1. SUBMISSION OF PAPER
The corresponding or submitting author officially registers for the journal through the registration site and submits the paper to the journal.
2. EDITORIAL OFFICE ASSESSMENT
The journal editor checks the paper’s composition and arrangement against the journal’s Author Guidelines to make sure it includes the required sections and stylizations. The quality of the paper is not assessed at this point.
Failure to comply with any of the journal submission requirements shall cause an AUTOMATIC REJECTION.
3. APPRAISAL BY THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF (EIC)
The EIC checks that the paper is appropriate for the journal and is sufficiently original and interesting. If not, the paper may be rejected without being reviewed any further.
4. EIC ASSIGNS AN ASSOCIATE EDITOR (AE)
Some journals have Associate Editors who handle the peer review. If they do, they would be assigned at this stage.
5. INVITATION TO REVIEWERS
The handling editor sends invitations to individuals he or she believes would be appropriate reviewers.
6. RESPONSE TO INVITATIONS
Potential reviewers consider the invitation against their own expertise, conflicts of interest and availability. They then accept or decline. If possible, when declining, they might also suggest alternative reviewers.
7. REVIEW IS CONDUCTED
The reviewer sets time aside to read the paper several times. The first read is used to form an initial impression of the work. If major problems are found at this stage, the reviewer may feel comfortable rejecting the paper without further work. Otherwise they will read the paper several more 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.
8. JOURNAL EDITOR EVALUATES THE REVIEWS
The handling 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.
There must be a recommendation of acceptance by at least 2 peer-reviewers, where a minimum of 80% rating following peer-reviewers’ ratings guide must be met, see guide.
8.1. If accepted, was it accepted:
8.1.1. Without revisions? Due for publication.
8.1.2. Conditionally with minor revisions? Must comply with the revisions suggested.
8.1.3. Conditionally with major revisions? Must comply with the revisions suggested.
8.2. Were the revisions satisfied? If YES, then it will be published. If not, then satisfy suggested revisions and AE will give one last chance to revise.
9. THE DECISION IS COMMUNICATED
The editor sends a decision email to the author including any relevant reviewer comments. A double-blind peer review process is applied.
10. NEXT STEPS
If accepted, the paper is sent to production. If the article is rejected or sent back for either major or minor revision, the handling editor should include constructive comments from the reviewers to help the author improve the article. At this point, reviewers should also be sent an email or letter letting them know the outcome of their review. If the paper was sent back for revision, the reviewers should expect to receive a new version, unless they have opted out of further participation. However, where only minor changes were requested this follow-up review might be done by the handling editor.