Publishing Research Through the CAS

The CAS Reserves Committee is currently reviewing papers submitted to our non-technical reserving call paper program. Our call for papers  (annually or bi-annually) provides a smooth path for budding authors to publish their work, since the committee provides a guiding hand at every step of the way: Once an author’s proposal is accepted, the author is paired with a group of two to four committee members who review draft submissions, provide feedback, answer questions, and help the author upload the final submission to the CAS’s ScholarOne platform. Papers accepted for publication by the Reserves Committee are ultimately published in the CAS’s E-Forum.

On a recent Reserves Committee teleconference, call paper reviewers updated the rest of the committee on how our reviews were progressing. The conversation then drifted to a discussion of the CAS’ other avenues for publication. While committee members agree that call paper programs represent a valuable option, certain papers – because of the topic, length, or nature of the content – might fit better in a different forum. New CAS members who have never submitted a paper may find it challenging to decide where to submit their research. Luckily, to help authors match their work to the appropriate publication, the CAS maintains a Submit Your Work page on its website. This page describes each CAS publication and gives submission guidelines. Good news: Authors can use the user-friendly and intuitive ScholarOne platform to upload manuscripts for each of these publications; no need to learn multiple submission systems if you want to write for more than one CAS publication. An overview of the publication options is provided below, listed (approximately and subjectively) in order from lowest to highest “barriers to entry.” Here are some of those options:

Working Papers. Working papers are works in progress. Authors can submit working papers at any time throughout the year, and papers receive limited review before being posted online. Working papers may present an idea or concept that the author hasn’t fully developed. Readers can submit comments, and the author can use this feedback to ready the paper for formal publication in one of the CAS outlets described below or in a different forum.

Actuarial Review. This bi-monthly magazine publishes short (usually 2-4 page) technical pieces in its “Actuarial Expertise” section. Recent articles have explored value at risk, the Bayesian Markov chain, Monte Carlo methods, and opportunities for actuaries in the insurtech revolution. Submissions to Actuarial Review are copyedited but not peer-reviewed.

E-Forum. The E-Forum is published electronically two to four times per year. This publication includes both independent articles and papers submitted through call paper programs (like those sponsored by the CAS Reserves Committee and other research committees). The depth of review a paper undergoes may depend on the channel through which it was submitted to the E-Forum; papers submitted through a call paper program often receive an in-depth review, while an independently submitted paper may receive a more higher-level review.

Variance. Variance is a peer-reviewed journal that includes original research and surveys of existing research. Material presented in Variance may be theoretical or applied. Authors frequently come from academia, and Variance carries the reputation of being the CAS’s most mathematically intense publication. If a paper submitted to Variance passes an initial review, it undergoes peer-review through the Variance Editorial Board. There is no set publication schedule for Variance, but the Editorial Board usually publishes one or two issues per year.

Monographs. CAS monographs provide comprehensive treatment of a single subject and are designed to be educational (four of the six published monographs are on the exam syllabus). While submissions to the CAS’s other publications should stay under 10,000 words (under 3,000 words in the case of the Actuarial Review), monographs may exceed 10,000 words. If a submitted paper passes initial review, a member of the Monograph Editorial Board assigns the paper to two peer-reviewers. There is no set publication schedule for monographs.

Research moves the actuarial profession forward, and the CAS’ suite of publications can accommodate a variety of styles and content. If you have an idea, a work in process, or a finished draft and you’re not sure where or how to submit it, contact Donna Royston, publications production coordinator or Elizabeth Smith, associate director of publications at the CAS. And be sure to check out the Reserves Committee’s call papers in an upcoming edition of the E-Forum.


About Julie Lederer

Julie Lederer, FCAS, MAAA, is the chairperson of the CAS Reserves Committee. She works for the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration.