Open peer review applies to all submitted papers.The review process consists of the following steps:
1. Submission of Paper: The corresponding author submits the paper to the journal by e-mail.
2. Editorial Office Assessment: The Executive Secretary checks the paper’s compliance with the formal requirements for the paper (formatting, citation and list of references, paper structure, etc., according to Instructions to Authors). The scientific level of the paper is not evaluated at this stage. In addition, the paper is checked for plagiarism. If plagiarism is detected, the paper is rejected immediately and not submitted for review.
3. Editor-in-Chief Evaluation: The Editor-in-Chief evaluates the paper to conform to the journal’s profile and to be original, interesting, and methodologically complete. If this is not available in the paper, it may be rejected without further review.
4. Inviting Reviewers: The Editor-in-Chief sends letters of invitation to scientists who are experts in the subject area of the paper. Each paper is to be reviewed by at least two independent reviewers from different organizations.
5. Reviewers' Responses: Potential reviewers become familiar with the content of the paper and make their own judgment about the paper’s relevance with their scientific profile, lack of conflict of interest, and accessibility. They may accept or decline the invitation to be reviewers. They may also recommend other reviewers.
6. Reviewing: The reviewer reads the paper to form an initial impression of the work. If major issues are identified at this stage, the reviewer may feel comfortable to reject the paper and provide the explanation of reasons for rejection in the review. Otherwise, the paper will be read more diligently (may be several times) to perform a detailed qualitative review. The review is then submitted to the journal, with a recommendation to accept or reject the paper. Reviewers may also recommend correcting the paper, taking into account their comments, after which the paper may be recommended for publication. Reviewing can take from 3 to 6 months.
7. Journal Evaluates the Reviews: The Editor-in-Chief considers all the submitted reviews before making a final decision. If the reviews are very different from one another, the Editor-in-Chief may invite an additional reviewer in order to get an extra opinion before making a decision.
8. Notice of Decision: The Editor-in-Chief sends the decision message to the corresponding author by email, along with relevant reviewers' comments. If the paper is accepted, it remains with the Editor-in-Chief to be included in the journal. If the paper is rejected or sent back for correction, the Editor-in-Chief includes constructive comments from the reviewers to help the authors improve the paper. At this point, an email is also sent to the reviewers letting them know the outcome of their reviews. If the paper is sent back for correction, the reviewers should expect to receive a new version of the paper, unless they have opted out of further participation. However, where only minor changes were requested this follow-up review might be done by the Editor-in-Chief.