The Review of Corporate Finance Studies (RCFS) allows the authors of rejected manuscripts with just cause to appeal a rejection decision. A just cause for an appeal is rare, and requires that errors in the review process were made that, if corrected, would lead the Editor-in-Charge to wish to publish the revised paper. It is rare that an author has just cause for an appeal; more likely, the author has failed to carefully consider the referee report to fully understand the causes of the rejection.
- Cooling Off Period. An appeal request cannot be made until two weeks after you have received the rejection. An appeal sent earlier will be ignored and the appeal fee will be refunded. It often takes time to think unemotionally about why your manuscript was rejected. Take the time to carefully mine the report for insights as to what you could have done better.
- Appeal Fee. Appeals require the payment of a fee of $700. Your appeal should include a formal letter describing what errors you think have occurred and why you believe their resolution should change the Editor’s decision. To submit an appeal, click Submit a Paper and follow the steps. On Step 2, you will be asked to specify the submission type; specify your submission as an appeal here. Please do not send appeals directly to an editor. Editors have been asked to funnel all appeals through the formal process. This helps to ensure that authors are treated equally fairly.
- Appeals Process.Once your appeal has been received the Editor-in-Charge of your manuscript will read over the existing file and your letter. The Editor-in-Charge will come to one of three decisions.
- Reject the appeal. If in the Editor-in-Charge finds that a further review of the paper will not change the ultimate outcome, the process ends here. You will receive back an explanation (potentially brief) of why the editor believes that further consideration is unlikely to be productive.
- Forward to the Executive Editor. If the case is on the margin in the view of the Editor-in-Charge, or if the appeal makes a good argument that the Editor-in-Charge has made a material error, the Editor-in-Charge will forward the case to the Executive Editor. If the Executive Editor is the Editor-in-Charge of the manuscript, he or she will forward the case to the most suitable Editor for the paper.
- Proceed with the appeal. In this case an Associate Editor (AE) or a new referee will examine your paper and the historical file on the paper, and will be asked to write an Appeal Report. An Appeal Report may be very brief, especially if the new referee believes that the initial review came to the right conclusion. The original referee may also be asked to consider the appeal. The Editor-in-Charge will then send a decision regarding the appeal. This can be a rejection, a revise and resubmit decision, or a decision to publish. This decision is final. If the initial decision on your paper is changed to a revise and resubmit or acceptance, the RCFS will refund 100% of the Appeal Fee.
If the Editor-in-Charge has decided to terminate the editorial process after receiving an appeal and you are unhappy with the decision, you can write to the Executive Editor. If you are unhappy with the actions of the Executive Editor, you can write to the President of the Society of Financial Studies. Presumably, if there are enough such letters the Society will seek out the services of another Executive Editor.