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What is peer review?
Peer review is a cooperative process that allows your research to be evaluated and commented upon by independent experts who work within the same academic field. This helps you to improve your paper and allows the editor to assess the paper's suitability for publication.
The review process can take different forms depending on the preference of the journal.
Under single-blind review the reviewer's name is hidden from the author. Under double-blind review the identity of the reviewers and the authors are hidden from each other. This level of anonymity is designed to encourage fairness, with papers being considered on their individual merits.
Some journals encourage open review where no identities are concealed, or post-publication review where comments can be made by readers and reviewers after the article has been published.
Important note: all papers submitted to a journal must be original contributions and cannot be under consideration for publication with another journal simultaneously.
What are the benefits of peer review for an author?
- It helps to alert you to any errors or gaps in literature you may have overlooked.
- It can assist with making the paper more applicable to the journal readership.
- It may enable a discussion (between the author, reviewers, and editor) around a research field or topic.
- You can receive detailed feedback from experts in the field.
What should you expect during peer review?
- The editor may reject your paper outright if it does not adequately fit the scope of the journal.
- If suitable, your paper will be sent to reviewers.
- The reviewers will provide comments and suggestions for revision and make a recommendation to the editor.
- The editor then makes a decision and tells you what the decision is.
- The decision could be:
- Accept in its present form,
- Accept with minor revisions,
- Request major revisions,
- Reject with the option to resubmit a new version.
- You then choose whether to revise the paper and resubmit.
- If suitable after revision, your paper will be accepted and sent to us at Taylor & Francis.
How long does the review process take?
Most papers will be reviewed by two or more independent referees. They may also be read and considered by members of the journal’s editorial board and ultimately by the editor(s) before a decision is rendered.
The reviewers are academics or professionals working in the field and also write papers themselves. They offer their time and their expertise voluntarily in order to assist with the improvement of papers and to encourage new research in their topic of interest.
Delays will inevitably occur when reviewers are busy. They may have a number of journals sending them papers to be reviewed. Some journals may also receive high levels of submissions throughout the year.
The editorial teams of our journals work tirelessly to ensure that peer review is as timely and rigorous as possible.
Many journals will provide details of their specific peer review process and likely timescales on their website. Waiting times can vary, depending on the journal and the subject area.
What are the benefits of online submission?
- Online submissions are automatically acknowledged.
- Authors can easily check the status of their submission during review.
- Papers are easier to track, amend, and update.
- It is a simple method of sharing documents and sending communications throughout the review process.
- Electronic submissions can also be edited more easily.
Things to remember before submitting
- Check which form of peer review your chosen journal operates and make your paper anonymous if necessary.
- Does your paper contain the name and affiliation of any/all co-authors?
- Have you provided an abstract summarizing the key findings of your submission?
- Are the references in the style required by the journal?
- Are all references made to the literature listed in the "references" section?
- Has any permission for the reproduction of images/figures/tables, etc. been sought?
- Is the paper clear, concise, and accessible to a reader?
- Does the paper length adhere to the journal’s guidelines?
Help is available!
- Contact our Author Services team for general queries
- Consult the Instructions for Authors on individual journal websites.
- Reviewer guidelines are available for many journals and a general guide can be found here.
- The journal editor and editorial team can answer queries related to individual submissions.