Who makes the final decision to accept or reject a paper at Frontiers?

Article acceptance

The Associate Editor handling a manuscript can decide to accept the manuscript provided it is:

  • VALID as defined in the acceptance criteria
  • Has the minimum number of independent reviewers assigned for the article type
  • Is endorsed by a majority of the assigned, non-withdrawn reviewers


Acceptance of a manuscript can be decided by the handling Editor and does not require the approval of the Specialty Chief Editor.

Acceptance by the handling Editor moves the article into the Final Validation phase, during which Frontiers’ in-house Peer Review Team performs final technical and quality checks, including whether the review was performed adequately. Should the manuscript fail the final checks, it can either be put back into review to address the identified issue(s) or else the provisional acceptance decision can be overridden and the manuscript will be rejected at this stage without publication.

Article rejection

If the minimum required number of reviewers to endorse the manuscript is not met (usually two, and must be a majority), then the handling Editor must recommend to the Specialty Chief Editor that the manuscript be rejected for publication. The final rejection decision is usually made by the Specialty Chief Editor but can also be made by the Frontiers Research Integrity Team based on the rejection criteria.

See full Review Guidelines.