Peer Review Process

After submission there is an initial screening of the paper by NPR’s editors, whereby editors decide whether the submission is appropriate to be send to review or not (‘desk reject’). Occasionally, editors may recommend a revision before sending the submission to review. This initial screening usually needs less than one week. Submissions that pass the initial screening will be assigned to at least two reviewers (double-blind peer review). Based on the reviews editors will make a first editor decision. There are four possible editor decisions:

  • accept submission without revisions
  • accept submission after minor changes have been made (no additional round of review)
  • resubmit submission after significant changes have been made (new round of review starts)
  • decline submission, the submission will not be published in NPR

The time to reach a final decision (accept/decline submission) depends on the number of review rounds, authors’ responsiveness etc. Usually, the time span from submission to final decision averages 3 to 5 month. The total turnaround time for publishing a manuscript depends (additionally to the factors mentioned above) on the submission date, the journal’s publication schedule, authors’ adherence to the publication guidelines etc. Reviewed and accepted submissions are published with NPR after 5-6 month on average.

Ensuring a Blind Review

To ensure the integrity of the blind peer-review for submission to this journal, every effort should be made to prevent the identities of the authors and reviewers from being known to each other. This involves the authors, editors, and reviewers (who upload documents as part of their review) checking to see if the following steps have been taken with regard to the text and the file properties:

  • The authors of the document have deleted their names from the text, with “Author” and year used in the references and footnotes, instead of the authors’ name, article title, etc.
  • With Microsoft Office documents, author identification should also be removed from the properties for the file (see under File in Word), by clicking on the following, beginning with File on the main menu of the Microsoft application: File > Save As > Tools (or Options with a Mac) > Security > Remove personal information from file properties on save > Save.
  • With PDFs, the authors’ names should also be removed from Document Properties found under File on Adobe Acrobat’s main menu.