Peer Review Policy Statement: The practice of peer review is to ensure that good scholarly work is published. It is an objective process at the heart of good scholarly publishing and is standard practice at all reputable journals. Our editorial executive team, together with referees, therefore, play a vital role in maintaining the high standards of multi-discipline research and all manuscripts, including those that appear in Special Issues, are peer-reviewed following the procedure outlined below: (see also the publication flow chart)
STEP 1: Initial Manuscript Evaluation
The Editor first evaluates the manuscript for ‘fit’ and ‘compliance’ to the journal’s mission and publication standards. Those rejected at this stage are insufficiently original, have serious scientific flaws, have poor grammar or English language, or are outside the aims and scope of the journal.
Authors of manuscripts rejected at this stage are usually informed within 3-10 days of submission.
STEP 2: Peer Review
Those papers that meet the minimum criteria are passed on to at least 2 experts for review; these may include members of the Editorial Board, audited reviewers nominated by the Author, or those from the list of approved journal reviewers. Reviewers are asked to complete a proforma and to indicate reviews that may be required of the paper for publication.
- Type of peer review This journal employs double-blind reviewing, where the referees remain anonymous to authors throughout the
- How referees are selected: The journal manages papers in discipline areas. Each discipline area has a sub-editor and a committee to oversight the process. Referees are matched to papers according to their expertise and recent reviewing history. Our database is constantly being updated. We welcome suggestions for referees from the author(s) although these recommendations may or may not be used.
- Referee reports Referees are asked to evaluate whether the manuscript:
- is original
- is methodologically sound
- follows appropriate ethical guidelines
- has results that are clearly presented and support the conclusions
- correctly references and are relevant
- Referees are not expected to correct or copy edit manuscripts.
- Language correction is not part of the peer-review process.
- A standard report template is used.
- How long does the review process take? Typically manuscripts are reviewed within 8 weeks of submission but substantially longer review times are not uncommon, especially for papers on esoteric topics where finding qualified referees can itself take months. Should the referees' reports contradict one another, or a report is unduly delayed, a further expert opinion is often sought. Revised manuscripts are usually returned to the initial referees upon receipt. Referees may and frequently do request more than one revision of a paper.
STEP 3: Notification/ Publication
- Final report A final decision to accept or reject the manuscript is made by the Editor. An acceptance notification is sent to the author: recommendations made by the referees and usually included verbatim comments by the referees. The journal may refer to the author and their paper to a third part academic support service to assist them in revising their paper especially if the major issue is the English language/writing/academic
- Editor's decision is final: Referees advise the Editor, who is responsible for the final decision to accept or reject the paper.