Overview of the ETAS Journal Peer Review Process
As it aims to be a reputable publication in the field of English Language Teaching, ETAS Journal employs a single-blind peer review procedure (reviewers’ identity is kept anonymous) of research-based as well as specialty topics (such as new information and digital technology) articles submitted for publication.
Purpose of the Peer-Review Process
- To develop ETAS Journal into a quality publication while upholding the validity of individual articles
- To promote scholarly exchange among teachers and researchers in the field of English Language Teaching
- To provide the ETAS Journal Editor with evidence to make judgments as to whether articles meet the Journal’s selection criteria
- To improve the quality and readability of the manuscript whenever possible
The task of picking and contacting reviewers is the job of the Editor. The Editor selects reviewers based on many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations of authors, and the Editor’s own knowledge of a reviewer’s past performance.
Reviewers are experts in their fields. They make a significant contribution to the profession by committing their time and knowledge. Specialists in their field and in the subject of the papers, they read and evaluate the quality and scholarly merit of the assigned paper based on the data presented, experiment results, and references provided, not simply on personal opinion. In other words, reviewers scrutinize the research procedure used in the study, the current scholarship and theoretical groundwork employed, the accuracy of the data presented, and the coherence and accuracy of the interpretation of the results.
Authors can expect their manuscripts to be reviewed fairly, in a skilled, conscientious manner. Reviewers are held to demanding standards. They must:
- present a clear decision regarding the manuscript
- support the recommendation with a detailed, comprehensive analysis of the quality and coherence of the study’s conceptual basis, methods, results, and interpretations
- offer specific, constructive suggestions to authors. Rejection must be handled firmly, but with courtesy.
Manuscripts are confidential material, not to be discussed or used for personal purposes without permission from the author, generally arranged through the Editor.
Internal Peer Reviewers: Members of the ETAS Journal Editorial Board (EB) serve as internal peer-reviewers. As such, they provide the initial critical assessment of an article on the basis of the content of the manuscript and their own expertise and experience. The EB evaluates the paper, decides whether it meets the publication policies and editorial criteria of the Journal, and makes recommendations to the Editor.
External Peer Reviewers: As the need arises, the Editor locates an external peer reviewers from among ELT professionals and practicing scholars, most often content experts within a given ELT area.
Writing the Review
The purpose of the review is to provide the Editor with an expert opinion regarding the quality of the manuscript under consideration. The review should also supply authors with explicit feedback on how to improve their papers so that they are acceptable for publication in ETAS Journal. Although confidential comments to the Editor are respected, any remarks that might help to strengthen the paper should be communicated to the authors themselves.
Review Guidelines: A good review would answer the following questions:
- What are the main claims of the paper?
- Are the claims properly placed in the context of the previous literature?
- Does the paper include proper acknowledgement of the existing body of work on the subject?
- Does the paper offer enough details of its methodology?
- If experiments have been conducted, do the experimental data support the claims? If not, what other evidence is required?
- Who would find this paper of interest? And why?
- In what further directions would it be useful to take the current research?
- Is the article relevant to ETAS Journal readership?
- Is the topic of interest to ELT professionals?
Other Questions for Consideration
In the case of manuscripts deemed worthy of publication, reviewers may be requested to provide additional comments on the following:
- Is the manuscript written clearly enough that it is understandable to non-specialists? If not, how could it be improved?
- Is the manuscript concise?
- Is the material presented, without excessive jargon?
- Are all the illustrations, photos, graphs or charts needed?
- Was the paper well written, properly organized, and easy to follow?
- Was proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation used throughout?
- Should the manuscript be shortened?
- Should the manuscript be more comprehensive?
- Are the major references included?
- Are all references cited completely and in the desired format of the Journal (APA 6th Edition: http://owll.massey.ac.nz/referencing/apa-interactive.php)
- Do the sources included in the Reference List relate to the study?
There are several types of decisions possible, with most recommendations along the lines of the following:
- Accept in principle (pending satisfactorily completed revisions)
- Accept as written
- Withhold judgment pending minor revision
- Withhold judgment pending major revision
- Reject (either outright or with encouragement to resubmit)
The Editor conveys the results of the review to the authors, who, depending on the recommendations, are allowed to make any final revisions that are needed.
Editing Reviewers’ Reports
The Editor does not edit any comments made by reviewers that have been intended to be read by the authors unless the language is deemed inappropriate for professional communication or the comments contain information considered confidential. Such remarks should be reserved for the confidential section of the review form, which is intended to be read by the Editor only. In their comments to authors, reviewers are encouraged to be honest but not offensive in their language. On the other hand, authors should not confuse frank and perhaps even robust language with unfair criticism.
The review process is strictly confidential and should be treated as such by reviewers. As the author may have chosen to exclude some people from this process, no one who is not directly involved with the manuscript (including colleagues and other experts in the field) should be consulted by the reviewer unless such consultations have first been discussed with the Editor. Reviewers must not take any confidential information they have gained in the review process and use it before the paper is published. Even after publication, unless they have the permission of the authors to use other information, reviewers may only use publicly published data (i.e. the contents of the published article) and not information from any earlier drafts.