IAPSS Politikon Reviewer Guidelines

2020-01-19

IAPSS Politikon is committed to the principle of double-blind peer review as it ensures anonymity for the authors and prevents biases in the reviewing of the manuscript, therefore allowing for the highest quality and objectivity possible in the manuscripts’ evaluation process. (In fact, in most cases, unless the authors’ identity can be revealed because, for instance, the manuscript with the same title was presented at a conference and there is an online record for it in the conference program, IAPSS Politikon satisfies the standards for triple-blind review, since the manuscripts are anonymized before the substantive Editorial Review and the selection of external peer reviewers.)

Being a reviewer for IAPSS Politikon is a substantial service to the academic community because it participates in guaranteeing the high standards of the publications in political science, as well as the integrity of the journal by surveying the quality and probity of the work published. By taking part in this process, the reviewers are also able to read some of the latest research in their domain whilst providing professional service that is recognized by the academic community.

After having been accepted to the reviewer database, you are likely to be contacted by the Editorial Board members on review requests of manuscripts that fall into your area of specialization. As it depends on the topics of the submitted manuscripts, there is no typical time frame between your addition to the database and your first request. After having successfully reviewed a couple of manuscripts, meeting quality standards for the thoroughness of the review, you are eligible to receive a certificate for reviewing. Although you are free to decline review requests, as they are based on your specializations, declining several review requests in a row without strong reasons may lead to removal from the reviewer database. Should you, at any point, be no longer interested to be in the reviewer database for Politikon, please send a short indication of that to politikonjournal@iapss.org

In the case of an Editorial Board member approaching you with a review request for a manuscript you have submitted for evaluation or might submit in the future, please make sure to decline the review without indicating that you are the (co-)author (otherwise, the double-blind peer review process would be compromised). In such a situation, your standing as a reviewer candidate will not be negatively affected by this in the journal’s internal database.

Importantly, you are expected to fill in the review sheet that you receive together with the review request. One part of it is multiple-choice questions where you need to select one answer for each question. Please make sure not to edit the sheet in other ways in this section. The second part is devoted to your own comments to the review--here you are expected to elaborate on the reasons for your answers in the first section as well as share any general and specific observations and comments about each aspect of the manuscript and analyze whether it complies or not with the necessary elements as outlined in the submission guidelines. The role of a reviewer is to judge if a manuscript is good enough to publish. If the manuscript has potential but does not seem ready to publish, the reviewer should elaborate on all the weaknesses and help the authors make it publishable. A good review is expected to highlight the weaknesses, but should also offer solutions as to how to overcome them. 

If you prefer, you may insert specific comments into the text file with the manuscript that you receive (through the ‘comments’ or ‘revisions’ functions in standard text editors) and send it back alongside the review sheet. In any case, however, you are expected to send back the review sheet with your general comments in the open section.

Please try to be precise and detailed with your review, so that from the review it is clear for the authors what are the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript from the reviewer’s perspective and (unless it is an outright rejection) how the authors should proceed with improving the manuscript. 

When sending your review, you have the right to indicate your interest in receiving the other (anonymized) reviews once the review process is complete so that you might compare your evaluation with that of other reviewers. Your review might be consulted by other reviewers in this form as well, whilst preserving anonymization. 

Depending on the further evaluation process of a given manuscript, you might be asked by Editorial Board members to review a revised and resubmitted version of a manuscript you had previously reviewed. You have the right to decline this resubmission review request and, unlike with declining initial review requests, it cannot negatively influence your record in the reviewer database. Nevertheless, if you agree to such a resubmission review request, you will be expected to deliver it. In turn, your contribution will count as a second review and therefore increase your prospects of receiving a reviewer certificate for the given year.