• Peer Review

    Peer Review Model

    The journal adopts a single-blind peer review model meaning that reviewers' identities are concealed from authors, but authors' identities are known to reviewers. All accepted articles (except for some Editorials released by the Editors) will have undergone a rigorous and thorough review process to evaluate their novelty, scientific content, academic integrity, etc.

    Peer Review Process

    Each submission is subject to an initial check operated by the managing editor and the Academic Editor. The managing editor conducts the plagiarism check and reviews the manuscript for suitability versus the scope of the journal and appropriate format. Manuscripts that pass this initial check are assigned to an Academic Editor after disclosing conflicts of interest according to the Checklist. The Academic Editor is usually an Editor-in-Chief although an Editor-in-Chief may assign the role of Academic Editor to another Editorial Board member, a Guest Editor, or another expert who is active in this field for certain papers. The Academic Editor first takes a decision on whether the manuscript is sent for full peer review. If the Academic Editor finds that the manuscript is not of sufficient quality or that the subject of the manuscript is not appropriate for the journal, the manuscript will be rejected with no further evaluation. Manuscripts which pass the Academic Editor’s initial evaluation are passed on to experts for full peer review.

    Peer reviewers should have considerable expertise/experience in the subject of the article, who focus on the manuscript and are invited to evaluate the manuscript’s quality with regard to significance, novelty, integrity, presentation, scientific soundness, etc. Reviewers complete the review by providing a constructive report within 14 days of acceptance of the invitation. Each manuscript usually requires at least two external review reports comprising detailed comments and an overall recommendation (“Acceptance”, “Minor Revision”, “Major Revision” or “Rejection”). 

    The review reports will be submitted to the Academic Editor for decision on publication. In some cases, more than two review reports will be required: 

    ★ When two initial reports indicate opposing opinions.

    ★ When the Academic Editor thinks more reports are necessary to guide decision making.

    Manuscripts submitted by the Editorial Board and Guest Editors:

    These manuscripts are handled separately by other editors, and the submitting editor is not involved in the decision-making or the review process.

    Processing of special issue manuscripts: 

    Special issue manuscripts are required to meet the same quality standards for publication as regular papers, and all special issue manuscripts (invited or un-invited) must undergone a rigorous and thorough review (except for some Editorials released by the Editors). The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for the content control of all special issue articles and the supervision of all the Guest Editors. More information can be found at Guest Editor Guideline and Editorial Process.

    Authors Suggest Reviewers

    Authors may suggest reviewers who they believe are especially suited to review their works. This is particularly welcome when the review work requires highly specialized expertise. However, the managing editors retain the discretion as to whether to invite these suggested reviewers. Authors should provide a potential reviewers’ list including names, e-mail addresses, research areas, institutions, and ORCID (if available). Suggested reviewers

    ★ should have a recent publication record in the area of the submitted paper; 

    ★ should not have a recent publication/submission with any author; 

    ★ should not share or recently have shared an institutional affiliation with any author; 

    ★ should not be a current or recent collaborator of any author; 

    ★ should not have a close personal connection to any author; 

    ★ should not have a financial interest with the work. 

    Other Participants and Their Responsibilities

    Managing Editor

    The managing editor is responsible for the first stage of initial check (including suitability of the scope, format integrity, and plagiarism check through iThenticate), seeking suitable reviewers, and coordinating the communication among authors, reviewers, and the Academic Editor.

    Academic Editor

    The Academic Editor assesses whether a manuscript is qualified for peer review, and makes the final decision to accept or reject the manuscript according to the review reports. The Academic Editor takes charge of the whole review process and evaluates the academic value of a manuscript.

    The Academic Editor is usually the Editor-in-Chief, and sometimes the Editor-in-Chief assigns another Editorial Board member or a Guest Editor as the Academic Editor for certain papers. 

    The name of Academic Editor will be listed together with the paper once it is published.

    Recognition for Reviewers

    The journal gratefully acknowledges the reviewers who dedicated their considerable time and expertise to the peer review process. And we seek to recognize the efforts of reviewers.

    ★ The journal releases the annual reviewer acknowledgement to appreciate their contribution to the high quality scientific content;

    ★ A Reviewer Recognition Certificate will be awarded after the review;

    ★ The journal encourages reviewers to register in Publons and add their review records there. Review records will be verified by the editorial office;

    ★ The journal encourages reviewers to register for an ORCID iD and link it to their Publons account. Pubons will automatically export the review history to the ORCID file.

    For more information about the peer review and whole editorial process, please refer to Peer Review Guidelines and Editorial Process and Guest Editor Guidelines.