Peer Review Policy
Peer review is the critical analysis of a manuscript submitted to a journal by experts who are usually not members of the editorial board. Unbiased and independent critical analysis is an intrinsic component of all intellectual work, including scientific research, and peer review is an important extension of the scientific process.
There is considerable debate about the actual utility of peer review, but the process facilitates the fair assessment of a manuscript within the scientific community. On a more practical level, peer review allows editors to determine which manuscripts are appropriate for their review. The process often helps authors and editors improve the quality of the submission.
It is the responsibility of the editors to ensure that systems are in place to ensure the selection of qualified experts to conduct the review. As part of his or her responsibilities, the editor must ensure that reviewers have access to all materials that may be relevant to the analysis of the manuscript, including supplementary materials published in electronic format, and ensure that the reviewers' comments are properly evaluated and interpreted in the context of the relationships and activities they have declared.
A peer-reviewed journal is under no obligation to critically review proposed manuscripts, nor is it obliged to follow the recommendations of reviewers, whether positive or negative. The Editor-in-Chief is ultimately responsible for the selection of all content for the journal, and editorial decisions may be based on aspects unrelated to the quality of a manuscript, such as its suitability for the nature of the journal. The Editor-in-Chief may reject an article at any time prior to publication, including after acceptance, if there are doubts about the integrity of the work.
The number and types of manuscripts critically reviewed, the number and types of reviewers used for each manuscript, whether the review is anonymous, and other aspects of the review process may vary among journals. For this reason and for the benefit of authors, each journal publishes a description of its peer review process. The editors inform the reviewers of the final decision to accept or reject the manuscript and also thank them for their input.
JLE journals give their readers the opportunity to submit comments, questions, or criticisms of published articles, and it is the responsibility of authors to respond appropriately and to cooperate with the journal if additional data or information is required in light of questions raised about the article after publication.
JLE is committed to author and reviewer confidentiality (names and comments of reviewers). The editors adhere to best practices in scientific publishing.
Manuscripts submitted are confidential communications that are the private property of their authors, who may be harmed by premature disclosure of any details about the manuscripts.
Therefore, editors should not disclose any information about the manuscripts (including whether they have been received and are being reviewed, their content, the stage of the review process, the reviewers' critiques, and the final decision) to anyone other than the authors and reviewing peers.
Editors also make it clear to peer reviewers that manuscripts assigned to them, associated documents, and the information they contain must be treated in strict confidence. Peer reviewers and editorial staff should not publicly discuss the authors' work or appropriate their ideas prior to publication of the manuscript. Peer reviewers should not retain the manuscript for personal use and are required to destroy any printed or electronic copies after submitting their report.
If a manuscript is rejected, all copies will be deleted from the JLE editorial system.
If a manuscript is published, journals retain copies of the original submission, review reports, revisions, and correspondence for at least three years, and possibly indefinitely if required by local regulations, in order to be able to respond to any questions about the study that may arise in the future.
Editors will not publish peer review comments without the permission of the reviewer and the author. For our journals with mandatory open peer review, permission is necessarily provided by submitting a review to the journal. If it is the policy of a journal to withhold the identity of the reviewer from authors, that identity will not be revealed to the author or any other person without the express written permission of the reviewer.
Confidentiality may have to be waived in the case of an allegation of dishonesty or fraud, but publishers agree to inform only authors and/or reviewers if they intend to do so and confidentiality must otherwise be maintained.
Confidential information will not be used for the publisher's own purposes, and JLE takes all reasonable steps to ensure that such information is not used inappropriately for the benefit of others. In the event of a breach of confidentiality by those involved in the peer review process, JLE will contact the parties involved and follow up on such cases until they are satisfactorily resolved.
The editors make every effort to keep the turnaround time for the manuscript process as fast as resources permit.
If the editors of a journal do not intend to publish a manuscript, they will endeavor to reject the manuscript as soon as possible to allow authors to submit it to another journal.
Editorial decisions should be based on the relevance of the manuscript to the journal and on the originality, quality, and contribution of the work to the advancement of knowledge on important issues. These decisions should not be influenced by commercial interests or personal relationships or intentions, nor should the results be negative or credibly challenge accepted views. In addition, authors should not hesitate to submit or otherwise publicize studies whose results are not statistically significant or are inconclusive, and these reasons alone should not lead editors to reject a manuscript. Such studies can provide data that, when combined with others through meta-analyses, can help answer important questions. Furthermore, public dissemination of negative or inconclusive results may avoid unnecessary replication of efforts or otherwise be useful to other researchers considering similar work.
The instructions to journal authors provide a clear description of the procedure for appealing a decision, responses to such appeals and complaints.
To enhance the academic culture, the editors ensure that they engage a diverse and varied pool of authors, reviewers, administrative staff, editorial board members, and readers.
Reviewers play a central and essential role in the peer review process. JLE asks that all reviewers adhere to a set of basic principles and standards during the peer review process of a research publication; these are listed below. Reviewers should read them carefully before submitting a review, as by agreeing to serve as a reviewer for our journals, they are acknowledging that they agree to these terms.
Manuscripts submitted to journals are confidential communications that are the private property of their authors, who may be harmed by premature disclosure of any details about the manuscripts.
Proofreaders must therefore treat manuscripts and the information they contain in a strictly confidential manner. They should not publicly discuss the authors' work or appropriate their ideas before the manuscript is published. They should not retain the manuscript for personal use and are required to destroy any copies after submitting their review.
Reviewers are expected to respond promptly to requests for review and to submit their reviews in a timely manner. Their comments should be constructive, honest and courteous.
Manuscript reviewers must declare relationships and activities that may bias their evaluation of a manuscript and refrain from reviewing specific manuscripts if a relationship of interest exists.
Articles written by a member of a journal's editorial team are independently peer-reviewed; JLE has no influence on the peer-review process or the decision to publish articles.
Links of interest
During the review process, Authors are asked to declare any relationships of interest (which may be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political, or religious in nature) so that editors can evaluate and take them into account in their decisions. Any major concerns about potential relationships should be reported to the editorial office prior to beginning the review. In addition, no manuscript should be accepted with the intention of consulting it without the intention of submitting a review.
If a reviewer is concerned that misconduct has occurred during the research or writing and submission of the manuscript, or if he or she notices substantial similarity between the manuscript and a concurrent submission to another journal or published article, he or she will notify the journal editor.
The reviewer will provide a fair, honest, and unbiased assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript. For example, he/she will be accurate in his/her critique and provide supporting evidence with appropriate references to substantiate general statements. He or she will be professional and avoid being hostile or inflammatory, and avoid making defamatory or derogatory personal comments. If the work is unclear because of missing analyses, the reviewer should comment and explain what additional analyses would clarify the submitted work. It is not the reviewer's responsibility to extend the work beyond its current scope.