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APS Referee Frequently Asked Questions

Accessing the Referee Server

1. How do I log in to the new Referee Server?

2. I have an APS Journal account, but there is no 'Referee' role associated with it. What should I do?

3. Why can I no longer use my old six-digit referee ID? Why do I have to switch to an APS Journal account?

Updating Contact Information, Expertise, and Availability

1. How can I update my Referee contact information, referee information, and/or my availability for reviewing?

Handling Referrals

1. What are the 'Notes from the Editor' displayed on the 'Details' tab?

2. What is the 'Abstract/References' tab for?

3. What is the 'Correspondence History' tab for?

4. What is the 'Reference Material' tab for?

5. What is the 'Supplemental Material' tab for?

6. How long will I have access to a referral?

7. Do I have access to my reviewing history online? What should I do if I find an error in my referee history listing?

8. May I start a report and then return later to complete it?

9. May I provide my reports (or comments to the editor) as a separate file?

10. May I email my report?

Problems

1. I have forgotten my APS Journal account username and/or password. What do I do?

2. I have been requested to review a paper, but I do not see the paper on my list of Active Referrals.

3. I cannot download the paper because the link for the manuscript's PDF is not active.

4. I cannot print the paper.

5. Do I need to enable cookies for the APS Referee Server?

6. Which browsers support the APS Referee Server?

Miscellaneous

1. How can I obtain an authorized, signed letter detailing referee criteria and my review history for immigration purposes?

2. How do I become a referee for the American Physical Society?

Accessing the Referee Server

1. How do I log in to the new Referee Server?

You will need an active APS Journal account. You may create one by visiting http://stellexms.com/signup. For more information on APS Journal accounts, please see the FAQ at http://stellexms.com/help/accounts. If you sign up for your APS Journal account using the same email address we have on record for you as a referee, the 'Referee' role should automatically be added to your account. You may check which roles are associated with your account by visiting http://stellexms.com/account or by clicking on the 'My Account' link in the banner on most APS journal web pages. Your roles will be listed under the 'Manage Account' tab.

2. I have an APS Journal account, but there is no 'Referee' role associated with it. What should I do?

If you previously had access to our old referee server using your six-digit referee ID and password, you may visit . You should then be presented with a page allowing you to enter your old credentials to associate your APS Journal account with your old referee account. If you do not remember your referee ID or old password or never had an old referee account, please contact help@stellexms.com for further assistance.

3. Why can I no longer use my old six-digit referee ID? Why do I have to switch to an APS Journal account?

In early 2010, APS launched a new initiative that aims to better serve our readers, authors, referees, and members. Many users of the various APS web sites and services interact with the APS in more than one of these roles. Our goal is to eliminate the current need for multiple accounts to access our services and provide a single sign-on that will give a personalized, unified view of all APS services. Using the APS Journal account for referee access is another step toward achieving this goal. It will ultimately make life easier for referees.

Updating Contact Information, Expertise, and Availability

1. How can I update my Referee contact information, referee information, and/or my availability for reviewing?

After logging into the Referee Server, you should see an 'Update' button at the top of the left-hand sidebar. Please note that this application will be replaced with a greatly improved version shortly. Thank you for your patience as we work to improve all of our web sites.

Handling Referrals

1. What are the 'Notes from the Editor' displayed on the 'Details' tab?

Most referrals come with specific comments for you from the editor. These may be found in the full referral letter, but we display them on the main page to draw your attention to them as well as for your convenience and quick reference. Please be sure to take the comments into consideration when composing your report.

2. What is the 'Abstract/References' tab for?

The 'Abstract/References' tab gives the paper's abstract and a linked list of references extracted from the paper. Please note that the extraction of this information and the creating of the links is a fully automated process and may not be 100% accurate.

3. What is the 'Correspondence History' tab for?

The 'Correspondence History' tab gives you access to all correspondence to or from you on this particular paper. You will have access to this material even after completing your work on this referral.

4. What is the 'Reference Material' tab for?

The 'Reference Material' tab will be active if the editor wishes to provide you with additional material, such as related manuscripts, for your review.

5. What is the 'Supplemental Material' tab for?

The 'Supplemental Material' tab provides access to additional material from the authors that they wish to publish along with their paper. It is expected that referees review this material and comment on it in their report.

