The practice of peer review is intended to ensure that good science is published. It is an objective process at the heart of good scholarly publishing and is carried out on all reputable scientific journals. Our referees therefore play a vital role in maintaining the high standards of JSV and all regular manuscripts are peer reviewed following the procedure outlined below.
Special issues and/or conference proceedings may have different peer review procedures involving, for example, Guest Editors, conference organisers or scientific committees. Authors contributing to these projects will receive full details of the peer review process on request from the editorial office.
The Editor first evaluates all manuscripts. It is rare, but it is entirely feasible for an exceptional manuscript to be accepted at this stage. Those rejected at this stage are insufficiently original, have serious scientific flaws, have poor grammar or English language, or are outside the aims and scope of the journal. Those that meet the minimum criteria are assigned to a handling editor who takes responsibility for the peer review process. Normally each manuscript is passed on to at least 2 experts for review.
Authors of manuscripts rejected at the initial submission stage will normally be informed within 2 weeks of receipt.
This journal employs single blind review, where the referee remains anonymous throughout the process.
Referees are matched to the paper according to their expertise. Our database is constantly being updated. We welcome suggestions for referees from the author though these recommendations may not be used.
Manuscripts are sent for review on the understanding that the information they contain is privileged and confidential to the recipient. They should therefore not be circulated to colleagues or other contacts. Furthermore, use of ideas and material from a manuscript sent for review (e.g. in a research publication) is unethical, unless explicit acknowledgment of their source is made. The Editor is happy to advise on correct procedure in such instances.
Referees are asked to evaluate whether the manuscript:
- Is original
- Is methodologically sound
- Follows appropriate ethical guidelines
- Has results that are clearly presented and support the conclusions
- Correctly references previous relevant work
Referees are not expected to correct or copyedit manuscripts. Language correction is not a required part of the peer review process. However, referees are encouraged to suggest such amendments as part of their comments to the author.
In principle every manuscript received is subject to peer review, although the Editor has overall discretion. Short Communications, Discussion items, and Replies to Discussion are included in the review process, although detailed differences apply. The timescale for authors to submit Replies to Discussion, to ensure publication within the same issue, is approximately 4-6 weeks. Further Discussion items may be prompted by publication of the Reply, again subject to the same conditions. The Editor may decide against the publication of any of these kinds of item in JSV, if they are judged to be defamatory, overly personal, or technically incorrect or misleading.
JSV aims to achieve rapid publication, and the valuable contribution of referees to that goal is recognised. Return of reviews within six weeks is requested and appreciated. It is noted that, as circumstances dictate, some papers experience a longer review period. However, in the event of undue delay in the review process, the Editors may involve replacement referees.
Following review a decision will be reached by the handling Editor. Papers may be rejected, have revisions requested, or (rarely) be accepted as submitted. Almost all papers will benefit from the comments of peers and subsequent revision – this is an important function to maintain scientific excellence and effective communication.
Revised manuscripts are generally sent to the original referees for comment; if the referees request further revision, the Editor will decide what action is appropriate. The normal time allowed for re-submission of an author's manuscript following major revision is six months; revised manuscripts received after this time will generally be considered as new submissions.
A final decision to accept or reject the manuscript will be sent to the author along with any recommendations made by the referees. Additional comments provided by the referees to the editor may be included verbatim in the covering letter.
The Editor, rather than the referees, is responsible for the final decision to accept or reject the article.
Becoming a Referee for JSV
If you are not currently a referee for JSV but would like to be added to the list of referees for this title, please contact the editorial office for your region (see the JSV website, www.elsevier.com/locate/jsvi, for details). The benefits of refereeing for JSV include the opportunity to see and evaluate the latest work in your research area at an early stage. You may also be able to cite your work for JSV as part of your professional development.