Peer Review Process
The journal operates a double-blind peer review process, meaning that authors and reviewers remain anonymous for the review process. The review period is expected to take around four to six weeks. Reviewers are asked to provide formative feedback, even if an article is not deemed suitable for publication in the journal.
1. Upon submission, your paper will be assigned to a Managing editor who is responsible for the process of review and editing. As a first step, the Managing editor will check whether the paper conforms to the scope of the journal, if its scientific quality/style is sufficient and if the paper format fits the type of submission (position paper, research paper, case study or review paper).
a. Should the Managing editor have doubts about the fit of the paper to the journal’s scope, he/she will confer with the Editorial Board to reach a decision on whether to proceed to review. If it is decided that the paper is outside the journal’s scope, you will be given to opportunity to resubmit a revised version, or to withdraw your paper.
b. If the paper’s format does not fit the available types of submission, you will be asked to either resubmit, or to agree with reassignment of the paper to a different category.
c. In both cases, the author has a right to appeal to the Managing editor if he/she thinks that there are other elements (i.e. other than those that the managing editor has already evaluated and that are at the basis of the rejection decision) that the Managing editor should be considering (see 5.).
2. When your paper is accepted for review, the Managing editor will send out review requests to reviewers with expertise in the paper’s subject matter. Normally, JCAA will have your paper reviewed by 2 reviewers. However, if the review results are contradictory, an extra review may be requested. The reviewers’ deadline is set to three weeks after acceptance of the review request. If reviewers fail to submit their review after two reminders, a new reviewer will be sought. Delays in the review process will be communicated to the author.
3. After review, the editor will decide on whether the paper can be accepted ’as is’, if revisions are required, or if the paper will be rejected. The reviewers’ reports will be sent to you together with the final decision.
a. In the case of minor revisions required, we expect you to resubmit but don’t expect you to answer the reviewers’ comment in a separate document
b. In the case of major revisions required, we expect you to resubmit as well as answer the reviewers’ comment in a separate document
c. In the case of rejection, the author has a right to appeal to the Managing editor if he/she thinks that there are other elements (i.e. other than those that the Managing editor has already evaluated and that are at the basis of the rejection decision) that the Managing editor should be considering (see 5.).
4. Upon acceptance ‘as is’ or after resubmission with minor revision, the Managing Editor will start the copyediting process, which should take two weeks. Upon resubmission with major revision, the Managing editor may decide to contact the reviewers to check whether they think their comments were appropriately addressed. This may lead to a second request for revision before proceeding with the editing process. Once copyediting is complete, the paper will be sent to the publisher for typesetting. The author will have the opportunity to check the proofs before publication. This final proofing stage is intended to catch any typesetting errors and no substantial changes can be made to the paper during this stage. We expect the typesetting and proofing to take three weeks, after which time the paper will appear online and be assigned a DOI.
5. In the case of appeal, the Managing editor will consult with the journal’s Editorial Board to evaluate whether the decision to reject should be reconsidered. A final, binding decision will be taken within 5 days of the appeal and will be motivated in writing by the Managing editor.
Authors may be invited to recommend or ask for the exclusion of specific individuals from the peer review process. The journal does not guarantee to use these suggestions. All reviewers must be independent from the submission and will be asked to declare all competing interests.
The journal is happy to accept submissions of papers that have been loaded onto preprint servers or personal websites, have been presented at conferences, or other informal communication channels. These formats will not be deemed prior publication. Authors must retain copyright to such postings. Authors are encouraged to link any prior posting of their paper to the final published version within the journal, if it is editorially accepted.
Reviewers are asked to provide comment on the below topics and guidelines:
- Content: Does the article fit within the scope of the journal? Is the submission original, relevant and rigorous? Is the author’s depth of understanding of the issues researched adequate? Are the sources and references adequate? Has the existing knowledge base been explored and built upon? Are the chosen methodologies appropriate and have they and the evidential base been appropriately used? Does the conclusion reflect the argument in the main body text and bring something new to the debate?
- Structure and argument: Does the abstract summarise the arguments in a succinct and accurate way? Is the manuscript logically structured and do the arguments flow coherently? Is there enough reference to methodology in the introduction and are the arguments fully evidenced and substantiated? Does the introduction signpost the arguments in the logical way and does the conclusion adequately summarise them?
