Peer Review Policy
SeSTeR operates a double-blind peer review process in which the reviewer's name is withheld from the author and the author's name from the reviewer. All submissions to SeSTeR are double-blind peer-reviewed papers submitted by Associate Editors are submitted to double-blind peer review.
Each paper is sent out to at least one external reviewer but in comparison to most existing SeSTeR journals the evaluative process is more heavily concentrated in the hands of the editorial team. The peer review process is as follows:
- Vetting by the Editorial Office to ensure that the article conforms to the SeSTeR guidelines on length and style. This vetting process includes the processing of papers using plagiarism software.
- Review by a Chief Editor who will take a decision on whether to send it out for external review. If an article is deemed of insufficient quality or novelty, it can be rejected by the Chief Editor in conjunction with an Associate Editor at this stage. The author will be informed of this decision with a brief note spelling out the reason for rejection. If the manuscript passes this stage, it will be reviewed.
- The Chief Editor delegates the decision-making authority to an Associate Editor. Two external reviewers will be selected by the Associate Editor and the Chief Editor will make the final decision.
- Reviewers are expected to respond between 14 and 30 days. Referee reports are typically 1 page (or 300 words maximum). If the reviewer is unable to complete a review the journal applies the following policy:
- If a reviewer indicates that she/he is unable to submit a report in the first or second week of this process, a new reviewer will be selected.
- If a reviewer appears to be unable to submit a report after some time, the Chief Editor may decide that the Associate should provide his/her view on the manuscript in a brief report, which is submitted to the Chief Editor.
- A manuscript may be rejected based on one negative review, especially if this review comes from one of the Associate Editors.
- In exceptional cases, a manuscript may be assigned a ‘revise and resubmit. Such a decision will only be offered if there is a reasonable expectation that the author can meet the expectations set out in a letter with meaningful guidelines for improving the initial submission. Typically, a revised manuscript will only be reviewed by the Associate Editor or one of the referees.
- The editors will also continually assess the quality levels of the refereeing procedure and annually review the Associate Editors team to ensure that its range of expertise is aligned with submission and research trends. Our goal is to publish papers online as specified in the schedule or earlier where possible.