PEER REVIEW PROCESS

As soon as a manuscript is received by a journal published by The Grassroots Institute, the peer review process begins. It undergoes the following steps:

Initial Preliminary Review

All manuscripts are processed using our manual or online Manuscript Tracking System. The Editor or Editorial Assistant determines whether the manuscript fits the journal’s focus and scope. Once we receive a manuscript, our Editorial Office runs a plagiarism check (using Grammarly, Turnitin or CrossCheck, powered by iThenticate) and screens the manuscript to decide whether or not it should be sent for peer review. It is therefore very important for authors to make sure that their manuscript is well written and is of high quality. During the initial screening, our Editorial Office mainly checks the following:

  1. Does the manuscript fit the journal’s scope?
  2. Is the content of the manuscript good enough to make it worth reviewing?
  3. Is the manuscript compliant with the journal’s Instructions for Authors?
  4. Has the manuscript been submitted or published elsewhere?

Any manuscripts out of the journal’s scope or containing plagiarism, including self-plagiarism, are rejected. This step takes 3-5 days and an intimation is sent to the author whether the manuscript can be processed further or recommended to Language Service or rejected. Mostly, the manuscript is retained to proceed further. Again, a Consent Form by the author sought to proceed further if author agrees to 3 conditions: (1) pay the Article Processing Charges (APC) on completion of Peer Review Process, (2) correct and rectify the errors related to English language composition and technical content, and (3) smooth communication and prompt responses to the Editor’s messages during editing process. In case, author is unable to agree on any of the 3 conditions, he/she is free to withdraw the manuscript at this stage, as it is not possible to withdraw the manuscript once the manuscript goes into Peer Review Process.

Manuscripts not adhering to journal guidelines is returned to authors without scientific evaluation. Submitted manuscripts adhering to journal guidelines are reviewed by the reviewers.

Double Blind Peer Review

After manuscripts clear the initial screening, they are sent to Editor-in-Chief. The Editor-in-Chief or Executive/Technical Editor assigns manuscripts to Editorial Assistant. The Editorial Assistant send the manuscript to a minimum of 2 reviewers for double blind peer review. The peer review process is an essential element of the publication cycle. All manuscripts submitted to our journals will undergo extensive peer review by our reviewers. A mixed panel of reviewers is selected both from author’s suggestions (if any) and members of the Reviewers’ Board and the Editorial Board. Flow diagram in Figure 1 is the editorial workflow that all submitted manuscripts undergo.

Normally, within 2-3 weeks, the reviewers submit the evaluation results along with their recommendations as one of the following actions:

  • 1. Accept
  • 2. Minor Revision
  • 3. Major Revision
  • 4. Reject

We have a double blinded peer-review process in which neither the reviewers know who the authors of the manuscript are, nor the authors have access to the information of who the peer reviewers are. Our journal acknowledges the researchers who have performed the peer-review and without the significant contributions made by these researchers, the publication of the journal would not be possible. We try our best to adhere to the guidelines laid out by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). We also forward the guidelines to our reviewers to ensure the highest ethical standards of evaluation.

The Reviewer Report (Comments) is an MS Word document, which is filled and commented. It contains title of the article but does not contain the identity details of the reviewer. Reviewer’s identity is kept anonymous. It is because Reviewers’ Report is shared with the author(s) for the purpose of improving their manuscript. This Reviewer’s Report can be uploaded in online system, only if the author(s) permit. Reviewers are given 2-3 weeks to write their review. In certain cases, extension can be granted upon request to the Reviewers.

Reviewer’s Roles & Responsibilities

All the reviewers are facilitated and guided to follow certain roles and responsibilities during the process of peer review. Please read the information available on the link.

Guidelines for Reviewers

On what grounds and technical variables a manuscript needs to be evaluated by the reviewer are well explained under this section. The reviewers are guided and assisted to conduct a fair and qualitative review of a manuscript. Such guidelines for reviewers can be read under FOR REVIEWERS section.

Final Decision

In order for the Editor to provide a recommendation regarding the manuscript, at least 2 completed reviews are required. Once the reviewers have submitted their comments, the Editor will then arrange to send the article to the corresponding author along with Reviewers’ Reports and her/his own recommendation, if any. The Editor delivers and informs the author of the final decision too. If the manuscript is conditionally accepted, author(s) is/are required to revise his/her/ their manuscript in accordance with the reviewers’ comments and Editor’s suggestions and submit a revised version of his/her/ their manuscript for further evaluation. We ensure high quality and unbiased peer-review by sending the manuscript for evaluation to a range of reviewers in different parts of the world.

In all the cases ‘except rejection’, the author(s) are asked to pay the APC as specified or suggested by the journal.

review-process

Figure 1: Review Process

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