Peer Review Process
Peer Review Process
Journal Healthcare Treatment Development(JHTD) is a refereed journal which follows a double-blind peer-review process. All articles in this journal undergo rigorous peer review, based on initial editor screening and refereeing by two anonymous reviewers. The review process may take from two to three months. See the manuscript handling flow chart below.
Our experience tells us that the peer-review process is an indispensable part of any scholarly publication process, which improves the manuscripts that get published. With our commitment for the first-rate and good quality papers in our Journal, we emphasize the practice of initial screening and peer-review of all submissions made to us for publishing. Not only does this peer review provide an independent assessment of the importance and technical accuracy of the results described, but also the feedback from referees conveyed to authors results in manuscripts being refined so that their structure and logic is more readily apparent to readers. To maintain the high standards of our Journal following all the procedure outlined here, our Paper Editors and Referees play a key role.
Step 1: Manuscript Editor Selection
When a manuscript is received for publishing, the Editor-in-Chief assigns a Manuscript Editor for initial screening of the manuscript. The author may also request a certain Manuscript Editor whilst submitting the manuscript. However, the final decision regarding the Manuscript Editor for a particular manuscript is made by the Editor-in-Chief considering aspects like expertise, workload, and conflict of interest. In some cases, the Editors and the Editor-in-Chief can also work as a Manuscript Editor.
Step 2: Initial Screening
The Manuscript Editor makes an initial screening whether the submitted manuscript merits full external review. For an initial opinion, the Manuscript Editor may also consult members of the Editorial Board. Those manuscripts judged by the editors to be of insufficient general interest or otherwise inappropriate are rejected promptly without external review.
Those authors whose manuscripts are rejected at this stage will be informed within the three weeks of the receipt of the manuscript. The most common ground for editorial rejection at this point is when a manuscript is: outside the aims and scope of the Journal; a confirmation or duplication of published work, or represents preliminary, incomplete, poorly designed, or purely ‘descriptive’ studies lacking theoretical insight(s) into a problem.
Should there be a possibility that the manuscript could fit in the Journal after some revisions, the Manuscript Editor might offer some initial suggestions to the author. If the author resubmits the manuscript in line with the initial suggestions and if the Manuscript Editor finds the revised version of the manuscript worth of external review then the manuscript is accepted for review.
Step 3: Referee Selection
After having completed the initial screening, manuscript judged to be of potential interest to our readership is sent for formal review. The Manuscript Editor identifies possible Referees and sends the manuscript for review. In general case, we use two Referees to assess the quality, novelty and aptness of the manuscript. In some specific cases, we may use three or even more Referees.
Manuscripts solicited for Special Issues and other invited materials are subject to essentially the same peer review procedures as regular submissions except that, in most cases, Special Issues are handled by a Guest Editor.
Referee 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 certain reviewer's capability and timeliness. We select Referees who work scholarly and timely.
We invite our Referees by sending an email and asking to accept or decline the request to provide a review within two weeks. If they decline, new potential Referees are invited. All invited Referees are provided an opportunity to make suggestions for alternative Referees. Our database of Referees will be constantly updated as we attempt to identify and maintain quality Referees. We can also request suggestions for referees from the author to aid in identifying people with relevant expertise. The Manuscript Editor is free to select from these choices or pick up another Referee. Authors can also make suggestions to exclude particular Referees from the review process to help in avoiding conflict of interest. In some cases, the Manuscript Editor or the members of Board of Editors may also act as a Referee. However, such instances will not be preferred and thus will not be promoted.
Step 3: Formal Review Process
The manuscript review process is completely a blind process, where the Referees remain anonymous to the author and the author remains anonymous to the Referees throughout the whole process. Likewise, Referees will also remain anonymous to each other.
The Referees will examine the manuscript considering mainly on the basis of the originality and relevance of the theme, conceptual/theoretical soundness, addition to the knowledge, questioning or challenge to the existing knowledge, methodological rigor, organization and coherence, ethical stance, substantiation and reference, etc. and give her/his advice on the publication potential of the manuscript.
