Peer Review Process

JER is a refereed journal which follows a double-blind peer-review process. All articles in this journal undergo rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and refereeing by two anonymous reviewers. The review process may take from two to three months. See the manuscript handling flow chart.

 

Our experience tells us that the peer-review process is an indispensable part of any scholarly publication process, which improves the manuscripts that get published.  With our commitment for the first-rate and good quality papers in our Journal, we emphasize the practice of initial screening and double blind peer-review of all submissions made to us for publishing.  Not only does this peer review provide an independent assessment of the importance and technical accuracy of the results described, but also the feedback from referees conveyed to the authors results in manuscripts being refined so that their structure and logic is more readily apparent to the readers. To maintain the high standards of our Journal, our Paper Editors and Referees follow all the procedure outlined here.
Step 1: Manuscript Editor Selection
When a manuscript is received for publishing, the Editor-in-Chief assigns a Manuscript Editor for initial screening of the manuscript.  The author may also request a certain Manuscript Editor whilst submitting the manuscript.  However, the final decision regarding the Manuscript Editor for a particular manuscript is made by the Editor-in-Chief considering aspects like expertise, workload, and conflict of interest.  In some cases, the Editors and the Editor-in-Chief can also work as a Manuscript Editor.
Step 2: Initial Screening
The Manuscript Editor makes an initial screening whether the submitted manuscript merits full external review.  For an initial opinion, the Manuscript Editor may also consult members of the Editorial Board.  Those manuscripts judged by the editors to be of insufficient general interest or otherwise inappropriate are rejected promptly without external peer review.
Those authors whose manuscripts are rejected at this stage will be informed within the three weeks of the receipt of the manuscript.  The most common ground for editorial rejection at this point is when a manuscript is: outside the aims and scope of the Journal; a confirmation or duplication of published work, or represents preliminary, incomplete, poorly designed, or purely ‘descriptive’ studies lacking theoretical insight(s) into a problem.
Should there be a possibility that the manuscript could fit in the Journal after some revisions, the Manuscript Editor might offer some initial suggestions to the author.  If the author resubmits the manuscript in line with the initial suggestions and if the Manuscript Editor finds the revised version of the manuscript worth of external peer review then the manuscript is accepted for review.
Step 3: Referee Selection
After having completed the initial screening, the manuscript judged to be of potential interest to our readership is sent for formal review.  The Manuscript Editor identifies possible Referees and sends the manuscript for review.  In a general case, we use two Referees to assess the quality, novelty and aptness of the manuscript.  In some specific cases, we may use three or even more Referees.
Manuscripts solicited for Special Issues and other invited materials are subject to essentially the same peer review procedures as regular submissions except that, in most cases, Special Issues are handled by a Guest Editor.
Referee selection is critical to the publication process, and we base our choice on many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations and our own previous experience of certain reviewer's capability and timeliness.  We select Referees who work scholarly and timely.
We invite our Referees by sending an email and asking to accept or decline the request to provide a review within two weeks.  If they decline, new potential Referees are invited.  All invited Referees are provided an opportunity to make suggestions for alternative Referees.  Our database of Referees will be constantly updated as we attempt to identify and maintain quality Referees.  We also request suggestions for referees from the author to aid in identifying people with relevant expertise.  The Manuscript Editor is free to select from these choices or pick up another Referee.  Authors can also make suggestions to exclude particular Referees from the review process to help in avoiding conflict of interest.  In some cases, the Manuscript Editor or a member of the Board of Editors may also act as a Referee.  However, such instances will not be preferred and thus will not be promoted.
Step 3: Formal Review Process
The manuscript review process is completely double blind, where the Referees remain anonymous to the author and the author remains anonymous to the Referees throughout the whole process.  Likewise, Referees will also remain anonymous to each other.
The Referees will examine the manuscript considering mainly on the basis of the originality and relevance of the theme, conceptual/theoretical soundness, addition to the knowledge, questioning or challenge to the existing knowledge, methodological rigour, organization and coherence, ethical stance, substantiation and reference, etc. and give her/his advice on the publication potential of the manuscript. Once the reviewer agrees to provide review on a paper of her/his expertise area, a detailed Peer Review Form (outlining specific focus areas to consider) will be sent along with the paper.
As per our policy, we do not suppress Referees' reports; any comments that were intended for the authors are transmitted, regardless of what we may think of the content.  On rare occasions, we may edit a report to remove offensive language or comments.  We may also edit a report in order to avoid the possible revelation of confidential information about any matter.
When the Referees’ report is received, the Manuscript Editor then makes a decision based on the Referees’ advice, from among several possibilities:

