a Reply is deemed unnecessary, none will be published.