SPR Q&A: Editorial Decisions Explained

Articles submitted to Spanish and Portuguese Review (SPR) go through a rigorous process of editorial decision making, review, and revision. Editorial processes can vary somewhat across disciplines and journals, but authors will find that SPR‘s process is largely similar to other journals. For papers submitted to SPR, here are the kinds of decisions you might receive from us including the following common decisions: desk reject, decline, revise and resubmit, and conditional accept.

Decisions Prior to Peer Review

SPR‘s Editor reads and evaluates every article upon receipt to ensure that they fit within the scope of the journal and are properly formatted. Then the Editor makes a decision about whether to send the submitted articles through our extensive peer review process.

Desk Reject

Some articles do not fit into the scope of the journal or do not fit into any of our existing sections which include Response Papers, Traditional Research Articles, Notes from the Classroom, and Book and Tool Reviews. These articles will receive a desk rejection before moving into the peer review process. This is not necessarily an indictment of the article or the writing. It may just be an indication that SPR is not the best home for the work. The Editor will give the author some feedback to explain the decision, and the decision is final.

Peer Review

If the Editor decides to send the article along for peer review, the author will not get a notification of that decision. However, the article will be assigned to the Managing Editor of Peer Review who will then ensure that at least one faculty expert and at least two graduate student peer reviewers evaluate the article for quality and provide detailed feedback on its potential for publication. Most articles submitted to SPR do move on to this peer review stage.

Decisions After Peer Review

After receiving reviews from all assigned reviewers, the Editor compiles and considers the reviews. Specifically, the Editor is looking for two things: 1) an overall evaluation from reviewers that the article is suitable for publication, 2) commonalities and points of agreement in the feedback or essential revisions from reviewers that the Editor can highlight for the author as high priority. Based on the Editor’s judgment and the reviewers’ evaluation and feedback, authors receive one of several decisions.


Although it does not feel good to have a paper declined (Trust us! We have all been there and it does not feel good!), we can only accept so many papers per year. So, inevitably, most of the papers submitted to SPR get declined. When a paper is declined that means that the author should not resubmit that paper to SPR. However, they are free to use the feedback from the peer review process and submit that paper to a different journal. In fact, we encourage you to do so. That is why we provide authors with as much feedback as possible even if we decline the paper.

Revise and Resubmit

SPR has a very short publication cycle. We receive submissions in the spring and publish the issue in the same calendar year. However, some articles need more time to complete revisions or rework pieces of the argument. For these papers, authors will receive a rejection for this year’s issue along with a request to revise the work according to the feedback and resubmit for the next year’s issue. Authors are under no obligation to resubmit to SPR. Just like with a “Decline” decision, authors can revise their work and submit elsewhere. However, we hope that they will consider us for resubmission the next year.

Conditional Accept

When the peer reviewers rate a paper highly and the revisions seem feasible for the quick turnaround SPR requires, those articles typically receive a decision of acceptance, but with conditions. The Editor will send the author an email that details exactly what conditions must be met in order to get published. The conditions typically include 1) a deadline for revisions, 2) detailed feedback that must be addressed, 3) formatting and style guide issues, and 4) how and what to resubmit.

Decisions on Final Drafts

Once an article has gone through one or more stages of peer review and all the necessary revisions have been made to the article, then the article moves into the copyediting stage. In this stage, at least one Associate Editor, the Managing Editor of Copyediting, and the Senior Managing Editor of the journal all make additional corrections and queries on the Word document in order to ensure that the article is ready for production. Once the author has completed the required copy edits and is production ready, the paper goes through one final decision process with the Editor.


With only very rare exceptions, if a paper makes it to this stage, the decision they will receive is an acceptance. After so many rounds of revisions and edits, the journal has invested a lot in making sure the author’s work is ready to publish, and the author has likewise invested a lot in completing the work on our tight publication schedule. Once a paper gets that official acceptance from the Editor, the only thing left for the author to do is wait to get the PDF page proofs by email prior to publication. Approving those proof and ensuring they are error-free is the last step!

Delayed Acceptance/Revise and Resubmit

Every once in a long while, a paper makes it all the way to the end of the publication process but still requires further revisions or edits before it can be published. If these revisions or edits cannot be feasibly accomplished in our tight publication schedule, then we sometimes do ask authors to take their time to complete the edits and resubmit the same, finished article to the next journal cycle. These papers will NOT require further peer review or copy editing in the subsequent cycle, but will move straight into production. This outcome is extremely rare, but it can happen. We are committed to publishing the very best work, work that graduate students can look back on with pride. Sometimes, articles just need more time than one publication cycle can provide.


We hope this explanation of the possible editorial decisions your article might receive helps to de-mystify the process! If you have comments or questions, feel free to post below or email us at spr@aatsp.org.

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