Review Guidelines

JLC Review Process

Before sending the manuscript submitted to JLC for review, they are previewed for their originality, relevance, and overall quality by the journal editors. If the manuscript is rejected at this point, the authors are informed immediately, and if it requires revisions, it is returned to authors who improve and resubmit it for further evaluation.

Before accepting to review any manuscripts, the reviewers are requested to make sure:

  1. The manuscript is in the area of their research interest and expertise.
  2. They have sufficient time to evaluate the manuscript before the deadline.
  3. They have no conflict of interest with the authors.

If by any chance the reviewers find the manuscript outside the area of their expertise, are unable to meet the review deadline, and have read the manuscript before or happen to know the authors, they are requested to inform the journal editors.

The reviewers are also requested to make sure they review the manuscripts confidentially and to avoid contacting the authors. If the reviewers feel the need to request a third party for their comments, they are requested to inform the journal editors in advance.

JLC follows a double-blind peer-review process. Peer reviewers are experts chosen by journal editors to provide written assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscripts, with the aim of controlling and improving their quality before they are accepted to be published in the journal. The two referees independently evaluate the scientific quality of the submitted manuscripts. They also make sure that the manuscripts are written in a clear, concise, direct style intelligible to the professional reader who may not be a specialist in the field.

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 to improve communication between authors and readers. If extensive alterations are required, the manuscript will be returned to the author for revision.

If a manuscript is rejected by both reviewers, their reports are checked by the journal editors before informing the authors about the rejection. If one reviewer accepts and the other rejects the manuscript, it is sent to a third reviewer before making a final decision.

Authors are encouraged to suggest two or more potential reviewers who (i) are experts in the area, (ii) have no conflict of interest, and (iii) do not come from their institution. However, the editors will decide who to engage as reviewers.

Responsibility of the Reviewers

All submissions are checked for their originality before they are sent to reviewers. However, the reviewers are requested to report any cases of non-original content in the manuscripts they review.

It is recommended that the reviewers also see the Submission Guidelines to familiarize with the points the authors should consider before submitting their manuscripts. The reviewers are also encouraged to take the following points into account while reviewing manuscripts:

This brief guideline seeks to help IJELS reviewers criticize the manuscripts they have been requested to evaluate more effectively:

  1. Focus on behavior: Focus on what the author wrote. Avoid the tendency to assume that you know why the author did one thing rather than the other. Here are some examples of criticism as attack or criticism as support:

    Example 1
    I wasn’t interested in your topic. (Criticism as attack)
    I would have liked to see more variety in your writing. It would have made me feel that you were more interested. (Criticism as support)

    Example 2
    You should have put more time into the work. (Criticism as attack)
    I think it would have been more effective if you had proofread and edited the final draft. (Criticism as support)

    Example 3
    You didn’t care about your audience. (Criticism as attack)
    I would have liked it if you had accounted for the audience. (Criticism as support)

  1. Stress the positive: Strengthen the already positive aspects of the author’s performance. Instead of “Your text didn’t make any sense to me,” state what you liked first then bring up the weak point and suggest how it might be improved.
  1. Be specific: Statements like, “I liked your study; it was really great,” don’t specify how the author can improve the work. Refer to specifics as clarity, structure, etc. When giving negative criticism, specify and justify: “I thought the way you introduced your statistics was vague; I wasn’t sure where the statistics came from or how recent or reliable they were; it might have been better to say something like: The U.S. Census figures for 2014 show …”
  1. Be objective: Transcend your biases as best as you can. Stating “Your proposition was unfair” will show that you did not judge from the view point of a detached critic. It’s equally important to avoid positively evaluating a text because it presents a position with which you agree as in “I liked the paper; learners must have a right to choose.”
  1. Be constructive: Your primary goal should be to provide the author with insight that will prove useful in future writing. Stating “The introduction didn’t gain my attention,” doesn’t tell the authors how they might have gained your attention. Instead you may state, “The example in the discussion would have more effectively gained my attention in the introduction.”
  1. Own your criticism: Take responsibility for your criticism. Use “I-messages” rather than “you-messages”. Instead of “You needed a better review of literature” state, “I would have been more persuaded if you had used more recent literature to support your findings.” Avoid attributing what you found to others. Instead of stating, “Nobody will be able to understand this section,” state, “I had difficulty understanding this section.” Equally avoid “should-messages”: Instead of “You should have linked the two ideas”, state, “I didn’t see the connection between the two ideas”.

Source: Joseph DeVito (2012) Human Communication: The Basic Course (pp. 373-4)

Review Submission

Having accepted our review request, the reviewer can evaluate the manuscript in two different ways:

    • review through our website by click on the "Accept review, Continue to Step # 2" button
    • Alternatively, the reviewer may download the Review Form, complete, and email it to jlc@upm.edu.my.