Peer Review Process

Currently, Tuning Journal for Higher Education uses a double-blind peer review system: mandatory anonymity for both the reviewer and reviewed author throughout the review process.

Advisory Editors and Reviewers

Advisory Editors and Reviewers are scholars with demonstrable expertise in the fields and areas covered by the Tuning Journal for Higher Education (TJHE).  

Advisory Editors are appointed by the Editorial Board of TJHE.

Advisory Editors and Reviewers are expected to carry out their editorial duties for TJHE on a voluntary basis and in accordance with the Journal editorial and ethical guidelines. The Tuning Academy and Editorial Board of TJHE gratefully acknowledge their respective contributions. For further recognition, they may consider registering with PUBLONS or any other online platform or database that integrates peer reviewer profiles. However, they are kindly reminded that reviews carried out for Tuning Journal for Higher Education are confidential and cannot be disclosed or published in any way whatsoever and at any time without prior express authorisation of the copyright owner of the JournalOnly the following data can be disclosed without prior authorisation: the name of the Journal and the year of review.

Check of conformity of submissions

The Editor, with the assistance of the Managing Editor and or any other member of the editorial team, makes a first check of conformity of submitted manuscripts with the Journal policy and submission guidelines.

In line with the TJHE Ethical Guidelines for Publication (<<3.4. Fabrication of data, results, selective reporting of data, theft of intellectual property of others, and plagiarism are unethical practices and unacceptable.>>), the editorial staff uses the TURNITIN software to verify the originality of manuscripts submitted to the Journal.

Manuscripts not conforming to the Journal guidelines are returned to authors without evaluation.

Advisory Editor’s task 1: Assigning reviewers

The Editor hands each manuscript accepted for review to a member of the Panel of Advisory Editors, who will control the review and revision process of that manuscript.

On her/his turn, the Advisory Editor, who is registered as Section Editor into the Open Journal Systems (OJS) platform of Tuning Journal, assigns the received manuscript to two external reviewers. In some cases, the advice of a third reviewer may be sought.

The Advisory Editor can choose from the database of the OJS users who have registered as “reviewers” and have duly completed the corresponding form (Registration Form for Reviewers).

Moreover, she/he can identify new reviewers for TJHE. They must have a demonstrable expertise in the disciplines and areas covered by the Journal. In order to start and carry out their review task, they need to register as “reviewers” into the OJS platform, duly completing the above mentioned form (Registration Form for Reviewers).

Throughout the review process of the assigned manuscript, the Advisory Editor shall keep informed the Editor of any unexpected difficulties and setbacks.

Reviewer’s task

The Reviewer shall confirm acceptance of the task within 7 days of receipt of the invitation from the Advisory Editor. If she/he does not, the Advisory Editor will assume that she/he cannot perform the assigned task and will contact another reviewer.

For the evaluation of the assigned manuscript, the Reviewer is required to use the standard Review Form designed for that purpose. Once logged onto the system, the Reviewer will have two options. She/he can complete the online version of the Review Form and submit it online. Alternatively, the Reviewer can download any of the three versions of the Form (PDF: around 650 kB for the empty form; WORD: around 900 kB; or XLSX: around 150 kB), complete it, and upload it to the OJS platform for the attention of the Advisory Editor responsible for the review process of the assigned manuscript.

The possible recommendations that the Reviewer can make (to the Advisory Editor and to the Editor of TJHE) are the following:

I) “Accept Submission”: the manuscript is acceptable as submitted.

II) “Revisions Required”: the manuscript requires minor changes before it can be published.

III) “Resubmit for Review”: the manuscript needs major changes and the revised version will undergo a second and final round of review.

IV) “Decline Submission": the manuscript should not be published in the Journal.

These recommendation options are offered twice for the completion of the review report; first on the Review Form and, second, as part of the OJS default list of recommendation options.  Hence, the Reviewer should be consistent in her/his choices. On the OJS default list of recommendation options, two additional choices are available for the Reviewer: “Submit Elsewhere” and “See Comments”. These comments may be written on the Review Form (there is specific space for confidential comments for the Editor) or on a separate attachment file. In case of a “Submit Elsewhere” recommendation, the Reviewer shall suggest alternative publication venues for the manuscript.

