Review procedure

(Rules for reviewing and publishing articles)

Stages of editorial work with articles

1. Initial consideration

All submitted manuscripts are checked for compliance with accepted editorial and publishing standards, the scope and subject matter of the journal, and formal requirements.

Submitted articles must be original, not previously published and not currently submitted to other publications. To avoid unfair publication practices (plagiarism, misleading information, etc.), authors should make sure that the data presented in the article are original, all cited studies of other authors or the authors' previous works are accompanied by references to primary sources and included in the list of references.

Executive editor decides whether the manuscript meets the general criteria, but may discuss it with the Editor-in-chief, Deputy editors, Editorial board and/or Associate editors. If the article does not comply with one of the requirements accepted by journal, it is rejected. The author is notified of this. The Editorial board does not enter into a polemic with authors if they disagree with the decision made.

2. Submitting for peer-review

Executive editor sends articles that have passed the first stage to the experts for peer-review.

Review process is anonymous for both reviewer and author (double-blind peer-review). Experts can be both independent researchers (external review) and members of Editorial board (internal review). It is essential to have two reports for the article.

Executive editor, together with Associate editors, determine possible reviewers and, if necessary, may consult with the Editor-in-chief, Deputy editors, and Editorial board members.

If the paper does not match the experts’ scientific interests and competencies, they inform Executive editor.

In case of the competing interests, Reviewer should inform Executive editor about this and refuse to review. A conflict may be caused by personal relationships, beliefs, and scientific rivalry that prevent an impartial perception, review, and decision-making on the publication of research results.

3. Standards for expert review

Reviewers prepare reports by a set deadline – usually up to one month after receiving the text.

The purpose of the review is to provide a fair evaluation of research and academic text. The review should contain:

  • Reasoned listing of the advantages;
  • Reasoned listing of the shortcomings;
  • Suggestions / comments to revise and improve the research and text, if any;
  • Overall evaluation of the article according to the following criteria:
    • to publish the article without additional revision (accept),
    • to publish the material after minor revision could be made by the author, without an additional review round (minor changes / revise),
    • to publish the material after significant revision, which may require an additional round of review (major changes / revise & resubmit), 
    • to decline, the shortcomings of the article are too significant (reject)

4. Responses to reviewers' comments and text revision

If, according to the reports, article needs revision, Executive editor sends the author(s) feedback from reviewers. Author(s) should respond to all reviewers' comments in the following formats:

  • Accept the recommendation, make changes to the text (highlighting them), and indicate the type of changes in the response to the comment,
  • Give a reasoned answer to reviewer's comment in case of partial or complete disagreement with it.

The time limits for finalizing the article should usually not exceed 2 months after notifying the author(s) of the proposed changes.

If there are unsolvable contradictions between author(s) and reviewers concerning the manuscript, the Editor-in-chief, Deputy editors, Editorial board and/or the Associate editors may decide to involve additional experts.

Revised text and a reasoned author(s) response are sent back to the experts, who give their opinion on the changes made to the text and recommend to the Editors whether the second version of article could be published or not.

If reviewer(s) completely or partially disagrees with responses, they prepare the following remarks, which is sent to author(s). Discussion and revision of the text take place until both sides reach an agreement (usually no more than four rounds). However, the Editor-in-Chief, based on the conclusion of Editorial board and Associated editors, could decide that the responses to reviewer's comments are satisfactory.

5. Decision on article publishing

Responsible editors (usually Associate editors) are the first to evaluate whether the finalized text, which is sent for approval next, corresponds to the level of publication in the journal. As coordinators of the thematic area, they can agree or disagree with the opinion of reviewers, suggest additional comments, recommend additional expertise (another reviewers).

The finalized text, reviews, author(s) comments and recommendations by Associate editors are submitted to the Editor-in-chief and Deputy editors, who make the final decision whether to publish or reject the article.

An article not recommended for publication is not considered again. If the article is accepted /rejected, Executive editor notifies the author(s) about it.

To complete the article, copyediting (proofreading, style updates) is done according to accepted publishing standards. Authors discuss and accept these editorial corrections.

6. Planning journal issues content

Current issues of the journal are composed from approved articles in the order in which they pass through review process. In exceptional cases, the Editor-in-chief and Deputy editors may decide to publish the article ahead of schedule. Editors have the right to form thematic issues and sections, giving priority to papers on current topics.

The content of current issue is coordinated and approved by the Editor-in-chief and Deputy editors.