Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics

Cover image for Vol. 55 Issue 19

Online ISSN: 1099-0488

Associated Title(s): Journal of Polymer Science Part A: Polymer Chemistry

For Referees

Reviewer Guidelines for Publication in the Journal of Polymer Science: Polymer Physics



Article types

The evaluation form


We try to ensure that the reviewers we select are experts in the relevant topic and do not have a conflict of interest, and can thus assist us in evaluating whether a manuscript is suitable for publication. In rare cases it can happen that we select an inappropriate reviewer–if this occurs, please inform us immediately.

Time is a scarce resource–especially for reviewers. Therefore, we pre–screen manuscripts for quality, relevance, and interest. Initially, we do not contact more than three reviewers. If a reviewer is not able to review a manuscript at all, or by the deadline provided, they should inform us immediately so that an alternative reviewer can be found. A short extension of the reviewing deadline is certainly possible; please let us know if this is required.

Suggestions for suitable alternative reviewers are greatly appreciated, but reviewers should not approach alternative reviewers directly, as manuscripts should be kept confidential. If we do not hear from a reviewer we assume that a report will be sent in time.

Reviewers may be asked to evaluate a revised version of a manuscript; however, we will not send a manuscript back for re–review if we judge the authors have not made a serious attempt to revise their manuscript in response to the reviewer comments.

Reviewers can use their Reviewer Center on our online submission system available at to view and download the manuscript and complete their review.

Want to become a referee? Create a profile on our online submission system at, then send us an email to let us know at


Polymer physics has evolved dramatically in the fifty years since the launch of the Journal of Polymer Science by Hermann Mark. Today’s polymer physics is an interdisciplinary science that has expanded beyond its traditional core to fields as diverse as energy materials, biological systems, optics and electronics, and nanotechnology.

The Journal of Polymer Science: Polymer Physics reflects the broader interests of today's polymer physics research community, providing a dedicated forum for reporting breakthroughs in polymer physics–and the application of polymer physics problem solving–fairly and rapidly.

The Journal of Polymer Science: Polymer Physics publishes an exciting mix of comprehensive reviews, visionary insights, and high-impact communications and full papers that represent the gamut of the science of polymer systems, from theory to experiment to applications.

Article Types

Communications are brief reports of important original research results of broad interest to the polymer physics community. The first paragraph of the main text should summarize the reasons for undertaking the work and the main conclusions which can be drawn. The final paragraph should summarize the major conclusions of the paper. The main text should be followed by an Experimental section containing sufficient detail to reproduce the work. Headings should not be used in the main text.

Communications should be limited to 3000 words, four display items (figures and/or tables), and 30 references.

Full Papers are comprehensive reports of important original research results of broad interest to the polymer physics community. Full Papers should include an introduction summarizing the reasons for undertaking the work and the main conclusions which can be drawn, sections with brief subheadings, a summary of the major conclusions of the paper, and an Experimental section containing sufficient detail to reproduce the work.

Reviews are comprehensive surveys of recent progress in a topic in polymer physics, providing the readership with an appreciation of the importance of the work, a summary of recent developments, and a guide to the relevant literature. Citations should be selective and not biased towards a single research group. Reproduction of key images from the cited literature is encouraged.

Perspectives are short discussions of an important emerging topic in polymer physics, usually focused on no more than a few recently published papers, and including the authors' vision for the future of the topic.

Perspectives should be limited to 3000 words, 4 display items (figures and/or tables), and 30 references.

Progress Reports are surveys of recent progress (in the last 1–2 years) in an important topic in polymer physics. Citations should not be comprehensive; rather, highlights from the literature should be selected that demonstrate the recent progress made in the topic. Progress Reports should conclude with the authors' outlook on the future of the field, identifying important problems that should be addressed next.

The evaluation form

Should the manuscript be accepted?

We ask reviewers to recommend a particular course of action in their report. The final decision by the responsible editor is informed by the strengths of the arguments of the author and all reviewers, and may not always agree with the "majority" of reviewer recommendations.

The possible choices are:

1. Acceptable without change: No modifications are necessary; the manuscript is publishable "as–is".

2. Acceptable after minor revisions: The manuscript should become acceptable after minor revisions, including:

  • Correcting references or adding more references
  • Improving the quality of graphics
  • Providing more accurate explanations for some of the results
  • Including more results of experiments that can be easily performed or may have been intentionally left out of the original manuscript
  • Shortening the manuscript
  • Correcting language, typos, or otherwise improving the presentation

3. Reject, but could reconsider after major revisions: The manuscript could become acceptable after major revisions, including:

  • Including results of more sophisticated experiments that could take several weeks
  • Completely rewriting the manuscript

4. Reject: The manuscript is not acceptable for publication in the journal and is not likely to become so in the future.

  • It may be flawed or have serious problems in the premise, experiments, or interpretation.
  • Rejection should be recommended for manuscripts that are considered less important.
  • In general, problems with the presentation of results require minor revisions, while problems with the data and results require major revisions or rejection.


The Comments section of the reviewer report provides the arguments for the choices described above and can be used by the author to improve their manuscript for publication at the current or a more specific journal. Reviewers should strive to write clearly, especially for authors for whom English is not their first language; be objective, not subjective; be constructive, not destructive; and treat the author's manuscript and work as they would like their own to be treated.

The "ideal" review will cover the following points1:

1. Summary

  • Begin with a summary of what the paper is about.
  • Put the findings into the context of the existing state–of–the–art.
  • Indicate the overall significance of the work.
  • Provide an impression of the overall quality of the work and its strengths.
  • State whether there are any major flaws or weaknesses.

2. Major issues

  • Are there any flaws (technological, design, or interpretation), what are they, and what is the severity of their impact on the findings?
  • Has similar work already been published? Is it cited? Do the current results confirm or contradict earlier findings?
  • If findings that contradict current thinking are presented, is the evidence strong enough to support their case? If not, what additional calculations or experimental confirmation would be required?
  • If major revisions are required, what are they?
  • Are there major issues in the presentation, such as language, structure, or data presentation?

3. Minor issues

  • Are there places where the meaning is unclear or ambiguous?
  • Are the correct references cited? What else should be cited?
  • Is citation adequate, or excessive, limited, or biased?
  • Are there factual, numerical, or unit errors?
  • Are the figures, tables, and schemes appropriate, of sufficient quality, and properly labeled?

1. Adapted from Irene Hames, Peer Review and Manuscript Management in Scientific Journals, Blackwell, Oxford 2007.