Author: Ignacio Aguaded – Translation: Erika-Lucia Gonzalez-Carrion

The scientific journals, with international standards and editorial prestige, are very rigorous and transparent with their manuscript selection processes, acknowledging receipt of the works sent by the authors and informing by mail and / or on their management platform of the entire process of estimation / dismissal, and acceptance / rejection, and in case of acceptance, of the editing process.selection-06

On the official websites they offer the complete rules of the publication, as well as complementary instruments such as the pre-check of the manuscript to be sent, the documents of sending (if applicable, cover letter and refillable cover), the flow management guide in the OJS (platform), and even publicize the evaluation protocols for external reviewers, so that the authors know exactly what is going to be evaluated.

Once the work has been submitted, the quality journals have the publicized times of the entire process, explicitly committing themselves to compliance. For example, in ‘Communicar’, within a maximum period of 30 days, notification of the estimate or dismissal of the work is received. In case that the manuscript presents formal deficiencies, or is not included in the thematic focus of the publication, the Editorial Board formally or thematically dismisses the work, in many cases, with no return option. On the other hand, if it presents formal deficiencies, it will be returned to the author for correction before the beginning of the evaluation process. In this previous phase, it is very important that the manuscript is autochecked before being sent.

selection-03In journals of high reputation, manuscripts are always evaluated very rigorously, because scientific review is the core of quality (research is valued, not the researcher). In ‘Communicate’ this process can be submitted to 10-15 experts on average, anonymously. Its external reports are key to the acceptance / rejection of the work, as well as if it is necessary to submit it to modifications, in terms of extension, structure or style, respecting the content of the original.

The protocol used by the journal reviewers should always be public for everyone, especially for authors. The term of scientific evaluation of the works must also be published, and should never be a maximum time greater than the periodicity of the journal. For example, in ‘Comunicar’ the average time for scientific review is 50 days and 50 days final acceptance (that is, a total of 100 days).

All authors should receive, for the sake of transparency of the process, the scientific evaluation reports, anonymously, so that they can make (where appropriate) the appropriate improvements or replicas.

Also, the authors of accepted articles must claim, before the final edition, the printing tests for their ortho-typographical correction.

Internationally renowned journals also choose to have a final version in English to guarantee their consultation and international dissemination. The translated text must necessarily have professional quality. Likewise, it is very frequent in this type of publications that the articles are previously available with DOI in a Preprints section (articles in press) on the official website of the journal.

In the journals of international prestige, as in ‘Comunicar’, the criteria that justify the decision on the acceptance / rejection of the works by the Editorial Board are the following:

  1. News and novelty.
  2. Relevance and significance: advancement of scientific knowledge.
  3.  Originality.
  4. Reliability and scientific validity: proven methodological quality.
  5. Organization (logical coherence and formal presentation).
  6. External support and public / private financing.
  7. Co-authors and degree of internationalization of the proposal and the team.
  8. Presentation: good writing.

Finally, it is very frequent in this type of publications that, once their manuscripts have been published after an arduous selection process and high rejection rates, the authors commit themselves to be members of the International Council of Scientific Reviewers to continue maintaining this process of blind review which is currently the best guarantee of the quality of an international periodical publication.

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