Guidance for Electronic Journal of Linear Algebra (ELA) Editorial Process


This document provides guidance to the members of the editorial board on handling papers submitted to ELA and the decision making process for the publication of papers.


ELA strives to play a leading role in linear algebra research and the various aspects of its applications. In adjudicating papers, Editors are asked to be selective, uphold high scientific standards, as well as help ELA increase its impact and reputation in the mathematical community. ELA seeks to publish papers that fulfill as many of the following attributes as possible: Advance knowledge significantly, be conducive to further consequential research, explore the connections of linear algebra to other theoretical and applied fields, provide perspective and new directions in linear algebra, as well as potentially expand ELA’s readership and citations.


Editors must also be familiar with the Scope of ELA and the Referee Guidelines available on the portal hosted by the University of Wyoming (see


ELA’s Editorial System (OJS) is used by editors and referees to record all their actions, communications and recommendations.


A. Editorial Board Member Categories and Roles


Editor(s)-In-Chief (EIC): The EIC’s are appointed by ILAS for three year terms that are renewable upon a rigorous review of their performance and upon mutual agreement. They are in charge of the journal operations in accordance to the bylaws of ILAS. EIC’s work in conjunction with the Journal Committee and the ILAS leadership. The responsibilities of EIC’s include


  • Appointing members to the Editorial Board

  • Evaluating each submitted paper and deciding jointly either to reject it outright or to proceed with the editorial process

  • Managing those papers that pass the initial evaluation by either inviting other editors to handle them or by initiating the review process themselves

  • Communicating to authors the final decisions on the acceptance or rejection of submitted papers

  • Forwarding acceptance decisions to the managing team for the preparation of galley proofs

  • Posting prepared papers in their final form


Advisory Editors: The appointment is initially for three years and is renewable indefinitely upon mutual agreement. Advisory Editors have distinguished service to ILAS, ELA or to the Linear Algebra community at large. As such, they are in a position to provide to ELA general guidance, advice, and help the EIC’s in making initial evaluations of submissions. Advisory Editors may also be invited by the EIC’s to handle papers in their immediate area of expertise.


Associate Editors: The appointment is initially for three years and is renewable upon mutual agreement. The role of an Associate Editor consists of handling submitted papers or providing advice to the EIC’s. Upon initial examination of a paper, an Associate Editor may decide on its viability and act accordingly by either inviting referees or making a recommendation to an EIC to reject. In particular, it is expected that Associate Editors determine that a paper adheres to the scope and standards of ELA before sending it to reviewers. If an Associate Editor cannot handle an assigned paper, the EIC should be informed promptly. Typically, an Associate Editor handles 1-3 papers at any given time. (Associate Editors are designated as “Section Editors” in OJS.)


Managing Editors: Managing Editors oversee the operation and functionality of the ELA portal, as well as issues pertaining to the indexing and reviewing of ELA publications by professional societies. The preparation of galley proofs, obtaining author approval and pagination of accepted papers are tasked to a team of Associate and Assistant Managing Editors.


B. The Editorial Process


The editorial process is steered by ELA’s editorial system (OJS). Editors are invited upon appointment to join the system electronically. They can familiarize themselves with OJS by employing the available Help utility, or by inquiring one of the EIC’s. The Discussion utility is the preferred method for communications with other participants in the editorial process.


The editorial process can be summarized as follows:


  • EIC’s are alerted by OJS on new paper submissions. After an initial joint adjudication, EIC’s proceed to

either reject (“decline” in the nomenclature of OJS), assign the paper to be handled by another editor or handle the paper themselves

  • Handling editors inform the assigning EIC if they do not wish to handle a paper. Otherwise, they either make directly a recommendation to the EIC, or proceed with inviting referees in a timely fashion

  • Handling editors keep on top of deadlines and send out reminders to referees and authors, as needed

  • Referees communicate their reports to editors via OJS. Note that when referee reports are received, editors are alerted and must Confirm receipt in order to be able to forward the reports to authors if a revision is requested.

  • Depending on the recommendations, editors forward the referee reports to the authors asking for revisions, or make a final recommendation to the EIC’s for acceptance or rejection

  • More rounds of reviewing may ensue, as needed

  • The EIC’s communicate final decisions to the authors


C. The Recommendation

Editors should use the following categories in their final recommendations to EIC’s:


  1. The effort or results constitute a major contribution

  2. The paper is acceptable

  3. The subject is out of ELA's scope

  4. Results are published elsewhere

  5. Results are not of high enough level of novelty, significance or difficulty

  6. The paper is tedious, or there is too much in the literature on the same subject

  7. The paper is thin in new results or does not represent sufficient progress

  8. The paper contains major errors

  9. The exposition of the material is poor


Categories 4 and 7 do not apply to survey papers. Papers in categories 3-9 above will be rejected.


Concluding Remarks

ELA editors are expected to respect the guidelines above, but also to interpret and adjust them within reason and according to their professional experiences. Given ELA’s limited technical resources, it is expected that editors enforce that papers are written rigorously and are grammatically sound before recommending acceptance.


ELA strives to observe or improve on the professional standards by publishing papers within four months from submission, on average. Typically, ELA expects reports on original submissions within three months. For relatively minor revisions, a report is expected within one month.


The editorial service is greatly appreciated by ELA and ILAS, and helps make our community stronger and more highly respected.