We strictly follow a systematic editorial process embedding a quality control mechanism outlined by the COPE, the DOAJ, the OASPA, and the WAME. Articles submitted to all Pivot journals are subject to rigorous peer review conducted by at least two reviewers from the same field as the author, and then an unbiased editorial decision by an academic editor from the journal.
All academic editors and reviewers act completely independently from the editorial office when making their decisions or suggestions on any manuscript. The editorial office respects and relies on their expertise for maintaining our high-quality and ethical publishing practice.
ExceptionsSome articles may be exempt from regular peer review, e.g., Invited Editorials, Letters to Editor, Book Reviews, Corrections, Retractions, etc. These articles are carefully reviewed and approved for publication by the editors.
Once a manuscript is received, the managing editor and an academic editor from the journal will work together to perform a preliminary check concerning:
Manuscripts considered appropriate will be sent to reviewers for peer review, otherwise rejected directly.
Pivot journals adopt the single-blinded peer review model, which means that reviewers remain anonymous in relation to each other and the authors.
Reviewers invited to review a manuscript may come from the personal recommendation by the journal's academic editor, the journal's reviewer bank, journal archive databases like PMC, reviewer recognition platform like Publons, etc.
Before selecting a reviewer, the editorial staff strictly comply with the following requirements:
Usually a turnaround time of two weeks is granted to complete a peer review. A reasonable extension may be granted upon request.
Reviewers can recommend acceptance, minor revisions, major revisions or rejection. They are also required to provide necessary specific comments for the purposes of manuscript revision.
At least two valid review reports are collected for every manuscript. When deemed necessary, a third report will be solicited.
The peer review process is organized by the in-house editorial staff with each step and communication recorded. Academic editors retain the right to recommend reviewer, check the reviewer's identity, and supervise progress of peer review.
Although authors are encouraged to suggest potential reviewers when submitting their manuscripts, mainly for the purpose of enriching our reviewer bank, it is at the Editor’s discretion whether to invite the suggested reviewers. The reviewer’s institutional email address should be provided. If it is established that any author has deliberately suggested a fake reviewer, the manuscript in question will be immediately rejected as well as all future submissions from the same group. Authors may also suggest researchers whom they may wish to exclude from being potential reviewers.
We fully understand the importance of editorial independence. The editorial office will never interfere with an editorial decision in any manner. An acceptance decision can only be made by an academic editor from the journal—the Editor-in-Chief, a Guest Editor or an Editorial Board member.
When making a decision, the academic editors check:
Academic editors make their decision, selecting from acceptance, author revision and rejection, comprehensively considering the recommendations of all reviewers, which they may agree or disagree with according to their own expertise. If they make a decision that conflicts with the reviewers' recommendation, they must justify their decision to the authors. For the sake of transparency, the academic editor's name will be listed under the papers they have approved for publication.
After being accepted for publication in one of our journals, the manuscripts will go through the production process (including copy editing, language editing and conversion to other formats, e.g., XML) and proofreading.
Language editing is carried out by professional native English-speaking editors. We encourage authors to seek help from native English-speaking colleagues for help prior to submission and after revision, and then we will help to edit the language of the accepted version for free. An additional fee would be charged if author needs an extensive language editing service from our editorial office (Please refer to Fees for more details).
Before conversion to XML, authors have a last chance to proofread the final version. At this stage, only minor changes are allowed.
If authors wish to object to a decision of rejection after revision, they will have an opportunity to submit an appeal with detailed and solid point-to-point arguments. Another academic editor will be requested to review the manuscript and author's representation, before making a final decision.
As we publish under the Gold Open Access model, the full text of the papers we publish is open to everyone. We welcome views and downloads, and then feedback in terms of Comments or Letters to Editor.
If there is any suspicion that a paper may contain misconduct in research or publication, we shall start an investigation immediately; if proven, we shall take appropriate action.
When errors affecting the interpretation but not fully invalidating a study are found after a paper is published, a correction will be published separately. Correction is unnecessary under the circumstance that minor errors do not substantially influence the understanding of the study. We encourage authors to carefully proofread the final version to avoid the necessity for such correction after papers are published.
A retraction will be published if the scientific integrity of an article is substantially undermined or any misconduct proven. Before a final decision is made regarding retraction, a group of editors will investigate the paper in question on a case by case basis, and will contact authors, reviewers, the academic editor and even the third party (e.g., the authors' institutions, etc.) where deemed necessary.