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Editorial Review of Manuscripts

Scientific and technical manuscripts with NIST authors or coauthors must be reviewed and approved through the Editorial Review Board (ERB) prior to submission to a publisher.  NIST authors are responsible for informing their non-NIST collaborators of this policy. The ERB review is meant to ensure that NIST’s quality management objectives are met:  

  • Scientific and technical information disseminated by NIST is presented in a clear, complete, and unbiased manner.  

  • Conclusions are supported by data and observations.  

  • Figures and tables are correct, clear, useful, necessary, and properly labeled.  

  • Manuscripts are organized efficiently and appropriately and contain proper syntax, grammar, and spelling.  

  • Acronyms are used sparingly and defined properly the first time that they are used.  

  • Results are reliable and accurate within an acceptable degree of uncertainty. 


NIST policy requires the following: 

  1. NIST measurement results comprise a measured value and an evaluation of measurement uncertainty; see NIST Technical Notes 1297  or 1900

  1. NIST measurement results must be reported using the International System of Units (SI) and SI style; see NIST Special Publication 811  

  1. NIST does not evaluate commercial products unless such an evaluation is part of a formal agreement. NIST does not endorse commercial products or services. The use of trade and product names should be avoided; generic terminology should be used wherever possible. A disclaimer must be included if a commercial product must be mentioned. 


The Review Process 

NIST’s editorial review process is handled through the NIST Publications System. The system allows authors, managers, and other reviewers to easily determine who a manuscript’s reviewers are and where it is in the review process.  Papers are typically read by five people who have different primary responsibilities in the review, covering technical and editorial quality as well as policy requirements: the Group Leader, two technical reviewers, the Division Chief, and an Editorial Review Board member (called an ‘ERB Sponsor’). The ERB Chair does a quick final check before approving the paper for release. The system is accessible within the NIST firewall, although it is possible for external reviewers to access it to conduct their reviews. 

If you are an external co-author on a paper with NIST staff and have questions about the status of a review, please contact your fellow NIST author. 

Created September 6, 2022