Peer Review Policy & Ethics
- PEER REVIEW POLICY
The practice of peer review is to ensure that good scholarship and good science is published. It is an objective process at the heart of good academic publishing and is carried out on all reputable scholarly journals. Our referees therefore play a vital role in maintaining the high standards of the Journal of European and Balkan Perspectives. All manuscripts are peer reviewed following the procedure outlined below.
Initial manuscript evaluation
The Editor in Chief first evaluates all manuscripts. It is possible, though rare, for an exceptional manuscript to be accepted at this stage. Those rejected at this stage are insufficiently original, have serious scientific flaws, have poor grammar or the language it is not good, or are outside the aims and scope of the journal. Authors of manuscripts rejected at this stage will generally be informed within 4 weeks of receipt. Papers that meet the minimum criteria are normally forwarded to two or three expert referees for review.
Type of peer review
This journal employs double blind reviewing, where both the referee and author remain anonymous throughout the process.
How the referee is selected
Referees are matched to the paper according to their expertise.
Referees are asked to evaluate whether the manuscript:
- • Is original
- • Is methodologically sound
- • Follows appropriate ethical guidelines
- • Has results which are clearly presented and support the conclusions
- • Correctly references previous relevant work
How long does the review process take?
Typically the manuscript will be reviewed within 1 or 2 months. Should the referees’ reports contradict one another or a report is unnecessarily delayed a further expert opinion will be sought: in such cases, the period required for review may extend beyond the norm of 1-2 weeks. Authors are obliged, most within 2 weeks to make the necessary corrections. Revised manuscripts are usually returned to the initial referees. Referees may request more than one revision of a manuscript.
A final decision to accept or reject the manuscript will be sent to the author along with any detailed comments made by the referees.
Editor’s decision is final
The Editor in Chief is responsible for the final decision to accept or reject the article, taking into account advice received from referees.
- PUBLICATION ETHICS
DUTIES FOR EDITORIAL BOARD
The Editorial Board of our Journal European and Balkan Perspectives is responsible for deciding which of the materials submitted to the journal should be published online. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision to accept or reject a paper for publication is based on its importance, originality, clarity, and its relevance to the scope of the journal. The scope of our journal is described on the website, in the section „Scientific Journal”.
The Editorial Board of Journal of European and Balkan Perspectives and the reviewers evaluate materials for their intellectual content without regard to the author’s race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender, citizenship, sexual orientation or political ideology. In some cases, the reviewers can reject a material if that material cannot be included in the topic of the journal or if it doesn’t respect the author’ guidelines.
The Editorial Board must ensure that all material submitted to Journal of European and Balkan Perspectives remains confidential while under review. The Editorial Board and the editorial staff must not disclose any information about the submitted materials to anyone other than the corresponding author, reviewers, other editorial advisers, and the publisher.
Disclosure and Conflicts of Interest
Unpublished materials disclosed in the submitted manuscript must not be used by the Editorial Board in their own research without the express written consent of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage.
Editors should recuse themselves from considering materials in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers. Editors should require all authors to disclose relevant competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication. If needed, other appropriate actions should be taken, such as the publication of a retraction or expression of concern.
Journal self citation
An editor should never conduct any practice that obliges authors to cite his or her journal either as an implied or explicit condition of acceptance for publication. Any recommendation regarding articles to be cited in a paper should be made on the basis of direct relevance to the author’s article, with the objective of improving the final published research. Editors should direct authors to relevant materials as part of the peer review process; however this should never extend to blanket instructions to cite individual journals.
Involvement and Cooperation in Investigations
An editor should take reasonably responsive measures when ethical complaints have been presented concerning a submitted materials or published paper, in conjunction with the publisher (or society). Such measures will generally include contacting the author of the material or paper and giving due consideration of the respective complaint or claims made, but may also include further communications to the relevant institutions and research bodies, and if the complaint is upheld, the publication of a correction, retraction, expression of concern, or other note, as may be relevant. Every reported act of unethical publishing behavior must be looked into, even if it is discovered years after publication.
The Editor-in-Chief of the journal is responsible for deciding which of the submitted articles should be published. The Editor-in-Chief may be guided by the policies of the journal’s Editorial Board and constrained by such legal requirements as shall then be in force regarding libel, copyright infringement and plagiarism. The Editor-in-Chief may confer with other editors or reviewers in making this decision.