As per our policy, we do not suppress Referees' reports; any comments that were intended for the authors are transmitted, regardless of what we may think of the content. On rare occasions, we may edit a report to remove offensive language or comments. We may also edit a report in order to avoid the possible revelation of confidential information about any matter.
When the Referees’ report is received, the Manuscript Editor then makes a decision based on the Referees’ advice, from among several possibilities:
- Accept, with or without editorial revisions
- Invite the authors to revise their manuscript to address 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 grounds of specialist interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems
In case where the Referees have differing opinion on the publication potential of the manuscript, the Manuscript Editor might request the Referees for their opinion on matters of differing ideas. In such case, the Manuscript Editor might also consult with members of Editorial Board.
Except in case of the acceptance of the manuscript without any revisions, the manuscript then is returned to the author inviting her/him for revision and resubmission within a specified period of maximum one month (depending upon required revision). When the author resubmits the manuscript after revision, the Manuscript Editor decides whether the manuscript needs a second round of review by the Referees or can be accepted in its presently submitted form. In case the Manuscript Editor decides for a second review and in case the first round Referee(s) is/are not available, the Manuscript Editor may find new Referee(s), do the review by her/himself, consult members of the Editorial Board or decide on the basis of only one Referee’s re-review report (if such report is there).
In case the author claims that her/his ideas are misunderstood by the Referees, the Manuscript Editor might request the Referees for their opinion on matters of author’s claim.
Language correction is not the part of peer review process. Therefore, Referees are not expected to correct or copy-edit manuscripts. A manuscript may be accepted subject to the contributor agreeing to have her/his manuscript professionally copy-edited at her/his effort if it is judged to be potentially publishable but poorly designed and presented. We maintain a list of well qualified providers of this service.
Time for Review Process
We strive to be as fast as possible; however it can take time because sometime the appropriate referees for a particular manuscript might not be available or busy for a while. Usually, the time for handling a manuscript from submission to first decision is expected to be around five weeks. If Referees agree to examine a manuscript in a timely manner but are delayed or fail to provide a review despite regular reminders from the Journal, the Manuscript Editor may make a decision based on the completed reviews or s/he might decide to request to other referees. It may also be necessary to seek a further opinion from other experts should the Referees' reports contradict one another. In such cases, the review process will take little longer but the Manuscript Editor will make every effort to minimize delay.
When the author resubmits the revised version of the manuscript and if the Manuscript Editor decides for a second round of review, the manuscript is sent to the reviewer usually within one week of receipt. In general, one round of re-review is permitted for manuscripts deemed to have major issues. To correct relatively minor issues that the Manuscript Editor feels, subsequent rounds of reviews may be necessary. Such minor corrections could be handled by the Manuscript Editor her/himself for a quick final decision on the manuscript.
Step 5: Final Decision
As noted, Referees and the Manuscript Editor are key actors in making decision to accept or reject the manuscript. However, the Editor-in-Chief makes the final decision in this regard. While taking such decision, the Editor-in-Chief may consult with other Editors or members of Editorial Board. Once the Editor-in-Chief makes the decision, that is considered final and no complaints are received by the author or by anyone else on behalf of the author about the decision.
Inquiry and Comment
For any general questions and comments about the peer-review process, the Journal or its editorial policies that are not addressed here, we encourage Authors and Referees to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Journal Healthcare Treatment Development(JHTD) is published Bimonthly.
Open Access Policy
This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
Please note that the Journal uses Turnitin software to screen papers for unoriginal material. By submitting your paper to the Journal you are agreeing to any necessary originality or plagiarism checks your paper may have to undergo during the peer review and production processes. In case of a duplicate submission, fabricated data, breach of participants' confidentiality, improper award or denial of authorship, and plagiarised texts, we warn the author(s) for misconduct and may allow rework. But if so is found in the resubmission, we will consider that deliberate and thus bar the author for submitting any (including original) article to the Journal for three years.
