The journals I am talking about are those accepted by Scopus etc, Elsevier journals for example.

From my personal morals, I consider it my right as an author after a submission to a journal to have full access to:

  • all my submitted documents during the review process
  • all reviewers' comments made, expect the confidential ones between editor and reviewer
  • all additional editors comments
  • obviously during review but also afterwards, no matter whether the final result is an "accepted" or "rejected" paper

Now do such mandatory guidelines exist from the Scopus or CrossRef side? If not, are there publishers guaranteeing this? Email communications can be lost for various reasons like switching the university. This is somehow the case with me and I really would like to get access to comments from two years ago.

  • 5
    Just curious, on what basis do you assert these "author rights"? Why is there a mandate that a journal store all those documents and communications for you?
    – user24098
    May 30, 2017 at 11:11
  • 2
    You submitted the documents, so you should already have them. Any communication that is shared with you has been shared with you. I can't necessarily see how it is the journal's responsibility to provide this information back/multiple times.
    – skymningen
    May 30, 2017 at 11:12
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    @JanHackenberg I was interested in why that is your personal moral view.
    – user24098
    May 30, 2017 at 11:35
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    @JanHackenberg I agree the journal has an ethical mandate to share any comments or modifications with you (which is typically done). But I don't see why they would be mandated to act as a personal backup service for you in case you lose the original version they sent...
    – user24098
    May 30, 2017 at 12:30
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    You don't transfer copyright for material that is not published. Also changes to the manuscript in response to comments are still done by the authors alone. I think you need to describe exactly what you are trying to achieve because your question is hard to understand in its current state.
    – Cape Code
    May 30, 2017 at 13:46

2 Answers 2


Journals do not have any legal obligation to store all documents associated with the review process. While many do store them in the electronic system, these systems are still relatively new. I have never heard discussions about record archiving polocies. Further, when journals switch review systems, the records are sometimes lost.

Of course, you have access to all these documents, and should use whatever archiving policy you think is relevant. I tend to save all the documents. I have paper files for my older manuscripts and purely electronic files for newer manuscripts.


No, there is no such legal obligation.

There are some disputed cases, where the original authorship of a novel idea is disputed and where such records may be very helpful, but are unavailable.

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