1. Submission of a manuscript
The corresponding or submitting author submits the manuscript to the journal via an online system. Submissions are not received by email.
2. Editorial office assessment
The staff at Editorial Office checks the submission’s composition and arrangement against the journal’s Author Guidelines to make sure that it includes the required sections, follows the style of the journal, and lies within the aims and scope of the journal. The quality of the manuscript is not assessed at this point, but similarity check is performed to detect any possible plagiarism or redundant submission.
3. Appraisal by the Editor-in-Chief
The editor(s) checks that the manuscript is appropriate for the journal and is sufficiently original and interesting. If not, the manuscript may be rejected without being reviewed any further.
4. Invitation to reviewers
The editorial office sends invitations to the scholars who are appropriate reviewers. As responses are received, further invitations to review are issued, if necessary, until the required number of acceptances is obtained – commonly this is 2, but may vary depending upon the submission type and the subject covered.
5. Reviewers respond to invitations
Potential reviewers consider the invitation against their own expertise, conflicts of interest and availability. They then accept or decline the invitation. If possible, when declining, they might also describe a reason and suggest alternative reviewers.
6. Review is conducted
The reviewer sets time aside to read and evaluate the manuscript. If major problems are found at the initial stage, the reviewer may suggest rejecting the manuscript without further work. Otherwise, he/she will read the manuscript several times, taking notes so as to build a detailed point-by-point review. The review is then submitted to the journal, with a recommendation to accept or reject it – or else with a request for revision (usually flagged as either major or minor) before it is reconsidered for publication. At this point, an email is sent to the reviewers thanking them for their voluntary contribution.
7. Journal evaluates the comments of the reviewers
The editor considers all the returned reviews before making an overall decision. If the reviews differ widely, the editor may invite an additional reviewer so as to get an extra opinion before making a decision.
8. The decision is communicated
The editor (or Editorial Office) sends a decision email to the author including any relevant reviewer comments. These comments are anonymous as the journal follows a double-blind peer review policy.
10. Next Steps
If accepted, the manuscript is sent to production. If the article is rejected or sent back for either major or minor revision, the editor includes constructive comments from the reviewers to help the author improve the article. However, where only minor changes were requested this follow-up review might be done by the editor himself/herself. If major revisions were requested, the manuscript is sent back to the reviewer again to re-evaluate.