Articles published in EFORT Open Reviews undergo peer review before acceptance.
EFORT Open Reviews operates a double-anonymous peer-review process. This means that:
- Reviewer identity is not made visible to author
- Author identity is not made visible to reviewer
- Reviewer and author identity are both visible to the editor
EFORT Open Reviews requires two independent reviewers to assess articles. The reviewers interact only with the editor and/or journal team. Reviewers do not interact with each other or with the authors.
Information about the editors of Microbiota and Host can be found on our Editorial Board page.
Articles submitted using the journal's ScholarOne submission site follow the process below:
1. Editorial staff check
The paper is checked by editorial office staff to determine: if the article fits with the journal’s remit; that all files have been received; the article is formatted correctly; and author and funding details have been provided. Articles will also be screened for plagiarism using the Crossref/iThenticate Similarity Check system.
2. Editor-in-Chief assessment
The Editor-in-Chief (EiC) makes an initial assessment to determine if the paper is suitable for publication in the journal. If the EiC feels the paper is not suitable it will be immediately rejected so as not to waste the time of both reviewers and authors. At this stage the EiC considers if: the article is well written; it says/shows anything new; is scientifically sound.
If the EiC feels the paper has potential for publication it will be sent to a member of the editorial board to handle the peer-review of the article.
3. Handling editor assessment
The handling editor will read the paper and appoint two or more independent reviewers to review the paper. Reviewers can be sourced from the journal’s database, the editor’s contacts, the manuscript bibliography, or subject and publication databases.
4. External peer review
The peer reviewers will read the paper and provide a report and a recommendation for publication. Reviewers are not financially remunerated for their work and must find time to review amongst their other commitments.
5. Handling editor recommendation
Once the peer review reports have been received the handling editor will consider the feedback and publication recommendations and produce a final assessment for the EiC. The handling editor will make an assessment of the peer reviewer comments, checking if they are valid, fair and reasonable. In situations where the peer reviewers do not agree, it is the responsibility of the handling editor to decide which comments and recommendations are the most appropriate. A further review will be sought if further clarification is required.
6. Editor-in-Chief decision
The EiC makes the final publication decision based on the handling editor’s recommendations. It is a common misconception that peer reviewers make publication decisions but it is the EiC who has final say on all published content in a journal. The role of the handling editor and EiC in moderating reviewers comments and providing authors will clear guidance cannot be understated and often makes the difference between an unsatisfactory and a well-functioning peer review system.
If an article is not accepted for publication in the journal, we may offer the author the opportunity to transfer their submission to other suitable journals published by Bioscientifica. The offer to transfer is made at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief, and may be made prior to or after full peer review. Authors may accept or decline the offer to transfer. If the offer is accepted after peer review, then the paper will be transferred along with the reviewer reports.
Authors are entitled to appeal against a rejection decision made by a journal. Appeals should be submitted to the journal email address . We must receive your valid appeal within four weeks of the original decision, otherwise it will not be considered. An appeal is considered to be an extension of the peer review process and so you should not submit your article to another publication whilst an appeal is ongoing.
To be considered, appeals must directly address the reason(s) given for the initial rejection decision. If reviewer reports were included with the decision letter, then these criticisms must be responded to in the appeal, however you should not prepare and submit a revised version of your article with the appeal. Appeals that are received late, do not address reviewers’ criticisms, are dismissive of the reviewer comments, or contain offensive language will not be considered.
Valid appeals will be sent to a member of the journal’s Editorial Board for consideration. Where possible, an independent member of the Editorial Board who was not connected to the original decision will oversee the appeal.
If successful, an appeal may result in the decision being rescinded and a continuation of the peer-review process. If the appeal is rejected, then the original rejection decision is upheld and no further consideration of that article is possible.
Submissions from editors or journal staff
Articles submitted by editors or journal staff are identified at submission. These articles are handled by alternative editor or staff members and are given no special treatment or consideration.
The journal peer-review system automatically ensures that editors or staff are not able to see information about their submitted article and its peer review.