(i). Editorial Board structure:
The Editorial Board of the AJSTSS comprises of Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Board members and Advisory Board members. Editor-in-Chief is the chairperson of the board and hence allowed the final decision in any regard.
The formation of the Editorial Board is done by incorporating global experts with excellent academic track records and expertise in the respective Journal subject. There is no restriction on the number of Editorial Board members.
Editorial board members must qualify as below:
- Must have a PhD degree or equivalent in the relevant subject.
- Must have a good publication record.
(ii). Editorial Board responsibilities and Editorial Workflow:
- All Editorial Board members must work under the direction provided by the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal.
- All submitted manuscripts shall be assigned identifier numbers. Any submitted manuscript at the initial stage is assessed for the suitability of the subject within the scope of the Journal and the compliance of the article to a specific article type by the Editor-in-Chief.
- Suitable submitted manuscripts will be subjected to plagiarism check by AJSTSS editorial office. The similarity index report should not exceed 15%. If the article is found plagiarized, it will be summarily rejected at this stage.
- The Editor-in-Chief will assign Editor(s) based on their expertise to assess the submitted manuscript within a stipulated timeframe. If the editor declines the assignment, it should be communicated to the Editorial Office at the earliest possible time. Conflict of interest should also be declared.
- The assigned Editor will initially assess the article for suitability of the subject and originality of the article within the scope of the Journal. At this stage, he/she can decide whether the manuscript is accepted for peer review or may be returned to the author for revision before peer review if the manuscript does not comply with the publishing policies of the Journal.
- The assigned Editor will be responsible for further peer review process under the guidance of the Editor-in-Chief.
- For any manuscript assigned, the Editor will be responsible for selecting two potential reviewers based on their expertise in the particular subject areas and thereafter monitor the review process. If required, the Editor may ask for support from the Editorial Office.
- The assigned editor will send the manuscript together with the AJSTSS Peer Review Form to the reviewers for writing their evaluation report.
- Manuscripts submitted to AJSTSS are subjected to a double-blind peer-review process. In this process, the reviewer's names and author names are hidden (i.e. the reviewer will not know who the author is and vice-versa).
- Each Editor must keep in mind that the time required for reviewing the articles along with recommendations is 14 days.
- The Editor must remember the policy of fast and effective peer review. He/she must communicate with the reviewers in case of any delay in the reviewer's evaluation report.
- For any manuscript to be accepted it is required to have positive comments from the reviewers. Comments provided by the reviewers should convey their final decision within the following types:
- Publish as it is
- Consider after Minor Corrections
- Consider after Major Corrections
- Once the assigned Editor receives reviewers' evaluation reports, he/she will be responsible for providing the decision based on the comments and their relevance and suitability with the manuscript. In such circumstances the Editor's decision is final. The reviewers or authors are not entitled to raise any questions after the final decision.
- If the assigned Editor decides to send the article for revision based on reviewers’ comments, it will be forwarded to the authors for revision.
- The authors are liable to send back the revised manuscript to the Editorial Office within the stipulated time.
- Once the revised manuscript is received, it will be further inspected for the incorporation of the specified points.
- The assigned Editor may provide the decision or send it back to the reviewer once more depending on the comparative status and enrichment of the manuscript.
- In every step of processing, the Editor-in-Chief has the right to be involved and make the final decision for any publication oriented issue.
- It is the Editor’s responsibility to inform the selected reviewers that they are not entitled to use any part of the work in any form provided in the article they are reviewing. Reviewers should also be informed about the complete confidentiality of the assignments they are undertaking.
- Editors will be responsible to convey the expectations of the Journal to the reviewers with the review scope, quality and timeliness for an effective, fair and constructive review for the assigned submission.
- Editors must provide appropriate input regarding the targeted readers and their preferences. In other words, creative input from Editors will help in understanding the readers and their choices within the scope of the subject.
- Editors are required to attend Editorial Board meetings scheduled by the Editor in Chief for discussions to improve the Journal.
(iii). Code of Conduct
- The assigned Editor should not have any conflict of interest with any assignment. If so then he or she should decline the assignment, stating the proper reason to the Editorial Office.
- Every Editor must treat each submission objectively and transparently.
- Once the assigned Editor is notified by the Editor-in-Chief regarding any information at any stage of the publication process for an assigned manuscript, the Editor must respond as early as possible.
- Editors must ensure the smooth functioning of the whole process in coordination with the Editor in Chief.
- Along with the Editor in chief, the Editorial Board members are responsible for ensuring timely publishing of the accepted articles.
- The Editor-in-Chief should ensure that all articles accepted for publication have been assessed by an editor.
- The Editor-in-Chief should not make decisions regarding manuscripts about which he/she may have a conflict of interest. In such instances, a senior member of the Editorial Board will be assigned to assume responsibility for overseeing peer review and making decisions regarding acceptance or rejection.
- The Editor-in-Chief must ensure Editorial Board members are not involved with the peer-review or decision-making process of any manuscript where they have a conflict of interest.
- Although the Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Board members may publish in their Journal, the number of articles must be restricted to ensure the majority of publications come from other authors.
- The Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Board members must provide a professional service to authors. Correspondence should be handled in a timely and respectful manner, and efficient and thorough peer-review carried out. Systems must be in place to ensure editorial staff absences do not result in a reduced service to authors.
- The Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial members must maintain the anonymity of peer reviewers.
(iv). Peer Review Policy
- Reviewer’s responsibility
Important factors to be noted by a reviewer:
- Manuscripts submitted to AJSTSS are subjected to a double-blind peer-review process. In this process, the reviewer's names and author names are hidden (the reviewer will not know who the author is and vice-versa). Up to two independent reviewers will be assigned per manuscript.
- The article must match the area of expertise of the reviewer. As a reviewer, if you find that the article is not aligning with your subject expertise, please inform the editorial office without delay.
- Timely review and timely publication give professional advantages. It is therefore important to meet the deadlines and send the report within the period. The process of reviewing the article along with recommendations must be done within 14 days. Exceeding that will lead to a delay in the editor's decision as well as a delay in publishing.
- While accepting a reviewing assignment the respective reviewer agrees not to share any information provided in the manuscript with anyone. Confidentiality is mandatory for any reviewer.
- Reviewer comments must be reasonable. You must hold your points with firm logical reasons.
- The AJSTSS Peer Review Form and manuscripts will be submitted together to the reviewers for writing their evaluation report.
- Assigned reviewers are responsible for scrutinizing a manuscript technically and the organization of the manuscript properly depending on the article type. Reviewer's comments should be brief to the point and understandable by the Editors and Authors.
- Specifying and matching the article with the standards of the Journal is a must.
- The evaluation report has to be shared with the editor.
- After evaluation of the manuscript, the reviewers will decide:
- Accept with minor revision
- Accept with major revisions
- Reject (Decline with Justification).
- If the decision is classified as ‘Accept with Minor Revision’ or ‘Major Revision,’ the author shall have 7 or 14 days, respectively, to resubmit the revised manuscript from the date of official communication of the verdict.
- Upon resubmission, and having been satisfied that such revision as may have been initially proposed has been made, the Editorial Board may choose to send them back to the reviewers, or may render a decision based on its expertise.
- The Editorial Board has the discretion of rejecting a manuscript whose author fails to revise upon such recommendation.
- In special circumstances, the contributors may be asked to suggest referees working in the same area for evaluation. However, the final choice of reviewers is a preserve of the Editorial Board.