Peer Review Process
Peer Review Process
METALLA is a peer reviewed journal. We use a double-blind review process with two external experts for each article. Exceptions are the contributions in the special issues, where the guest editors are responsible for organising the review of the contributions.
Acquisition of Manuscript
After the manuscript is submitted, the article is screened by the Managing Editor and can be recommended for peer review, returned to the author for revision and resubmission in order to correct minor and major flaws and deficiencies, or can be rejected because of poor quality.
Preparation for Peer-Review
Manuscripts that are recommended for review first undergo an internal review. The manuscript is reviewed in terms of both content and language. The author now has the opportunity to revise the text and respond to comments. The changes made by the author are then reviewed again.
In the subsequent preparation for the review, the text is anonymised, the references are checked and the formatting of quotations and references is checked and, if necessary, corrected. English language usage is checked, standardised and the text formatted. Embedded images, tables and captions are removed from the text and placed at the end of the text. The name(s) and affiliation(s) of the author(s) are removed from the text where possible, and the acknowledgements section is also temporarily removed for anonymity purposes. The text format is standardised: Times New Roman, font size 11, headings bold, spacing 1.5, page numbers added, line numbers added. A PDF file is created containing the text, tables and figures.
Selection of Reviewers
The selection of the two reviewers is often done in collaboration with the editors, the consulting editors and the editorial advisory board. The members of these boards have been selected to cover the range of subject areas that represent the journal's thematic focus. The above-mentioned individuals are often the first point of contact in the peer review process, and can either decide to review a paper or recommend suitable reviewers with specialisation in the particular research area or applied methodology.
Reviewers should not review manuscripts where they have conflicts of interest (COI) arising from competitive, collaborative or other relationships or affiliations with any of the authors, companies or institutions associated with the submitted work.
A reviewer and an author automatically have a COI if: one of the reviewers was the doctoral supervisor or supervisor of the other; or, if they had a common institutional affiliation within the last two years; or, if they published two or more jointly authored works within the last three years; or, if they belong to the same family.
Further detailed explanations of the ethical publication parameters can be found in the manuscript Publication Ethics.
Double-blind peer review of articles is always sought. However, due to the relatively small pool of specialised researchers, in some cases a simple blind review may occur. The identity of the reviewer is always anonymous, unless the reviewer declares that he/she wishes to reveal his/her identity to the author(s). To facilitate the selection of reviewers, authors may be asked to suggest possible reviewers or to provide the names of persons who are unsuitable for various reasons or who have a conflict of interest.
In selecting reviewers, particular attention is paid to the reviewers' special professional competence and knowledge. The reviewers are usually selected from institutions that have no connection with the author(s). The only exception is when the field of research is so small that recourse must be made to someone from the same institution because no other reviewer is available. The review is thus at least simply blind and is again carefully, critically and objectively checked by the internal review.
The reviewers are first asked whether they are able and willing to review the work. For this purpose, they are given the title and abstract of the manuscript and told that its review should be completed within three weeks. They are also asked to suggest two or more qualified persons in case they cannot do the review themselves. As soon as the reviewer agrees, the PDF file of the manuscript is sent together with a reviewer form, which is used to structure the review. The reviewers are asked to evaluate the content of the submitted manuscript: Reject due to poor quality or because it is beyond the scope of the journal, Accept, Accept with minor changes or Accept with major changes.
Rejection: A recommendation for rejection is required to reject a manuscript. However, this decision can be revised under certain circumstances if the two reviews are very different or if the journal editors are not convinced by the reviewer's arguments. In such cases, a third reviewer may be consulted.
Acceptance with minor changes: Recommendations are sent to the corresponding author. Depending on the importance of the changes, the revisions may or may not be sent back to the reviewer. The managing editor may accept the manuscript immediately after resubmission if he/she feels that the revisions sufficiently meet the reviewer's requirements.
Accept with major changes: Recommendations are sent to the corresponding author. The revisions are returned to the reviewer(s) upon receipt. If the revisions are deemed sufficient by the reviewers, the manuscript is accepted for publication.
If both initial reviews or - in the case of a third review - two out of three reports are positive, the article can be published.
Authors are expected to respond to the reviews and make the changes requested by the reviewers or justify why they do not do so.
The final decision for or against publication is made solely by the METALLA editors. In the case of volumes with guest editors, such as the Sonderheft, the decision is made by the guest editors or jointly with the METALLA editors.
After positive evaluation of the revised version by the editors, the articles are edited by the METALLA editors and prepared for publication.
Between Acceptance and Publication
After acceptance, the article is proofread and formatted for layout and magazine design. The illustrations are checked again for format and quality. After the final layout is created, the articles are returned to the corresponding author to proofread the article and make final changes. The Corresponding Author and/or all authors will be asked to sign the Author's Agreement in which they confirm that they are the author of the work/content and own the rights to the images to be published. The corresponding author and/or all authors furthermore agree, within the framework of the publication conditions, to, among other things, the journal's open access policy and that of the OJS platform (Open Journal System) of the library of the Ruhr University Bochum, on which the journal is hosted. Final proofreading and checking is carried out by the managing editor before printing.
Although the journal has a strict two-reviewer policy, in certain circumstances an article may be published with only one reviewer. This may, as mentioned above, in very rare cases be due to the limitations of the research field and/or the cancellation/circumvention of the limited reviewers.