For manuscripts submitted from 01 June 2014 all referee and Editor reports, the authors' response, as well as the different manuscript versions of the peer-review completion (post-discussion review of revised submission) will be published if the paper will be accepted for final publication in CP.

Review Process

The process of peer-review and publication in the interactive scientific journal Climate of the Past (CP) differs from traditional scientific journals. It is a two-stage process involving the scientific discussion forum Climate of the Past Discussions (CPD), and it has been designed to use the full potential of the internet to foster scientific discussion and enable rapid publication of scientific papers.

Initial access review by competent editors assures the basic scientific and technical quality for papers published in CPD. Subsequent interactive discussion and public commenting by the referees, authors and other members of the scientific community is expected to enhance quality control for papers published in CP beyond the limits of the traditional closed peer-review. Also in cases where no additional comments from the scientific community are received, a full peer-review process in the traditional sense, but in a more transparent way, is assured before publication of a paper in CP.

The individual steps of the CP process of peer-review, publication and interactive discussion are described below, and complementary illustrations are given in the following Flow Chart .

  1. Submission of Original Manuscript and Editor Assignment

    An original manuscript is submitted electronically and assigned to an Editor covering the relevant subject areas (for details see Editor Assignment).

  2. Access Review

    The Editor is asked to evaluate whether the manuscript is within the scope of the journal and whether it meets a basic scientific quality. He can suggest technical corrections (typing errors, clarification of figures, etc.) before publication in CPD. Further requests for revision of the scientific contents are not allowed at this stage of the review process but shall be expressed in the interactive discussion following publication in CPD.

  3. Technical Corrections

    The authors have the opportunity to perform technical corrections, which may be reviewed by the Editor to verify requested corrections and prevent further revisions, which are not permitted at this stage.

  4. Publication of Discussion Paper in CPD

    After final acceptance the manuscript is typeset by the Copernicus Publications Production Office, proofread by the authors, and published as a discussion paper on the CPD Website. Public accessibility, archiving and citability are guaranteed from this moment on (usually about 2-8 weeks after submission).

  5. Open Discussion (8 weeks)

    Upon internet publication the paper is opened for Interactive Public Discussion during which Referee Comments (anonymous or attributed), Author Comments (on behalf of all co-authors), and Short Comments by any registered member of the scientific community (attributed) are published alongside the discussion paper; for details see Interactive Public Discussion.

  6. Final Response

    After the open discussion, the authors are asked to respond to the Referee Comments and relevant Short Comments cumulatively or individually. The handling Editor is also invited to publish additional comment(s), underlining the most important points raised during the discussion phase. This Editor Comment should also recommend or discourage the submission of a revised manuscript. In some rare cases where the situation is still unclear at the end of the open discussion, the Editor may wait for the final Author Comments before making a recommendation.

  7. Submission of Revised Manuscript

    Submission of a revised manuscript for publication in CP (second publication stage) is not mandatory, but encouraged and expected unless the access peer-review and Interactive Public Discussion have revealed severe deficiencies of the discussion paper which cannot be resolved by revisions. Normally the revised manuscript should be submitted no later than 4 to 8 weeks after the end of the open discussion. If more time is required for manuscript revision, the authors can request an extension.

  8. Peer-Review Completion

    In view of the access peer-review and Interactive Public Discussion, the Editor either directly accepts/rejects the revised manuscript for publication in CP or consults referees in the same way as during the completion of a traditional peer-review process. If necessary, additional revisions may be requested during peer-review completion until a final decision about acceptance/rejection for CP is reached.

  9. Publication of Final Revised Paper in CP

    In case of acceptance the final revised paper is typeset and proofread. Then it is published on the CP Website with a direct link to the preceding original paper and interactive discussion in CPD. In addition, all referee and Editor reports, the authors' response, as well as the different manuscript versions of the peer-review completion will be published (only valid for manuscripts submitted from 01 June 2014). All publications (original paper, interactive comments, final revised paper) are permanently archived and remain accessible to the open public via internet and the final revised paper is also accessible as print copy.


The timing indicated above is a guideline which may have to be modified according to the availability and response times of Editors, referees, and authors.

If a manuscript that has been published as a discussion paper in CPD is not accepted for publication as a final paper in CP, the authors have several options to proceed as outlined under Frequently Asked Questions, Point 7.

Interactive Public Discussion

In the Interactive Public Discussion following the publication of a paper in Climate of the Past Discussions (CPD), the following types of interactive comments can be submitted for immediate non-peer-reviewed publication alongside the discussion paper:

Short Comments (SC) can be posted by any registered member of the scientific community (free online registration). Such comments are attributed, i.e. published under the name of the commentator.

Referee Comments (RC) can only be posted by the referees involved in the peer-review of the discussion paper. They can be anonymous or attributed (according to the referee's preference).

Editor Comments (EC) can only be posted by the Editor of the discussion paper.

Author Comments (AC) can only be posted by the contact author of the discussion paper on behalf of all co-authors.

All interactive comments are fully citable, paginated, and archived as a supplement to CPD.


Figures and Supplements

Comments can be composed by using either plain text or LaTeX formatting. Complex content without LaTeX commands can be uploaded as a *.pdf file and will be displayed as a supplement to the comment. In any case, figures can directly be included in the comment.


The Interactive Public Discussion comprises two Phases

Phase 1: Open Discussion (8 weeks)

The referees are asked to publish one or more Referee Comments and every registered member of the scientific community may publish Short Comments as defined above. The authors of the discussion paper have the option (but no obligation) to reply by publishing their own Short Comments individually, or by posting Author Comments collectively on behalf of all co-authors. The authors of a discussion paper are automatically informed by e-mail about the publication of comments in the Interactive Public Discussion of their paper. Publication alert services will also be available to other members of the scientific community. The publication of interactive comments is supervised by the Editors, who have the option of censoring comments that are not of a substantial nature and of direct relevance to the issues raised in the discussion paper or which contain personal insults. Authors are advised to follow the discussion of their paper and to notify the Editor in case of abusive commenting. The CP editorial board reserves the right to exclude abusive commentators.

To participate in the interactive discussion of a paper recently published in CPD, please locate this paper on the CPD Website and follow the appropriate links there.

Phase 2: Final Response

After the open discussion no more Short Comments and Referee Comments are accepted, but the contact author and the Editor of the discussion paper have the opportunity to publish final Author Comments and Editor Comments, respectively. The final response phase is generally limited to 4 weeks (expandable to 8 weeks) and automatically terminated upon upload of at least one Author Comment, although further Author and Editor Comments can be posted, if appropriate. Before submitting a revised version of their manuscript for publication in CP (second stage of publication), the authors are supposed to have answered the Referee Comments and relevant Short Comments cumulatively or individually in one or more Author Comments. The Author Comments should be structured in a clear and easy to follow sequence: (1) comments from referees/public, (2) author's response, (3) author's changes in manuscript. Regarding author's changes, it is recommended to provide a marked-up manuscript version (track changes in Word, latexdiff in LaTeX) converted into *.pdf and to upload this changes document as supplement to the Author Comment.