  • Accept, with or without editorial revisions
  • Invite the authors to revise their manuscript to address specific concerns before a final decision is reached
  • Reject, but indicate to the authors that further work might justify a resubmission
  • Reject outright, typically on grounds of specialist interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems

In case where the Referees have differing opinions on the publication potential of a manuscript, the Manuscript Editor might request the Referees for their opinion on matters of differing ideas.  In such a case, the Manuscript Editor might also consult with members of the Editorial Board.
Except in case of the acceptance of the manuscript without any revisions, the manuscript then is returned to the author inviting her/him for revision and resubmission within a specified period of maximum one month (depending upon required revision).  When the author resubmits the manuscript after revision, the Manuscript Editor decides whether the manuscript needs a second round of review by the Referees or can be accepted in its presently submitted form.  In case the Manuscript Editor decides for a second review and in case the first round Referee(s) is/are not available, the Manuscript Editor may find new Referee(s), do the review by her/himself, consult members of the Editorial Board or decide on the basis of only one Referee’s re-review report (if such report is there).
In case the author claims that her/his ideas are misunderstood by the Referees, the Manuscript Editor might request the Referees for their opinion on matters of author’s claim.
Language Correction
Language correction is not the part of peer review process.  Therefore, Referees are not expected to correct or copy-edit manuscripts.  A manuscript may be accepted subject to the contributor agreeing to have her/his manuscript professionally copy-edited at her/his effort if it is judged to be potentially publishable but poorly designed and presented.  We maintain a list of well qualified providers of this service.
Time for Review Process
We strive to be as fast as possible; however it can take time because sometimes the appropriate referees for a particular manuscript might not be available or busy for a while.  Usually, the time for handling a manuscript from submission to first decision is expected to be around five weeks.  If Referees agree to examine a manuscript in a timely manner but are delayed or fail to provide a review despite regular reminders from the Journal, the Manuscript Editor may make a decision based on the completed reviews or s/he might decide to request other referees.  It may also be necessary to seek a further opinion from other experts should the Referees' reports contradict one another.  In such cases, the review process will take a little longer but the Manuscript Editor will make every effort to minimize the delay.
When the author resubmits the revised version of the manuscript and if the Manuscript Editor decides for a second round of review, the manuscript is sent to the reviewer usually within one week of receipt.  In general, one round of re-review is permitted for manuscripts deemed to have major issues.  To correct relatively minor issues that the Manuscript Editor feels, subsequent rounds of reviews may be necessary.  Such minor corrections could be handled by the Manuscript Editor her/himself for a quick final decision on the manuscript.
Step 5: Final Decision
As noted, Referees and the Manuscript Editor are key actors in making decision to accept or reject a manuscript.  However, the Editor-in-Chief makes the final decision in this regard.  While taking such a decision, the Editor-in-Chief may consult with other Editors or members of the Editorial Board.  Once the Editor-in-Chief makes the decision, that is considered final and no complaints are received by the author or by anyone else on behalf of the author about the decision.
Inquiry and Comment
For any general questions and comments about the peer-review process, the Journal or its editorial policies that are not addressed here, we encourage Authors and Referees to contact us at jer@kusoed.edu.np.