review policy & practice

To ensure the high quality of the work published in Hypatia, we rely on a double anonymous peer review process designed not only to inform the editors’ decisions but to provide authors helpful and supportive feedback, even when a paper is not accepted for publication in Hypatia.

When an essay is submitted to Hypatia, the editors conduct an initial review to determine that it is appropriate for the journal; fewer than 10% of manuscripts are declined at this stage and only when two editors concur. Drawing on Hypatia's extensive referee database, the editors then identify two reviewers with expertise appropriate to the essay and invite them to provide a detailed report on the manuscript and their recommendation for editorial decision. If the referees disagree in their assessment, the editors may request an additional report from a third reviewer. When all the reviews have been assembled, the editors assign the manuscript one of the following decision categories:

  • The manuscript is accepted as it stands;
  • The manuscript is accepted on condition that the author makes minor revisions (subject to review by the editors);
  • The manuscript is returned to the author for substantial revisions (subject to review by one external referee upon resubmission);
  • The manuscript is declined, but the author is invited to resubmit the manuscript to Hypatia for another full review if it is substantially revised (the resubmission is comparable to a new submission as the process starts over again);
  • The manuscript is declined.

When the editors notify the author of their decision they attach the reviewers’ reports; these will be anonymous unless the reviewer asks to be identified.

Anonymity in the Review Process

We make every effort to ensure the anonymity of both authors and referees. When we receive a manuscript for review that is autobiographical or otherwise incorporates self-identifying references as an essential part of the text, we still request that authors anonymize the manuscript as far as possible. We will assume that, in submitting such a manuscript, the author understands that referees may be able to recognize them as the author. When we invite referees to review such a manuscript we will acknowledge that the author may be identifiable and ask if they're willing to review under these conditions. They can, of course, choose whether to identify themselves or remain anonymous as a referee.

Acceptance Rates and Response Times 

Hypatia's acceptance rate for open submissions is 12%-15% and 24%-44% for special issues. Our time to initial decision typically runs 12-13 weeks for initial decisions.  Decisions on revised manuscripts can be as quick as 6-7 weeks but that is dependent on the review process. We ask authors to allow 16 weeks before contacting the editorial office. With ScholarOne (our electronic submission and review system), authors can see exactly where their manuscript is in the review process.


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