DUTIES OF THE REVIEWERS
Contribution to Editorial Decisions
Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and through the editorial communications with the author may also assist the author in improving the paper. Peer review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication, and lies at the heart of the scientific method.
Any reviewer who feels unqualified to review the material or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the Editorial Board so as to excuse himself from the review process.
Any materials received for review should be treated with strict confidentiality. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except when authorized by the editor.
Standards of Objectivity
Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Reviewers should express their views clearly, with supporting arguments.
Acknowledgement of Source
Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the author. Any statement such as an observation or argument that had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. Any similarity or overlap between the material under consideration and any other published paper should be reported to the Editor-in-Chief.
Disclosure and Conflict of Interest
Privileged information or ideas obtained through the peer review process must be kept confidential and must not be used for personal advantage. Reviewers should not consider materials in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other connection with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the material.
DUTIES OF AUTHORS
The authors of materials should present an accurate account of the work performed as well as an objective discussion of its significance. Underlying data should be represented accurately in the material. A paper should contain sufficient details and references to permit others to replicate the work. Fraudulent or knowingly inaccurate statements constitute unethical behavior and are unacceptable.
Data Access and Retention
The authors may be asked to provide the raw data of their investigations for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data for a reasonable period of time after the publication of their paper.
Multiple, Redundant or Concurrent Publication
The authors should not submit materials describing essentially the same research in more than one journal or primary publication. Submitting the same material to more than one journal concurrently constitutes unethical publishing behavior and is unacceptable.
Acknowledgement of Sources
Proper acknowledgment of the work of others must always be given. Authors should cite publications that have been influential in determining the nature of the reported work. Information obtained privately, as in conversation, correspondence, or discussion with third parties, must not be used or reported without explicit, written permission from the source. Information obtained in the course of confidential services, such as refereeing materials or grant applications, must not be used without the explicit written permission of the author of the work involved in these services.
Authorship of the Paper
Authorship should be limited to those who have made a significant contribution to the conception, design, execution, or interpretation of the reported study. All those who have made contributions should be listed as co-authors. The corresponding author should ensure that all appropriate co-authors and no inappropriate co-authors are listed in the paper, and that all co-authors have seen and approved the final version of the paper and have agreed to its submission for publication.
Fundamental Errors in Published Works
When the author discovers a significant error or inaccuracy in his/her own published work, it is the author’s obligation to promptly notify the journal as well as to cooperate with the Editor-in-Chief to retract or correct the paper.
Disclosure and conflicts of interest
All authors should disclose in their materials any financial or other substantive conflict of interest that might be construed to influence the results or interpretation of their material. All sources of financial support for the project should be disclosed. Examples of potential conflicts of interest which should be disclosed include employment, consultancies, stock ownership, honoraria, paid expert testimony, patent applications/registrations, and grants or other funding. Potential conflicts of interest should be disclosed at the earliest stage possible.
Originality and Plagiarism
The contributors should ensure that they have written entirely original works, and if the authors have used the work and/or words of others, that this has been appropriately cited or quoted. Plagiarism takes many forms, from “passing off” another’s paper as the author’s own paper, to copying or paraphrasing substantial parts of another’s paper (without attribution), to claiming results from research conducted by others. Plagiarism in all its forms constitutes unethical publishing behaviour and is unacceptable.
SOME STRATEGIES TO PREVENT PLAGIARISM
Experts believe that the best way to stop plagiarism is by means of prevention. Some guidelines to prevent plagiarism are:
Keep track of your sources; print electronic sources
While it’s easy enough to keep a stack of books or journal articles on your desk where you can easily refer back to them, it’s just as important to keep track of electronic sources. When you save a PDF of a journal article, make sure you put it into a folder on your computer where you’ll be able to find it. When you consult a Web site, log the Web address in a separate document from the paper you’re writing so that you’ll be able to return to the Web site and cite it correctly. You should also print the relevant pages from any Web sites you use, making sure you note the complete URL and the date on which you printed the material. Because electronic sources aren’t stable and Web pages can be deleted without notice, beware of directing your readers to sources that might have disappeared. Check when the Web site you’re using was last updated and update the URLs as you work and once again right before you submit your essay. If an electronic source disappears before you submit your work, you will need to decide whether or not to keep the source in your paper. If you have printed the source and can turn it in with your paper, you should do so. If you have not printed the source, you should consult your instructor about whether or not to use that source in your paper.
