Peer Review Process
The following steps are used to process all manuscripts submitted to the Journal of Mekong Societies (JMS).
1. Manuscript submission
The author submits a manuscript to JMS via its online system. If the author is unable to do so, JMS might consider accepting the submission by email. But this should be the last choice.
2. Screening by the editor-in-chief
All submissions to the journal are initially reviewed by the editor-in-chief and her associates. At this stage, a manuscript may be rejected without peer review if it is felt that it is not of high enough priority, not relevant to the journal’s aim and scope, does not meet journal’s standards in terms of quality, or if it involves plagiarism. This fast rejection process means that authors are given a quick decision and do not need to wait for the review process.
3. Assignment of reviewers
Manuscripts that are not instantly rejected are sent out for peer review, usually to two independent reviewers. The journal uses a double-blind peer review system, in which the author does not know the identities of the reviewers and the reviewers do not know the identities of the author. Invited reviewers are usually not affiliated with the same institution. They must also be affiliated with a different institution from the author. The editor-in-chief carefully selects reviewers who have sufficient subject matter expertise to do justice to the manuscript. For some niche subject areas, the editor-in-chief might ask the author to recommend a list of possible reviewers from which the editor-in-chief might consider choosing.
JMS provides a review form to all reviewers. Based on this form, reviewers evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript, and provide suggestions to improve it. Reviewers evaluate a manuscript based on the following criteria: a) contribution to existing knowledge, b) organization and readability, c) soundness of methodology, d) evidence to support the conclusion, and e) adequacy of literature review. They then provide their recommendation to the editor-in-chief as to whether the manuscript should a) be accepted without any change, b) accepted after minor improvement, c) accepted after major revision, or d) not accepted for publication. Reviewers are given at least two weeks to do the review.
5. Review evaluation
The editor-in-chief evaluates the reviews and recommendations made by the reviewers. If the reviews by the two reviewers are significantly different, the editor-in-chief will make a final decision or invite another reviewer to evaluate.
6. Revision by author
After receiving the review results, the author is invited to revise the manuscript according to the suggestions. If there are any points that the author fails to address, he/she must inform the editor-in-chief in writing. A revised version of the manuscript must be submitted to the editor-in-chief within two weeks. A longer period of time can be provided if the manuscript needs major revisions.
7. Final decision making
After receiving the revised manuscript, the editor-in-chief will review the revisions. The editor-in-chief then makes a final decision whether to accept the revised manuscript or not. Manuscripts that pass this final stage will proceed to English language editing by a native English speaker, reference editing, and copy editing before being published.