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Peer Review Process



General information

The review process

Selecting peer-reviewers

Writing the review

Anonymity

Appeal process

General information

The journal invites high-quality submissions on all topics related to Information Technologies in Education. Submissions can fall in one of the following categories that are describe in the "Article Types".

To be published in an ITE journal, a paper should meet general criteria:

  • Provides strong evidence for its conclusions.
  • Of extreme importance to scientists in the specific field.
  • Ideally, interesting to researchers in other related disciplines.

The materials that do not meet requirements of the subject matter or publication may be rejected by the Chief Editor of the collection at once.

The review process
All submitted manuscripts are read by the editorial staff. To save time for authors and peer-reviewers, only those papers that seem most likely to meet our editorial criteria are sent for formal review. Those papers judged by the editors to be of insufficient general interest or otherwise inappropriate are rejected promptly without external review (although these decisions may be based on informal advice from specialists in the field).
Manuscripts judged to be of potential interest to our readership are sent for formal review, typically to two or three reviewers, but sometimes more if special advice is needed (for example on statistics or a particular technique). The editors then make a decision based on the reviewers' advice, from among several possibilities:

  • Accept. The manuscript may be published without content revision. Only minor edits are needed. No further reviews are requested.
  • Minor revisions required. The authors are required to make moderate changes to their manuscript which are recommended in the reviews. The manuscript becomes acceptable for publication if these change recommendations are successfully addressed and implemented. The revised manuscript will be send back to all (or a selection of) reviewers for the second round of reviews. Authors are requested to provide a letter to the reviewers detailing the improvements made for the resubmission.
  • Major revisions required. The manuscript cannot be accepted for publication in its current form. However, a major revision which addresses all issues raised by the reviewers may be acceptable for publication. The revised manuscript will undergo a full second round of review. Authors are requested to provide a letter to the reviewers clearly describing the improvements made for the resubmission.
  • Reject. In its current shape the manuscript is not suitable for publication and has no potential for improvement. A resubmission of such a manuscript is only possible after contacting either the Editor-in-Chief or one of the Associate Editors with a clear message stating that the manuscript has been fully re-worked.
  • Send to another journal - the subject of the manuscript is suitable to another edition.

Reviewers are welcome to recommend a particular course of action, but they should bear in mind that the other reviewers of a particular paper may have different technical expertise and/or views, and the editors may have to make a decision based on conflicting advice. The most useful reports, therefore, provide the editors with the information on which a decision should be based. Setting out the arguments for and against publication is often more helpful to the editors than a direct recommendation one way or the other.
Editorial decisions are not a matter of counting votes or numerical rank assessments, and we do not always follow the majority recommendation. We try to evaluate the strength of the arguments raised by each reviewer and by the authors, and we may also consider other information not available to either party. Our primary responsibilities are to our readers and to the scientific community at large, and in deciding how best to serve them, we must weigh the claims of each paper against the many others also under consideration.
We may return to reviewers for further advice, particularly in cases where they disagree with each other, or where the authors believe they have been misunderstood on points of fact. We therefore ask that reviewers should be willing to provide follow-up advice as requested.
When reviewers agree to assess a paper, we consider this a commitment to review subsequent revisions. However, editors will not send a resubmitted paper back to the reviewers if it seems that the authors have not made a serious attempt to address the criticisms.
We take reviewers' criticisms seriously; in particular, we are very reluctant to disregard technical criticisms. In cases where one reviewer alone opposes publication, we may consult the other reviewers as to whether s/he is applying an unduly critical standard. We occasionally bring in additional reviewers to resolve disputes, but we prefer to avoid doing so unless there is a specific issue, for example a specialist technical point, on which we feel a need for further advice.

After the process of reviewing finished all the relevant information is sent to the author. Within 1-2 weeks the author fixes the article and loads the new version to the journal’s system. If after the indicated date the article was not returned (or not informed about the delay to the editor) – the article is dequeued and deleted.

Selecting peer-reviewers
Reviewer selection is critical to the publication process, and we base our choice on many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations and our own previous experience of a reviewer's characteristics. For instance, we avoid using people who are slow, careless, or do not provide reasoning for their views, whether harsh or lenient.
We check with potential reviewers before sending them manuscripts to review. Reviewers should bear in mind that these messages contain confidential information, which should be treated as such.

