APS Referee Frequently Asked Questions
You will need an active APS Journal account. You may create one by visiting https://publish.aps.org/signup. For more information on APS Journal accounts, please see the FAQ at http://publish.aps.org/help/accounts. If you sign up for your APS Journal account using the same email address we have on record for you as a referee, the 'Referee' role should automatically be added to your account. You may check which roles are associated with your account by visiting https://publish.aps.org/account or by clicking on the 'My Account' link in the banner on most APS journal web pages. Your roles will be listed under the 'Manage Account' tab.
If you previously had access to our old referee server using your six-digit referee ID and password, you may visit https://referees.aps.org/. You should then be presented with a page allowing you to enter your old credentials to associate your APS Journal account with your old referee account. If you do not remember your referee ID or old password or never had an old referee account, please contact email@example.com for further assistance.
In early 2010, APS launched a new initiative that aims to better serve our readers, authors, referees, and members. Many users of the various APS web sites and services interact with the APS in more than one of these roles. Our goal is to eliminate the current need for multiple accounts to access our services and provide a single sign-on that will give a personalized, unified view of all APS services. Using the APS Journal account for referee access is another step toward achieving this goal. It will ultimately make life easier for referees.
After logging into the Referee Server, you should see an 'Update' button at the top of the left-hand sidebar. Please note that this application will be replaced with a greatly improved version shortly. Thank you for your patience as we work to improve all of our web sites.
Most referrals come with specific comments for you from the editor. These may be found in the full referral letter, but we display them on the main page to draw your attention to them as well as for your convenience and quick reference. Please be sure to take the comments into consideration when composing your report.
The 'Abstract/References' tab gives the paper's abstract and a linked list of references extracted from the paper. Please note that the extraction of this information and the creating of the links is a fully automated process and may not be 100% accurate.
The 'Correspondence History' tab gives you access to all correspondence to or from you on this particular paper. You will have access to this material even after completing your work on this referral.
The 'Reference Material' tab will be active if the editor wishes to provide you with additional material, such as related manuscripts, for your review.
The 'Supplemental Material' tab provides access to additional material from the authors that they wish to publish along with their paper. It is expected that referees review this material and comment on it in their report.
Referees have access to the referral as long it is active. Once the referral is closed (by the editor, by your having sent in a report, or by your having declined to review), you will not have further access to the referral. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are having problems submitting your report. Once you submit your report, you will be able to view your correspondence history and send a note to the editor. You will be able to access your entire referral history under the 'Past Referrals' portion of the 'My Referrals' page. There you will be able to see the status of the paper including whether it was published or not.
You will have access to your reviewing history from your 'My Referrals' page. The entire history is displayed, with the most recent items first. If you feel there is an error with your history, please contact email@example.com, and your email will be directed to the appropriate staff member for assistance.
As you fill out the required forms for submitting your report, you may click on the 'Save for later' button. When you return to the referee server, you will be able to resume your report where you left off. In addition, each time you move to another page of the form, your work is automatically saved. After filling out the report forms, you will be brought to a summary page which allows you to review your entire report and revisit any section of the report before submitting it. Also, if need be, you may click the "Start Over" button, which will take you back to the beginning with a clean slate. Please note that if you are preparing a long report, it is safer to prepare it in a text editor and then cut and paste into the form so that you don't lose your work should something go wrong.
Yes, you can. Although ascii (.txt) or TeX (.tex) files are preferred (other formats sometimes lead to conversion problems and may carry information identifying you as the referee), we understand that there are times when a different format may be better for a referee report (e.g., when there is a lot of mathematical material needed in the report), and so it is possible to upload Word (.doc) and PDF (.pdf) files using the respective upload buttons provided on the Report and Comments pages. We do prefer formats where the text can be easily included in an email to authors, therefore, please only send .doc or .pdf files when a report in one of the other preferred formats (.txt or .tex) is not possible.
We prefer that you submit your report from our Referee Server, since information about the manuscript is automatically included, and a web form is provided into which the report and your other responses can be typed or uploaded.
However, you may email your report to the appropriate address for the respective journal (journal email addresses can be found at http://publish.aps.org/contact.html). Response forms are available in either .pdf format or ascii format from http://publish.aps.org/refinfo.html. Forms may be sent via fax or conventional mail (the Editorial Office address and fax numbers are provided at the bottom of http://publish.aps.org/refinfo.html).
Click on the 'Forgot your username/password' link on any log in page or simply visit https://publish.aps.org/password/lost and follow the directions. If you do not receive an email message from us subsequently, please remember to check your spam filter to see if the message went there. If you need further assistance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This could mean that you were asked about your availability to review the paper, but it has not yet been assigned. Please review the message that was sent to you. If it was indeed an assigned referral, send a message to email@example.com and we can investigate further.
Please click on the 'Report a technical problem' or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we may make the paper available to you.
Please click on the 'Report a technical problem' button or send a message to email@example.com. We can send you a hard copy of the paper via conventional mail, but in the meantime, please try the following to see if it resolves your printing problems:
Cookies are required to use an APS Journal account, so you must enable them. It is not necessary to retain any APS cookies between sessions and you may remove them when you have completed your report.
PS web pages and applications are designed for modern browsers. For a list of compatible browsers, please visit http://publish.aps.org/unsupported-browser.
While on the server, please click on the 'Report a technical problem' button, or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please send your request directly to email@example.com; your message will be forwarded to the appropriate staff member for immediate handling.
Referees are selected by the editors based on their record of publication and/or the recommendations of other referees and Editorial Board members. You could send to us a list of your publications and a summary of your expertise (subject areas you would be competent to review, described both by words and appropriate PACS numbers; also whether your expertise is theoretical, experimental, or both). A list of Editorial contacts can be found at http://publish.aps.org/contact.html. The editors would then consider whether to add you to the list of prospective referees.