Guidelines for the Submission of Papers to Variance
(As Updated February 28, 2017)
The purpose of these guidelines is two-fold: to assist all authors in the preparation of papers and to acquaint authors with procedures and rules governing the submission, evaluation, and acceptance of papers.
Mission Statement for Variance
Variance is a peer-reviewed journal published by the Casualty Actuarial Society to disseminate work of interest to casualty actuaries worldwide. The focus of Variance is original practical and theoretical research in casualty actuarial science. Significant survey or similar articles are also considered for publication. Membership in the Casualty Actuarial Society is not a prerequisite for submitting papers to the journal, and submission by non-CAS members is encouraged.
Who May Submit
Papers are welcomed from anyone regardless of their profession, education, geographic location. Submissions will be evaluated based upon the merits of the paper and not authorship.
Papers must meet the following standards in order to be eligible for further consideration:
- The topic selected must be relevant to casualty actuarial science.
- The subject matter must fit into one or more of the following categories:
- Researchâ€”contains original ideas or new material
- Educationalâ€”for actuaries or others involved in the analysis, modeling, or management of risk
- Practicalâ€”provides synthesis of existing distinct processes, solutions to substantive problems, expositions of actuarial practices, compilation of current techniques, etc.
Papers on a wide variety of subjects are welcome. Casualty actuarial science is a broad and dynamic field and casualty actuaries must be knowledgeable about many subjects.
Preparation of Papers
Authors should observe the following guides in preparing papers:
- Style. The form, clarity, and literary quality of the paper must meet scholarly standards that will reflect credit upon Variance. The paper should show care in preparation, including attention to grammar, spelling, and related editorial items. It should not be considered as a draft to which extensive alterations will be made. Papers should not be unnecessarily complex in their wording. It may be helpful to the author to ask his or her peers to review the paper before it is submitted to Variance.
- Length. As a general rule, papers should be fewer than 10,000 words, exclusive of tables and appendices.
- Language. Papers should be in English.
- Abstract and Keywords. Each paper must begin with an abstract of not more than 100 words. This abstract should provide an overview of the paper. When a paper is accepted for publication in Variance, the abstract may be published elsewhere. This should be followed by a list of keywords.
- Papers must be typed double-spaced on 8-1/2" by 11" paper on one side of each sheet. Tables and footnotes may be single-spaced. Major headings should be centered and numbered 1, 2, 3, etc. Subheads should be numbered 1.1, 1.2, etc. (the number before the decimal indicating which major head it falls under). Footnotes must be numbered consecutively throughout the paper.
- Appendices: Use letters (A, B, ... ) to distinguish different appendices. Begin each appendix on a new page.
- Tables: All charts, exhibits, and tables in a paper should be numbered with Arabic numerals (1, 2,...). So far as possible, tables should be arranged so that they can be printed on a single page of the journal without undue reduction in size of type. In the text of the paper there should be a reference to each table and figure. References should be specific ("Table 3 shows the...") instead of general ("the table below").
- Figures: Figures are graphs, pictures, etc. They should be numbered with Arabic numerals (e.g., "Figure 3"). Generally, figures are photo-reduced, not typeset, so high-quality originals must be provided by the author.
- Footnotes: Footnotes should be numbered with Arabic numerals. They should be numbered sequentially even through appendices. An asterisk may be used if there is only one footnote in the entire paper. Superscripts indicating footnotes should never be appended to numbers or formulae.
- Citation of sources in the paper should be by name and year, for example: (Jones 2000).
- Footnotes should not be used when they only consist of a bibliographic reference. In that case, use a parenthetical reference, i.e., (Jones 2000) in the text and provide complete information in a References entry.
- References. All works cited in the paper should be included in the References. Entries should be complete in order to allow a reader to find the source, listing the author, title, publication information, and page numbers for the first and last pages. The References list should not be numbered, but should be in alphabetical order by last name.
- Mathematical formulae, variables, and symbols.
- Every effort should be made to use mathematical formulae and symbols that are generally accepted in the actuarial profession and, most particularly, to use symbols that have been used previously in papers in Variance.
- Formulae: If formulae are to be numbered, numbers must be in the form of S.N., where S is the section number and N is a sequential number for the formula within the section. Avoid complex notation.
- Variables: Avoid using the same variable for different references; e.g., i for an index and an interest rate; r for risk load and rate of return; v for variance and discount rate, etc.
