Peer review

Peer review plays a vital and critical role in the publication of scholarly articles through assessment of validity, quality and originality of submitted articles. It is considered to be the most effective and valid form of research evaluation to help select the highest quality articles for publication. Authors can receive the information regarding the peer-review stage of their manuscripts through editorial assistants.

Review process

Editorial staff transfers all submitted manuscripts to one of the Editors for initial evaluation in order to establish if the manuscript meets the editorial criteria. Initial evaluation includes assessment if the manuscript is suitable for the journal or special issue, authors’ qualification and background, and plagiarism levels. Papers that don’t meet these criteria, as well as obviously poor manuscripts, will be rejected without sending for further external review.

If the papers provide potential interest for readers and present importance to the scientists in the relevant field of the journal’s scope, Editors suggest external peer-reviewers (selection of peer-reviewers is based on expertise, reputation, specific recommendations and our own previous experience of a reviewer's characteristics). Alternatively, editorial staff will send manuscripts to the qualified Editorial Board members or reviewers from our database. All selected reviewers hold a Ph.D. and have recent publications in the field of the submitted paper. In some cases, a paper is sent for review to both Editorial Board member and an external reviewer.

All manuscripts are “double-blind” peer-reviewed, which means that reviewers do not possess any information about the authors’ identities and vice versa. If one of the editors submits the manuscript for publication in the journal, editorial staff transfers this manuscript to another Editor or one of the Editorial Board members without disclosing any information about the author.

After the manuscripts have been reviewed, Editors receive a Referee Report with point-by-point evaluation and comments. Based on the suitability of selected reviewers, adequacy of reviewer comments and overall scientific quality of the paper, Editors make one of the following decisions:

  • Publish unaltered
  • Consider after minor changes
  • Consider after major changes
  • Reject without further consideration

If the authors are required to revise the paper, they ought to provide the revised manuscript along with the Response to the Reviewers. All authors receive reviewer’s comments immediately after the manuscript had been reviewed. If authors request a Referee Report, they receive it without revealing the identity of the reviewer and can appeal against editorial decisions responding to the referees with authors’ arguments and explanations. Articles may or may not be sent to reviewers after authors’ revision, depending on whether the reviewer requested to see the revised version and the wishes of the Editor.

Expectations from reviewers

During the peer-review process, report preparation, and after refereeing we expect from Editorial Board members and reviewers to:

  • respond in a reasonable time-frame, especially if reviewer can not perform the review, including intentional delay;
  • declare if they are not experts in the field the paper is relevant to;
  • declare any potentially conflicting or competing interests (which may, for example, be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political or religious) and seek advice from the Editorial Board in this case;
  • decline to review if they feel unable to provide a fair and unbiased review or they are involved with any of the work in the manuscript or its reporting;
  • to provide honest and fair assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the research and the manuscript;
  • send completed report form along with the reviewed manuscript;
  • be specific in their criticisms, and provide evidence with appropriate references to substantiate general statements to help editors in their evaluation and decision;
  • suggest additional research if it helps strengthen or extend the work;
  • ensure their comments and recommendations for the editor are consistent with their report for the authors;
  • any suggestions and comments must be based on valid academic or technological reasons;
  • continue to keep details of the manuscript and its review confidential during and after reviewing;