Review Process - Journal of African Union Studies (JoAUS)
The following shall guide the review of articles submitted for publication in the journal:
•Each article must have two reviewers and must, in each case, be ‘double-blind reviewed’ - which means that reviewer and author identities, in each case, must be concealed from each other throughout the Review Process. This also means that in submitting articles for consideration, authors should have a separate page for their names and institutional affiliations and should take care to ensure that their names or institutional affiliations are not revealed in the article they wish to be considered for publication.
•Articles should be submitted to email@example.com, copying firstname.lastname@example.org. The journal accepts articles all year round.
•It is recommended that the editor should use the Virtual Editorial Assistant (VEA) attached to the journal in sourcing for reviewers. The advantages of this include the fact that the VEA can more easily follow up on the progress of the review and consequently be able to update the Author(s) accordingly.
•Comments on the reviewed article must be on the journal’s Review Form. In addition to comments on the Review Form, reviewers are encouraged to make other comments on the body of the article to better guide the Author(s) when revising the paper.
•When submitting papers for evaluation, authors are strongly encouraged to run their papers through anti-plagiarism software to ensure that the similarities are within acceptable threshold. Without prejudice to this however, every paper accepted for publication in the journal will also have to pass the company’s similarity check. Our threshold is 15% - excluding references and in-text citations.
•The author(s) in re-submitting the paper after revision must outline in a separate page how the recommended corrections were implemented. This should be done in a two column table with the relevant number of rows. The first column should indicate the reviewer’s comments being addressed and the second column of the corresponding row indicates how each comment/recommendation was implemented and the page number of where the implemented corrections can be found. Authors who disagree with particular comments of the reviewers can also state such in the correction log – and give their reasons for disagreeing with the views of the reviewers on the issue.
•Where two Reviewers recommended a major revision, the revised paper should be sent to one or both of the reviewers to confirm that the recommended corrections were satisfactorily implemented.
•Where the editor disagrees with the opinion of one or both reviewers, he/she can ask for a third reviewer. An editor cannot override the concurrent opinion of two reviewers.
•Where the original Reviewers decline to review the work again, the revised paper, together with the original paper submitted for review and the comments by the Reviewers shall be sent to another Reviewer who will decide whether the recommended corrections have been implemented satisfactorily or not.
•Where one Reviewer recommends major corrections and another Reviewer recommends minor corrections, the journal’s editor (or Guest Editor as the case may be) shall decide which of the recommended corrections the author will implement.
•Where both Reviewers recommended minor corrections, the editor can decide, on the resubmission of the paper and the review of the corrections log, if the recommended corrections were satisfactorily implemented or not.
•No author shall have more than one paper (singly or jointly authored) per issue of the journal.
•Authors are updated every four weeks on the progress of articles submitted to the journal for publication. It is the journal’s policy that any inquiry is replied within hours of being received - provided it is received during working hours. Authors and inquirers who did not receive acknowledgement to their inquiry within 24 hours (provided the submission was done during working hours) are encouraged to do a follow-up email to email@example.com, copying firstname.lastname@example.org
•After the completion of the layout of the papers accepted for publication, a PDF of each article is sent to the corresponding Author to check for errors. The corresponding Author is usually given a time frame of approximately three working days to respond. Given that the journal works within tight deadlines, any author that fails to respond within the stipulated time frame will be deemed to have approved the article for publication and any error detected after the publication will be the author’s liability. The editor/guest editor of the journal can also approve the PDF on behalf of the author – if the author failed to respond within the given time frame or advice that the paper be removed from that issue of the journal.
•If an author chooses to withdraw his/her paper after the layout is concluded (but before the journal is printed), any publication fee paid cannot be refunded as this will be used to cover the cost of re-doing the layout.
•Authors must sign and return the copyright forms before the start of the layout. Without the signed copyright forms, a paper cannot be published.
Time frame for completing the review of articles
•The journal has a Virtual Editorial Assistant (VEA) who liaises between the author and the journal’s editor. When an article is submitted to email@example.com, it is picked up by the relevant VEA who acknowledges the receipt of such an article immediately (provided it was received during working hours). The article is checked for compatibility with the journal’s scope and if it is found to be compatible, it is then forwarded to the journal’s editor who can either desk reject or agree that the article merits to be sent out for review. We have a database of relevant scholars and the editor and VEA work out on scholars to be approached for review.
•Each article in any of our journals that is indexed by SCOPUS or IBSS is evaluated by two reviewers (two double-blind review). As we depend on the generosity of reviewers, it often takes some time for the review process to be completed. Our target is to reduce the time it takes to get a decision on an article submitted to any of our journals indexed by SCOPUS or IBSS to between 12 and 16 weeks.
•It is our policy that authors are updated every four weeks on the progress of articles submitted to any of our journals. It is also our policy that any inquiry to our office is replied within hours provided it was received within working hours.
•If you submitted an article to us and have not received any acknowledgement within 24 hours (provided the submission was done during working hours), kindly do a follow-up email. Remember all submissions and inquiries are through: firstname.lastname@example.org , copying email@example.com
Factors that could delay the review process and publishing of accepted articles
In addition to getting reviewers, other factors that could delay the time it takes for a decision to be reached on an article or for the article to be published after acceptance include:
•Sending your article to the wrong email address. All submissions are made to: firstname.lastname@example.org (copying email@example.com).
•An editor may express displeasure with the quality of the review of an article by one (or both of the reviewers), and ask that a new reviewer (or even another two reviewers) be found for the paper. It is the discretion of the editor to accept or reject such a request.
•We do not publish more than two authors from one institution in any issue of our journals so if the journal has already accepted two articles from one institution for the issue of the journal, it delays the evaluation of other contributors from the same institution for the issue of the journal.
•No author is allowed to publish more than one article (either singly or jointly) in any issue of our journals or to publish in successive issues of any of our journals.
•If an Author’s article fails plagiarism test, it means that the final decision on the paper is delayed until the author is able to rework the paper to bring down the similarity check to our acceptable threshold of 20% (excluding in-text citations).