Peer-Review Process

The VMOST JOSSH uses the double-blind peer-review method to evaluate submitted manuscripts. The review process takes place in the ScholarOne Manuscripts system of Clarivate. Authors, by logging into the system, can check the status and follow what stage of their submission is on the system.

1. Pre-review stage

The initial review of the manuscript is carried out by the Editors from the Editorial Office (Editor-in-Chief and Admin), who check whether the manuscript aligns with the aim and scope of work of the journal, and whether it meets the basic quality and formatting requirements. This stage may result in a decision to start the review process of the manuscript, an immediate rejection decision (if the basic quality requirements are not met), or an unsubmission decision (e.g., when the author has to remove the author’s identification data from the main document...). The initial assessment stage lasts about 1 week.

After the decision to review the manuscript, the manuscript will be forwarded to the Deputy Editor to select the thematically appropriate Associate Editor, who will receive a notification from the ScholarOne system that the review process should begin. The Associate Editor invites at least two reviewers from the list on the ScholarOne Manuscripts.

2. Reviewing stage

Reviewers are notified by email of an invitation to review a manuscript. If they select the “Agreed” hyperlink, they receive an additional email that contains a link to the reviewer centre. Reviews are prepared in the ScholarOne system. The reviewer confirms the absence of a conflict of interest when agreeing to review (based on the available abstract) and in the review form. Should he/she indicate an existing conflict of interest, the Associate Editor appoints another reviewer. The process of appointing reviewers takes about 10 days.

The period to prepare a review is 1 month. In addition to completing the Review Form and confirming the absence of a conflict of interest, reviewers make a straightforward recommendation by selecting one of the four options: Accept, Minor Revision, Major Revision, or Reject.

After receiving at least two anonymous reviews, the Associate Editor will make a recommendation to the Deputy Editor. The Deputy Editor will carefully consider the review results before making a first decision to the Editor-in-Chief. At this stage, the Associate Editor and Deputy Editor also give comments, remarks, and recommendations to the manuscript taking into account the quality and relevance concerning VMOST JOSSH standards.

The final decision on acceptance for publication is made by the Editor-in-Chief after taking into account all recommendations.

3. Revised manuscript

Authors, after receiving at least two anonymous reviews, are asked to revise the manuscript within the set time (for minor revision 7 days, for major revision 14 days), and return the revised manuscript with point-to-point responses for each reviewer. The changes should be marked with a different colour or in track-change mode.

After the first round of reviews, reviewers evaluate the revisions/corrections made by the author(s). They decide whether the revised manuscript can be accepted. If revisions are not sufficient, a second round (and more if needed) of the review process follows. The second round takes place when reviews require major revision or are extremely different, e.g., reject and minor revision. In such cases, the Associate Editor appoints an additional reviewer.

The final decision on acceptance for publication is made by the Editor-in-Chief after taking into account all recommendations.