6. How long will I have access to a referral?

Referees have access to the referral as long it is active. Once the referral is closed (by the editor, by your having sent in a report, or by your having declined to review), you will not have further access to the referral. Please contact help@stellexms.com if you are having problems submitting your report. Once you submit your report, you will be able to view your correspondence history and send a note to the editor. You will be able to access your entire referral history under the 'Past Referrals' portion of the 'My Referrals' page. There you will be able to see the status of the paper including whether it was published or not.

7. Do I have access to my reviewing history online? What should I do if I find an error in my referee history listing?

You will have access to your reviewing history from your 'My Referrals' page. The entire history is displayed, with the most recent items first. If you feel there is an error with your history, please contact help@stellexms.com, and your email will be directed to the appropriate staff member for assistance.

8. May I start a report and then return later to complete it?

As you fill out the required forms for submitting your report, you may click on the 'Save for later' button. When you return to the referee server, you will be able to resume your report where you left off. In addition, each time you move to another page of the form, your work is automatically saved. After filling out the report forms, you will be brought to a summary page which allows you to review your entire report and revisit any section of the report before submitting it. Also, if need be, you may click the "Start Over" button, which will take you back to the beginning with a clean slate. Please note that if you are preparing a long report, it is safer to prepare it in a text editor and then cut and paste into the form so that you don't lose your work should something go wrong.

9. May I provide my reports (or comments to the editor) as a separate file?

Yes, you can. Although ascii (.txt) or TeX (.tex) files are preferred (other formats sometimes lead to conversion problems and may carry information identifying you as the referee), we understand that there are times when a different format may be better for a referee report (e.g., when there is a lot of mathematical material needed in the report), and so it is possible to upload Word (.doc) and PDF (.pdf) files using the respective upload buttons provided on the Report and Comments pages. We do prefer formats where the text can be easily included in an email to authors, therefore, please only send .doc or .pdf files when a report in one of the other preferred formats (.txt or .tex) is not possible.

10. May I email my report?

We prefer that you submit your report from our Referee Server, since information about the manuscript is automatically included, and a web form is provided into which the report and your other responses can be typed or uploaded.

Problems

1. I have forgotten my APS Journal account username and/or password. What do I do?

Click on the 'Forgot your username/password' link on any log in page or simply visit http://stellexms.com/password/lost and follow the directions. If you do not receive an email message from us subsequently, please remember to check your spam filter to see if the message went there. If you need further assistance, please contact help@stellexms.com.

2. I have been requested to review a paper, but I do not see the paper on my list of Active Referrals.

This could mean that you were asked about your availability to review the paper, but it has not yet been assigned. Please review the message that was sent to you. If it was indeed an assigned referral, send a message to help@stellexms.com and we can investigate further.

3. I cannot download the paper because the link for the manuscript's PDF is not active.

Please click on the 'Report a technical problem' or send a message to help@stellexms.com so that we may make the paper available to you.

4. I cannot print the paper.

Please click on the 'Report a technical problem' button or send a message to help@stellexms.com. We can send you a hard copy of the paper via conventional mail, but in the meantime, please try the following to see if it resolves your printing problems:

  • You may want to try downloading the file to your computer and viewing in your PDF viewer, instead of opening it directly in a browser window. To do this, right click on the link to the 'Download Manuscript PDF' button and make the proper selection. Once the PDF is downloaded, you may then try opening it using Adobe Acrobat or another PDF viewer.
  • It is also suggested that you obtain the latest version of Acrobat Reader. It is available for free download at .
  • Your printer may not be equipped with enough memory or installed fonts to print the paper. You will need to contact your Systems Administrators for further assistance.

5. Do I need to enable cookies for the APS Referee Server?

Cookies are required to use an APS Journal account, so you must enable them. It is not necessary to retain any APS cookies between sessions and you may remove them when you have completed your report.

6. Which browsers support the APS Referee Server?

APS web pages and applications are designed for modern browsers. For a list of compatible browsers, please visit http://stellexms.com/unsupported-browser.

7. I am having a technical problem with the APS Referee Server that is not listed here. What should I do?

While on the server, please click on the 'Report a technical problem' button, or send a message to help@stellexms.com.

Miscellaneous

1. How can I obtain an authorized, signed letter detailing referee criteria and my review history for immigration purposes?

Please send your request directly to help@stellexms.com; your message will be forwarded to the appropriate staff member for immediate handling.

2. How do I become a referee for the American Physical Society?

In order for the Editors to consider your request, we ask that you visit the URL http://stellexms.com/become-a-referee and complete the form. Once you submit the form the Editors will assess your responses and scientific record before making a decision.

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