Peer Review Policy

DUTIES OF EDITORS

Decision on the Publication of Articles

The Editors-in-Chief of IRD are responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The Editors-in-Chief may be guided by the policies of the journal's editorial board and subjected to such legal requirements regarding libel, copyright infringement, and plagiarism. Decision making Editor-in-Chief may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision.

Peer review methodology

IRD journal uses external experts to help evaluate articles and assist the editors to make a decision.

When articles are submitted they will be checked and any that appear out of scope of the journal, or otherwise unsuitable for consideration, will be rejected immediately.

All other original research articles will be sent out for review. Reviewers are selected based on their experience of the subject matter of the article. They may be selected from the Editorial Board of the journal as well as from elsewhere. The journal editorial offices and editors will identify suitable experts and invite them to review. IRD welcomes suggestions from authors, but reserve the right to select their reviewers. Equally, if authors have a good reason to request that a particular person should be excluded from review (e.g. because they are working in a competing laboratory), then they may say this when they submit the article. However, the editors' judgment of the reviewer is final.

The journals operate a single-blind method of peer review. This means that the authors' names are disclosed to the reviewer, but the reviewer names are not disclosed to the authors. If the authors have a specific reason why their name should be blinded from the reviewers they may request this on submission.

Invitations are sent to reviewers and the articles are only sent to them when they agree to review. The reviewing operation is managed through the submission button. Reviewers are given between 2-3 weeks to return their review (some journals set their time limit), and reminders are sent. However the journal cannot guarantee a time to decision since reviewers may be late, or there may be problems in finding the right reviewer. In all cases, the journal editorial office will endeavor to manage the process as speedily as possible.

When the editors have received at least 2 reviews they will make a decision.

Ethical peer review – guideline for reviewers

Publisher complies with the Committee on Publication Ethics Guidelines for Peer Reviewers (https://publicationethics.org/files/cope-ethical-guidelines-peer-reviewers-v2_0.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 the 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 judgment 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 judgment of any article they review. The COI may not prevent them from 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 be managed by another editor.

Fair play

Manuscripts shall be evaluated solely on their intellectual merit without regard to the author's race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy.

Confidentiality

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.

DUTIES OF REVIEWERS

Promptness

In case, any reviewer feels that he/she can't complete the review of the manuscript within the stipulated time then the same must be communicated to the editor so that the same could be sent to any other reviewer.

Confidentiality

Information regarding manuscripts submitted by authors should be kept confidential and be treated as privileged information.

Standards of Objectivity

Reviews should be conducted objectively. There shall be no personal criticism of the author. Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments. 

Acknowledgment of Sources

Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that had been previously reported elsewhere should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the Editor in Chief's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge. 

What reviewers are asked to do

Reviewers are asked to provide their ORCHID ID and register with Publons (see the review form provided below).

Reviewers are asked to evaluate the articles for the following:

  • Is there a clear objective for the article (e.g. a clear research question)?
  • Does the author make suitable reference to other work in the same area of research?
  • Is the methodology suitable to support the research?
  • Is the reporting of findings clear and complete (so far as can be determined)?
  • Do the tables and figures support the text?
  • Do the discussion and conclusions accurately reflect on the findings?
  • Is the title suitable for the article?
  • Is there any suspicion of ethics violation?

Reviewers are asked to always be polite and constructive in their report, and never to be abusive or to make unjustified criticisms of the work.