Notes for Reviewers
SPC is a peer-reviewed, semiannually published international scientific journal. SPC adopts double-blind peer review policy.
Contributors submitting their works to SPC are informed that articles should include the following:
- Quantitative, qualitative, or mixed research methods,
- Comprehensive literature reviews, meta-analysis, or meta-synthesis,
- Model proposals, clinical experimental research models, or original writings of similar quality.
Review and Publication Process for Manuscripts Submitted to SPC
Editorial Board Assessment
- Manuscripts are first assessed by the Editors for purpose, topic, content, presentation style, and mechanics of writing.
- Only manuscripts that meet the SPC criteria will be forwarded to reviewers.
- The Editors may consult experts (anonymous readers) before the referee review when deemed necessary. In such cases, the Editors decision will be based on the expert report.
Referee Review Process
Manuscripts that meet the Editorial Board criteria are sent to two reviewers in the relevant field. If the reviewers differ in their opinions regarding the quality of the work, the paper will be referred to a third reviewer.
- All correspondence between the Author and Editors, and all stages of the Editorial Board and reviewing process are transparent. However, correspondence between the Editors and Editorial Board and the reviewers are an exception to this transparency principle. In referee reports forwarded to the author, the referees will remain anonymous.
- If the reviewer encounters ethical issues or problems with the integrity of the data or academic conflicts of interest, he or she must share these with the Editors.
- In order to contribute to a consistent and integrated review process, the Editors may ask the reviewers to comment on each other’s reports. However, referees’ identities will remain hidden.
Selection of Reviewers
- Many factors play a role in reviewer selection. Experience, a research background compatible with the study, and previous editor experience with the reviewer are the most influential factors in the selection process.
- Authors may request their manuscripts to not be sent to particular reviewers due to conflicts of interest. Authors should indicate this during the manuscript submission stage.
- Reviewer performance is periodically evaluated by the Editorial Board, and the Board of Reviewing Editors is updated with every new issue.
Things to Do upon Receipt of the Manuscript
- Reviewers should check the soft copy of the manuscript and make sure the file can be opened on their computers. Reviewers should assess the compatibility of the research topic and their availability for the given time period, and then inform the Editors of their decision to review the manuscript.
- In case the reviewer thinks he or she cannot be objective in the review process due to a conflict of interest (author, institution, and/or sponsor of the research), the Editors should be informed of this decision.
- Reviewers should read the Editors’ email carefully as the Editors may have a special request (such as to review the methodology section of the manuscript only).
- If reviewers request help from a third party during the review process, this person’s name should be revealed to the Editors. The Editors may recommend this person to be appointed as a reviewer for the journal.
Writing Reviewer Reports
Reviewer reports are expected to focus on the following questions:
- Does the study make an original contribution to the field?
- Do the research data and findings support the discussion?
- Is the research scientifically up-to date?
- Reviewers are expected to be critical and objective.
- Reviewers are required to limit their evaluation to the manuscript and avoid making derogatory remarks about authors.
- Reviewers must provide details and clearly explain their negative feedback, not just tick the boxes on the evaluation form. Reviewers who reject the manuscript should justify their decision by clearly specifying the manuscript’s weaknesses.
- The Editors may redact spelling errors, misconceptions, and derogatory comments in reviewer reports.
- Reviewers are allotted 30 days to review a manuscript.
- If reviewers think they are unlikely to finish their evaluation within the allocated time, they may ask for additional time from the Editors or reject the manuscript. By doing so, the Editors will have sufficient time to appoint new reviewers and the review process will be completed on time.
Conflicts of Interest
Authors can request to exclude reviewers with perceived competing interests from refereeing their paper, but are asked to provide additional information to support such a request. The Editors will respect these requests provided that they do not interfere with the objective and thorough assessment of an article.
The Editors avoid sending manuscripts to particular reviewers under such circumstances:
- If the reviewer has co-published an article with the author(s) before,
- If the reviewer has assisted the author(s) in proofreading their manuscripts,
- If the reviewer has had problems with the author(s) before,
- If the reviewer will benefit financially from publication of the article,
- If the reviewer works in the same institution (same department in the university) as the author(s).
- Since the Editors may not be aware of all the circumstances specified above, reviewers are required to inform the Editors of such situations that may prevent them from being objective in their evaluations.
Editorial Policy and Ethical Issues
The Editors may not always notice the ethical problems or editorial policy conflicts in manuscripts. It is essential that reviewers notify the Editors about such situations.
Feedback to Reviewers
- The finalized version of the manuscript will be sent to reviewers who specifically request to see the manuscript in its finished form.
- Reviewers may find that not all their feedback is reflected in the final version. This may result from other reviewers having different views that the Editor have also taken into consideration. In this case, the reviewer may ask to see the other reviewers’ reviews.
The Editors may choose to take one of the following options in accordance with referee reviews:
- The manuscript may be accepted for publication with minor or major revisions,
- The author may be asked to revise the study and resubmit for a new review process,
- The manuscript may be rejected.
Reviewers may express a unified opinion in their reports on whether the manuscript should be published; however, the Editors may override this opinion. The Editorial Board’s final decision is determined not by the number of reviewers for or against the publication of manuscript, but the strength of their arguments. Thus, the Editorial Board considers reports with clear explanations, justifications, and recommendations more useful than reports with only checked boxes.