Peer Review Process

General Outlines:

  1. All decisions and actions are justified and explained using personalised emails to corresponding author and all the authors who are included in the manuscripts.
  2. The decisions and actions are open for questioning by the authors
  3. All authors and reviewers may contact the editor at any point of review process even after notification of final decision. The editor has changed his decision few times.
  4. Decisions are attempted to be made quickly to be fair and thorough to prevent waste of time of the authors, reviewers or the editor.

Original Manuscripts:

Includes research papers, systematic reviews, practical notes, short communications.

1.      Registration

By submitting the manuscript you will receive an email notification of its registration.  This automatic notification contains an ID which you must use whenever corresponding about the manuscript.

2.      First read technical manager and the editor in chief

All submitted manuscripts are reviewed within 7 days of registration on the journal website by a technical expert for completeness of documents and compliance with the authors' guide, and by the editor for compliance with the journal's scope and scientific strength. This phase may be extended up to 10 days in case of holidays. There are three options for the next step:

  • Immediate rejection
  • Return for revision before review
  • Pass to reviewer

The option may be selected upon editor’s first read based on:

  • Suitability:
    • Is the topic and content appropriate for the journal?
    • Is it relevant to the rehabilitation sciences? Although JRRS is a multi-professional journal, the editor has the right to consider a paper as not sufficiently relevant to be accepted.
    • Papers which are usually not suitable include most narrative reviews, descriptive manuscripts in specific population of a city or a college or a school, poor methodology, lack of ethics approval certificate (Clinical Trial Registry code in case), the manuscripts submitted by a team of authors who does not have sufficient expertise in the field of the manuscript.
  • Potential of the study/paper; could a good paper be achieved eventually?
    • Is the manuscript it likely or at least possible for publication after revision and improvement; many manuscripts will be are rejected at this point.
    • Common reasons for rejection include:
      • Difficulty in generalising manuscript findings due to sample size, unrepresentative sample, bias, etc.
      • Nonspecific conclusion because of poor design, small and/or biased sample, poor data sets, etc.
      • No novelty and loss of proper rationale that means that many publications are accessible in that topic

If the paper’s priority is estimated to be less than 40% probability of final acceptance the paper will be rejected immediately, without further review in order to prevent wasting time of the authors and reviewers.

3.      Pass to reviewers

Manuscripts that at least have potential will be reviewed on more details. The editor will then send his initial impressions to the authors.

Then the editor selects two reviewers (rarely three reviewers in specific cases).  The reviewers will be assigned from:

  • The editor’s own memory and knowledge
  • JRRS data-base of authors who have previously submitted papers
  • JRRS data-base of previous reviewers
  • The references in the manuscript
  • Internet, including medical data-bases
  • The suggested reviewers by the author at submission

The reviewers’ criteria:

  • Not be closely associated with the authors
  • Be interested or have expertise in at least some aspect of the paper
  • Be able and willing to give time to the review process

The reviewers will be contacted by email and if they accept, they are given access to the plaint blind version of the paper which does not include the title page detailing the authors and originating. Reviewers are given guidance and review form that are available to anyone on JRRS website.

4.      Return of the reviews

Following return of all reviews, the editor reads the paper, the reviewers’ comments, and his own initial opinion. The next decision may be:

  • Acceptance: no further action from authors is required (possible but has not occurred yet)
  • Revision required
  • Rejection

The authors will be informed by an email that usually includes: the anonymous reviewers’ comments, editor’s initial comments, the reasons that why the manuscript has been rejected or what major areas need revision. The editor notifies the authors that they may contact the editor if they want further advice on revisions or, in the case of rejection, if they wish to make any comments or ask questions.

The reviewers will also receive a copy of the same email and attachments (blind to each other’s identity and without disclosing their identity to the author) so that they may learn of the decision and so that they may read the opinion of others.

5.      Return of revised manuscripts

When the author resubmits their revised version, the editor reads any covering letter provided outlining their response to comments and changes made, and reads the revised paper.  The editor may make one of three decisions:

  • Acceptance that is more usual.
  • Return for further changes if necessary.
  • Rejection that is rare, but happens when the revision clarifies that the original manuscript misrepresented the study so that it no longer reaches priority for publication.

The papers are not routinely returned to the reviewers although the editor obviously reserves the right to do this if he considers it necessary. The author will be informed of the decision by email, with an accompanying letter if needed to explain the decision.

Letters to the Editor

Important reports on latest achievements in the rehabilitation fields or recently abandoned/ adopted protocols may be submitted in the form of letters to the editor. The text should contain maximum of 500 words with at most one table or illustration and a maximum of five references.

These letters are not subject to peer review.  The editor reads the letter and he usually decides immediately on further actions, though rarely he may seek advice. Any letter that comments significantly on a published article will be sent to the author of that article inviting a comment or reply.  The author will be given a short time to reply (usually 14-21 days). Then the editor will:

  • Edit letters and any reply
  • Decide on publication of the letters and replies
  • Inform the authors of any significant changes to their material if publishing the letter be the choice.

Manuscripts by JRRS Editorial Board

All the procedures and payments are exactly the same for the manuscripts from JRRS editorial board. To confirm a true peer review process, 5 members of editorial board will select the reviewers secretly and a blind supervisor will monitor the whole peer review process.

The editorial process in Journal of Research in Rehabilitation Sciences is briefly illustrated below

Summary of the editorial, peer review and publication processes in the Journal of Research in Rehabilitation Sciences