Seismica publishes original, novel, peer-reviewed research in the fields of seismology, earthquake science, and related disciplines. Seismica is a community-driven, diamond open-access journal. Articles are free to publish and free to read without a subscription, and authors retain full copyright.
Seismica’s new approach to publishing: how and why?
Seismica believes that science should be accessible to everyone, and has created an open platform for sharing peer-reviewed research in seismology and earthquake science. By removing all fees, we encourage participation on many levels to share knowledge and data with the global community.
Seismica publicly recognizes the volunteer labor of reviewers, editors, typesetters and contributors, along with the wide breadth of teamwork needed in research. We have a transparent review process by publishing reviews alongside research articles, as well as a list of authorship contributions. To address challenges with reproducibility in science, Seismica also promotes best practices in open data and software, helping research to achieve its full potential.
The scientific publishing ecosystem can sometimes produce discouraging language for researchers so Seismica will take a mindful approach. All parties must agree to our Code of Conduct, and the Management Committee does not tolerate the use of disrespectful language. Seismica aims to combat reviewer fatigue by only sending papers out for review that meet our guidelines, which are made available to authors before submission. We will mentor reviewers, editors, and authors to achieve an inclusive, responsive, and productive publishing process.
The Seismica community encompasses a diverse, expansive network drawing on the varied perspectives and insights of our contributors. Our strength lies in our community’s accessible, equitable, and credible approach. Seismica’s editors, who span the breadth of seismology and earthquake science, emphasize the importance of a rigorous review process and holistic evaluations.
Many excellent scientific efforts in earthquake science and seismology exist outside the scope of traditional journals. Seismica recognizes the value of less-traditional formats such as field campaign reports, null results, and software articles, and will lead the publishing world in appreciating these valuable scientific and technical insights. Documented null results that yield valuable scientific & technical insights allow high-risk research to be rewarded.
Seismica’s scope includes a wide range of topics in seismological and earthquake sciences. Below we provide a non-exhaustive list of topics that fall within the scope of Seismica. Although Seismica recognizes that such a discipline-based classification might not be the best way to represent the full breadth of Seismica’s scientific scope, this broad list does provide an initial framework for potential authors to ascertain whether Seismica might be a suitable venue for publishing their work. Whether or not the topic of a submitted manuscript falls within the scope of Seismica may be left to the discretion of the handling editor. Demand for publishing articles in areas not covered by existing editors may provide impetus to expand the editorial scope to include additional subjects.
Fault-slip and earthquake source phenomena: Earthquake source seismology, transient/aseismic slip phenomena (e.g. slow slip events), rupture dynamics, fault geometry and architecture, induced and triggered seismicity, earthquake geodesy and remote sensing, fault mechanics, fault zone characterization and friction, earthquake reports, statistical seismology, earthquake early warning.
Earthquake records: archeo- and paleoseismology, historical and contemporary earthquake accounts, felt reports, fault geomorphology, seismotectonics, earthquake source processes from active and exhumed faults and laboratory experiments, geochronology of faults.
Imaging the Earth: seismic tomography and structure, receiver functions, seismic anisotropy, active/passive source seismology, seismic noise imaging, urban and shallow subsurface seismology, volcano-seismology.
Theoretical and computational seismology: advances in seismology driven by numerical modeling including high-performance computing, by forward and inverse theories, uncertainty analysis and machine learning.
Beyond Earth-tectonic applications: cryoseismology, urban and environmental seismology, tsunami nucleation and propagation, ionosphere seismology, planetary and helioseismology, seismo-acoustics, infrasound, forensic seismology, nuclear test ban treaty monitoring, landslide monitoring.
Techniques and instrumentation: seismometry, field deployment reports, seismic networks and arrays, ground motion instrumentation (accelerometers, rotational sensors, GNSS), rotational seismology, fiber-optic technologies (Distributed Acoustic Sensing), seismic signal processing techniques.
Earthquake engineering and engineering seismology: seismic hazard and risk evaluation, strong motion characterization, site response analysis, geotechnical earthquake engineering, ground motion simulation, seismic response of structures and infrastructure, earthquake scenarios, seismic design codes, seismic protection.