The Editorial Board of Journal and HM Publishers are committed to the highest academic, professional, legal, and ethical standards in publishing work in this journal. To this end, we have adopted a set of guidelines, to which all submitting authors, reviewers and editors are expected to adhere, to assure the integrity and ethical publishing. We also adopt the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines to deal with publication ethics and malpractice policies.
Here are some general ethical guidelines that Journal adopts and recommends for its authors, reviewers and editors.
Ethical guidelines for Journal authors
We expect all authors submitting to Journal to adhere to the following ethical guidelines:
- All authors must warrant that their article is their own original work, which does not infringe the intellectual property rights of any other person or entity, and cannot be construed as plagiarizing any other published work, including their own previously published work.
- In case copyrighted materials are to be reproduced, it is the responsibility of the authors to obtain permission to reproduce the copyrighted materials. Authors must also include the copyright permission letter while submitting such paper.
- Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made significant contributions should be listed as co-authors. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are included on the paper and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication. All authors named on the paper are equally held accountable for the content of a submitted manuscript or published paper.
- Authors must not submit a manuscript to more than one journal simultaneously. Submitting the same manuscript to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
- Authors should not submit previously published work, nor work which is based in substance on previously published work, either in part or whole.
- Authors must appropriately cite all relevant works. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, should not be used or reported in the author's work unless fully cited, and with the permission of that third party.
- Authors must make available all necessary formal and documented ethical approval from an appropriate research ethics committee, including evidence of anonymization and informed consent from the client(s) or patient(s) studied, if appropriate.
- Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data, if practicable, and should, in any event, be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.
- Authors must pay particular attention to making their language non-discriminatory in any way. They should avoid sexist and racist terms and adhere to the basic ethical principle of no harm.
- Authors must declare any potential conflict of interest – be it professional or financial – which could be held to arise with respect to the article.
- Authors must disclose all sources of financial support for the research reported in the paper.
- When authors discover a significant error or inaccuracy in their own published work, it is the authors’ obligation to promptly notify the journal editor and cooperate with the editor to retract or correct the paper.
Ethical guidelines for Journal peer reviewers
We ask all peer reviewers to make every reasonable effort to adhere to the following ethical guidelines for Journal articles they have agreed to review:
- Reviewers must give unbiased consideration to each manuscript, and should judge each on its merits. Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Referees should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
- Reviewers must keep the peer review process confidential; information or correspondence about a manuscript should not be shared with anyone outside of the peer-review process.
- Reviewers should provide a constructive, comprehensive, evidenced, and appropriately substantial peer review report.
- Any selected referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the editor and excuse her- or himself from the review process.
- Reviewers should assist the editors in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper.
- Reviewers should make all reasonable effort to submit their report and recommendation in a timely manner, informing the editor if this is not possible.
- Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. Reviewers should also call to the editor's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they are aware.
- Journal strongly recommends that reviewers also adhere to the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers.
Ethical guidelines for Journal editors
We ask all journal editors to make every reasonable effort to adhere to the following ethical guidelines for Journal articles that are worthy of peer review:
- Journal editors should give unbiased consideration to each manuscript and should judge each on its merits, without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, or political philosophy of the authors.
- Journal editors must keep the peer-review process confidential; information or correspondence about a manuscript should not be shared with anyone outside of the peer-review process.
- Journal editors may reject a submitted manuscript without resort to formal peer review if they consider the manuscript to be inappropriate for the journal and outside its scope.
- If a journal editor receives a claim that a submitted article is under consideration elsewhere or has already been published, then he or she has a duty to investigate the matter with Journal.
- Journal editors should make all reasonable effort to process submitted manuscripts in an efficient and timely manner.
- Journal editors should arrange for the responsibility of the peer review of any original research article authored by themselves to be delegated to a member of the editorial or advisory board as appropriate.
- Journal editors are responsible for deciding which of the articles submitted to the journal should be published. The editor may be guided by the policies of the journal's editorial board and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The editor may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision.
- If a journal editor is presented with convincing evidence that the main substance or conclusions of an article published in the journal are erroneous, then, in consultation with Journal, the journal editor should facilitate publication of an appropriate corrigendum or erratum.