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The journal employs a double-blind peer review to all submitted manuscripts, which means that both the reviewer and author identities are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa, throughout the review process. A more in-depth description of our peer review process is below.
When the manuscript arrives at the editorial office of the journal, the editor-in-chief carries out an initial in-house assessment of the received manuscript based on the suitability of the topic according to the journal’s aims & scope, the author’s adherence to the journal’s guidelines (word count, language clarity, and format), research quality, the importance of the topic and relevance to the journal’s readership. If the manuscript does not pass these initial checks, the author will be contacted to revise the manuscript according to the journal criteria; however, the editor-in-chief might reject the manuscript immediately. Rejected manuscripts at this stage have serious flaws, are insufficiently original, have poor language, or do not fall within the aims and scope of the journal. Authors whose manuscripts are rejected at this stage will be informed directly. This rejection can enable a fast decision if the manuscript is not suitable for the journal, enabling the author(s) to submit the paper to another journal quickly.
When the manuscript has passed the desk review stage, it will then be delivered to two reviewers who are experts in the field of the submitted manuscript. The reviewers are initially invited to review the manuscript by sending them the abstract of the manuscript. Upon acceptance to review the manuscript, the reviewers are sent the full text of the manuscript and requested to do the review within 2 to 3 weeks as a maximum to submit their reports to the editor-in-chief. The reviewers are also required to disclose potential conflicts of interest if any, that may affect the outcome of the double-blind reviewing process.
The reviewers are provided with an evaluation form requesting them to judge the manuscript in terms of the paper novelty, originality, valuable contribution to the existing field of study, ethical aspects, scientific misconduct, the structure of the article submitted and relevance to authors’ guidelines, references provided to substantiate the content, literature review, design and methodology, clarity of findings and discussion, documentation and references. The reviewers are also required to include general and specific anonymous comments to the author(s). If the two reviewers are in disagreement in their judgment on the suitability of the paper for publication, the second round of peer review may be initiated. Each online review report should conclude with a final recommendation for the submitted paper, which can be one of the following:
(a) accepted without any changes; means that the manuscript is acceptable for publication
(b) accepted with minor revisions; means that the manuscript is acceptable for publication once it is revised in response to the reviewers’ concerns.
(c) accepted with major revisions; means that substantive inadequacies in the manuscript, such as data analysis, the main theory used, and rewriting of paragraphs, need to be revised.
(d) rejected, means that the manuscript is not acceptable for publication or the given reviews relate to fundamental issues.
Once the manuscript is received with notations of minor or major revisions, it will be sent to the author with a manuscript evaluation form. If the manuscript is accepted with minor revisions, author(s) will be given one week to make the corrections. For manuscripts accepted with major revisions, two weeks will be allotted for revision.
At this stage, the editor will look through the resubmitted manuscript to make sure that the author(s) has revised the manuscript in response to the reviewers’ comments. At this stage of the final decision, the author(s) may be required to make further revisions, or the manuscript might be rejected if the author(s) did not adequately carry out the revisions suggested by the reviewers.
Once the manuscript is accepted by the editorial team, it will undergo a copyediting, layout editing and proofreading process to ensure the linguistic quality of the manuscript. After the editing stage is finished, authors are requested to double-check the PDF file of the final version before online publication.
The journal strives to deal with and resolve all complaints as soon as possible. The procedures followed by the journal to handle and resolve complaints aim to be fair for authors filing complaints and for those being complained about.
In case an author would like to challenge an editorial decision, he or she should contact the Editor-in-Chief of the journal. After the appeal is made by the author, the Editor-in-Chief will review the manuscript, peer reviewers' comments and reach a decision for accepting or rejecting the manuscript. If required, the Editor-in-Chief may send the manuscript to new referees for peer review. The Editor-in-Chief's decision is final in such cases. All submitted complaints will be acknowledged within two working days.