Review of production and submission procedures to expedite publication in ISIJ journals Tetsu-to-Hagané and ISIJ International (2023/06/30)

Tetsu-to-Hagané and ISIJ International require a longer publishing process than other journals for submitted manuscripts that have been peer-reviewed and accepted. Therefore, the ISIJ editorial board has decided to improve the production and submission procedures for accepted papers. Specifically, the following improvements will be implemented.

We apologize for any inconvenience to authors and request your understanding and cooperation in this matter.

1. Improvements in the submission procedure for manuscripts submitted from September 2023 onward:

1) Consolidation of information on application form and abolishment of the registration form after acceptance

Previously, a two-step registration, the entry of submission information into the online submission review system and the entry of publication information after acceptance was required. Because delays in registering publication information made the publication of an entire issue slow, we have decided to consolidate information via an extensive application form to be filled in at the time of submission. Any manuscripts will not be processed unless they meet the requirements stated in the application form.

2) Stricter submission requirements

Per the submission requirements for creating a manuscript file, the submission of files in the following format will be enforced. Submitted manuscripts that do not adhere to the file format will no longer be accepted.
Please use the template to submit your manuscript to ensure smooth paper submission and acceptance.

[Acceptable file format]

  • Main text (title–references) of the manuscript: Microsoft Word file
    *If the file format is corrupted after being converted to a PDF for peer review, please upload both Word and PDF files.
  • Tables: Microsoft Word file (Excel file is also acceptable)
    *Tables are usually recreated during typesetting/production; therefore, please do not paste tables as images. Rather, please create tables using Word functions so that data in the table can be extracted. An Excel file is acceptable if it is not possible to submit a table using a Word file.
    *As with the main text, if the form of a table is lost when converting to PDF format for the peer review, when uploading as an image, please also upload a Word or Excel file.
  • Figure and table captions: Microsoft Word file
    *Captions should be included in the Word files for figures and tables, as shown in the template. Contrary to previous requirements, no caption lists are required. In addition, there is no need to fill in any of the captions on the submission screen.
  • Electronic appendix (“Supporting Information”): Please refer to “Supporting Information” in the “Instructions to Authors.”
    *For videos, please attach an MP4 file. Please attach a cover page (format available) as a PDF file for the figure and table files. Alternatively, if you wish to submit as a .docx or .xlsx file or as multiple files, please submit them together as a ZIP file.
    *Please refer to “Supporting Information” in the “Instructions to Authors” for further details.

2. Improvement in time required for proofreading (proceed sequentially):

1) Stricter proofreading deadline for authors

We continue to specify a proofreading deadline of three days. If this deadline is exceeded, the paper will be published in the next issue (later than scheduled at the time of acceptance).
Additionally, if proofreading requires reorganization in terms of typesetting (e.g., change in location or size of the figures or tables) or reformatting of a color page, the paper will be published later than the originally scheduled issue (i.e., in the next issue).

2) Improvement in proofreading times for reference notation

Currently, the reference notation is often incomplete even in peer-reviewed manuscripts, despite specified writing style. To date, revisions have been made by production contractors/printers and the ISIJ editorial office. Because this process takes a considerable amount of time, it will be almost entirely eliminated. Instead, we plan to include instructions, examples for citing references, and a checklist on our website.
Note that any incomplete citations detected by production contractors/printers or the ISIJ editorial office may be corrected without notifying the author.

3. Consolidation and improvement of production flow

1) Application for advance online publication of all published papers for manuscripts accepted from October 2023 onward

To date, advance online publication has been performed only for authors who opted for it, but we found that consolidation of the production flow would speed up the process. Therefore, all accepted papers will be eligible for advance online publication.
As in the past, advance online publication of the accepted manuscript as is (with highlights, etc.) will occur via J-STAGE within one week of the acceptance decision.

2) Improvement in publication flow (proceed sequentially)

Our practice has been to notify authors of the publication issue upon acceptance of an article, but extra time was required for typesetting and for authors who did not respond, further increasing the journal's production time.
In the future, the publication of papers requiring a longer production time may be delayed beyond the issue authorized at the time of acceptance. Therefore, the publication issue announced to authors at the time of acceptance is only the “scheduled publication issue.” The publication issue will be confirmed “at the time of completion of the author's proofreading.”

Key points for review of the publication flow:

① Confirmation of publication issue changed from “at the time of acceptance” to “at the time of completion of author's proofreading”

② Papers that require a significant production time due to replacements or revisions will not be published in the scheduled publication issue communicated to authors at the time of acceptance but in the next issue or beyond.

4. Requests related to the aforementioned items 1–3:

1) Change in billing period (proceed sequentially)

Currently, an invoice for publication fees is sent at the time of the author's proofreading; in the future, it will be sent after the completion of the author's proofreading when the publication issue is confirmed.

2) Increase in publication fee (implemented for manuscripts submitted from January 2024 onward)

Owing to the advance online publication of all papers and increases in paper and shipping costs, the publication fee will be raised from 9,300 yen (plus relevant taxes) to 9,900 yen (plus relevant taxes) per page beginning with manuscripts submitted in January 2024 and beyond.

3) Separate publication of special issues and merged publication of the printed versions of the two issues (currently under consideration)

To quickly publish papers in regular issues while reducing the restrictions applicable to special issues, we are considering scheduling 12 regular issues and publishing special issues separately. Additionally, because the number of paying subscribers for the printed version is decreasing, we are considering printing the two issues together to reduce printing and shipping costs. J-STAGE publication (online journal) is scheduled for implementation monthly, as before.