Peer Review Policy and Process
Peer Review Policy
The peer review is the most important step in the whole publication process as it makes editorial process successful. This rigorous peer review process ensures the publication of high quality research only by determining the standard, quality, significance, and originality of research. Further, this process ensures the standard and quality of published articles by providing positive criticism and rigorous filtration. The most important point of this process is, it helps editors to make decisions on the manuscript.
The Sindh University Research Journal-Science Series follows a double-blind peer review policy, in which the authors (with their affiliations) and reviewers are kept anonymous from each other. This increases not only the validity of the review process but, also ensures that it does not involve biasness and or favoritism. The review process is undertaken in at least two review rounds (rounds may increase on the basis of the quality of revisions and improvements in the manuscript by the authors). The corresponding author is responsible for making revisions as well as improvements suggested by the reviewers in the manuscript.
Review Timeline: After submission, the manuscript is sent to the associate editor (section editor) for initial scruitny. The section editor, after checking the fitness of the manuscript, will communicate 1st decision to the authors within 15 days after submission. If the submitted article is found fit the manuscript is sent to reviewers for peer review process. This takes about 1 to 2 months. The review comments are sent to authors to submit revisions in 15 days. The revisions are sent back to reviewers for 2nd review round, which takes 15 days. If the reviewers are not satisfied with the revisions, the authors are asked to submit the revisions within 15 days. On acceptance, the article is sent to production, which takes about 15-20 days.
The review process follows the following steps
1. Editorial Scruitiny: The process of rigorous review starts as the manuscript is submitted through submission system. The author(s) are acknowledged immediately. The manuscript(s) is immediately sent to associate editor(s) for further processing. The section editors undertake the following tasks;
a. Scrutinize the manuscript for scope of research, language, structure, and style.
b. Checking plagiarism
c. Upgrading the article by removing the names and affiliations of authors to ensure double blind peer review process. This upgraded file is uploaded in the system which will be used by the reviewers during the peer review process.
2. Selection of Reviewers: The reviewers are selected on the basis of their highest education level (PhD) and field of expertise by visiting their profiles on the standard research websites such as Google Scholar, Researchgate, Orcid, and Researcher Id etc. An editor chooses at least three reviewers with strong research background in the field (in which the content of research article falls) and the final decision is made on the basis of alike recommedations of atleast two reviewers. The diversity of reviewers in terms of geographical location, gender, and research background is maintained to minimize tha bias. In this regard HEC's policies are followed to select atleast one national and one international reviewer.
3. Reviewer's consent:
The reviewers who are selected for review process are entered in the system by creating their accounts. Each of the is sent an email for review invitation to furnish yes or no response with a response deadline of altleast 03 days by logging in their account. Once the reviewer(s) agrees to review the manscript is automatically loaded in their account with a submission link. They can reach the manuscript and review form by clicking this link.
4. Peer Review (1st Round): Once the reviewer(s) agrees for review, he/she is directed to a link to download the manuscript and a comprehenssive review form (to be filled online) teemed with standard questions and a editable space for detailed comments to author(s) and editor(s). The reviewer(s) are requested to go through the reviewer guidelines (see below) before going through the review process.
5. Author Revisions and improvements: The reviewer’s comments, suggestions, or quarries are sent to the corresponding author(s) and asked to comply with the comments. This is the first review cycle. The authors are intimated via a decision letter to submit the revised article as a revision (not new submission) through the online submission system. The authors will be given a specific deadline (atleast 15 days) to submit a revised version of the manuscript. The authors are asked to highlight changes/improvements with different color in main manuscript file. Also, authors are asked to submit the respnses to each of the quarries made by reviewers on a separate word file. Both revised version of manuscript and response 1 files are required to be uploaded by the authors.
6. Peer Review (2nd Round): The revisions made by authors are sent to the reviewer(s) to start a new review round. The reviewers are requested to deeply look into the revisions, corrections, and improvements made by the author(s). If reviewer(s) are satisfied he/she will furnish final recommendations for the manuscript.
7. Recommendations: On the basis of evaluation the reviewers are required to make recommendations as;
- Accept as it is (if no further corrections or improvements are required).
- Accept after minor revisions (Authors are required to make specific revisions)
- Accept after major revisions (Authors are required to make significant revisions)
- Reject outright
8. Decision by the editor
The decision is made when at least two reviewers’ comments are received. If the review recommendations are in conflict, the editors wait for the third review report and decide according to the majority recommendations.
Ethical obligations for reviewers
The reviewers are requested to follow the following ethical guidelines before initiating the review process.
1. Confidentiality: The Reviewers are required to treat the review process as confidential. They must not disclose, discuss, or use any information from the manuscript they are reviewing before it is officially published. This includes not sharing the manuscript with others without permission from the journal or editor.
2. Impartiality and Fairness: Reviewers are required to evaluate the manuscript objectively, without personal bias or prejudice. Moreover, the reviewers are encouraged to provide constructive criticism and base their assessments on the scientific or scholarly merits of the work rather than personal opinions or conflicts of interest.
3. Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest: Reviewers are required to promptly disclose any conflicts of interest that may compromise their objectivity or impartiality. This could include financial interests, personal relationships with the authors, or any other factors that could influence their review.
4. Timeliness: Reviewers are required to complete their reviews in a time specified for review process (the deadlines for review) and notify the editor promptly if they are unable to meet the deadline. Delayed reviews can significantly impact the publication process.
5. Transparency in reporting: Reviewers should provide a transparent and well-documented review report, clearly explaining their assessment of the manuscript's strengths and weaknesses. They should provide specific comments and suggestions to authors for improvement of the manuscript.
6. Acknowledgment of Sources: Reviewers are required to alert editors to any significant similarity between the manuscript under review and previously published work that they are aware of. Plagiarism and duplicate publication should be reported.
7. Respect for Authorship: Reviewers are required to respect the intellectual property of the authors and not use or share any ideas or data from the manuscript without proper attribution and permission.