The EJPS has adopted a double-blind review policy, where both the referee and author remain anonymous throughout the process. The manuscript should not include authors' names, institutional affiliations or contact information. Also, authors' own works need to be blinded in the references. All contributions will be initially assessed by the editors and associate editors for suitability for the journal. Papers deemed suitable are then typically sent to a minimum of two independent expert reviewers to assess the scientific quality of the paper. The Editorial Board is responsible for the final decision regarding the acceptance or rejection of articles.
All process from submission to decision usually takes about four to six months. After the review process, papers that have been accepted must be re-submitted in camera ready form, as an email attachment. The editor reserves the right to make alterations at the proof-reading stage. If a resubmitted paper has changed significantly from the original version, the editor reserves the right to send it to the same or different reviewers before making a final decision.
Steps in Peer Review Process
The peer review process takes place in following steps (refer step 1-11 below).
- Submission of Paper: The corresponding author submits the paper to the journal via an online system or per the journal’s e-mail until the journal’s online system is established or in case the online system does not function.
- Signing terms of agreement that parallel submission will not be made; submission will not also be made before receiving decisions from this journal about publishability of the journal.
- Preliminary Review by Associate Editors: Editors evaluate the submitted manuscripts exclusively on the basis of their composition and arrangement against the Journal’s Author Guidelines and its relevance to the journal’s scope. At this stage of the review the editors also make a judgment as to whether the article is promising one as journal material. Decisions of the reviewers will be communicated to the authors.
- Selection of Reviewers: For the peer review process, the managing editor in consultation with the editor-in-chief as well as associate editors may engage a list of persons to review a manuscript, guided by a number of factors, including: whether a sufficient pool of reviewers is available; whether a particular reviewer is a noted expert whose single opinion is sufficient to base decision on; and whether the manuscript submitted has a quality that requires that more than one or two reviewers are needed for a fair decision. Finally, the Editorial Board decides by selecting two or more reviewers.
- Invitation to Reviewers: The managing/associate managing editor sends invitations to two blind reviewers whose profile has been approved by the editorial board. The article will be sent to a third reviewer if decisions of the two blind reviewers are divided.
- Response to Invitations: Potential reviewers may accept or decline to accept invitation. In an event that they consider the invitation against their own expertise, conflicts of interest and availability, they may suggest alternative reviewers.
- Review is conducted: The reviewer sets time aside to read the paper. 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. Where reviewers are unable to fulfil their review commitment by the deadline given, EJPS might have to extend the reviewer’s submission deadline. It might also require that a search for a new reviewer is needed; and set a new review report submission deadline from scratch. This would unfortunately lengthen the processing time for the concerned submission.
- Editorial Board Evaluates the Reviews: The managing/associate managing editor considers all the returned reviews before making an overall decision. If the reviews differ widely, the editorial board may invite an additional reviewer so as to get an extra opinion before making a decision. Authors will be informed whether their revised manuscripts will pass through a new round of evaluation.
- The Decision is Communicated: The editor sends a decision email to the author including any relevant reviewer comments.
- Publishing or Back Revision: If accepted, the paper is sent to production. If the article is sent back for either major or minor revision, the managing/associate managing editor tries to include constructive comments from the reviewers to help the author improve the article. At this point, reviewers are also sent an email or letter letting them know the outcome of their review. If the paper was sent back for revision, the reviewers are expected to receive a new version, unless they have opted out of further participation. However, where only minor changes were requested this follow-up review is done by the managing/associate managing editor.
- Appeal: Rejected papers are given the opportunity for a formal appeal. Appeal requests should be made in writing, not by telephone, with the word "appeal" in the subject line. If an author remains unsatisfied, he or she can write to the Editorial Office, citing the manuscript reference number. In all these cases, it is likely that some time will elapse before response is provided; and the paper must not be submitted for publication elsewhere during this time. Authors should provide detailed reasons for the appeal and point-by-point responses to the reviewers' and/or content/language editor's comments. If an appeal is rejected, further appeals of the decision will not be considered and the paper may not be resubmitted.