Editorial & peer review

The journal uses single blind peer review (the authors do not know the reviewer's identity). 

The editorial process comprises 7 steps:

  1. 1. Review by editorial office

Upon reception of the manuscript, the editorial office reviews the document to ensure adhesion to author guidelines (format, style, sections, references, etc.), which are available at the journal website.

  1. 2. Review by the editor in chief

The editor in chief reviews the manuscript, and validates if the theme, originality and scientific quality of the paper are fit to be published in the journal.
The manuscript is evaluated for plagiarism, double publication and related issues.
The manuscript may be rejected at this step, in which case the main author will receive notification.

If an article is authored by an editor, or editorial committee member:

- The Editorial Office will blind the first page and cover letter, and they might request that the submitting author is any other of the coauthors (if possible), to avoid potential disclosure. To avoid further conflicts of transparency or interest, another member of the editorial board will handle the manuscript.

- The editor-author will not have access to the editorial progress, nor to the reviewers’ or editors’ comments, in any of the editorial stages. They will only receive the standard correspondence sent through the online manuscript platform informing them about the editorial process and/or any other requests.

- The editor-author is also excluded from any editorial discussion regarding their article, including but not limited to correspondence, editorial board meetings, and other related activities.

- To ensure that the peer review process is handled independently from the author, several external reviewers will be allocated, and the revisions will be carried out following the journal’s single-blind system. Reviewers are selected based on their specific areas of expertise.

- Should the paper be accepted, a commentary regarding the authorship and the transparency during the reviewing process will be included in the Conflicts of Interest section, at the end of the manuscript.

  1. 3. Assignment to an associate editor

If the previous step is cleared, the editor in chief may assign the manuscript to an assistant editor with expertise in the field, who will be in charge of inviting reviewers.
The editor in chief will ensure that the assistant editor has no relevant conflict of interest according to COPE guidelines.

  1. 4. Reviewer invitation

The editor in charge will invite reviewers, who must be individuals with expertise in the field. The number of reviewers may vary according to the study type but will be at least two. An individual will not be considered as potential reviewer if a relevant conflict of interest exists.

  1. 5. Manuscript review

Reviewers will critically review the manuscript and must submit a recommendation among four possible options (Accept, Minor changes, Major changes or Reject). They may also submit comments for the author aimed to improve the quality of the manuscript.
Reviewers are encouraged to provide an exhaustive and objective review.

  1. 6. Editorial decision

The editor in charge will receive the recommendations issued by reviewers, so a final decision can be made.
If reviewers disagree in their recommendation, it is possible for the editor to invite additional reviewers.
Whenever needed, a review of statistical methodology may be carried out by members of the editorial committee fit to do so.

  1. 7. Communication of editorial decision

The editor contacts the main author via email with the final decision and comments made by the reviewers.

If the decision is Minor/Major changes, the editor will resubmit the manuscript to reviewers for a complete evaluation.

Lastly, the editorial office double-checks for grammar, style and references in the final version of the manuscript. In all cases, before publication the author receives the final proofs for its approval before publication.

Processing of manuscripts is ruled by COPE best practice guidelines available at https://publicationethics.org/resources/code-conduct.