Publisher complies with the Committee on Publication Ethics Guidelines for Peer Reviewers (https://publicationethics.org/files/Ethical_Guidelines_For_Peer_Reviewers_2.pdf) which provides a comprehensive guide to the ethics of peer review.
Each submission is checked for suitability when received by the editorial office, and may be rejected without review if it is outside the scope of the journal, is obviously of insufficient quality, or is missing important sections.
The journal invites external experts (not only Editorial Board members) to review each article that is considered suitable for consideration. The publication decision is made by the Editor-in-Chief after receiving at least two external reviewer reports with recommendations.
Authors are encouraged to suggest suitable reviewers, but the Editor-in-Chief and the editorial office reserves the right to select different reviewers. The reason for asking authors to suggest reviewers is that they are best placed to know who is an expert in the field. In addition, the suggested reviewers may be suitable for other articles on the same topic. Therefore, obtaining these names can help the editorial office to ensure that it is approaching suitable people to review all articles.
The journal uses single-blind peer review, which means that, by default, author names are revealed to reviewers but reviewer names are withheld from the authors. Authors can request to "blind" their names.
On receipt of at least two reviews, the Editor-in-Chief will make a decision of (1) accept, (2) minor revision, (3) major revision, or (4) reject. The reasons for the decision will be communicated to the authors.
When the decision of minor/major revision is made, and the authors do not revise their articles satisfactorily after receiving reviewer reports, then the Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to reject the article. When revised articles are received they will either be sent out for further review or the Editor-in-Chief will make a decision depending on the level of revision requested.
The time to review and make a decision is extremely variable since it is sometimes difficult to find suitable reviewers, and there may be delays in receiving reviewer reports. The Editor-in-Chief and editorial office make all efforts to minimize the time from submission to first decision. The journal aims to make a first decision (after review) within 40–60 days, but cannot guarantee this.
Note that articles that do not report original research (e.g. letters to the editor, editorials) are not externally reviewed and the Editor-in-Chief makes the decision to publish.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest
A Conflict of Interest is defined as a situation where personal relationships (e.g. friend, colleague or family), business relationships (e.g. working in a competing company), or financial influences (e.g. funding) will affect the judgement of any person during the publication of the journal.
Authors are required to declare (within the article and to the Editor-in-Chief) any Conflict of Interest (COI) that may have affected their research (e.g. funding) or decision to submit to the journal.
Reviewers are required to declare if they have any Conflict of Interest (COI) that may affect their judgement of any article they review. The COI may not prevent them reviewing the article, but must be declared to the Editor-in-Chief as soon as it is known.
Editors are excluded from any publishing decision in which they may have a Conflict of Interest (COI). For example, if an article by a colleague of the Editor-in-Chief is submitted to the journal, the peer review and all editorial decisions will managed by another editor.
Manuscripts shall be evaluated solely on their intellectual merit without regard to authors’ race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy.
The Editors in Chief/editors and any editorial staff must not disclose any information about a submitted manuscript to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, potential reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher.