JEM operates a rigorous and transparent peer-review process that aims to maximize quality and originality of papers. Peer-review is a double-blind assessment with at least two independent reviewers, followed by a final acceptance/rejection decision by the Editor-in-Chief, or another academic editor approved by the Editor-in-Chief. Papers is evaluated by the Managing Editor (ME), Statistical Editor (SE), and Editor-in-Chief (EIC) before they are sent to reviewers.
General, JEM publishing procedure includes twelve main steps:
(1) Submission of Paper – the corresponding or submitting author submits the paper to JEM via online system named Editorial system.
(2) Editorial Office Assessment – ME checks the paper’s layout and its conformity with JEM Guidelines (JEM Template for SUBMISSION AND REVISION and JEM Paper Outline) to ensure that it includes the required sections and formatting. In addition, antiplagiarism software (iThenticate) is employed to check the ethical standards. The quality of the paper is not assessed at this point. If the paper does not meet the JEM Guidelines/ethical standards, it is rejected by ME.
(3) Statistical Methods Assessment – the paper with statistical calculations is checked by the SE for statistical assumptions, methods, and calculations. If the paper includes critical statistical errors and the evaluation of SE was negative, the paper is rejected by ME.
(4) Appraisal by EIC – EIC checks the paper and consults a subject-matter expert from the Editorial Board (EB) to verify that the paper is appropriate for JEM, it is original, and its content meets the academic standards. If the paper does not meet these requirements, it is rejected without being reviewed any further.
(5) Invitation to Reviewers – ME sends invitations to reviewers who are experts in the relevant field. Each reviewer signs the Disclosure statement concerning no potential conflict of interest. As responses are received, further invitations are issued, if necessary, until the required number of acceptances is obtained – commonly this is three, but the number of reviewers may vary depending on the field of study and sometimes four reviewers are invited. Reviewers are appointed on the basis of absence of conflict of interest, their research reputation and quality of their previous reviews, if they have conducted any beforehand. According to COPE, the paper is retracted when its review is compromised by conflicts of interest. EIC reconsiders the paper consulting a team of reviewers or a member of EB.
(6) Reviews are Conducted – reviewers have enough time (usually 30 days) to read the paper several times and assess it according their knowledge and JEM’s guidelines for reviewers. Reviewers use a score sheet to rate the paper as well as provide comments. Their decision may be:
- Accept with minor revisions;
- Accept with major revisions;
- Revise and resubmit;
(7) Evaluation of the Reviews – if the reviews differ widely, upon prior agreements with EIC, ME may invite a member of EB or an additional reviewer to obtain an extra opinion about the paper. In addition, EIC rates each of reviews (reviewer) and assesses their usefulness for the authors by using a five-point scale.
(8) Making and Communicating Decision – EIC makes a decision about the paper and sends the decision to the author including all reviews and additional relevant EIC comments to help the author to revise their paper. The decision may be:
- Minor Revision;
- Major Revision;
It never happened in the past that a paper was accepted in the submitted form. If the opinions of reviewers, a member of EB, and EIC indicate low scientific and/or methodological quality of the paper, the paper is rejected by EIC.
(9) Revising and Resubmitting – the authors are asked to revise the paper based on the reviewers and EIC comments and to highlight all changes in the paper by using colored text. They are informed that the paper without colored text will not be reviewed. In addition, the authors also need to make a point-by-point response to each comment indicating how the change has been made, or if a certain revision cannot be made, they provide sufficient explanations politely – the response is written in the JEM Revisions Document form. After the revision is completed, the author resubmit the revised paper to JEM.
(10) Next Steps – the revision goes through review by EIC only, or usually by both reviewers and EIC – all papers with the decision Accept with major revisions or Revise and resubmit are sent to the reviewers who made such a decision. The second round of reviews is carried out – and then steps 6 and 9 are repeated. Most of papers undergo more than two rounds of reviews.
(11) Acceptance – If reviewers and EIC believe that the revision has adequately addressed their previous concerns and the paper has been improved after the revision, the paper moves to the last step. EIC sends the author an acceptance letter and a request to submit the final version of the paper (with names, acknowledgment, finding, etc.) and complete JEM Declaration of Copyright.
(12) Production – the paper is proofread by the English Editor (EE) and checked by the Publishing Editor (PE), formatted by the Technical Editor (TE), and then put into production. DOI is assigned to the paper and the paper is published.
A summary of JEM publishing procedure is given in the flowchart below.