Keep sources in correct context
Whenever you consult a source, you should make sure you understand the context, both of the ideas within a source and of the source itself. You should also be careful to consider the context in which a source was written. For example, a book of essays published by an organization with a political bias might not present an issue with adequate complexity for your project.
The question of context can be more complicated when you’re working with Internet sources than with print sources because you may see one Web page as separate from an entire Web site and use or interpret that page without fully understanding or representing its context. For example, a definition of “communism” taken from a Web site with a particular political agenda might provide one interpretation of the meaning of the word—but if you neglect to mention the context for that definition you might use it as though it’s unbiased when it isn’t. Likewise, some Internet searches will take you to a URL that’s just one Web page within a larger Web site; be sure to investigate and take notes on the context of the information you’re citing.
Research can often turn out to be more time-consuming that you anticipate. Budget enough time to search for sources, to take notes, and to think about how to use the sources in your essay. Moments of carelessness are more common when you leave your essay until the last minute and are tired or stressed. Honest mistakes can lead to charges of plagiarism just as dishonesty can; be careful when note-taking and when incorporating ideas and language from electronic sources so you always know what language and ideas are yours and what belongs to a source.
Don’t cut and paste: File and label your sources
Never cut and paste information from an electronic source straight into your own essay, and never type verbatim sentences from a print source straight into your essay. Instead, open a separate document on your computer for each source so you can file research information carefully. When you type or cut and paste into that document, make sure to include the full citation information for the print source or the full URL and the date you copied the page(s). For Web sources, make sure to cite the page from which you’re taking information, which may not necessarily be the home page of the site you’re using. Use logical and precise names for the files you create, and add citation information and dates. This allows you to retrieve the files easily, deters you from accidentally deleting files, and helps you keep a log of the order in which your research was conducted. It’s a good idea to add a note to each file that describes how you might use the information in that file. Remember: you’re entering a conversation with your sources, and accurate file names and notes can help you understand and engage that conversation. And, of course, always remember to back up your files.
Keep your own writing and your sources separate
Work with either the printed copy of your source(s) or (in the case of online sources), the copy you pasted into a separate document—not the online version—as you draft your essay. This precaution not only decreases the risk of plagiarism but also enables you to annotate your sources in various ways that will help you understand and use them most effectively in your essay.
Keep your notes and your draft separate
Be careful to keep your research notes separate from your actual draft at all stages of your writing process. This will ensure that you don’t cut language from a source and paste it into your paper without proper attribution. If you work from your notes, you’re more likely to keep track of the boundaries between your own ideas and those in a source.
Paraphrase carefully in your notes; acknowledge your sources explicitly when paraphrasing
When you want to paraphrase material, it’s a good idea first to paste the actual quotation into your notes (not directly into your draft) and then to paraphrase it (still in your notes). Putting the information in your own words will help you make sure that you’ve thought about what the source is saying and that you have a good reason for using it in your paper. Remember to use some form of notation in your notes to indicate what you’ve paraphrased and mention the author’s name within the material you paraphrase. You should also include all citation information in your notes.
When you decide to use paraphrased material in your essay, make sure that you avoid gradually rewording the paraphrased material from draft to draft until you lose sight of the fact that it’s still a paraphrase. Also, avoid excessive paraphrasing in which your essay simply strings together a series of paraphrases. When the ideas taken from your sources start to blend in deceptively with your own thinking, you will have a more difficult time maintaining the boundaries between your ideas and those drawn from sources. Finally, whenever you paraphrase, make sure you indicate, at each logical progression, that the ideas are taken from an authored source.
Don’t save your citations for later
Never paraphrase or quote from a source without immediately adding a citation. You should add citations in your notes, in your response papers, in your drafts, and in your revisions. Without them, it’s too easy to lose track of where you got a quotation or an idea and to end up inadvertently taking credit for material that’s not your own.
Always use quotation marks for directly quoted material, even for short phrases and key terms.
Keep a source trail
As you write and revise your essay, make sure that you keep track of your sources in your notes and in each successive draft of your essay. You should begin this process early, even before you start writing your draft. Even after you’ve handed in your essay, keep all of your research notes and drafts. You ought to be able to reconstruct the path you took from your sources to your notes and from your notes to your drafts and revision. These careful records and clear boundaries between your writing and your sources will help you avoid plagiarism.