PAJOLS uses double-blind review, which means that both the reviewer and author identities are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa, throughout the review process. Experts are appointed to evaluate the scholarly works to ensure a high quality of published science. However, peer reviewers do not make the decision to accept or reject papers but recommend their decision. The final decision authority rests solely with the journal editor.
The peer-review process can be broadly summarized into 10 steps as follows:
- Submission of Paper
The corresponding or submitting author submits the paper to the Journal using our online platform. Occasionally, a submission may be accepted by email.
- Editorial Office Assessment
The handling editor checks if the paper falls within the scope of PAJOLS, looked into the composition and arrangement against the Journal’s Author Guidelines to make sure it includes the required sections and stylizations. The quality of the paper is not assessed at this point but the paper may be return for resubmission if not properly arranged.
- Appraisal by the Editor-in-Chief (EIC)
The EIC checks that the paper is appropriate for the Journal and is sufficiently original and interesting. If not, the paper may be rejected without being reviewed any further.
- EIC Assigns an Associate Editor (AE)
The EIC assigns the article to an Associate Editor who handle the peer review.
- Invitation to Reviewers
The handling editor sends invitations to appropriate reviewers. As responses are received, further invitations are issued, if necessary, until the required number is obtained – a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 responses are required.
- Response to Invitations
Potential reviewers consider the invitation against their expertise, conflicts of interest, and availability. They then accept or decline. If possible, when declining, they might also suggest alternative reviewers.
- Review is conducted
The reviewer sets time aside to read the paper several times. 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.
- Journal Evaluates the Reviews
The Assciate editor considers all the returned reviews before making an overall decision. If the reviews differ widely, the editor may invite an additional reviewer to get an extra opinion before making a decision.
- The decision is communicated
The Associate Editor sends a decision email to the author, including any relevant reviewer comments.
- Next Steps
If accepted, the paper is sent to production. Suppose the article is rejected or sent back for either major or minor revision. At this point, reviewers should also be sent an email or letter letting them know the outcome of their review. If the paper was sent back for revision, the reviewers should expect to receive a new version, unless they have opted out of further participation. However, where only minor changes were requested this follow-up review might be done by the handling editor.