Peer Review Process
Manuscripts submitted to SS go through an internal review and if they meet the basic requirements, they are sent out for double-blind review from experts in the field, either from the editorial board or identified reviewers. Comments from the external reviewers are sent to the authors and they are notified of the journal’s decision (accept, accept with revisions, reject). This entire review process will take anywhere between 2-3 months after submission of the manuscript. The editor’s decision is final.
SS is a double-blind peer-reviewed journal. All submitted manuscripts are initially pre-reviewed by the Editorial Board, who reserves the right to accept or reject the manuscript.
If the Editorial Board concludes that the manuscript is within the scope of the journal and meets the standards and requirements for publication, the Editor proceeds to send the manuscript to two peer reviewers recommended by the Editorial Board. Reviewers are chosen based on their eminence and competence in the research area to which the submitted manuscripts are related.
Reviewers are selected from the highest university teaching and research titles. The choice of reviewers is at the discretion of the Editor and the Editorial Board. The Journal list of reviewers is updated and expanded with new reviewers annually.
Reviewers must not have a conflict of interest with respect to the authors. If such conflicts exist, the reviewers must report them to the Editor without delay. The reviewer that feels unqualified to review the research reported in the particular manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the Editor.
Reviewers are obliged to send the review to the Editorial Board within three weeks upon receipt of the manuscript. Reviews must be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is deemed inappropriate. Reviewers are expected to express their views clearly, with supporting arguments. If there is any justified suspicion about plagiarism or ethical misconduct in the manuscript, the peer reviewer is obliged to inform the Editor about it.
Reviewers should alert the Editor to any well-founded suspicions or the knowledge of possible violations of ethical standards by the authors. Reviewers should recognize relevant published works that have not been cited by the authors and alert the Editor to substantial similarities between a reviewed manuscript and any manuscript published or under consideration for publication elsewhere, in the event, they are aware of such. Reviewers should also alert the Editor to a parallel submission of the same manuscript to another journal, in the event they are aware of such.
Manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. Reviews are conducted in a standardized way by using the Peer Review Form, which is, along with Instructions for Reviewers, sent by the Editor to reviewers without revealing the author’s identity.
A reviewer must fill in data related to the manuscript (title, the area of research, the subject of analysis, adequacy of methodology and interpretation, quality of literature used).
In the Reviewer’s Conclusions section, the peer reviewer needs to check the category of the paper appropriate for the reviewed manuscript (original scientific article or review article), and proceed to check one of the three following options:
- Paper to be published as it is;
- Paper to be published with mandatory changes with a relevant explanation;
- Paper should not be published with appropriate explanation.
In the next section, the peer reviewer is requested to fill in his/her name, surname, title, the full name of the institution where he/she is employed and the place and date of the peer-review. These data are confidential and stay with the Editorial Board, and are not sent to the author of the reviewed manuscript. During the review process, reviewers act independently, and without insight into each other’s identities. In cases where the manuscript receives diverging reviews (a positive and a negative one), the Editor will assign an additional reviewer.
Authors that receive conditionally positive reviews are required to take into account the comments made by the reviewers, or if they do not wish to do so, they can withdraw their submissions and report their decision immediately to the Editor. Authors are required to send the amended manuscripts to the Journal within 15 days after they received the reviews. The final evaluation of the manuscripts related to the fulfillment of reviewers’ requests is made by the Editor and the Editorial Board.