Community engagement, communication and outreach: societal awareness and disaster preparedness, seismology education, citizen and participatory science, hazard and risk communication, publicly accessible datasets, data analysis tools.
Please note that this list is non-exhaustive. If you are unsure whether your article is appropriate for submission in Seismica, we recommend contacting Seismica’s Community Editor.
Seismica publishes three types of manuscripts:
Research articles, which present advances in scientific knowledge or understanding. These are typically from 3,000 to 10,000 words in length (excluding references and figure captions), and can address any aspect of seismology and earthquake science within the journal’s scope (see above). Authors who have long articles of over 10,000 words that cannot be shortened should contact the Executive Editor for Production ahead of submission to see if this can be accommodated.
Reports, which contribute peer-reviewed useful information to the public sphere but may not represent a substantive advance in understanding in themselves. Reports include:
Null results / failed experiments: While null results are often ignored in the scientific literature, they can be useful in advancing science, for instance through highlighting difficulties in reproducing published results or by documenting the circumstances in which particular methods or approaches may be unsuccessful. Due to the lack of editorial interest and the difficulty in defining the value of negative results, very few journals offer the possibility for such publications. Seismica is willing to consider publications of null results where they are illuminating or instructive in the context of previous published studies. Null-result manuscripts should include sections on: the background to the study, methods, details of the null results, discussion of the null results in the context of previous work, and scientific and/or technical insights drawn from the null results. This last element is essential for a good null-result report – the insights presented there should serve as a ‘take-home message’ for other researchers in that field.
Fast Reports: Fast Reports are high quality, short, and time-sensitive manuscripts. A key focus will be the first report of a recent earthquake, swarm, or other event (typically submitted within 3-4 weeks after its occurrence or of data collection from that event). An earthquake report may include: original observations and ground motion recordings, source inversions, felt reports and impacts on the built environment, or secondary hazard assessments (e.g., tsunami, landslides). However, submissions offering little more than information routinely provided by earthquake monitoring agencies (e.g. USGS, Geoscope, EMSC) will not be considered. Fast Reports will also consider other studies of a time-sensitive nature, including reanalysis or review of a previous study or lesser known event, proof of concept studies, application of models/techniques, hypothesis validation, and new and/or revised models within the scope of Seismica. Fast Reports also welcomes articles that could be perceived critical and urgent for science strategy, policies or standards (e.g., building codes) and topics that could be of interest to the seismology community. Fast Reports go through an accelerated review process.
Software Reports: The goals of Software Reports in Seismica are to document new codes, to facilitate community use of them, and to ensure reproducibility of their outputs. Software Reports should include a main paper, plus a user manual and source code that should be uploaded to a public domain repository. The main paper should describe the scientific context, the methods employed, and detail aspects such as test case simulations, model verification, evaluation and performance. Including the examples and test cases mentioned in the main paper as tutorials within the repository is strongly recommended. All code repositories must be privately accessible by the editors and reviewers upon submission, publicly accessible upon acceptance, and the codes included are subject to peer review. See Availability of data, materials, and code for more information.
Instrument Deployment and Field Campaign Reports: Instrument Deployment Reports and Field Campaign Reports allow seismological and other field data collection (e.g., logging a paleoseismic trench or collecting photogrammetric data) to be documented via a citable and peer-reviewed reference that describes the data collected, the experiment design, and relevant collaborators. Ideally these manuscripts should be submitted as soon as possible – i.e., after the instruments and/or data are recovered, and initial data quality assurance (e.g., noise analysis) is completed. Datasets must be publicly available or be made available within two years via a public domain data repository such as the IRIS Data Management Center or Zenodo. If the data are embargoed, then the end date of the embargo and the repository for the data must be stated in the article. Reports are constructed given a specific structure: Scientific background and motivation; Description of the instrument deployment or field experiment (including technical details of the instrumentation, such as instrument response, make and model, etc.); Description of obtained data (including repository details), Preliminary observations and interpretations. For rapid, temporary deployments or experiments, the Editorial process will follow that of Fast Reports.
Opinion articles and reviews, which are invited papers about a scientific idea, controversial topics and/or innovative concepts. Authors may contact the Editorial Board with ideas of subjects for editorial articles.
Competing interests—also referred to as conflicts of interest—are defined as financial and non-financial interests that could directly undermine or be perceived to undermine the objectivity, integrity, and value of a publication or its review through a potential influence on the judgments and actions of authors or reviewers concerning objective data presentation, analysis, and interpretation. Specific examples of competing interest of concern to Seismica include, but are not limited to:
previous supervisory relationships, in particular a PhD advisor role or a PhD student role, but potentially others
employment by the same institution/department, either currently or within the past 3 years
co-authorship on a publication (including papers under review or in preparation) within the last 3 years
co-principal investigatorship on a grant within the last 3 years (from the last date of active funding and including any proposals under review or in preparation)
These examples are only guidelines, however, and we ask authors to make an honest consideration of any other potential conflicts of interest that may not meet the specific criteria listed above. Personal conflicts will remain confidential. Funding disclosures will be published in the named section of the article
The corresponding author is responsible for submitting a competing interests statement on behalf of the first author according to the guidelines above, including any major conflicts, particularly non-obvious ones, for the remainder of the co-authors. We recognize that large collaborative projects may sometimes produce publications with large author lists which may unreasonably limit the potential pool of reviewers, even in instances when a potential reviewer had limited contact/interaction with an author submitting a new manuscript to Seismica. See Submission and formatting checklist for more details.
Seismica asks peer-reviewers/handling editors to inform executive editors of any related interests, including financial interests, that might be perceived as relevant. Editors will consider these statements when weighing reviewers’ recommendations.
Editors, authors, and reviewers must keep confidential all details of the editorial and peer review process on submitted manuscripts.
Reviewers must maintain the confidentiality of manuscripts. If a reviewer wishes to seek advice from colleagues while assessing a manuscript, the reviewer must consult with the editor and should ensure that confidentiality is maintained and that the names of any such colleagues are provided to the journal with the final report.
Regardless of whether a submitted manuscript is eventually published, correspondence with the journal, referees’ reports, and other confidential material must not be published, disclosed, or otherwise publicized without prior written consent.
Seismica considers for publication manuscripts that have been hosted elsewhere as preprints. A preprint is an author’s original version of a research manuscript prior to formal peer review at a journal, which is deposited on a public server. Seismica encourages posting of preprints on any channel of the authors’ choice, including preprint servers, authors’ or institutional websites.
Preprints may be posted and shared at any time during the peer-review process. However, authors should disclose details of preprint posting, including DOI and licensing terms, upon submission of the manuscript or at any other point during consideration at Seismica (by email to the handling editor if post-submission).
Authors may choose any license of their choice for the preprint, but we recommend a Creative Commons CC-BY license. Before selecting a license, consult the terms of any grant related to the publication, as some programs enforce specific licenses for preprints.
Once the manuscript is published, the author’s responsibility is to ensure that the preprint record is updated with a publication reference, including the DOI and a URL link to the published version of the article on the journal website. This will ensure that citations of the preprint and published article are linked.
Seismica also permits the archiving of postprints – accepted manuscripts, which include modifications based on referees’ suggestions before copyediting and proof correction, or final published and copy-edited manuscripts – on any channel of the authors’ choice. If uploading an accepted manuscript, once the manuscript is published, the authors should update the archived accepted version with a publication reference, including the DOI and a URL link to the published version of the article on the journal website.
Seismica considers submissions containing material that has been published in a conference proceedings paper or submitted to the authors’ funders, university or employer as a research activity report or thesis. However, the submission should provide a substantial extension of results, methodology, analysis, conclusions and/or implications over the conference proceedings paper; the final decision on what constitutes a substantial extension is made by the handling editors.
Authors must provide details of the conference proceedings paper with their submission, including relevant citations in the submitted manuscript. Authors must obtain all necessary permissions to reuse previously published material and attribute it appropriately.
Material submitted to Seismica must be original and not published or concurrently submitted for publication elsewhere in any language. Plagiarism or duplicate submission will result in the immediate rejection of any manuscript, or, if detected post-publication, in retraction.
