1. Assign an Editor
  2. Send to Review
  3. Review Dashboard
  4. Add Reviewer
  5. Review Decision
  6. Final Steps

This is a walk-through of the review process for a journal manager or reviewer. For the author's perspective on the review process, check here. 

1. Assign an Editor

In order to begin the review process, a submission must be assigned at least one editor. The submission dashboard of each article includes a "Participants" box on the right side of the Submission Dashboard, which initially only includes the author(s) that is registered with your journal. To add an editor, select the blue "Assign" button in the upper right corner of this "Participants" box. 

You will be asked to locate a user by role or name. If you cannot remember specific usernames, by selecting a relevant role from the drop-down menu (in this case, "Journal Editor" or "Section Editor") you can list all users that have that role. Once you have selected your editor, you can then limit their assignment privileges by checking the small box under the “Assignment Privileges” heading. This will still allow the user to make edits and proofread, but they will be unable to move this submission along in the review process without confirmation from the journal manager or an editor with higher permissions. Finally, you can select a message to email to this new editor alerting them of a potential editorial assignment. 

2. Send to Review

Once an editor is selected, a new menu will appear in the right corner of the submission dashboard. There are three options available:

Send to Review: Moves the submission on to the next stage.

Accept and Skip Review: Skips the review stage and moves the submission directly to copyediting.

Decline Submission: Rejects the submission before the review process, archiving the submission and sending a rejection notice to the submitting author. 

Select the blue "Send to Review" button to access the Review dashboard.

Make sure to select the files for review- any files not selected here can be accessed in later stages, but will not be available for your reviewers nor be accessible from the Review page.

3. Review Dashboard

You will now have access to the review dashboard, which looks similar to the inital submission dashboard. In order to start the review process, you will need to assign reviewers: go to the "Reviewers" box below "Review Files" and select the blue "Add Reviewer" in the upper right corner. 

4. Add Reviewer

Though restricted to searching for reviewers by name, you can search by several other factors if necessary. You can select a range for how many reviews this reviewer has completed, how many days since their last review of your journal, the average amount of days it takes them to complete a review, and how many reviews they are currently working on. If you had users with the Reviewer role submit their potential interests by subject, you can search for those as well. No matter how you search for a reviewer, you will be able to see all of their information and averages, as well as their listed interests.

At the bottom of this window, you will notice three options:

Select Reviewer: This will confirm the user you have just searched for is a reviewer.

Create New Reviewer: This will create a new user for the system, who will automatically have the Reviewer role. You will need to create a username and require a valid email to complete this step. 

Enroll Existing User: This will allow you to search existing users and give them the Reviewer role along with their current assigned roles. 

Once you confirm your selected reviewer or create a new reviewer account, you will be directed to a new window. You will see your chosen reviewer at the top of the window and be given the option to change to a new user if necessary. You will also see the default content of the email for requesting a review. While you can edit this, most of the email's content should be responsive to your previous choices and default review settings. 

You can choose not to send an email to the reviewer by checking the box directly below the text of the email. The deadlines listed under "Important Dates" should coincide with default deadlines you set in the Review Guidelines, but you can change them for special circumstances here. Reviewers must respond to the review request by the Response Due Date and have at least one review done and submitted into the system by Review Due Date. You will then select the review type: double-blind (authors and reviewers will be unable to see each other's identities), blind (the author will not know their reviewer) or open (all parties know each other's identities/usernames). Make sure to keep your journal review policy consistent. 

Here is how your reviewer box will appear after you have sent a review request. By clicking the small blue arrow to the right of the reviewer's name, you can examine an overview of the review details, email the reviewer updates, edit the reviewer's information, unassign the reviewer from the submission, and look at the status of the review. 

Once a reviewer completes their review, they will be permanently blocked from the submission dashboard and the rest of the editorial workflow. OJS 3 implements this to ensure the integrity of blind peer review. However, in cases where you may wish to implement a more informal review that consists of editors also acting as reviewers, you will need to utilize the Submission Dashboard's Discussion feature.

5. Review Decision

You will now wait for your reviewer to submit their review decision.

Their recommendation will appear in the "Reviewers" box, under the "Review Submitted" text at the center of the box. There are four possible reviewer recommendations:

Request Revisions: This option will require the author to make minor changes, but no further peer review is required.

Resubmit for Review: This will require the author to make major changes and another round of review will need to take place.

Send to Copyediting: This means the submission is accepted without revisions and can proceed to copyediting.

Decline Submission: The reviewer is reccomending that this submission is not up to the journal's standards and should be declined for publication. 

In the case below, the reviewer has recommended some revisions, which can easily be made without further input from the reviewer. In order to alert the author that these revisions need to be made, select the gray "Request Revisions" button on the right side of the page. 

Once you select this button, a window will present you with options for the email you will be sending to the submission's author. You will inform the author whether or not these revisions will be subject to another round of peer review. Since our reviewer selected the Revisions Required option, another round of peer review is not necessary. You can also choose whether or not to send an email notifying this stage of review- if you want a speedy reply, an email notification is recommended. Make sure to select the review files shared by the reviewer for the email. 

6. Final Steps

Once the author has responded to revisions, it is time to move the submission to the copyediting stage. Make sure the final reviewed and revised file is uploaded into the "Review Files" box and then select the blue  "Accept Submission" button on the right side of the page. 

Questions? Contact us at iusw@indiana.edu.