Peer Review Process
Manuscripts are sent for review only if they pass the initial evaluation regarding their form and thematic scope. Special care is taken that the initial evaluation does not last more than necessary.
Under normal circumstances, the review process takes up to four weeks and only exceptionally up to two months. The total period from submitting a manuscript until its publication takes an average of 90 days.
Each submitted manuscript is evaluated on the following basis:
- The originality (Plagiarism Check through Turnitin) of its contribution to the field of scholarly publishing;
- The soundness of its theory and methodology given the topic;
- The coherence of its analysis;
- Its ability to communicate to readers (grammar and style).
JSPAE is dedicated to peer review integrity and upholding the highest review standards. After the editor evaluates the suitability of the manuscript, it will undergo a double-blind peer review by a minimum of two independent, anonymous experts in the field; the manuscript submission and peer review process are broken down into the following steps:
- The author submits a manuscript.
- The Editor assigns Reviewers to the manuscript.
- The Reviewers review the manuscript.
- The Editor drafts a decision to be sent to the Author.
- Revise and resubmit –Authors should incorporate the suggested comments and corrections in track changes into the manuscript. They should also address any questions raised by the reviewers and resubmit the manuscript with any or all changes made.
- Multiple round peer reviews: Peer review may undergo multiple rounds until the reviewers deem the manuscript suitable for publication based on the criteria.
- Accepted – If everything works as described, the submitted manuscript will be published.
The submitted papers are subject to a peer-review process. The purpose of peer review is to assist the editor in making editorial decisions, and through the editorial communications with the author, this may also assist the author in improving the paper.
A manuscript goes through the peer review process - Double-blind peer review. Double-blind peer review means that reviewers are unaware of the authors' identity, and authors are also unaware of the identity of reviewers. There are at least two reviewers. The typical period of time allowed for reviews: is 4 weeks. Note: This can be modified during the editorial process.
The choice of reviewers is at the editors' discretion. The reviewers must be knowledgeable about the subject area of the manuscript; they must not be from the author's own institution, and they should not have recent joint publications with any of the authors.
Reviewers must not have a conflict of interest with respect to the research, the authors and/or the funding sources for the research. If such conflicts exist, the reviewers must report them to the Editor immediately.
Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows its prompt review will be impossible should notify the Editor immediately.
Reviews must be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents.
Authors submit manuscripts to the Editorial Office via the online system. The acknowledgment letter should be sent to the author to confirm the receipt of the manuscript. The Chief Editor first reviews manuscripts. Section Editors assist the Chief Editor (could also be Co- or Associate Editors). The Editor assigns a Section Editor to see the manuscript through the complete review process and return it with a recommendation or decision. The manuscript is checked to see if it meets the scope of the Journal and its formal requirements. If it is incorrect or unsuitable, the author should be informed and the manuscript– direct rejection. Manuscripts that are not suitable for publication in the Journal are rejected. A Rejection letter is sent to the author stating the reason for rejection. If the manuscript conforms to the aims and scope of the Journal and formally abides by the Instructions to authors, it is sent out for review. Depending on the type of paper, it could be accepted immediately for publication by the Chief Editor.
Check that the manuscript has been written and styled in accordance with the Journal style, that it carries an abstract (if applicable), keywords, correct reference system, etc., and that the correct blinding system has been used. If anything is missing, ask the author to complete it before the manuscript is sent out for review.
The manuscript is sent out for review. The reviewer reads and evaluates the manuscript and eventually sends a review report to the Chief Editor. The time for review can be set to 2-6 weeks depending on the discipline (more time is usually given to papers in the humanities and social sciences). Make sure to provide the reviewer with clear instructions for the work, e.g. outlined in the form of a Review report or a number of questions to be considered.
Based on the reviewers’ comments, the Chief Editor makes a decision to:
- Accept the manuscript without further revision
- Accept after revision
- Ask the authors to resubmit
An acceptance letter is sent to the author, and the final manuscript is forwarded to production. Sometimes, the authors are requested to revise in accordance with reviewers’ comments and submit the updated version of their manuscript to the Chief Editor. The review time can be 2-8 weeks depending on the discipline and type of additional data, information or argument required. The authors are requested to make substantial revisions to their manuscripts and resubmit for a new evaluation. A rejection letter is sent to the author and the manuscript is archived. Reviewers might be informed about the decision.
After review, the manuscript goes to the Copy Editor, who will correct the manuscript concerning the correct referencing system in accordance with the journal style and layout. When the Copy Editor finishes his/her work, the manuscript will be sent to the Layout editor.