Plagiarism is unacknowledged copying, or an attempt to misattribute original authorship, whether of ideas, text, data or figures. Plagiarism applies to both published and unpublished ideas, and electronic (e.g. internet publications, e-mail) as well as print versions of material. Plagiarism applies to material originated by other researchers, or the authors’ own (self-plagiarism).
Original wording taken directly from publications by other researchers should appear in quotation marks with the source of the quotation cited. Due care must be taken to ensure appropriate attribution and citation when paraphrasing and summarizing the work of others. Ideas received in the form of personal communications and comments from reviewers, colleagues, or peers, should be acknowledged. Copyrighted material (e.g. tables, figures or extensive quotations) should be reproduced only with appropriate permission and acknowledgement, and the author must provide documentation of permission for the material to be re-published.
Self-plagiarism, which includes text recycling, occurs when sections of the same text, or figures, appear in more than one of an author’s own publications. However, we understand that text or figure recycling may be unavoidable for some specific portions of a manuscript, for instance in the background, methodological or analytical descriptions. Re-use of text or figure is accepted if legitimate, of minor amount, reported transparently and properly attributed, and in compliance with any copyright policy. The re-use of data without clear scientific justification and transparency will be considered as duplicate or redundant publication.
Duplicate or redundant submission or publication occurs when authors submit or publish the same intellectual material more than once. Publication of an identical paper in multiple journals, or publication of a paper that overlaps substantially with one already published, without clear scientific justification and transparent reference to the previous publication, will be considered as author misconduct.
Seismica editors will assume that the journal has full permission to publish every part of the submitted material, including illustrations; authors have the responsibility to secure permission to include any reproduced material subject to copyright, and will affirm this permission during submission.
Authors should suggest recommended reviewers in the relevant subject area, and support Seismica’s goal of creating a diverse reviewer pool whenever possible. For example, where a submission is focused on a specific geographical area, we ask that the authors suggest at least one reviewer based in that region. This ensures a wider diversity of reviewers and increases the impact of the scientific work. Authors are encouraged to include early career researchers, women and members of other underrepresented groups in their discipline in their list of suggested reviewers. Authors should not recommend reviewers with a known conflict of interest.
To save time for authors and peer-reviewers, only those papers that seem likely to meet our editorial criteria should be sent for formal review. Papers may be judged by the handling editor(s) (after consulting with the Production Editor and one additional Handling Editor) to be rejected promptly without external review for any of the following reasons:
of insufficient interest;
outside the scope of the journal (see Scope),
not original (see Originality);
written with grammatical or other errors sufficiently severe as to prevent meaningful scientific review;
non-compliance with data requirements;
or otherwise inappropriate.
If a paper is rejected without external review as per the reasons above, it is Seismica’s policy to provide clear reasons for this decision and constructive guidance on whether further work (e.g. with the language) can potentially improve the paper to the expected standard of a submitted manuscript. Guidance may also be given on whether the manuscript may be submitted as a different publication type (see Publication types).
Manuscripts judged to be of potential interest to our readership are sent for formal review, typically to 2 reviewers, although additional reviewers may be sought if found necessary by the handling editor(s). For Fast Reports, one external reviewer (along with the editor’s evaluation) may be sufficient.
Editorial decisions should not be a matter of counting votes or numerical rank assessments. Instead, editors will evaluate the strength of the arguments raised by each reviewer and by the authors.
Editors may return documents to reviewers or authors before sharing further, if the review or response requires moderation in language, tone, or similar. Seismica does not tolerate inappropriate language in reviews or author responses.
Decisions available to editors are ‘accept’, ‘return to author for minor revision’, ‘return to author for major revision’, or ‘reject’. There are no strict timelines enforced on authors for revision. In the case of rejection, guidance will be given on possible actions for the authors, but it is unlikely that the manuscript will become suitable for Seismica (if it is, ‘major revision’ should be used).
Although strict timelines are not applied to revisions, if a paper has been awaiting revision for 6 months, the handling editor should get in touch with the authors to see whether they plan to submit a revision, or if the manuscript should be removed from the system.
