Peer review Process
AJAC follows a double-blind peer review process, whereby authors do not know reviewers and vice versa. Peer review is fundamental to the scientific publication process and the dissemination of sound science.
AJAC journals aspire to select and publish, through double-blind peer review, the highest quality research globally. In order to achieve this goal, the entire peer review process should be thorough, objective and fair. Journal reputation depends heavily on the fairness of the peer review process.
Peer reviewers are experts chosen by journal editors to provide written assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of written research, with the aim of improving the reporting of research and identifying the most appropriate and highest quality material for the journal.
AJAC considers its reviewers as experts in the scientific topics addressed in the articles they review. They provide written assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of written research with the aims to improve the reporting of research and identifying the most appropriate and highest quality material for the journal. Individuals who do not have such expertise cannot be reviewers.
Ratings of review quality and other performance characteristics is periodically assessed by the Chief Executive Editor to assure optimal journal performance. These ratings also contribute to decisions on reappointment to the AJAC Editorial Board and to ongoing review requests. Individual performance data on reviewers are available to the editors but otherwise kept confidential.
Reviews are expected to be professional, honest, courteous, prompt, and constructive.
What is Expected of Reviewer?
Reviewers are welcome to recommend a particular course of action, but they should bear in mind that the other reviewers of a particular manuscript may have different technical expertise and/or views, and the journal's editors may have to make a decision based on conflicting advice. The most useful reports, therefore, provide the editors with the information on which decision should be based. Setting out the arguments for and against publication is often more helpful to the editors than a direct recommendation one way or the other.
The submitted manuscript is a privileged communication; reviewers must treat it as confidential. It should not be retained or copied. Also, reviewers must not share the manuscript with any colleagues without the explicit permission of the Chief Executive Editor.
Plagiarism is a scientific misconduct and is an unacceptable violation of publication ethics. It should be dealt with promptly.
The journal's editors and reviewers are the primary means of detecting plagiarism in manuscripts submitted to AJAC journals. If reviewers suspect misconduct, they should notify the Chief Executive Editor in confidence, and should not share their concerns with other parties unless officially notified by the journal that they may do so.
Reviewers should be prompt with their reviews. If a reviewer cannot meet the deadline given, he/she should contact the Chief Executive Editor as soon as possible to determine whether a longer time period or a new reviewer should be chosen. Typically, the time to complete the first review is 3 weeks.
Peer Review Process
Two (2) or three (3) referees independently evaluate the scientific quality of the submitted manuscripts. Authors are encouraged to indicate in the names of 2 or 3 potential reviewers, but the editors will make the final choice. The editors are not, however, bound by these suggestions. Manuscripts should be written so that they are intelligible to the professional reader who is not a specialist in the particular field. They should be written in a clear, concise, and direct style. Where contributions are judged as acceptable for publication on the basis of content, the editor reserves the right to modify the typescripts to eliminate ambiguity and repetition and improve communication between author and reader. If extensive alterations are required, the manuscript will be returned to the author for revision.
What Happens to a Manuscript Once it is Submitted to AJAC?
Typically, there are 7 steps to the editorial review process:
- The journalâ€™s Chief Executive Editor and the Editor-in-Chief examine the paper to determine whether it is relevance to journal needs in terms of novelty, impact, design, procedure, language as well as presentation and allow it to proceed to the reviewing process. If not appropriate, the manuscript is rejected outright and the author is informed.
- The Chief Executive Editor sends the article-identifying information having been removed, to 2 or 3 reviewers. They are specialists in the subject matter of the article. The Chief Executive Editor requests that they complete the review within 3 weeks.Comments to authors are about the appropriateness and adequacy of the theoretical or conceptual framework, literature review, method, results and discussion, and conclusions. Reviewers often include suggestions for strengthening of the manuscript. Comments to the editor are in the nature of the significance of the work and its potential contribution to the research field.
- The Editor-in-Chief examines the review reports and decides whether to accept or reject the manuscript, invite the authors to revise and resubmit the manuscript, or seek additional review reports. In rare instances, the manuscript is accepted with almost no revision. Almost without exception, reviewers' comments (to the authors) are forwarded to the authors. If a revision is indicated, the editor provides guidelines to the authors for attending to the reviewers' suggestions and perhaps additional advice about revising the manuscript.
- The authors decide whether and how to address the reviewers' comments and criticisms and the editor's concerns. The authors return a revised version of the paper to the Chief Executive Editor along with specific information describing how they have answered' the concerns of the reviewers and the editor, usually in a tabular form. The authors may also submit a rebuttal if there is a need especially when the authors disagree with certain comments provided by reviewers.
- The Chief Executive Editor sends the revised manuscript out for re-review. Typically, at least 1 of the original reviewers will be asked to examine the article.
- When the reviewers have completed their work, the Editor-in-Chief examines their comments and decides whether the manuscript is ready to be published, needs another round of revisions, or should be rejected. If the decision is to accept, the Chief Executive Editor is notified.
- The Chief Executive Editor reserves the final right to accept or reject any material for publication, if the processing of a particular manuscript is deemed not to be in compliance with the S.O.P. of AJAC. An acceptance letter is sent to all the authors.
The editorial office ensures that the manuscript adheres to the correct style (in-text citations, the reference list, and tables are typical areas of concern, clarity, and grammar). The authors are asked to respond to any minor queries by the editorial office. Following these corrections, page proofs are mailed to the corresponding authors for their final approval. At this point, only essential changes are accepted. Finally, the manuscript appears in the pages of the journal and is posted on-line.