ScienceScholar (SS) journals follow a double-blind peer-review process, whereby authors do not know reviewers and vice versa. Peer review is fundamental to the scientific publication process and the dissemination of sound science.
SS journals aspire to select and publish, through double-blind peer-review, the highest quality research globally. In order to achieve this goal, the entire peer-review process should be thorough, objective and fair. Journal reputation depends heavily on the fairness of the peer-review process.
Peer reviewers are experts chosen by journal editors to provide the written assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of written research, with the aim of improving the reporting of research and identifying the most appropriate and highest quality material for the journal.
SS considers its reviewers as experts in the scientific topics addressed in the articles they review. They provide the written assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of written research with the aims to improve the reporting of research and identifying the most appropriate and highest quality material for the journal. Individuals who do not have such expertise cannot be reviewers.
Ratings of review quality and other performance characteristics are periodically assessed by the Chief Executive Editor to assure optimal journal performance. These ratings also contribute to decisions on reappointment to the SS Editorial Board and to ongoing review requests. Individual performance data on Reviewers are available to the Editors but otherwise kept confidential.
Reviews are expected to be professional, honest, courteous, prompt, and constructive.
WHAT IS EXPECTED OF REVIEWERS?
Reviewers are welcome to recommend a particular course of action, but they should bear in mind that the other reviewers of a particular paper may have different technical expertise and/or views, and the Journal's editors may have to make a decision based on conflicting advice. The most useful reports, therefore, provide the editors with the information on which decision should be based. Setting out the arguments for and against publication is often more helpful to the editors than a direct recommendation one way or the other.
The submitted manuscript is a privileged communication; reviewers must treat it as confidential. It should not be retained or copied. Also, reviewers must not share the manuscript with any colleagues without the explicit permission of the Chief Executive Editor.
Plagiarism is scientific misconduct and is an unacceptable violation of publication ethics. It should be dealt with promptly.
The journal's editors and reviewers are the primary means of detecting plagiarism in manuscripts submitted to SS journals. If reviewers suspect misconduct, they should notify the Chief Executive Editor in confidence, and should not share their concerns with other parties unless officially notified by the journal that they may do so.
Reviewers should be prompt with their reviews. If a reviewer cannot meet the deadline given, he/she should contact the Chief Executive Editor as soon as possible to determine whether a longer time period or a new reviewer should be chosen. Typically, the time to complete the first review is three (3) weeks.
Three referees independently evaluate the scientific quality of the submitted manuscripts. Authors are encouraged to indicate in the Referral form (Manuscript Submission Guidelines) the names of three potential reviewers, but the editors will make the final choice. The editors are not, however, bound by these suggestions. Manuscripts should be written so that they are intelligible to the professional reader who is not a specialist in the particular field. They should be written in a clear, concise, direct style. Where contributions are judged as acceptable for publication on the basis of content, the Editor reserves the right to modify the typescripts to eliminate ambiguity and repetition and improve communication between author and reader. If extensive alterations are required, the manuscript will be returned to the author for revision.
What happens to a manuscript once it is submitted to SS?
Typically, there are seven steps to the editorial review process:
(1) The Chief Executive Editor and the Editorial Board examine the paper to determine whether it is appropriate for the journal and should be reviewed. If not appropriate, the manuscript is rejected outright.
(2) The Chief Executive Editor sends the article-identifying information having been removed to three, reviewers. Typically, one of these is from the Journal's Editorial Board. Others are specialists in the subject matter represented by the article. The Chief Executive Editor asks them to complete the review in three weeks and encloses two forms: (a) referral form B and (b) Referee's Evaluation (comments) form. Comments to authors are about the appropriateness and adequacy of the theoretical or conceptual framework, literature review, method, results, and discussion. Reviewers often include suggestions for a strengthening of the manuscript. Comments to the Editor are in the nature of the significance of the work and its potential contribution to the literature.
(3) The Chief Executive Editor, in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief, examines the reviews and decides whether to reject the manuscript, invite the author(s) to revise and resubmit the manuscript or seek additional reviews. Final acceptance or rejection rests with the Editorial Board and/or the Editor-in-Chief, who reserves the right to refuse any material for publication. In rare instances, the manuscript is accepted with almost no revision. Almost without exception, reviewers' comments (to the author) are forwarded to the author. If a revision is indicated, the Editor provides guidelines for attending to the reviewers' suggestions and perhaps additional advice about revising the manuscript.
(4) The authors decide whether and how to address the reviewers' comments and criticisms and the editor's concerns. The authors submit a revised version of the paper to the Chief Executive Editor along with specific information describing how they have answered' the concerns of the reviewers and the editor.
(5) The Chief Executive Editor sends the revised paper out for review. Typically, at least one of the original reviewers will be asked to examine the article.
(6) When the reviewers have completed their work, the Chief Executive Editor and the Editor-in-Chief examine their comments and decide whether the paper is ready to be published, needs another round of revisions, or should be rejected.
(7) If the decision is to accept, the paper is in the publication and the article should appear in print in approximately three to four months.The Editorial office of the Journal Division ensures that the paper adheres to the correct style (in-text citations, the reference list, and tables are typical areas of concern, clarity, and grammar. The authors are asked to respond to any queries by the Publisher. Following these corrections, page proofs are emailed to the corresponding authors for their final approval. At this point, only essential changes are accepted. Finally, the article appears in the pages of the Journal and is posted online.
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