Writing the review
The primary purpose of the review is to provide the editors with the information needed to reach a decision but the review should also instruct the authors on how they can strengthen their paper to the point where it may be acceptable. As far as possible, a negative review should explain to the authors the major weaknesses of their manuscript, so that rejected authors can understand the basis for the decision and see in broad terms what needs to be done to improve the manuscript for publication elsewhere.
We ask reviewers the following questions, to provide an assessment of the various aspects of a manuscript:

  1. Which category best describes this manuscript?(Full Research Article / Survey Article / Educational Technology Article / IT in Use Report / View or Opinion Article) (Look at "Article Types")
  2. Are the title, abstract, and keywords appropriate?
  3. Rate the paper for each of the following Evaluation Criteria (1 = low; 8 = high)
  4. Full Research Article:

    Criterion Score
    Relevance to ITE -
    Originality/novelty of results -
    Soundness of evaluation/validation -
    Significance/value -
    Quality of manuscript organization and structure -
    Quality of language and style of writing: readability and clarity -
    Quality of illustrations (figures, tables, etc.) -
    Adequacy of introduction and conclusions -

    Survey Article:

    Criterion Score
    Relevance to ITE -
    Suitability as introductory text for researchers, PhD students, or practitioners, to get started on the covered topic -
    Coverage and balance of presentation -
    Significance/value to the ITE community in broad/value -
    Quality of manuscript organization and structure -
    Quality of language and style of writing: readability and clarity -
    Quality of illustrations (figures, tables, etc.) -
    Adequacy of introduction and conclusions -

    Educational Technology Article:

    Criterion Score
    Relevance to ITE -
    Quality and impact of the technology for educational purposesc -
    Does the manuscript present adequately the capabilities and the limitations of the technology? -
    Significance/value to the ITE community in broad/value -
    Quality of manuscript organization and structure -
    Quality of language and style of writing: readability and clarity -
    Quality of illustrations (figures, tables, etc.) -
    Adequacy of introduction and conclusions -

    IT in Use Report:

    Criterion Score
    Relevance to ITE -
    Technical Soundness of the presentation -
    Soundness of evaluation/validation -
    The impact of the presented IT deployment in Education -
    Quality of manuscript organization and structure -
    Quality of language and style of writing: readability and clarity -
    Quality of illustrations (figures, tables, etc.) -
    Adequacy of introduction and conclusions -

    View or Opinion Article:

    Criterion Score
    Relevance to ITE -
    Technical Soundness of the problem analysis -
    Completeness of the problem context coverage -
    Potential impact of the presented view/vision in Education -
    Quality of manuscript organization and structure -
    Quality of language and style of writing: readability and clarity -
    Quality of illustrations (figures, tables, etc.) -
    Adequacy of introduction and conclusions -
  5. DETAILED COMMENTS
    • Discuss the contribution made by the manuscript
    • Comment on the technical soundness of the content of the manuscript
    • Comment on the evaluation/ validation methodology used (if applicable)
    • Comment on the effective/anticipated impact of the described technology/ deployment
    • Comment on the structuring and writing style of the manuscript
    • Comment on the appropriateness for the journal and community (timeliness, broad appeal, etc)
  6. Does the manuscript contain sufficient and appropriate references?
  7. Provide your suggestions for improving the manuscript (if applicable)

Reports do not necessarily need to follow this specific order but should document the referees’ thought process. All statements should be justified and argued in detail, naming facts and citing supporting references, commenting on all aspects that are relevant to the manuscript and that the referees feel qualified commenting on. Not all of the above aspects will necessarily apply to every paper, due to discipline-specific standards. When in doubt about discipline-specific refereeing standards, reviewer can contact the editor for guidance.

Anonymity

The journal staff follows the worldwide standards of transparency of the review process and in this connection the given edition is practicing double "blind" peer reviewing of manuscripts.
Authors remain anonymous to the referees throughout the consideration process. The authors are responsible for anonymizing their manuscript accordingly.

Appeal Process

  • If the author does not agree with the certain comments of the reviewer, he has the right to appeal to the editor in the format "notes of reviewer - comment of author." This document is sent to the reviewer and together with the editor appropriate decision regarding the manuscript is accepted.
  • If the reviewers select mutually antithetical resolutions on the submitted manuscript (accept / reject), the editor appoints an independent expert.