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the TU-Sofia Proceedings'
|Guidelines for Reviewers - rules, and description of the review procedure
The reviewers of submitted manuscripts for The Proceedings of the Technical University of Sofia are essential for the publication of high-quality and precise scientific papers targeting to increase the interests of a wide range of researchers from the country and abroad. The editorial board of the journal relies on the experience and knowledge of the selected reviewers to make a final decision about the manuscripts to be published. The review of manuscripts is an important first step in the process of scientific papers publishing. In addition, the selection of reviewers for each manuscript is made by the Associate Editor of the respective scientific field.
А. Selection of reviewers
1) Upon receipt of a manuscript, the Associate Editors chooses two (or more reviewers) who, by their knowledge, are specialists in the respective scientific field, corresponding to the topic of the presented manuscript (the areas of research interests of the reviewers are monitored). The selected reviewers could be established scientists in the field, or young researchers and postdoctoral fellows. The first group is very useful for the activities of the journal because, with their expertise and experience, the established researchers can accurately and quickly make a correct assessment. The second group of potential reviewers is also useful, as with their commitment and purposefulness they can ask important questions, highlight reasonable remarks and give recommendations to the authors of the manuscripts. On the other hand, by reviewing the scientific works of their colleagues in the field, the young scientists, or postdoctoral fellows can often improve themselves, which will be further useful for their own scientific work;
2) Each selected reviewer receives a notification letter from the Associate Editor giving information about the scientific publication and an invitation to prepare a review report. The letter to the potential reviewer contains the address of the electronic platform "E-University" of TU-Sofia, as well as a username and a password for access;
3) When specialists in a certain scientific field apply for reviewers, they must inform the Associate Editor about their expertise, experience and areas of research interest (in key words) overlapping with the scientific fields which the Proceeding covers;
4) The potential reviewers may decline an invitation to review if there is a conflict of interest with any of the authors. Conflicts of interest may include relationships with the research group at the University, members of his or her family, or people with whom they have collaborated over the past ten years;
5) When the invited scientist refuses to prepare a review, it is recommended to provide contact information to a person who is qualified to review the manuscript;
6) After accepting an invitation, each reviewer is given ten days to complete their review report. In case that a longer time is needed to finalize the review, the Associate Editor should be notified in a timely manner and a deadline for the review should be proposed.
B. Reviewer's work on the submitted manuscript
1) After receiving an invitation, each reviewer visits the Proceedings’ web page and enters the username and password in the Login field from the list on the left side of the window. At the first time visit of the internal homepage, for greater security, it is requested to change the automatically generated password. Then, from the Your reviews menu you can visualize the data about the author/authors (single-blind evaluation method is applied), title, abstract, the full text of the paper, the section - thematic area and field. There is a possibility to refuse the preparation of a review report, or start completing the reviewer's form;
2) Prior to be reviewed, each manuscript is checked for matches (plagiarism check) by the Associate Editor using the iThenticate electronic authentication system (https://www.ithenticate.com). If necessary, the result of this check can be provided to the reviewers to compare the full text of each source paper or Web page with the submitted manuscript;
3) When evaluate, the reviewers serve to a great extend as 'mentors of the authors', helping to review the manuscript until each one is suitable for publication in the journal. The additional and critical remarks and recommendations are essential to the process. The aim is to help authors to identify the strengths of their manuscripts as well as to identify the weaknesses;
4) An electronic form has been created to support the work of the reviewers. In it, some answers can be seen by both the authors and the editor, while others are visible only to the editor. In particular, the questions to the reviewers are: (1) Would you review a revised version of the manuscript (Yes / No)?; (2) Recommendations to the authors regarding: the introduction, the depth of the presented research, choice and description of the method(s), clarity of the presented results and whether the conclusion summarizes the obtained results, as well as clarity of the defined contribution(s); (3) Recommendations to the editor regarding: whether there is a conflict of interest regarding the submitted article; whether conflicting content is detected; whether non-relevant self-citation is detected; and whether other ethical issues are detected in this study; (4) Evaluations regarding - originality (scientific novelty), the significance of the content, quality of the presented study and interest of the readers. Two text boxes follow, which are comments to the authors and comments to the Associate Editor. Comments to the editor are invisible to the authors. Each evaluation ends with a general qualitative assessment/recommendation: it is accepted in the presented form; minor revision is required; major revision is needed; the manuscript is rejected (encouraging re-submission after major revision). When working with the electronic review form, a partially completed review (draft version) can be saved and after some time its completing can be continued. The review ends with a submission to the Associate Editor;
5) In the free comments to the authors the following sequence can be followed:
a) Start by summarizing the paper with your own words. Is the topic appropriate for the potential readers of the Proceeding? Why or why not?
b) Systematize a list of specific comments. Which aspects of the paper were strong? What needs clarification or more detail? Is it well written?
c) List the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript. Clearly state the goals, contributions, and limitations of the manuscript.
d) Check that sufficient research results and evidences have been provided to support the author's claims.
e) Confirm that the information provided in the paper is up-to-date, accurate and consistent.
f) ) Cite published papers, give the title, page numbers and make a direct reference to the specific materials under analysis.
g) Suggest comments on tables, figures and diagrams. Is the article too long? Does it contain too many figures? Do the numbers are related to the discussion in the text?
C. Check the format of the submitted manuscript
It is checked whether the submitted manuscript complies with and to what extent it adheres to the template provided to the authors, which is available on the website of the journal. Each manuscript should be up to 8 pages long and contain information about the authors, abstract, keywords, clearly separated (with subheadings) introductory part, part with the methods used, possibly an experiment or numerical example, final part with a description of claims for scientific contributions, references and acknowledgements.
D. Deciding on the submitted manuscript
When making a final recommendation for a manuscript, one of the following options should be chosen:
1) Accept in Present Form. The paper meets all the above requirements and is ready for publication;
2) Reconsider after Major Revisions. The paper has significant shortcomings in its content, style and/or grammar. The claims of the author(s) are not supported by facts or the information included is too inconcrete and vague. The paper does not adhere to the style of the Proceedings of TU-Sofia;
3) Accept after Minor Revisions. The paper contains a small number of easily fixable errors, including grammar, missing references to the list of used literature and/or insignificant clarification of the content;
4) Reject (updates required before resubmission). The presented paper is not suitable for publication and requires significant revisions of more than 50% from the manuscript. However, it has strengths and, taking into account the comments of the reviewers, it could be published in the journal at the manuscript re-submission.
If a paper is recommended for publication, it is good to indicate why it is suitable for publication in the journal. Detailed reviews of articles are particularly useful and would greatly assist the Associate Editor in determining which topics are particularly relevant to potential readers. If a major revision is recommended, the constructive remarks, recommendations and comments are especially important for the author(s), so that the work is easier to be revised and write over. Each manuscript can be reviewed up to twice by the same reviewer. Then, the Editor-in-Chief, together with the Associate editor in the respective scientific field make the final decision.
Last changed on 20.08.2021, 13:33:14