Review | Leonardo

Understanding the Review Process

Now that you have submitted your manuscript successfully on Editorial Express and suggested possible reviewers, your manuscript goes through a review process that includes at least one round of reviews by our editorial team and your peers to determine if your manuscript is accepted, needs revisions and possibly another review or is rejected. On average, the review process takes four months to complete with most manuscripts requiring revision by the author before final acceptance. The following sections explain what to expect and what you may be asked to do during this stage of the publishing process.

Initial Assessment and Peer Review

Your submission undergoes an initial assessment by the journal's senior editor and executive editor who check that it matches the journal's aims and scope.

If you submitted a proposal for review, you receive notification from the editor either asking you to submit an article for further review or letting you know that we will not be requesting an article from you. A request by an editor for a manuscript is not a guarantee that it will be published. You must follow the same manuscript preparation and submission processes outlined in the Prepare and Submit pages.

If you submitted a manuscript for review and it is considered appropriate for the publication, the editor then selects reviewers and sends your materials out for peer review by experts in your field. Generally each manuscript is reviewed by one member of the Leonardo editorial board and two technical peer reviewers. The peer-review process allows expert assessment of your article's suitability for publication as well as what improvements might make it more suitable. Assignment of the most suitable reviewers can be a vital aspect of preparing a manuscript for publication. Our editorial team strives to find the most qualified and appropriate reviewers for your manuscript. The suggestions for reviewers that you provided during submission are especially appreciated during this stage.

Peer Review Taxonomy (as Developed by STM)

Identity transparency: Single anonymized 

Reviewer interacts with: Editor 

Review information published: None  

We use a single-blind peer-review process in which the identity of the reviewer is anonymous, but the author’s name and affiliation are kept on the manuscript during review. This allows reviewers to critique texts without any influence being exerted on them from authors. 

Texts are judged on the basis of relevance to the aims and scope of the journal, originality, rigor of thought and the use of straightforward and precise prose. Texts should be condensed as much as possible and written to be accessible to the interested lay reader.

Decision and Notification

The editor collates reviews and the editorial team makes a decision within four months whether to reject your submission, ask for revisions or accept it. If your manuscript is accepted without revisions, it moves to the editing stage. If you are asked to resolicit a new version that addresses the points raised by the reviewers, you choose whether to revise and resubmit. Remember, most manuscripts require revision before final acceptance.

Revision and Resubmission

If you decide to revise your manuscript, we ask that you strongly consider the feedback from the Leonardo editorial team as well as the reviewers. Reviewer suggestions often include consideration of other current work or research for incorporation into the text or references; additional clarification on the intent or argument of your manuscript; or additional technical details on a project. Regrettably, reviewers may request more extensive revisions than are possible within the word count of a given article type. You are welcome to request guidance from your editor in revising your manuscript when you are unsure how to address the feedback.

When reviewers suggest numerous or complex changes, a letter from you detailing your revision choices that accompanies your resubmitted manuscript can be helpful in guiding the evaluation of your revision. The editor may request revisions to bring your manuscript in line with the requirements explained in the Manuscript Guidelines. These are not negotiable and must be addressed in your revised submission. 

When you are ready to resubmit your revised materials, follow the same steps you took to upload your initial submission to Editorial Express (see Submit). If your manuscript includes artwork, low-resolution images should still be embedded in the article's body, but you should also post high-resolution versions as separate files at this stage.

Revised manuscripts are evaluated by the editors. Please note, however, that based on the recommendations of the reviewers the editors may choose to resolicit a new version to receive a further round of peer review.


If Leonardo declines to publish a paper, either after initial review or resubmission, authors are strongly advised to submit their paper to other publications. If an author wishes to appeal the rejection, the appeal must be made in writing to the executive editor and specifically dispute points in the review. In cases in which the executive editor would have a conflict of interest, the appeal would be assigned to a member of the editorial board or referred to the publications committee. Please be advised that this process may such take such time that an author may be best served by seeking alternate publication.

NEXT: Moving Through Peer Review