- Symbols: When life contingency symbols are applicable, the international actuarial notation should be used. This notation is as described in The Theory of Interest and Life Contingencies with Pension Applications: A Problem-Solving Approach, by M.M. Parmenter.
- Complete. Authors must provide enough information, either in the paper or through citations of references, that peer reviewers and readers can assess the validity of the author's results. Statements that data or derivations cannot be provided because they are proprietary are unacceptable and will lead to rejection of the paper for publication.
- Miscellaneous. Papers are expected to be free of criticism of a personal nature.
Procedures for Submission
Authors must submit their papers via the CAS Publications submission portal on the ScholarOne website. Through the ScholarOne Author Dashboard, authors are guided through the following seven-step process:
- Step 1: Type, Title, & Abstract
- Step 2: Attributes
- Step 3: Authors & Institutions
- Step 4: Reviewers
- Step 5: Details & Comments
- Step 6: File Upload
- Step 7: Review & Submit
Papers should be submitted in electronic format, preferably as a Microsoft Word document.
The Variance Editorial Board wishes to maintain anonymity of the author during the review process. Submissions should not contain any information that might reveal authors’ names or affiliations.
Questions on submissions can be emailed to Donna Royston, CAS Publications Production Coordinator at Editor@variancejournal.org.
The CAS Publications submission portal on the ScholarOne website should include responses to the following:
- What is the title of paper?
- Has the paper been published in a CAS Discussion Paper Program? Authors of discussion papers are encouraged to submit their papers for possible inclusion in Variance.
- Has the paper been published elsewhere, in whole or in part, in identical or similar form? If the answer is "yes," the author should provide a copy of the previously published paper and a waiver by the publisher. In addition, the author should indicate whether the paper was reviewed for technical accuracy by the publisher. The author should set forth the special circumstances that merit its consideration for Variance. As a general rule, a paper that has been published in a refereed journal, or a paper that has been published or widely distributed elsewhere, will not be accepted for Variance.
- Is the paper being simultaneously submitted elsewhere or will it be so submitted before the decision by the Editorial Board of Variance? If the answer is "yes," the author must provide the name of the journal and, if the paper is subject to copyright, provide a statement of willingness of the publisher to waive copyright. The CAS is unable to publish copyrighted material without a waiver from the copyright holder.
- Does the paper contain any material that is copyrighted? This may include factual data, charts, graphs, etc. If so, has the author obtained a copyright waiver from the publisher or copyright holder? This waiver should be uploaded in Step 6 on the ScholarOne website for CAS Publications.
- Does the paper contain any material that is proprietary? This may include factual data, charts, graphs, etc. If so, has the author obtained permission from the relevant party to release the proprietary information? This permission sheet should be uploaded in Step 6 on the ScholarOne website for CAS Publications.
- Has the author read the Variance Guidelines for the Submission of Papers and does the submission comply with these guides? If so, this should be stated affirmatively in Step 5.
- Is the author prepared to execute a copyright assignment agreement with the CAS (see copyright form in the “Instructions and Forms” pull-down menu in the upper right of the ScholarOne website for CAS Publications) and appended to the Guides for the Submission of Papers)? If so, this should be stated affirmatively. A paper will not be accepted without a copyright agreement uploaded in Step 6.
The CAS Publications Production Coordinator will acknowledge the receipt of the paper.
In specific instances, the Variance Editorial Board may recommend exceptions to these guidelines to the Vice President-Administration.
Initial Screening of Papers
Upon receipt of the paper, the CAS Publications Production Coordinator will determine whether the paper complies with the Procedures for Submission of Papers. If it does not, the paper will be returned to the author with comments as to the deficiencies. If the paper does comply, the paper will be forwarded on to the Editor in Chief and Associate Editor-Peer Review for initial review. If the paper is found to be relevant for publication in Variance the paper will be peer reviewed.
Procedure for Reviewing Papers
The editor to whom a paper is assigned determines the acceptability of the paper by evaluating the votes of the paper's reviewers. The paper will be accepted or rejected based upon a majority decision of the reviewers. The Editorial Board's decision will place the paper in one of the following categories:
- Accept. The Editorial Board will accept the paper unconditionally. The author will be notified of this decision through the Editor.
- Accept with suggestions for improvement. The Editorial Board will suggest to the author ways in which the paper may be improved. The Editorial Board will communicate to the author its decision and its suggestions and will ask for affirmative action by the author either to revise the paper or to confirm the original submission.
