Peer Review Policy

The review process

Regular publication: PAFMJ is published bimonthly and its publication schedule can be found online at the journal’s website.

On-line availability: All the issues, policies, guidelines etc. can be found online. Moreover, the process of submission and evaluation is also done online.

Guidelines: These are available in detail for the authors as well as reviewers.

An automated acknowledgment letter is generated and sent to the author(s) as soon as an article is submitted and all the criteria are found to be fulfilled. All submitted manuscripts are read by the editorial staff. To save time for authors and peer-reviewers, only those papers that meet our editorial criteria are sent for the formal review. Those papers judged by the editors to be of insignificant general interest or otherwise, are declined without any external review.

Manuscripts judged to be of potential interest to our readership are sent to  four reviewers ( two internal and two external reviewers).The editors then make a decision based on the reviewers' advice, from among the following possibilities:

  • Accept, with or without editorial revisions
  • Invite the authors to revise their manuscript to address specific concerns before a final decision is reached
  • Reject, but indicate to the authors that further work might justify a resubmission
  • Reject outright, typically on grounds of specialist interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems

Reviewers are welcomed to recommend a particular course of action and the editors may have to make a decision based on the conflicting advice. Editorial decisions are not a matter of counting votes or numerical rank assessments, and we do not always follow the majority recommendation. We try to evaluate the strength of the arguments raised by each reviewer and by the authors, and we may also consider that the information will not be disclosed to any of the party.

We take reviewers' criticisms seriously; in particular, we are very reluctant to disregard technical criticisms. In cases where one reviewer alone opposes publication, we may consult the other reviewers as to whether he/she is applying an unduly critical standard. We occasionally bring in additional reviewers to resolve disputes, but we prefer to avoid doing so unless there is a specific issue, for example a specialist technical point, on which we feel a need for further advice.

Type of Peer Review  Double blind reviewing, where both the referee and author remain anonymous throughout the process. 

How the referee is selected whenever possible, reviewers are matched to the paper according to their expertise and our database is constantly being updated. 

Referee reports Reviewers are asked to evaluate whether the manuscript: - Is original - Is methodologically sound - Follows appropriate ethical guidelines - Has results which are clearly presented and support the conclusions - Correctly references of the previous relevant work.

Language correction is not part of the peer review process, but reviewers may, if so wish, suggest corrections to the manuscript. 

Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation.

Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors or institutions connected to the papers.

How long does the review process take? The time required for the first round of the review process is dependent on the response of the reviewers.  The manuscript with the Editor’s decision is sent to the author with recommendations made by the reviewers, which usually includes verbatim comments by the reviewers. The revised article is than subjected to a second review before finalizing the decision.

Editor’s Decision is final Reviewers advise the editor, who is responsible for the final decision to accept or reject the article