For technical guidance, Advisory Editors and Reviewers are advised to follow the OJS step-by-step manual that has been specifically prepared for helping them to smoothly perform their role and which they will be allowed to access online upon their acceptance of the task. For further assistance, Reviewers should contact the management team of the Journal (tuningjournal@deusto.es).

Reviewers shall submit their reports to the Advisory Editor and the Editor, normally through the OJS platform, within 21 days of receipt of the manuscript for review. The OJS will be sending automatic reminders upon the expiration of the deadline.  

Before submission, Reviewers should ensure that all marked fields of the standard Review Form are duly completed.

Reviewers can upload files such as (offline) completed Review Forms, annotated copies of the reviewed manuscript or any other documents that they deem relevant for the Editor and Author. Technically, the Reviewer can upload any files ONLY before recording her/his recommendation to the Editor (which is the final step).

Reviewers shall ensure that their identity details are concealed from the author(s).

Advisory Editor’s task 2: Recommendation to the Editor

On the basis of the final review reports, the Advisory Editor communicates to the Editor, in writing and preferably through the Journal OJS platform, one of the following recommendations:

I) “Accept Submission

II) “Revisions Required

III) “Resubmit for Review

IV) “Decline Submission

This should be done within 7 days of receipt of the review reports. The Advisory Editor can attach any additional files (other than the Reviewers’ reports) to her/his recommendation to the Editor.

The Editor will contact the authors, again within 7 days of receipt of the recommendation from the Advisory Editor, with her/ his decision and send them copies of the review documents. The Editor will put in copy the Advisory Editor.

Final decision and revision work follow-up

The Editor is responsible for taking the final editorial decision. She/he will prepare a decision letter based on the comments of the reviewers and the recommendation of the Advisory Editor, which will be sent by email to the corresponding author with copy to the Advisory Editor, again within 7 days of receipt of the Advisory Editor’s recommendation.

The four possible Editor’s decisions, as foreseen in the OJS platform, are the following:

I) “Accept Submission": acceptance of the manuscript as it stands;

II) "Revisions Required": acceptance of the manuscript after minor revision;

III) "Resubmit for Review": the manuscript needs major changes and a second and final round of review will be required for the revised version.

IV) "Decline Submission": rejection of the manuscript as it stands.

The Editor's decision is final. Decision II) and Decision III) require revision work. In both cases, the Editor will send to the authors comments/suggestions for the author(s) from the reviewers and any annotated copies of the original manuscript. The Editor can add her/his own comments/suggestions. The Editor will ask the author(s) that they make the requested revision or give their reasons for not accepting to do so.

Authors should complete the requested revision and submit a revised version of their manuscript within 14 days (in case of “Revisions Required”) and 21 days (in case of “Resubmit for Review”) of being asked to do so; or they risk their article being rejected or assigned to a later Issue.

The revised version should be sent to the Editor, who will ask the Advisory Editor for a new recommendation. The two external reviewers may also be involved if deemed appropriate, particularly in the case of a “Resubmit for Review” decision.

Within 7 days, the Advisory Editor should decide whether to recommend “Acceptance” or “Rejection” and then she/he should send her/his recommendation to the Editor.

Timeline

It is our intention to notify authors of non-reviewed manuscripts within 21 days of submission acknowledgement. For manuscripts accepted for review, the process shall last 2-3 months. However, due to reasons beyond our control, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, it can take longer to complete. Our editors and reviewers are indeed very busy people and they carry out their review tasks voluntarily. We therefore invite authors to be patient. If you have not heard from the Editor after 3 months, then please send an inquiry to the Editor (Professor Mary Gobbi, mary.gobbi@deusto.es) and or Managing Editor (Ladislas Bizimana, PhD, ladislas.bizimana@deusto.estuningjournal@deusto.es).