Submissions accepted for peer review are subject to independent blind peer review by a minimum of three expert peer reviewers. Our objective is to provide an efficient, high-quality peer review service.
Sources of Peer Reviewers
Peer review is carried out by individuals drawn from the editorial board, the journal’s volunteer peer reviewer pool, and occasionally also from Pubmed. The composition is usually a minimum of 50% editorial board members, although this varies from paper to paper. We do not accept recommendations of peer reviewers from authors.
Quantity of Reviewers and Completed Report Size
We now aim for a minimum of three to four completed peer reviewers’ reports per paper. The standard in STM journals is still one to two, but we consider this to be insufficient to consistently achieve a sufficiently high standard of quality.
We request that each reviewers’ report is no less than one large paragraph in length, although where a shorter report is received it will be still be sent to the editor in chief and may be used nevertheless in the completed report. Completed peer review reports normally average 700 to 1000 words in total, excluding any confidential comments from the reviewers to the editorial decision-maker.
Who Makes Editorial Decisions?
Editorial decisions are made by the journal's editor in chief or associate editor on the basis of three to four expert peer reviewers' reports. If the journal's normal editorial decision-maker is unavailable or declares a conflict of interest a member of the editorial board or the editor in chief of a related journal will be asked to make the editorial decision.
If the decision-maker chooses to accept the paper subject to changes recommended by the peer reviewers being made then the revised paper will be returned to the decision-maker and either accepted for publication or further changes will be requested.
Editorial Metadata in Articles
In newly-published papers we have recently started identifying the article's editorial decision-maker. This individual is designated as the article's academic editor. We expect to introduce additional metadata giving the word-count of the completed peer review report and the quantity of reviewers in the near future.
Division Between Editorial and Business Matters
Most editorial decisions lead to an article processing fee payment by the author to the publisher. Because of this conflict of interest a strict division is maintained between editorial decisions, which are only made by the journal's editor in chief or associate editor and business decisions that are made by the publisher. Editorial decisions are never made by the publisher. Editorial decision-makers receive no incentives to make decisions resulting in a fee payment.
Testimonials and Survey Results
Libertas regularly surveys important contributor groups including peer reviewers and authors.
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