After the first round of review, Editors may return to reviewers for further advice, particularly in cases where reviewers disagree with each other or where the authors believe they have been misunderstood on points of fact. Typically, authors and reviewers can expect that ‘major revision’ means that another round of external review is probably required, while ‘minor revision’ means that it is unlikely that the paper will be sent for further external review. In the case of a revised manuscript being sent for further external review, it may be sent to either the previous and/or new reviewers.
All reviewer reports/editorial decisions should be shared amongst all reviewers of a manuscript.
Seismica does not release referees’ identities to authors or to other reviewers unless a referee voluntarily signs their comments to the authors.
Seismica offers a double anonymous peer review option. Authors who choose this option at submission will be given the same respectful consideration and will remain anonymous to the referees throughout the consideration process. The authors are responsible for anonymizing their manuscript accordingly (see the Submission and formatting checklist).
Seismica uses a transparent peer-review system, where we publish the reviewer comments to the authors and author rebuttal letters of revised versions of our published research articles, as well as the editorial decision letters. Referees will be anonymous if the referees have not released their identities to the authors.
With the exception of Fast Reports, reviewers will be asked to return reviews in 4 weeks. The journal aims to return first decision in 8 weeks, but will not rush decisions at the expense of scientific process (e.g. giving reviewers more time in case of delays, requiring a third review if appropriate, or calling in a new reviewer in the case of non-response from a previously agreed reviewer). Fast Reports ask for reviews in 2 weeks and aim for a first decision in 4 weeks.
Seismica aims to maintain communication between editors and authors throughout the publication process. This includes progress updates, explanation of any delays, and explanation and guidance around all decisions made about the paper.
An important aspect of advancing the field is the reproducibility of scientific results and the verifiability of claims made in a manuscript. Data, codes, and other materials that form the basis of a study must therefore be accessible and understandable. Authors are expected to act in the spirit of Open Science and make their data/codes available when publishing with Seismica. In the following section, we lay out Seismica’s philosophy for ensuring data availability. For best practices to comply with this philosophy, see the Submission and formatting checklist.
Digital data.In the majority of cases, data analyzed in a given study comes in a digital form. Examples include seismometer and GNSS time series, laboratory sensor readings, and satellite imagery. If the data are derived from a long-term public repository, such as the IRIS DMC, it often suffices to refer to this public data source (with a relevant citation). In the case of substantial data processing efforts (such as computing cross-correlation stacks or Insar imagery), it can be helpful to others to store the processed data in a separate public repository. Seismica requires that any data repository be DOI citable and guarantees long-term archiving. Examples of archiving services that satisfy these requirements are Zenodo, Figshare, Dryad, and GFZ data services (among others; see the Submission and formatting checklist). Institutional services, personal websites, and GitHub typically do not meet the standards for long-term, DOI citable archiving. Authors are invited to reach out to one of Seismica’s editors for inquiries and assistance regarding data availability.
For any type of data, metadata and documentation are critical for the correct interpretation of the data. Contained within the data repository should be a readme file or other forms of documentation explaining how the data files should be read, what kinds of data they contain, and any metadata associated with them. Ideally, scripts are provided that demonstrate how to properly access the data files. In the case of CSV files and other human-readable formats, it often suffices to merely explain the different columns, whereas binary files and specialized file formats require substantially more details to be accessible and interpretable. It is strongly recommended to use non-proprietary or cross-platform compatible file formats.
With the continuing advancement of computational and instrumental resources, data volumes become increasingly larger. Particularly for large-N seismic arrays (e.g. Distributed Acoustic Sensing arrays) and high-resolution supercomputing, the volume of raw data produced often exceeds several Terabytes. It may be impractical or infeasible to make all of these data publicly available. In such cases, authors are expected to make available the derived products from which the claims made in a study can be verified. For example, while it may be infeasible to archive the raw data recorded by a large-N nodal array deployed for microseismicity detection, the catalog of microseismic detections, template waveforms used in template matching, and extracted data of selected seismic events fall within the range of public archiving possibilities.
In the case of (potentially) privacy-sensitive data, such as data derived from Raspberry Shake seismometers placed in houses, drone imagery in urban areas, and public enquiries, the authors should take care to safeguard the privacy of individuals who did not consent to making the data available. In the examples given above, authors could consider masking segments of data, or applying differential privacy algorithms (even when only aggregated statistics are presented).
