An-Najah University Journal for Research - B (Humanities)

Reviewers Guildlines

Peer review

General Policy

AANUJR-B supports peer review, since it allows research to be evaluated and commented upon by independent experts who work within the same academic field as the authors. It also helps to improve manuscripts and allows the editor to assess a work’s suitability for publication.NUJR-B supports peer review, since it allows research to be evaluated and commented upon by independent experts who work within the same academic field as the authors. It also helps to improve manuscripts and allows the editor to assess a work’s suitability for publication.

The review process

An-Najah University Journal for Research - B (Humanities) adopts double blind review process completely supervised and assessed by the editorial board. The editorial board is responsible for the initial assessment and evaluation before the full review process. The initial assessment includes technical evaluation, quality assessment, and ethical consideration such as plagiarism. The technical assessment includes the presence of all sections including structured abstract, references in Roman letters and based on APA style, and overall readability and language. The quality assessment includes the manuscript’s novelty and interest to our readers. To save time for authors and peer reviewers, only work that seems most likely to meet our editorial criteria is sent for formal review. Those manuscripts judged by the editors to be of insufficient interest or otherwise inappropriate for ANUJR-B are rejected (desk rejected) promptly without external review. These decisions may also be based on advice from specialists in the field.

Manuscripts that pass the initial editorial assessment, and judged to be of potential interest to our readers, are sent to, at least, two blind experts independent reviewers for formal review. Reviewers will be asked to comply with the competing interests’ disclosure policy.

Reviewers are required to recommend a particular course of action, but should bear in mind that the other reviewers of a particular manuscript may have different technical expertise and/or views, and the editors may have to make a decision based on conflicting advice. The most useful reports, therefore, provide the editors with the information upon which a decision should be based, setting out the arguments for and against publication.

Editorial decisions are not a matter of counting votes or numerical rank assessments, and we do not always follow the majority recommendation. We try to evaluate the strength of the arguments raised by each reviewer and by the authors, and may also consider other information not available to either party. Our primary responsibilities are to our readers and to the scientific community at large, and in deciding how best to serve them we must weigh the claims of each manuscript against the many others also under consideration.

We may return to reviewers for further advice, particularly in cases where they disagree with each other, or where the authors believe they have been misunderstood on points of fact. We therefore ask that reviewers should be willing to provide follow-up advice as requested. We are very aware, however, that reviewers are usually reluctant to be drawn into prolonged disputes, so we try to keep consultation to the minimum as we judge necessary to provide a fair hearing for the authors.

When reviewers agree to assess a manuscript we consider this a commitment to review subsequent revisions. However, editors will not send a resubmitted manuscript back to the reviewers if it seems that the authors have not made a serious attempt to address the criticisms.

we take reviewers’ criticisms seriously. in particular, we are very reluctant to disregard technical criticisms. in cases where one reviewer alone opposes publication, we may consult the other reviewers as to whether the opposing reviewer is applying an improperly high critical standard. we occasionally bring in additional reviewers to resolve disputes, but prefer to avoid doing so unless there is a specific issue, e.g. a specialist technical point, on which we feel the need to obtain further advice.

In case of author’s disagreement with the editorial or referees’ comments, the author is asked to provide a detailed scientific appeal which will be examined by the editorial board and the referees. In the whole process, no offensive sentences are accepted from any side in the review process.

Selecting peer reviewers

Reviewer selection is critical to the publication process, and we base our choice on many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations and our own previous experience of a reviewer’s characteristics. For instance, we avoid using people who are slow, careless, or do not provide reasoning for their views, whether harsh or lenient.

We frequently check with potential reviewers before sending them manuscripts to review. Reviewers should bear in mind that these communications contain confidential information, which should be treated as such.

Writing the review

The primary purpose of the review is to provide the editors with the information needed to reach a decision. The review should also instruct the authors on how they can strengthen their manuscript to the point where it may be acceptable. As far as possible a negative review should explain to the authors the weaknesses of their manuscript, so that rejected authors can understand the basis for the decision and see in broad terms what needs to be done to improve the manuscript for publication elsewhere. This is secondary to the other functions, however, and referees should not feel obliged to provide detailed, constructive advice to authors of manuscripts that do not meet the minimum criteria for the journal. If the reviewer believes that a manuscript would not be suitable for publication, their report to the author should be as brief as is consistent with enabling the author to understand the reason for the decision.

