Peer-review of submitted manuscripts is considered as the backbone of our operation and only qualified and experienced researchers and academicians are selected to undertake this task. All submitted manuscripts to the Advanced Journal of Plant Biology (AJPB) undergo a rigorous peer review process before publication to enhance the quality of a research article.
AJPB operates a double-blind review process where the identity of the author(s) and reviewer(s) are concealed from each other. The personal details of the author(s) are removed from the manuscript before the manuscript is sent to the reviewer(s). On a similar note, the details of the reviewer(s) are removed from the “Evaluation Form” before sending the comments to the author(s). This brings transparency and fairness to the review process and prevents the authors and reviewers from being biased.
Peer Review Stages
Stage 1: Editorial Check
This is the first stage of the review process. On submission, the manuscript is checked to ensure that it meets the minimum requirements of the journal before it is assigned to external reviewers. At this stage, the manuscript is checked to determine:
the level of plagiarism.
if the manuscript is in line with the scope of the journal.
if there is a correct usage of the English language.
if references are correct, recent and well cited.
if the Tables and Figures provided are clear and well cited.
Also, the manuscript undergoes initial formatting at this stage to ensure that it conforms to the layout of the journal as stated in the "Authors Guidelines". If the manuscript satisfied the above requirement, it will be assigned to qualified external reviewers for review. Otherwise, it may be returned to the author(s) for corrections or rejected immediately with no further consideration.
Stage 2: External Reviewers
This is the second stage of the peer review process where the manuscript is assigned to external reviewers for review. A minimum of four reviewers are selected from editorial boards or other academic sources with expert knowledge of the subject area of the manuscript. These selected reviewers are sent an “invitation to review'' by sending them the title, abstract and keywords of the manuscript. Upon acceptance to review the manuscript, the full text of the manuscript, evaluation form and authors’ guidelines are sent to the reviewers.
Reviewers are required to dedicate valuable time to evaluate the manuscripts and provide useful comments to enable the author(s) to improve the quality of the manuscript. The reviewers’ comments should be comprehensive and consist of much more than a few brief sentences. Also, they are expected to rate the manuscript in terms of originality, contribution to the field, technical quality, clarity of presentation and depth of research. At the end of the review, the reviewers are requested to make one of the following suggestions about the manuscript:
Requires Minor Corrections
Requires Moderate Revision
Requires Major Revision
Reject (reviewers are expected to give adequate reason(s) for rejection)
On receiving the reviewers’ comments, the editorial office reviews the comments. A minimum of two comments without the reviewers’ details are forwarded to the author(s) to make corrections on the original manuscript. However, if the two reviewers’ comments have significantly different/or contradictory opinions about the same manuscripts, a third reviewer’s comment is required. Also, “authors response form” is sent along with the reviewers’ comment to enable the authors to respond to every suggested correction by the reviewers. The authors are expected to return the revised manuscript within 7 days. This second stage of the review process will take approximately three weeks unless there is delay from either the reviewers or author(s). Note: If two or more reviewers recommend the manuscript for rejection, it will be rejected immediately.
Stage 3: Editors Decision
This is the third and final stage of the review process. Upon receipt of the revised manuscript, the original manuscript, the revised manuscript, author’s response form and all the reviewers’ comments are sent to an editor of the journal. The editor reviews the manuscript (revised and original) and the reviewers’ comments to ensure that necessary corrections are made on the manuscript. Finally, the editor makes one of the following decisions:
Accept as it is
Accept with minor correction
Requires major corrections
Send revised manuscript for review again
Transferred to another journal
Reject with no further consideration
Manuscripts that are accepted as it is are scheduled for publication. Manuscripts that require corrections (either minor or major) are sent to the author(s) to affect the corrections suggested by the editor. After effecting the corrections, the editor reviews the manuscript again before it is accepted for publication. This process may be repeated two or more times until the editor is satisfied with the new revised manuscript and accepts it for publication. The manuscript may be rejected at this stage if the author failed to effect the necessary correction as requested by the editor.
In other circumstances, the editor may request for the revised manuscripts to be sent to a specific reviewer who had earlier reviewed the manuscript before the manuscript can be accepted for publication. The editor may also request that the revised manuscript should be assigned to a different set of reviewers especially when the editor is not satisfied with the comments of the first set of reviewers. In this case, the manuscript undergoes the second stage of the review process again.
In other cases, the editor may recommend the manuscript to be transferred to a sister journal within Integrity Research Journals or other journals outside. In addition, the editor may out rightly reject the manuscript with no further consideration.