physica status solidi (b)

Cover image for Vol. 254 Issue 7

Editor: Stefan Hildebrandt (Editor-in-Chief), Sabine Bahrs (Deputy Editor)

Online ISSN: 1521-3951

Associated Title(s): physica status solidi (a), physica status solidi (c), physica status solidi (RRL) - Rapid Research Letters

Referee resources pss (a)/(b)/(c)

Welcome to the referee information section on the pss homepage.
Below are the pss reviewing guidelines and shortcuts to the online submission options for pss reports. For information on the topical scope, categories of contributions, editorial and ethical conduct policy of pss please refer to the Editorial information page.
pss (RRL) - Rapid Research Letters has separate pss (RRL) Referee resources. More general resources for reviewers can be found at WileyPeerReview.

General referee guidelines [1]

Thank you for acting as a referee for pss. Your support for our journal and the authors and readers it serves is deeply appreciated.
  • At pss we do our best to select referees who are experts in the respective field and who do not have a conflict of interest with the case. However, should you have been asked in spite of circumstances that prevent you from giving an informed, objective recommendation, please tell us by replying to the request message.
  • Suggestions for alternative reviewers are very welcome, but reviewers should not approach their colleagues directly, as manuscripts under review are confidential.
  • The identity of reviewers is strictly confidential.
  • The referee reports are designated to be forwarded to the authors (except for parts marked for exclusive information of the editor). 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. Authors should use the reports to improve their manuscripts, if feasible.
  • We may ask you to re-review a manuscript where the authors have responded to criticism raised in the initial reports. Please note that no new issues should be added to the discussion at this stage, unless they are prompted by the changes or other previously unavailable information. If a paper contains more errors than you can list, please mention this in your initial report.
  • Corrections of the English are welcome, but not required. Please mention in your report when a manuscript needs heavy language editing.
  • Layout issues will be resolved during typesetting for accepted articles in pss (a)/(b)/(RRL). In pss (c) responsibility for a fully-formatted, production-ready manuscript lies with the authors (simplified typesetting service by publisher).
  • If you cannot access articles published in pss or other Wiley journals that are necessary to evaluate the manuscript under review, the Editorial Office will provide copies.

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Criteria for manuscript evaluation pss (a)/(b)/(c) - checklist [1]

(pss (RRL) - Rapid Research Letters has separate pss (RRL) Referee resources.)
We ask you to rate the overall importance and presentation of the work (tick scales in the report form), and to give a recommendation regarding publication by choosing from the following options in the online submission system:
AcceptThe paper can be published as is.
Minor amendmentsMinor issues such as changes of the presentation and clarifications or shortenings of the text should be applied before publication.
Major revisionThe paper needs to be thoroughly rewritten and its content must be revised to overcome weaknesses of the data, its presentation, analysis and interpretation.
RejectThe major findings are not supported by the results, or do not present sufficient and original science in the field of solid state physics to be of interest for the pss readership.
In addition, it is essential that you supply comments in plain text to provide arguments for your choice. Ideally, your report would start with a summary of the manuscript's content. Please put the findings into the current scientific context and indicate their overall significance for the field. You should also state your view on the overall quality of the work with its strength and weaknesses and point out any major flaws.
Here are more detailed questions to ask when evaluating the content and presentation of a manuscript:

Content/scientific merit
  • Is the work scientifically sound and correct, or are there major flaws in the method, results, analysis, or interpretation?
  • Is the content of topical interest for a readership from the international solid state physics community? Would it be more appropriate for a regional or more specialised journal, or for journals focussing on materials science, engineering or chemistry?
  • Does the paper contain sufficient new information? Has similar work already been published by the authors or other groups, and if yes, is it cited? Papers should avoid repetition and serial publication (e.g. investigation of slightly varying materials by the same techniques with similar results).
  • Is the work set into the current scientific context by adequate citation? Are the references up to date and widely available, reflect the state of knowledge in the appropriate field, and balance self-citation with other author's work? Is citation limited or excessive?
  • Does the manuscript discuss or develop solid state physics concepts and models, or is it restricted to the description of materials preparation, experimental data or numerical results?
  • Are there any concerns regarding ethical conduct in scientific publishing (see Editorial information page for details on our ethical policy)?
  • Is the manuscript clearly organised? Structuring with subheadings is the rule, but not mandatory for short papers.
  • Are there places where the meaning is unclear or ambiguous?
  • Do the authors maintain a reasonable relation between length and content? Articles should be long enough to present all the necessary information that cannot be referenced in other literature, but no longer than that. The authors may submit supplementary material for online-only publication along with their manuscript.
  • Are there factual, numerical, or unit errors?
  • Is the title comprehensive but brief?
  • Does the abstract comprise the problem, the method, and the essential results in approximately ten lines of text?
  • Does the introduction motivate and state the aims of the work, and set it into the current state of the art (including adequate citations)?
  • Equations should correspond to the subject under study both in number and quality (no textbook level, no trivial steps). Is it possible to follow derivations? Are the symbols explained in the text (no symbol definition table) and the limits of validity given?
  • Are the figures, tables, and schemes appropriate, of sufficient quality, and properly labelled?
  • Do the conclusions focus on the new findings and achieved progress, and not repeat the abstract?

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Article types and criteria for proceedings

There are several publication options for proceedings manuscripts in pss. Please complement your report by a statement on the appropriate article type and journal when recommending publication:
JournalArticle TypeCriteria
pss (a) - applications and materials science
pss (b) - basic solid state physics
Original Paper
  • The importance, relevance, and novelty of the results match expectations for a regular journal article.
  • The general quality of the manuscript is appropriate for publication in an international journal.
  • The main results have not yet been published and are not under consideration for publication elsewhere.
Feature Article
  • While not all information is original, the work has strong review character and properly references earlier sources.
  • The topic and compilation is of sufficient interest to the readers of the journal.
pss (c) - current topics in solid state physicsContributed Article
  • The amount of novel information matches a regular conference contribution.
Invited Article
  • The manuscript summarizes an invited talk with overview character, possibly comprising already published (and referenced) material.

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Information on Feature and Review Articles

Feature abd Review Articles are usually submitted upon individual invitation of the Editors and should provide a comprehensive, authoritative overview over a current topic of general interest in the form of a topical review.
  • Review Articles should trace a field and its development comprehensively and well balanced, based on a thorough review of the literature.
  • Feature Articles are intended to bridge the gap between Original Papers and longer Review Articles within a maximum of 12 - 15 pages. Aimed at a broader audience of solid state and material physicists they should represent a snapshot of the current state of research, with possible focus on the highlights and open or controversially discussed questions supported by references to the most relevant and recent work.

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Submit a report

The preferred method for accessing a PDF of the manuscript under consideration and uploading the completed report (plain text and upload of separate documents possible) is to use your Editorial Manager account, which is also linked in the request message:

Personal user homepage
Editorial Manager

Should you encounter technical problems, you can also submit your report via this Referee report form. If you need to enclose non-plain-text components into your report please send an e-mail to the Editorial Office. Please do not, however, send your report as a PDF file, since the format may compromise your anonymity (especially comments in tags on the original manuscript often contain the program owner's name, which we cannot reliably remove).

Become a referee

Volunteers for reviewing tasks are very welcome. If you wish to join our referee community please use or create your personal account in Editorial Manager and edit your profile, especially by adding or updating your research interests. Then notify us by e-mail to the Editorial Office.


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

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