Once the manuscript has been registered (as a regular or a special issue one), the author will receive a manuscript number from the online editorial support system, the Copernicus Office Editor, and has to upload the manuscript files in accordance with the Manuscript Submission.
- The Copernicus Publications Editorial Support performs an incoming inspection of the submitted files and consults the author where necessary.
- In order to speed up the reviewing process, authors are encouraged to submit a pdf file of the entire manuscript and of the abstract file (see Technical Instructions for LaTeX or MS WORD).
- The Copernicus Office Editor assigns the manuscript to a chief editor who then assigns it to an editor/special issue editor covering the relevant subject areas. She/he gets access to the entire manuscript.
- The editor/special issue editor nominates/selects at least 4 independent referees online. Once a referee has agreed, she/he receives the manuscript.
- Once at least 2 independent referees' reports have been completed, the Copernicus Office Editor approaches the editor/special issue editor to study these reports and to compile her/his editor's report online. In this report, the editor/special issue editor decides on the status of the manuscript from "accepted as is" to "not acceptable".
- The Copernicus Office Editor contacts the author of the manuscript and provides a link to the editor's and, if necessary, to the referees' reports.
- Besides acceptance/rejection, the editor/special issue editor can request the following revisions: technical correction (no further review by the editor), minor revision (further review by the editor only), as well as major revision (further review by referees and the editor).
- For the final decision, the chief editor either directly recommends to the editor in charge the acceptance/rejection of the revised manuscript for publication or consults again referees. If necessary, additional revisions may be requested by the chief editor and/or the editor in charge until a final decision about acceptance/rejection is reached.
- The peer-review status of each manuscript is summarized, step-by-step, in the Manuscript Evaluation Status Report. Also editors/special issue editors, authors and referees have access to parts of their concern.