The following is an outline of the submission review process. Please note that all time estimates given are estimates and will vary with the volume of papers being reviewed or the demands of the publication preparation process. If your paper is accepted by the Editorial Board and moves on to the referee phase, please remember that professors work on geological time scales.
1. Receipt of Paper: You should receive a confirmation email stating that The Pittsburgh Undergraduate Review has received your submission within one week of submission; if you do not receive such a notification, please email us.
2. Distribution to the Editorial Board: Your paper will be entered into a queue along with all other submissions. It is difficult to estimate when a paper will be reviewed. Generally, large numbers of submissions are received at the end of the fall and spring terms and the board works through this stockpile during the following semester. Once your paper's turn comes, it is distributed to editorial board members in the week prior to the weekly meeting. A point person for the paper is designated. Beside reading the paper, this point person reviews related literature to develop an understanding of the originality of the paper.
3. Review by Editorial Board: The editorial board convenes on a weekly basis to discuss the papers that were distributed that week. The point person opens discussion of the paper by introducing it; the board as a whole then discusses the paper's perceived merits and shortcomings. If the editorial board rejects your paper you should receive a rejection letter in the next couple days. If the editorial board accepts your paper, it moves on to Stage 4.
4. Referee Review: Selected editors find two professors with knowledge related to your paper and request that they review your paper. This process takes a long time.
5. Referee Decision/Dialogue: The referees will either Accept, Accept with Revision, or Reject your paper for publication using much of the same criteria used in the initial editorial review but with a special focus on the contribution that your paper makes to its field and the depth of your research. If your paper is rejected, a rejection letter will be sent within two weeks of the decision being reported to the editorial board.
If your paper is Accepted with Revision, the comments of both professors will be forwarded to you. At this point it is your responsibility to make the changes necessary for publication. Once these changes are made, the referees will review the paper again, and decide whether or not the changes are sufficient. This process of revision and review may happen multiple times. If your paper has been accepted without revision, or all sufficient revisions have been made, your paper will be published. At this point the editors may contact you for additional information or questions.