|Principal criteria||Excellent (1)||Good (2)||Fair (3)||Poor (4)|
|Scientific significance: Does the manuscript represent a substantial contribution to scientific progress within the scope of SOIL (novel concepts, theories, methods, or data; interdisciplinary)?|
|Scientific quality: Are the scientific approach and applied methods valid and reproducible? Are the results discussed in a thorough and balanced way (consideration of related and relevant work, including appropriate references)?|
|Presentation quality: Are the scientific results and conclusions presented in a clear, concise, and well-structured way (appropriate number and quality of figures/tables, appropriate use of English)?|
Access review, peer review, and interactive public discussion (SOILD)
Manuscripts submitted to SOIL at first undergo a rapid access review by the topical editor (initial manuscript evaluation), which is not meant to be a full scientific review but to identify and sort out manuscripts with obvious major deficiencies in view of the above principal evaluation criteria.
If they are not immediately rejected, they will be posted on the SOIL Discussions (SOILD) website, the discussion forum of SOIL, where they are subject to full peer review and interactive public discussion.
In the full review and interactive discussion the referees and other interested members of the scientific community are asked to take into account all of the following aspects:
- Does the paper address relevant scientific questions within the scope of SOIL?
- Does the paper present novel concepts, ideas, tools, or data?
- Does the paper address soils within a multidisciplinary context?
- Is the paper of broad international interest?
- Are clear objectives and/or hypotheses put forward?
- Are the scientific methods valid and clear outlined to be reproduced?
- Is the soil type/classification adequately described?
- Are analyses and assumptions valid?
- Are the presented results sufficient to support the interpretations and associated discussion?
- Is the discussion relevant and backed up?
- Are accurate conclusions reached based on the presented results and discussion?
- Do the authors give proper credit to related and relevant work and clearly indicate their own original contribution?
- Does the title clearly reflect the contents of the paper and is it informative?
- Does the abstract provide a concise and complete summary, including quantitative results?
- Is the overall presentation well structured?
- Is the paper written concisely and to the point?
- Is the language fluent, precise, and grammatically correct?
- Are the figures and tables useful and all necessary?
- Are mathematical formulae, symbols, abbreviations, and units correctly defined and used according to the author guidelines?
- Should any parts of the paper (text, formulae, figures, tables) be clarified, reduced, combined, or eliminated?
- Are the number and quality of references appropriate?
- Is the amount and quality of supplementary material appropriate and of added value?
Peer-review completion (SOIL)
At the end of the interactive public discussion, the authors may make their final response and submit a revised manuscript. Based on the referee comments, other relevant comments, and the authors' response in the public discussion, the revised manuscript is re-evaluated and rated by the topical editor. If rated excellent or good in all of the principal criteria and specific aspects listed above, it will normally be accepted for publication in SOIL. Additional advice from the referees in the evaluation and rating of the revised manuscript will be requested by the topical editor if the public discussion in SOILD is not sufficiently conclusive.