Review Process

Special Note

For authors who submitted new manuscripts prior to April 15, 2023, we apologize for the delays in getting to first decisions.  The transition to the new editorial team was more difficult than we had expected.  Plus, Demography is juggling a transition to a new editorial software system.  Furthermore, Demography receives a large volume and diversity of manuscript submissions, to handle that we are growing our capacity among both Deputy Editors and Editorial Board Members.  The volume of manuscripts and their diversity necessitates far more breadth and depth of capacity in both roles.  We anticipate accomplishing both the software transition and the full complement of Deputy Editors and Editorial Board members by October 1.  This will result in far shorter turnaround in manuscript decisions.  
NB: Currently all new manuscripts submitted between October 1, 2022, and April 15, 2023 should be out under external review or have had a first decision made.  All new manuscripts submitted since April 15, 2023, are either under review by a Deputy Editor, out for external review, or have had a first decision made.   

Review Process

The review process at Demography is designed to ensure the publication of the highest quality of research in the field. The process is also designed to minimize review time and reviewer burden. Reviewers are experts from around the globe and are drawn from the major disciplines in the population sciences.

Stages of the Review Process

Stage 1. Pre-review
All manuscripts pass through a pre-review with the Editor or Deputy Editor. Manuscripts are first screened to ensure that they conform with the journal’s word and table limits. Then, the Editor or Deputy Editor assesses whether a manuscript will be sent out for review. Manuscripts may be desk rejected when they are deemed 1) to be inappropriate for Demography or 2) to have little likelihood of receiving favorable evaluations from external reviewers. Desk rejections usually occur with the first few weeks of the submission of a manuscript. Brief comments accompany the notification of the desk rejection to help authors understand the reasons for the decision.

Stage 2. External review
Manuscripts selected for external review are sent to experts in the topic area for evaluation. Reviewers may be members of the Editorial Board or a member of the larger scientific community with expertise in the field. Deputy Editors who are specialists in the major topic areas of demography assist in selecting expert reviewers, synthesizing the reviews, and making recommendations to the Editor. The review is double-blind: authors are not informed of the names of the reviewers, and the reviewers are not informed of the names of the authors.

Stage 3. Editorial decision
Once the reviews are collected, the Editor, usually in consultation with the Deputy Editor, makes a final decision about a manuscript. The final decision draws on reviewers’ feedback; the Deputy Editor’s input; and the Editor’s review of the manuscript, reviewer reports, and the Deputy Editor’s recommendation. Authors receive the referees’ comments and a summary statement of the Editor’s decision.