- Figures/tables: Does the author’s use of tables, charts, figures or maps illustrate the arguments and support the evidential base? Is the quality of the formatting and presentation adequate?
- Language: Is the text well written and jargon free? Please comment on the quality of English and need for grammatical improvement.
The journal strongly encourages authors to make all data associated with their submission openly available, according to the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). This should be linked to from a Data Accessibility Statement within the submitted paper, which will be made public upon publication. . If data is not being made available with the journal publication then ideally a statement from the author should be provided within the submission to explain why. Data obtained from other sources must be appropriately credited.
As the traditional Materials and Methods section often includes insufficient detail for readers to wholly assess the research process, the journal encourages authors to publish detailed descriptions of their structured methods in open, online platforms such as protocols.io. By providing a step-by-step description of the methods used in the study, the chance of reproducibility and usability increases, whilst also allowing authors to build on their own works and gain additional credit and citations.
If research includes the use of software code, statistical analysis or algorithms then we also recommend that authors upload the code into Code Ocean, where it will be hosted on an open, cloud-based computational reproducibility platform, providing researchers and developers with an easy way to share, validate and discover code published in academic journals.
The journal allows authors to deposit draft versions of their paper into a suitable preprint server, on condition that the author agrees to the below:
- The author retains copyright to the preprint and developed works from it, and is permitted to submit it to the journal.
- The author declares that a preprint is available within the cover letter presented during submission. This must include a link to the location of the preprint.
- The author acknowledges that having a preprint publicly available means that the journal cannot guarantee the anonymity of the author during the review process, even if they anonymise the submitted files (see review policy).
- Should the submission be published, the authors are expected to update the information associated with the preprint version to show that a final version has been published in the journal, including the DOI linking directly to the publication.
The journal strongly recommends that all authors submitting a paper register an account with Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID). Registration provides a unique and persistent digital identifier for the account that enables accurate attribution and improves the discoverability of published papers, ensuring that the correct author receives the correct credit for their work. As the ORCID remains the same throughout the lifetime of the account, changes of name, affiliation, or research area do not effect the discoverability of an author's past work and aid correspondence with colleagues.
The journal encourages all corresponding authors to include an ORCID within their submitting author data whilst co-authors are recommended to include one. ORCID numbers should be added to the author data upon submission and will be published alongside the submitted paper, should it be accepted.
Competing Interests, Funding and Ethics
To ensure transparency, all authors, reviewers and editors are required to declare any interests that could compromise, conflict or influence the validity of the publication. Competing interests guidelines can be viewed here.
In addition, authors are required to specify funding sources and detail requirements for ethical research in the submitted manuscript (see Author Guidelines). All authors must confirm that they fit the definition of an author (see Authorship Guidelines), during submission.
Corrections and Retractions
The Press handles different kinds of error in accordance with guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), where applicable. All articles have their proofs checked prior to publication by the author/editor, which should ensure that content errors are not present. Please contact the editorial manager if you believe an article needs correcting.
Post-publication changes are not permitted to the publication, unless in exceptional circumstances. If an error is discovered in a published article then the publisher will assess whether a Correction paper or Retraction is required. This ensures that the error can be appropriately corrected, whilst the integrity of the publication record is not broken. Please contact the publisher for the full Correction/Retraction policy.
Misconduct and Complaints
Allegations of misconduct will be taken with utmost seriousness, regardless of whether those involved are internal or external to the journal, or whether the submission in question is pre- or post-publication. All reasonable steps will be taken to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, including plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication. If an allegation of misconduct is made to the journal, it must be immediately passed on to the publisher, who will follow guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) on how to address the nature of the problem. Should the matter involve allegations against a member of the journal or publishing team, an independent and objective individual(s) may be sought to lead the investigation.
Should an author wish to lodge a complaint against an editorial decision or the editorial process in general they should first approach the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, explaining their complaint and ask for a reasoned response. Should this not be forthcoming or inadequate, they should raise the matter with the publisher, who will investigate the nature of the complaint and act as arbiter on whether the complaint should be upheld and investigated further. This will follow guidelines set out by COPE.
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