Manifold Atlas: Editorial Policy

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This page describes the editorial criteria and processes in the Manifold Atlas.

The refereeing process is organised and overseen by the editorial board.


1 Editorial criteria

We use the term mature to describe a page that has reached a high standard both in its content and presentation and is thus ready to be refereed.

The essential criteria for a page to be mature are the following:

  • Correctness: the page should contain only correct information,
  • Clarity: the page should be well-written and clearly presented,
  • Thoroughness: all non-trivial statements should be justified either by a proof or a precise reference; moreover the page as a whole should adequately refer to the relevant literature.

2 Preparation

Once the managing editor judges that a page is mature, they will organize for it to be evaluated by a member of the board as follows:

  • If the page is an open-editing page then there is a period of user consultation as described below to determine a set of authors and responsible authors.
  • The managing editor will also find a responsible editor to evaluate the page.

Once the above points are settled the page will be submitted for evaluation: the administrators shall

2.1 User consultation

This is the process for a mature open-editing page where the set of authors and the responsible author are identified from amongst the Atlas users who worked on the page.

  • The responsible authors will be involved with communicating with the responsible editor and the other authors of the page during the refereeing process.

In conjunction with the managing editor, the chief scientific editor will determine the prima-facie authors and responsible authors of a page from its edit history.

The managing editor will then email all users of the page, informing them of the chief scientific editor's wish to have the page refereed with the proposed sets of authors and responsible author.

The page's users will then have a period of two weeks in which to respond. For example:

  • They may express the wish for more time to work on the page.
  • They may ask to be included in the list of authors, giving reasons for this request.
  • They may ask to be removed from the list of authors.

The final decision as to who is an author of a page remains with the managing editor.

3 Editorial process

After an Atlas page reaches maturity, the managing editor will organise for it to be evaluated by a member of the editorial board.

The responsible editor will have the page refereed: either by themselves or by another expert.

After reviewing the page, the responsible editor may decide to either:

  1. approve the page as it stands, requiring only minor changes or no changes,
  2. approve the page but requiring significant changes,
  3. not approve the page.

The last two possibilities should be respectively uncommon and very rare as only mature pages will be refereed.

The procedure from here is just as for a journal except that the authors make any changes directly to the Atlas page.

3.1 Page approved as it stands

In this case, modulo correcting typographical errors and very small points, the responsible editor approves the page.

  • If corrections are required, the responsible editor will also inform the administrators so that the page can be edited by the authors.
  • Once any corrections are made, the responsible authors will inform the administrators.

3.2 Page approved requiring changes

The responsible editor will send their summary to the responsible author and inform the administrators the page is provisionally approved.

  • The administrators will make the page restricted-editing for the authors to make changes.
  • Once the changes are made, the responsible author will inform the responsible editor and administrators.
  • The responsible editor (in consultation with the referee if appropriate) will review the up-dated page and either approve it, or request further changes.

3.3 Page not approved

If the page is not accepted, which may occur straight away or even after changes being made, the responsible editor will notify the managing editor with a short explanation of their decision.

  • The managing editor will communicate this decision to the responsible author and the page will be returned to the development stage.

4 Editorial outcome

When an Atlas page is approved by the responsible and managing editors its content is copied to create an article in the Bulletin of the Manifold Atlas.

  • The Bulletin article is named after the Atlas page: the suffix n-th edition will be added for n \geq 2.
  • The Atlas page now bears the blue approval message which links to the Bulletin article and also to a record of changes on the Atlas page since its last publication in the Bulletin.
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