For proprietary and embargoed data, see the corresponding subsection below.
Codes and scripts. Seismica requests authors to not only provide access to their data, but also to the scripts and computer codes that were used to process and analyze these data. The most convenient way to meet this requirement is to combine the data and the corresponding scripts/codes in the same self-contained repository. Seismica recognizes that not all computer codes or scripts are central to a study, but codes or scripts that are important should be provided with clear documentation, or a compelling explanation for their absence. In the case of specialized hardware requirements, it suffices to provide the relevant codes with an additional note on the hardware restrictions.
There are various degrees of rigor to which one can document and present their codes, but the minimum requirement that all codes should meet is that they can be executed to reproduce the results presented in the manuscript upon following the instructions presented in the documentation.
GitHub and other code repositories are convenient for code sharing, documentation, and collaboration, but they do not provide a DOI. This is because DOIs are intended to be associated with “frozen” content (i.e. content that does not change over time), while many code platforms facilitate dynamic repositories that may undergo active maintenance and development. Since the results of a study do not evolve along with changes in the code, this could lead to incompatibilities between the claims made in a study and the results obtained from running a code. To get the best of both worlds, authors should consider uploading a static copy of their code to a long-term archiving repository while also mentioning in the manuscript where the latest version of the code can be found (and possibly the exact version that was used in the study).
Other materials. A wide range of potential types and formats of data, samples, records and analytical reference standards may be associated with papers in Seismica for which there are no widely used accessible repositories. In these cases, authors are urged to make the supporting materials freely available for download if appropriate. Physical samples should be adequately cataloged in long-term storage and access, with instructions on how to query or access the samples. Authors should also note if samples were completely consumed or destroyed during analysis.
Proprietary and embargoed data. Even though restricted data access goes against the Open Science philosophy, there are sometimes additional restrictions that prevent one from making datasets publicly available. The possible reasons for this are diverse, ranging from geopolitical conditions to corporate non-disclosure agreements to privacy regulations. When access to (part of) the data is restricted, the authors should discuss this with an editor to find an appropriate solution. In some cases derived data (earthquake catalogs, inferred velocity models, simulation output) do not fall under the same restrictions and can be shared in accordance with Seismica policies. When important data cannot be made available, a statement should be included in the manuscript explaining why the data have not been made available.
When data falls under an embargo, the data availability statement should indicate when the embargo expires. Many data archiving services (like Zenodo and Figshare) offer various embargo options. In this way, the authors can prepare their datasets as they usually would and let the archiving service automatically handle the embargo expiration.
Data availability for peer review. To verify the claims made in a study, reviewers should have access to any data, codes, and other materials and be able to properly review them. While an in-depth review of these additional materials is not required, we ask reviewers to verify that the data policies set out in this section are met (see Reviewer Guidelines on peer review). To facilitate this, authors are expected to prepare their data/code repositories prior to submission. The authors can choose to make these repositories publicly available upon submission, or to provide a private link to be used for peer-review. As any other materials and information, this private link and the contents of the repository fall under the reviewer confidentiality agreements, and will not be shared outside of the peer-review process.
Corrections. An Author Correction may be submitted and published to correct any error(s) made in the original published article that affects its scientific accuracy and/or reproducibility or the publication record/metadata. Publication of an Author Correction may be requested by the original author(s) or solicited by a handling editor. In the case that corrections are requested by the author(s), a handling editor will be assigned who will assess the nature of the request and whether the publication of an Author Correction is warranted. If the nature of the correction results in significant changes to the conclusions, interpretations, or integrity of the original paper, the editor may choose instead to retract the paper, whilst reserving the potential to invite the author(s) to resubmit for additional peer review.