- Accept conditionally. The Editorial Board will require conditions that must be met by the author in order to make the paper acceptable. The Editorial Board will communicate to the author its decision, the reasons there for and its conditions, and will ask the author either to revise the paper or to withdraw it from consideration.
- Request resubmission. The Editorial Board will not accept the paper but will provide the author with general suggestions on how to reconstruct the paper to make it acceptable. This action contemplates papers with ideas acceptable for the journal but with inadequate presentation. The Editorial Board will communicate to the author its decision and reasons there for along with its suggestions, and invite resubmission.
- Reject. The Editorial Board will reject the paper and notify the author of its decision and the reasons there for. An author, in case of rejection, may appeal to the Editor in Chief of Variance, who will conduct such inquiries as he/she deems appropriate and will make a binding decision based on one of the above four categories or rejection.
The following general principles will be observed by the Editorial Board in evaluating papers. Neither disagreement by the Editorial Board with opinions of the author nor unorthodoxy in the views expressed by the author will be a bar to acceptance of an otherwise suitable paper. The Editorial Board welcomes candor and genuine debate subject to the usual expectations of clarity, pertinence, and courtesy. The paper should recognize other viewpoints and explore its subject in sufficient depth to contribute to general enlightenment. Where the paper is found to be fallacious in logic or misleading in matters of fact, the Editorial Board will reject it.
When a paper includes material that the Editorial Board finds itself not qualified to evaluate, the Editors may seek advice or opinion from recognized experts.
Guidelines for Resubmitting
- When an author decides to resubmit a paper in connection with guidelines, all the rules and procedures for original submission will apply. The revised paper should be uploaded on the ScholarOne website for CAS Publications along with a cover letter titled "RESUBMISSION." To expedite the resubmission review, authors are required to indicate in the resubmission cover letter how they have responded to the comments contained in the individual reviews. If an author does not agree with a recommended change, the author will provide a detailed explanation of the disagreement in the letter.
Discussions of Papers
As a general rule, discussions of previously published papers are subject to the guides in the same manner as papers, with the following exceptions:
- Length. Discussions of papers should generally be fewer than 2,500 words. No abstract is required.
- Procedure for submission. All requirements pertaining to anonymity of authors are waived. In general, authors of discussions should adhere to the Guidelines for Preparation of Papers explained above.
- General. The author of a discussion should send a copy to the author of the paper being discussed with enough advance notice to allow the author of the paper to analyze and, if he or she wishes, prepare a reply to the discussion.
Authors will be given an opportunity to respond to discussions of their papers. Replies are treated in the same manner as discussion of papers.
Before papers can be accepted for publication, authors are required to sign and return a CAS Copyright Assignment Agreement form to the CAS Office. This copyright agreement assigns the CAS exclusive right, title, and interest to the paper, including the right of the CAS to edit the paper and publish the author's name in connection with the publication of the paper in Variance. The CAS will grant back to the author certain rights under a limited license.
The Editorial Board of Variance will provide a Copyright Assignment Agreement form when notifying the author of the results of the committee's initial screening of a paper that falls into categories 1-3.
Authors will be asked to sign and return the Copyright Assignment Agreement form prior to official acceptance of the paper by the Editorial Board. Further consideration of the paper will be contingent upon the return of the signed Copyright Assignment Agreement form.
To protect the Casualty Actuarial Society's copyright, the following statement will be placed at the bottom of the first page of a paper after it has been accepted and before its reproduction:
"Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of the Casualty Actuarial Society is specifically prohibited, except that permission is granted to make copies for classroom or other educational use, but in no event for general distribution, advertising or promotional purposes, inclusion in new collective works, or for any commercial purposes."
Editing and Publication
Primarily, it is the responsibility of the author, working with the paper's copyeditor, to produce a final draft of the paper suitable for printing. After the author has been notified that the paper has been accepted for publication and the editorial review phase has concluded, the author must upload the paper as an electronic file along with its accompanying tables, appendices, etc. on the CAS Publications submission portal on the ScholarOne website. The electronic file should be prepared in a commonly used word processing software, preferably Microsoft Word. If an author has any questions about the compatibility of a particular word processing system, he or she should contact the CAS Publications Production Coordinator.
The author will have an opportunity to read, revise, and comment on the first typeset copy of the paper. Variance will not publish a paper if the author has not approved the page proofs at this stage. Any subsequent editing is normally minor and is not referred to the author.