Confidential comments to the editor are welcome, but it is helpful if the main points are stated in the comments to the authors. The ideal review should evaluate the following:

  1. Originality: Does the paper contain sufficient new and relevant information to warrant publication?
  2. Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the pertinent literature in the field and cite a sufficient variety of literature sources? Is any important work neglected?
  3. Methodology: Is the paper's argument supported by sufficient theory, concepts, or other ideas? Has the research or other intellectual work upon which the paper is based been designed effectively? Are the employed methods appropriate?
  4. Results: Are the results presented and analyzed effectively? Do the conclusions adequately connect the paper's other sections? Do the conclusions adequately connect the paper's other sections?
  5. Implications: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for theory, practice, and/or society? Does the paper connect theory with practice? How can the research be applied to practice, teaching, influencing public policy, or further research (adding to the body of knowledge)? What is the societal impact (on public attitudes and quality of life)? Are these ramifications consistent with the paper's findings and conclusions?
  6. Quality of Communication: Does the paper express its argument clearly, relative to the technical language of the field and the reader's expected level of expertise? Consideration has been given to the expression's clarity and readability, including sentence structure, jargon usage, acronyms, etc.

Based on the evaluation of the above points, the reviewer can suggest a recommendation from among several possibilities:

  • Accept submission – with or without editorial revisions.
  • Invite author revision – addressing specific concerns before a final decision is reached.
  • Reject – but indicate to the authors that further work might justify a resubmission.
  • Reject outright – typically on the grounds of specialist interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems.

Timing of reviews

ANUJR-B is committed to rapid editorial decisions and publication, and we believe that an efficient editorial process is a valuable service both to our authors and to the scientific community as a whole. We therefore ask reviewers to respond promptly within the number of days agreed. If reviewers anticipate a longer delay than previously expected, we ask them to let us know so that we can keep the authors informed and, where necessary, find alternatives.

The referees are given 30 days to submit their assessment. One week before the deadline, an email reminder is sent to the referee. In case the two referees had different decisions, a third referee is sought for a final decision. Once all reviews are submitted, the editorial board can make the decision. All accepted manuscripts are subject to either minor or major revisions. The authors typically submit a revised version within 30 days. The revised manuscript undergoes a peer-review process by the same referees. Once the final satisfactory answers are received from the referees, the editor in chief contacts the author for a final decision. The first, after review, decision is usually reached within two months from submission and a final decision is reached within three to four months. The whole review process is carried out online and no paper or email correspondence of articles or comments is accepted.

Anonymity

ANUJR-B does not release reviewers’ identities to authors or to other reviewers. We prefer that reviewers should remain anonymous throughout the review process and beyond. Identified reviewers may find it more difficult to be objective in commenting on the criticisms of other reviewers and on further revisions of the manuscript.

We ask reviewers not to identify themselves to authors without the editor’s knowledge. If they wish to reveal their identities while the manuscript is under consideration, this should be done via the editor or, if this is not practical, we ask authors to inform the editor as soon as possible after the reviewer has revealed their identity to the author.

We deplore any attempt by authors to confront reviewers or determine their identities. Our own policy is to neither confirm nor deny any speculation about reviewers’ identities, and we encourage reviewers to adopt a similar policy.

Editing reviewers’ reports

As a matter of policy we do not suppress reviewers’ reports; any comments that were intended for the authors are transmitted, regardless of what we may think of the content. On occasion we may edit a report to remove offensive language or comments that reveal confidential information about other matters, or to make the report more understandable. We ask reviewers to avoid statements that may cause needless offence; conversely, we strongly encourage reviewers to state plainly their opinion of a manuscript. Authors should recognize that criticisms are not necessarily unfair simply because they are expressed in robust language.

Ethics and security

ANUJR-B’s editors may seek advice about submitted manuscripts not only from technical reviewers but also on any aspect of a manuscript that raises concerns. These may include, for example, ethical issues or issues of data or materials access.

Very occasionally concerns may also relate to the implications to society of publishing a manuscript, including threats to security. In such circumstances advice will usually be sought simultaneously with the technical peer-review process. As in all publishing decisions, the ultimate decision whether to publish is the responsibility of the editor of the journal concerned.

If discussions between an author, editor and peer reviewer have taken place in confidence, they should remain in confidence unless explicit consent has been given by all parties or there are exceptional circumstances.

Editors, members of editorial boards and other editorial staff (including peer reviewers) should withdraw from discussions about submissions where any circumstances might prevent them from offering unbiased editorial decisions.

An-Najah National University
Nablus, Palestine
P.O. Box
7, 707
Fax
(970)(9)2345982
Tel.
(970)(9)2345560
(970)(9)2345113/5/6/7-Ext. 2628
E-mail
[email protected]
EIC
Prof. Waleed Sweileh