Retractions. Retraction is typically reserved for cases when these issues rise to the level of casting significant doubt on, or resulting in fundamental changes to, the central conclusions and interpretations of a peer-reviewed publication. Violation of publication or research ethics may also result in a study’s retraction, including conflicts of interest that were not disclosed at the time of review. For a more detailed discussion of issues that may lead to retraction, please refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics report, which Seismica will follow. In the case of retraction, the original article will be clearly marked as retracted on the article landing page and watermarked in the associated PDF. A detailed justification for the retraction will also be included along with a timeline of all decisions made on the article. Retraction statements will typically include a statement of assent or dissent from the authors. In the event that the issues leading to a publication’s retraction are determined by the editorial board to have resulted from good faith errors on the part of the author(s), an invitation to submit a revised version of the work for additional peer review may be extended. Should that revised version eventually be accepted for publication, it will be treated as a separate entity from the original (e.g., with a new DOI), although the two versions will remain linked. By clicking the Crossmark button, readers can view the Crossmark record for that article, with details of all formal amendments and corrections. If retraction is due to the result of unethical action (including but not limited to plagiarism, failure to notify coauthors, fabrication of data, omission of data, etc), then an invitation to submit a revised version will not be extended.
Expression of Concern. An Editorial Expression of Concern is a statement from the editors alerting readers to serious concerns affecting the integrity of the published paper. Such expressions indicate that either the editors or the original author(s) have potentially identified a major issue with the published paper, and are actively working to address the problem. The Expression of Concern will remain publicly visible until one of three conditions is met: (1) the editors become satisfied that the issue identified does not require any additional action and the paper may remain published in its current state; (2) a suitable Author Correction is produced and published alongside the original paper; or (3) the issue identified as a concern is deemed sufficiently critical that the central conclusions and/or interpretations of the publication are impacted, at which point the publication may be retracted. The purpose of the editorial expression of concern is to minimize potential damages whilst a publication is being investigated by the editorial board.
Commentaries. Formal post-publication Comments on published papers from author(s) not involved in the original study can involve challenges, clarifications, or, in some cases, an attempt at replication of the published work. After successful peer review, these comments may be published online, usually alongside a Reply from the original authors. Comments and replies are limited to 3,000 words and 3 figures each. There is no specific time frame limiting the submission of comments. Those interested in publishing a comment related to an article in Seismica should contact the editorial board, who will then assess the relevance and timeliness of the anticipated comment. Comments are always published at the discretion of the editorial board. After a comment has been peer reviewed and approved by the editors for publication, the original authors of the publication will be invited to submit a reply. Ideally, the comment and subsequent reply will be published simultaneously following peer review, and to facilitate this we place a deadline for submission of the reply at 3 months after the authors of the original publication receive the comment and an invitation to construct a reply. If this deadline is not met, then the comment will be published in isolation. If the author(s) or the original article do not meet this deadline, they may still construct a reply at any point after publication of the prompting comment.
The editorial process shall be managed to the best of the Editors’ abilities with integrity, clarity, respect, and transparency. However, disagreements and complaints regarding editorial decisions and process may sometimes arise. Appeals of any editorial decisions should be written as a detailed and respectful covering letter which should be emailed in pdf format to email@example.com. An executive editor will then assume the case and may take one of two possible actions: (1) the executive editor may render a decision on the appeal in the event that they have sufficient disciplinary expertise to appropriately assess the article and the arguments being made by the author(s); or (2) the executive editor may convene a committee of three members from the editorial board to conduct a formal assessment of the appeal. This Appeal Adjudication Committee will be made privy to all communications and reviews concerning the manuscript under appeal. Following consideration of the manuscript and reviews in light of the handling editor’s decision, the Appeal Adjudication Committee may take one of three actions as a result of a majority vote, the tally of which will be kept confidential. (1) They may confirm the decision of the original handling editor. (2) They may overrule the decision of the original handling editor, and request a new handling editor to restart the review process. (3) They may overrule the decision of the original handling editor by requesting revisions be submitted by the author(s). If revisions are requested by the Appeal Adjudication Committee, a new handling editor may be selected from the Seismica board or the committee chair may become the new handling editor.
The goal of this thorough approach is to provide an assessment of author appeals/complaints in a neutral environment and to eventually provide the author(s) with closure and constructive feedback. Thus, the original handling editor is not involved in the appeals process. The original handling editor will of course learn the results of the appeals process, but they will not know which members of the editorial board served on the appeals committee nor how they voted in decision. All decisions rendered by the Appeal Adjudication Committee for a particular manuscript are final. Further appeals will not be considered.