Immediately after submission, the journal’s Managing Editor will perform an initial check to assess:
- Overall suitability of the manuscript to the journal/section/Special Issue;
- Manuscript adherence to high quality research and ethical standards;
- Standards of rigor to qualify for further review.
The academic editor, i.e., the Editor-in-Chief in the case of regular submissions, or the Guest Editor in the case of Special Issue submissions, or an Editorial Board member in case of a conflict of interest and of regular submissions if the Editor-in-Chief allows, will be notified of the submission and invited to perform a check and recommend reviewers. Academic editors can decide to continue with the peer-review process, reject a manuscript, or request revisions before peer-review.
Guest Editors of Special Issues are not able to take decisions regarding their own manuscripts submitted to their Special Issue, as this would constitute a conflict of interest. An Editorial Board member will instead be responsible for decision making. The Guest Editor will be unable to access the review process except in their role as author. Similarly, Editors-in-Chief, or other Editorial Board members are not able to access the review process of their manuscript except in their role as author.
From submission to final decision or publication, one dedicated SSSE staff member coordinates the review process and serves as the main point of contact for authors, academic editors and reviewers.
SSSE journal operate double-blind peer-review, where in addition to the author not knowing the identity of the reviewer, the reviewer is unaware of the author’s identity.
At least two review reports are collected for each submitted article. Suggestions of reviewers can be made by the academic editor during pre-check. Alternatively, SSSE editorial staff will use qualified Editorial Board members, qualified reviewers from our database, or new reviewers identified by web searches for related articles.
Authors can recommend potential reviewers. SSSE staff ensure that there are no potential conflicts of interest and will not consider those with competing interests. Authors can also enter the names of potential peer-reviewers they wish to exclude from consideration in the peer-review of their manuscript, during the initial submission of the manuscript. The editorial team will respect these requests as long as they do not interfere with the objective and thorough assessment of the submission.
For the review of a revised manuscript, reviewers are asked to provide their report within three days. Extensions can also be granted on request.
In cases where only minor or major revisions are recommended, SSSE staff will request that the author revise the paper before referring to the academic editor. In cases of conflicting review reports, or where there are one or more recommendations for rejection, the academic editor will be requested for their judgement before a decision about revisions is communicated to authors.
Revised versions of manuscripts may or may not be sent to reviewers, depending on whether the reviewer requested to see the revised version. By default, reviewers who request major revisions or recommend rejection will be sent the revised manuscript.
A maximum of two rounds of major revision per manuscript is normally provided. If more rounds are required according to the reviewers, SSSE staff request a decision from the academic editor.
Acceptance decisions on manuscripts can be taken by the academic editor after peer-review once a minimum of two review reports have been received. Acceptance decisions are taken by an academic editor (the Editor-in-Chief, a Guest Editor, or another suitable Editorial Board member).
SSSE’s in-house teams perform production on all manuscripts, including language editing, copy editing, and conversion to XML. Language editing is carried out by professional English editing staff. In the small number of cases where extensive editing or formatting is required, we offer authors an English editing service for an additional fee (with authors’ prior approval). The authors are also free to use other English editing services, or consult a native English-speaking colleague—the latter being our preferred option.
SSSE is a Folowing of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) instruction, including following its Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. Our journals follow COPE’s procedures for dealing with potentially unethical behavior by authors, reviewers, or editors. All SSSE editorial staff are trained in how to detect and respond to ethical problems.
To manage authorship disputes we follow COPE guidelines, particularly How to spot authorship problems. Typically, if all authors agree, the authorship can be updated via a Correction. If not, we require an authoritative statement from the authors' institution(s) about who qualifies for authorship.
iThenticate is an industry-standard software for plagiarism detection. Used during the first screening of a manuscript or pre-check, it can also be used at any stage of the peer-review process and especially before acceptance of a manuscript for publication.