The Layout Editor is responsible for structuring the original manuscript, including figures and tables, into an article, activating necessary links, and preparing the manuscript in various formats, in our case PDF format. When the Layout Editor finishes his/her job, the manuscript will be sent to Proof Editor.
Proof Editor confirms that the manuscript has gone through all the stages and can be published.
All of the reviewers of a paper act independently and they are not aware of each other’s identities. If the decisions of the two reviewers are not the same (accept/reject), the Editor may assign additional reviewers.
The Editorial team shall ensure reasonable quality control for the reviews. With respect to reviewers whose reviews are convincingly questioned by authors, special attention will be paid to ensure that the reviews are objective and high in academic standard. When there is any doubt with regard to the objectivity of the reviews or quality of the review, additional reviewers will be assigned.
Basic principles for reviewers
Peer reviewers should:
- Only agree to review manuscripts for which they have the subject expertise required to carry out a proper assessment and which they can assess in a timely manner
- Respect the confidentiality of peer review and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer-review process, beyond those that are released by the journal
- Not use information obtained during the peer-review process for their own or any other person’s or organization’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others
- Declare all potential conflicting interests, seeking advice from the journal if they are unsure whether something constitutes a relevant interest
- Not allow their reviews to be influenced by the origins of a manuscript, by the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, or by commercial considerations.
- Be objective and constructive in their reviews, refraining from being hostile or inflammatory and from making libelous or derogatory personal comments.
- Acknowledge that peer review is largely a reciprocal endeavor and undertake to carry out their fair share of reviewing and in a timely manner.
- Provide journals with personal and professional information that is accurate and a true representation of their expertise.
- Recognize that impersonation of another individual during the review process is considered serious misconduct
Irene Hames, on behalf of COPE Council March 2013, v.1
Guidelines for Reviewers
Reviewers should start by checking if there is any conflict of interest and promptly notify the Editor in Chief.
Each received article is forwarded to two independent reviewers – double-blind review (reviewers do not know who is the author of the work; the author does not know who are the reviewers of his work). We insist on anonymity because we believe that this procedure will contribute to more independent, more critical and better examination papers.
Each reviewer has a period of 2-6 weeks to review the article. If you are unable to comply with deadlines, please inform without delay notify the Editor in Chief. The reviewer does not have the rights to the content of the paper, the other, or that data from work that benefits are reviewed for any purpose.
Reviewers have an obligation to care about ethical issues. If the paper is plagiarized or the same title has been published in another journal or proceedings, please promptly notify the Editor in Chief.
At the beginning of the reviewer form, the reviewer states his name, title, and the full name of the institution where he or she works, place and date of peer review. These data are confidential, remain with editorial boards and is not sent to the author of the work, in addition to the required corrections, suggestions and complaints if any.
Investigate the journal’s content.
First thing you need is to watch the originality, relevance, presentation, and importance of the manuscript. Visit the journal homepage and look at the aim and scope to see if the paper meets the journal submission criteria. This will help you decide whether the paper being reviewed is suitable.
In the review form that you get, write your opinion - report on the quantitative work.
How to write your report:
Complete all the review questions in the report form. Write your report on the work quality. Your report does not have to agree with the author. As a Reviewer, you can make suggestions as to how the author can improve clarity, succinctness, and the overall quality of presentation.
From the outset, check the following: does the article fit the scope of the journal? Is the article original? Does the research help to expand or further research in this subject area? Would the paper be of interest to the readership of the journal? If the answer to one or more of these questions is No, it is advisable to recommend the author to submit the paper in a related journal. Also, check if the article is in Standard English language, does the original research have IMRAD methodology? Is there an abstract or brief summary of the work undertaken as well as a concluding section?
Make a recommendation
After you finished reading the paper and have assessed its quality, you need to make a recommendation to the editor regarding publication. The next decision to make is any of the following:
Accept the manuscript without further revision – if the manuscript is suitable for publication in its current form.
Accept after revision – if the manuscript will be ready for publication after light revisions.
Ask the author(s) to resubmit – the article needs a lot of changes and need to submit the manuscript again.
Reject – if the paper is not suitable for publication with this journal.
When authors make revisions to their article in response to reviewer comments, the author(s) are asked to submit a list of changes and any comments to be submitted by reviewers.
If possible, the revised version is usually returned to the original reviewer who is then asked to affirm whether the revisions have been carried out satisfactorily.
What if you cannot make a review?
If for any reason, an assigned reviewer could not do a review of the paper he/she should immediately notify the editorial office that the review cannot be done. If you are unable to complete your report on a paper in the agreed time-frame, inform the editorial office as soon as possible so that the refereeing procedure is not delayed.
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