Peer Review Policy

Double Blind Peer Review

European Journal of STEM Education upholds sector standards of international excellence in academic publishing. This journal maintains a double-blind peer review policy, in which both the reviewers and the author/s are anonymous. To facilitate this, authors have to anonymize their manuscripts to ensure that their identity has not been given away in the article’s content.

Peer review is an important process of evaluation, designed to keep the quality of scholarly work high. The process aims to give constructive feedback to the authors, so that their work can become of the highest academic standard possible. Peer reviews are also helping editors to decide the paper’s suitability for publication in the journal. As a principle, European Journal of STEM Education will not accept peer reviews that contain harsh or discriminatory comments, that are unduly negative or could be unduly biased toward a specific ideological or disciplinary position, or due to a range of reasons that result in an over-critical judgment. We wish to support scholars, particularly those who are at an early stage of their research career or have not benefitted from training at an elite institution. Our peer review system is primarily designed to support authors in developing their work, and therefore peer reviewers must provide overall supportive and constructive criticism in aiding the author/s to develop and improve their submission and learn how better to compose a publishable article.

Timely Reviews

We ask reviewers to provide review reports in a timely manner, in order to help the journal to provide a high quality publishing service that benefits the global scientific community. Please contact the editorial office if you need a deadline extension of your review.

A Step by Step Reviewer’s Guide:

  1. Investigate the article’s content in the light of the mission statement of European Journal of STEM Education and the guidelines for authors:
    • Does the article meet the submission criteria (aims, length, scope and presentation) of the journal?
  2. Make an assessment of the article:
    • Is the research relevant?
      • Is the information sufficiently novel and of potential interest to an international readership of educational researchers, teachers, teacher educators and/or educational policy makers?
      • Does the research contribute to the body of educational knowledge and theory?
    • Is the methodology correct?
      • Is the research question clearly formulated and underpinned by a state-of-the-art description of what is already known through the literature?
      • Are the methods for answering the research question clearly defined and adequate?
      • Is the data analysis, be it quantitative or qualitative or mixed methods, accurate and in line with scholarly standards?
      • Are all conclusions justified and supported by the results?
    • What is the quality of the presentation?
      • Is the article clearly structured, using subheadings and suitable signposts?
      • Are the important concepts defined?
      • Is the English language level sufficient?
      • Have all the references and sources been presented in the publisher’s house style?
    • Is the article scientifically sound? 
      • Is the same information already published before, either by the same author or by another scientist?
      • Are the data robust enough to warrant the conclusions?
      • Are the references to other scholarly works sufficient and complete?
      • Is there a concluding paragraph discussing shortcomings, limitations, practical applications and suggestions for further research?
      • Is the article free of fraud, plagiarism or any other unethical behavior?
  3. Write a review report:
    • Follow the steps on the review form.
      Keep in mind: As a reviewer, you may disagree with the author’s opinions, but if these are consistent with the available evidence, you should allow them to stand. If you provide feedback, you are required to give constructive criticism. Positive feedback as well as negative feedback can help an author to improve the manuscript.
    • Make a recommendation: 
      • Accept: if the manuscript can be published in its current form.
      • Accept after minor changes: if the manuscript needs revisions that you estimate are feasible by the authors, such as pertaining to definitions of concepts, references to recent literature, language issues.
      • Accept only after major revisions and a new review: for example, when the theoretical framework is inadequate; when the research questions are ill-defined; when the methodology is unsound; when important data is lacking; when more research or additional data analysis is necessary; when the conclusions are not warranted by the data; when the style of writing is unscholarly; and other issues you estimate will take a serious effort to address.
      • Reject: if the paper is not suitable for publication within this journal or if the revisions that would have to be undertaken are too fundamental.
  4. Some things to keep in mind:
    • Use appropriate language in addressing your comments to the author. Carefully construct your comments so that the author understands fully what to improve. Generalized and vague statements should be avoided, along with negative comments that are not supported with arguments. Lectito editors never edit reviewer comments and thus we ask you to use appropriate language. Confidential comments to the editors can be made on the review form in the special box assigned for it.
    • The European Journal of STEM Education requires that reviewers give suggestions to the author how to improve clarity, succinctness and overall quality of the manuscript particularly in the case of required revisions or reject.

Confidentiality

Reviewers should not share the content of the manuscript, including the abstract, with someone else. Double blind peer review is a confidential process in which both the author and reviewer should be careful to keep the content confidential. Reviewers are requested to inform the editorial office if they prefer a colleague to write the review on their behalf.

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