Peer Review Process
Editorial and Peer Review Process
Authors can check the status of a manuscript at any time in the submission system. Authors will also be notified by email when a decision is made.
Understanding manuscript statuses
|Manuscript submitted||The journal has received the submission and is screening it for basic technical requirements.|
|Editor invited||The journal is identifying potential editors for the submission.|
|Under review||The handling editor has begun to invite peer reviewers to evaluate the submission.|
|Required reviews complete||Some or all assigned reviewers have completed their reviews.|
|Decision in process||The handling editor has entered a decision but the decision is not yet finalized and has not been sent to the authors.|
New submissions go through an in-house quality control check to ensure adherence to our policies and requirements, including:
- ethical requirements for human and animal experimentation
- financial disclosures
- competing interests
- data deposition
Manuscripts will not be seen by an Academic Editor or peer reviewers until they pass this check.
We aim to check manuscripts as efficiently as possible, but timing may vary depending on whether we need to return the submission to the author for follow-up queries or additional information.
After a manuscript passes the quality control check, it is assigned to an Academic Editor according to relevant expertise. See the list of Editorial Board members. The Academic Editor is asked to evaluate the manuscript based on the QJAS criteria for publication. Editors can choose to perform the evaluation on the basis of their own expertise, or assign external reviewers.
How long does it take to assign an Academic Editor?
The length of time it takes to assign an editor may vary depending on editor availability or the time of year (e.g., winter or summer holidays).
Can authors suggest an Academic Editor?
Authors can enter the names of suggested Academic Editors in the submission form, but this does not guarantee that the suggested editor will be assigned to the manuscript.
Will authors know which Academic Editor is assigned?
The editor’s identity is anonymous until the manuscript receives a decision.
The Academic Editor decides whether reviews from additional experts are needed to evaluate the manuscript. After agreeing to review a manuscript, external reviewers are typically granted 10 days to complete the assignment. We will follow up with late reviewers and keep authors informed if there are any delays.
Will authors know who is reviewing their manuscript?
Reviewers are anonymous by default. Reviewers’ identities are not revealed to authors or to other reviewers unless reviewers specifically request to be identified by signing their names at the end of their comments.
Will authors know the identity of the editor reviewing their manuscript?
The Academic Editor is anonymous to authors and reviewers unless and until a manuscript is accepted for publication. The editor’s name is then indicated in the published article.
Will editors and reviewers know the names of authors during review?
The names of the authors are not anonymous to reviewers or editors during review so that they can assess potential conflicts of interest.
Can authors ask to exclude reviewers?
Authors may enter the names of potential peer reviewers they wish to exclude from consideration in the peer review of their manuscript. The editorial team will respect these requests so long as this does not interfere with the objective and thorough assessment of the submission.
How many reviewers will a manuscript have?
The majority of QJAS submissions are evaluated by 2 external reviewers, but it is up to the Academic Editor to determine the number of reviews required.
When reviews have been received, authors may see the status “Required Reviews Complete.” Please note that additional reviews may still be pending after this status is activated.
The final decision on a manuscript is made by the Academic Editor. The time to receive a decision depends on how long it takes for the editor to assess the reviews.
While the Academic Editor is entering the decision, authors may see the status “Decision in Process.” When the decision is final, authors will receive the notification by email and see the decision term in the submission system.
What are the possible decision outcomes?
After evaluation, the Academic Editor chooses between the following decisions:
- Minor Revision
- Major Revision
Authors who receive a decision of Minor Revision or Major Revision have 45 days to resubmit the revised manuscript.
In most cases, the revised manuscript will be re-assigned to the original Academic Editor. The Academic Editor will determine if additional input is needed from reviewers.
Authors may submit a formal appeal for rejected submissions. Appeal requests must be made in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org with the word “appeal” in the subject line. Authors must provide detailed reasons for the appeal and point-by-point responses to the reviewers' and/or Academic Editor's comments.
Decisions on appeals are final without exception. Priority is given to new submissions, so the appeal process may take longer than the original submission process.
There are two types of accept decisions: editorial accept and formal accept.
Editorial acceptance means that the manuscript is provisionally accepted pending final checks for formatting and technical requirements. You will be notified of these requirements by email. See details of our final checks below.
The editorial acceptance date is is the acceptance date that will appear on the published article.
Formal acceptance is issued when the final checks are complete. At this time, the manuscript will be sent to our production department.
All communication about editorial accept decisions and final checks will be sent to the corresponding author.
When a manuscript is editorially accepted, it will go through a final round of checks to ensure the formatting and content meet our technical requirements. Some of the manuscript elements checked at this stage include:
- Author names and affiliations
- Funding statement
- Competing interests statement
- Data availability statement
- Figure and table formatting
- File names for figures, tables, and supporting information
You can expedite the progress of your manuscript during this stage by reviewing our submission guidelines beforehand and by responding promptly to our queries.