Pre-Submission Editorial Interest Indication

If you email me (Ivo Welch, the editor) a 200-400 word abstract for a paper that you are thinking of submitting, I will try to give you same-week feedback about my generic level of interest in your paper. Make sure that your abstract explains your findings—a generic statement such as "our paper considers evidence" is not useful. My quick-read opinion is not subject to debate; it is not a final opinion about your paper; and it is definitely not a commitment of any form (either to accept or to reject). However, my feedback can help you gauge whether you are likely to find me an eager editor, neutral, or reluctant editor.

I never get into details in these previews. I am just contemplating the broad ideas and findings of the paper, and ask myself whether I would want to publish it if the paper is well executed, if it meets the smell test, and if the findings are not already published elsewhere. (This does not mean the paper has to be flawless—no paper is flawless.)

Referees can tell me what is wrong, but usually not whether I should find the results to be interesting or not. The principal exception is if they can tell me that the paper's findings have already appeared in a prominent paper that I was not aware of.

Do not complain if you get a quick desk-reject on a regular editorial express submission (and no fee refund) if you have not previously taken advantage of this pre-screening option. Submitting then gives you no right to a review or feedback, beyond what I could have told you for free. If I do not think the paper is not suitable, then this fact is all that you are learning for your $400. Most of the time, the "send the editor an abstract" option above would have told you this, too, much more quickly and much more cheaply.

IMPORTANT: I answer all inquiries, even if it is just with a simple "Yes" or "No." I do not ignore them. If you do not receive a response from me within 7 days, chances are that your email died in a spam filter somewhere along the way. Try emailing again, this time with a return receipt requested. (After two attempts at email, you can also email my assistant Eventually, we will all come back to universities again, so you will be able to call her, too.)

PS: Editorial opinion does not override other conditions---such as data sharing requirements.

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