EDITORIAL PROCESS

This document provides a brief outline of the editorial process involved in publishing a research paper in Protistology, an International Journal (JP), and describes how manuscripts are reviewed and handled by editors between submission and publication.

On submission, authors who do not have a PhD or D.Sc. scientific degree need to supplement their manuscripts with the pre-submission review prepared and signed by their supervisor or another qualified specialist holding a scientific degree in the subject area.

PEER–REVIEWING

All submitted articles are sent for peer-review. Each manuscript is assigned to a JP Editor covering the subject area; this Editor makes the choice of external referees, considering (a) independence of a referee from the authors and their institutions, and (b) ability to evaluate the technical aspects of the paper completely and fairly. Referees can be members of the JP Editorial Board, scientific advisors and editorial colleagues, as well as external specialists in the field of research covered by the manuscript. Co-authors, scientific supervisors of the author(s) and colleagues from the same department can not act as referees.

The manuscript is sent for peer review without mentioning any information about the author(s).

Peer-reviewing is a voluntary process performed on a gratuitous basis. Referees are informed by the Editor that the manuscripts submitted for review are the intellectual property of the author(s) and contain information which is not subject for unauthorized disclosure. Referees are not allowed to copy the manuscripts under review for private use or to forward these manuscripts to third parties, entirely or in part.

The peer-review process is confidential. The reviews are sent to the author(s) without indication of the referee's name, position and affiliation. The information about the manuscript (including its submission, contents, reviewing process, referee's comments and final decision of the Editorial Board) is available exclusively to the author(s) and referee(s) of this manuscript.

SPEED OF PREPARING REFEREE'S REPORTS

The Editorial Board aims at processing the submitted manuscripts as rapidly as possible. Most referees honor their agreement with JP to deliver a report within one month's period of time or another agreed time limit.

CONTENTS OF REFEREE'S REPORTS

Referee's report must contain a qualified, in-depth analysis of the material presented in the paper and its fair evaluation in terms of significance, scientific novelty and practical importance. Referee's report can be prepared using the template suggested by the Editor, or using another format; report has to be signed by the referee and the signature is to be validated. Referee's report must contain evaluation of the following issues:

  • Significance of the topic and the validity of the selected research problem;
  • Scientific novelty; theoretical and practical value of the results;
  • Application of modern research techniques and statistical methods of data analysis;
  • Quality of major results of the study;
  • Relevance of conclusions to the aim of the research;
  • Adequacy of the paper's structure;
  • Comparison of the obtained new data with the existing knowledge;
  • Quality of illustrations (tables, figures, etc.);
  • Language and style.

EVALUATION, RECOMMENDATIONS AND DECISION In case the manuscript does not match any of the evaluation criteria, this should be stated in referee's report. Referee's comments and suggestions have to be unbiased and helpful, aimed at improving of the manuscript's quality. Referee's final recommendation must contain the suggestion of one of the following options:

    (a)   Accepted (the paper is accepted for publication without any further changes required from the authors).

    (b)   Minor revision (the paper is accepted for publication once the authors have made some minor revisions in response to the referees' reports).

    (c)   Major revision (the paper may be accepted for publication after a major revision is made by the authors; however, a final decision on publication is deferred, pending the authors' response to the referees' comments).

    (d)   The paper is rejected because the referees have raised considerable objections. Under these circumstances, the Editor's letter to authors will state the reasons of the rejection explicitly, and indicate whether or not a resubmitted version would be considered.

In case referees' reports suggest options (b) or (c) the manuscript must be corrected by the authors and the revised version must be sent to the Editor within a two months period of time. The revised version of the manuscript must be accompanied by the letter containing detailed explanation of every correction made in the text in response to every comment of each referee.

The Editor, however, reserves the right to decline the publication of the manuscript in case of inability (or unwillingness) of the authors to consider all recommendations of the referees, or in case the corrected version is sent to the Editorial Board after the agreed deadline.

After the final content of the forthcoming issue of the JP is approved by the Editor-in-Chief, the date of its publication is announced to the authors of the contributions to this issue.

The original versions of referees' reports are kept in the Editorial-Publishing Department of JP for 2 years since the date of publication of the paper. Copies of referees' reports can be sent to the author on request or to the Highest Qualification Commission of the RF Ministry of Education and Science on demand.