PEER REVIEW PROCESS
The PEER REVIEW process of a scientific paper at LUMEN Publishing House involves analyzing the work on four axes:
- editorial evaluation;
- peer review (scientific peer review);
- ethics evaluation;
- revision of translations.
I. EDITORIAL ASSESSMENT
This is the first evaluation stage, in which the paper proposed for evaluation is technically and administratively evaluated. The evaluation is done by the editor responsible for the peer-review process, to identify whether the paper is in line with the specifics of the journal and whether it relates to topics that are directly related to the subject of the proceeding or journal. The responsible editor will also evaluate whether the author complies with editorial requirements, such as citation style, by observing the technical parameters of the journal in the online template or article structure.
Only after the technical requirements are met by the author, the work will be the subject to the peer-review process and its scientific quality will be evaluated. After analyzing the works to see if they match the disciplinary and thematic orientation of the quality publishing standards of the LUMEN publication, the manuscripts are sent to one or two reviewers selected from the LUMEN Publishing Scientific Reviewers Committee (depending on the complexity of the work, as reported in its inter- or multidisciplinary character), whose scientific activity and expertise best correspond with the proposed manuscript.
Editorial evaluation of volumes – particular aspects
For all the books published by LUMEN Publishing House, an editorial evaluation will be carried out, in terms of the possible impact and the target group of readers, the possibility of disseminating and promoting the book, etc. Within this stage, carried out by the editors of LUMEN Publishing House, the number of printed copies and the value of the co-financing granted by LUMEN Publishing House or LUMEN Association are established. This co-financing can be established between 0% and 100% of the costs involved in publishing the volume, depending on the scientific and cultural quality resulting from the evaluation of the reviewers.
The following criteria are considered during the editorial evaluation stage: the development of the book market in the field, the number of volumes on the book market that consider the same or similar topics, the volumes published by LUMEN Publishing House on the same or similar topics, the author’s notoriety, the actuality of the topic and debates on the respective topic in the media and in the scientific literature, the impact of the author’s previous volumes, highlighted in sales, citations, the inclusion of the volume in bibliographic collections, etc. or pre-orders on the topic of the volume or on similar topics.
Any book with a scientific or cultural character must be approved both following scientific and ethical evaluation, as well as editorial evaluation, in order to be published.
By exception, books of special scientific or cultural value, but which have low addressability on the market, may be proposed for full funding within programs of institutions such as the Administration of the National Cultural Fund, the National Authority for Scientific Research or other financing programs that will be available.
The books that fall into this category are highlighted in the editorial plan through the LUMEN Cultural Book and LUMEN Scientific Book programs.
Selection of collective volumes – particular aspects
In the scientific editorial practice of LUMEN Publishing House, the collective volumes are produced within the Steps towards Excellence Program, the collective volumes being of three types:
- proceedings of some scientific events;
- collective volumes with peer-review;
- collective volumes with direct invitation.
The scientific quality control is performed by the scientific committee of the conference, the responsibility of accepting or rejecting them, returning them to the coordinators or editors of the volume, the conference directors or the chairmen of the scientific committees, as the case may be. If the conferences did not submit the article to a peer review process, this step is done by LUMEN Publishing House.
2. Collective volumes with coordinator and peer review
Within the calls for publication in the Steps towards Excellence editorial program, there will be general thematic calls for works from a certain scientific area, as well as targeting a particular field or sub-domain of research.
3. Collective volumes at the invitation of the coordinator
LUMEN Publishing House designates a volume coordinator with recognized and significant activity in a certain field, which the Publishing House identifies as being topical, relevant or which is little covered on the Romanian or international market. The coordinator or coordinators, one or maximum three, have the freedom to invite authors from the country and abroad to write in the respective field. The selection is made on the basis of the previous analyzes of the authors, respectively of the notoriety and the impact that the works of the respective authors have in the scientific community.
The coordinators are responsible for the scientific quality of the volumes. An author is invited to publish based on the previously published works and not on the basis of a publication proposal made by the author as such, and the responsibility of the authors’ selection concerns both the estimation of the quality of the article, and the risk of contingency articles. The coordinator will submit the volume to the attention of reviewers at least of the same scientific notoriety as the authors, carrying out a peer review selection process, jointly administered by the volume coordinator and the scientific committee of LUMEN Publishing House. The minimum quality standards are those of the blind peer review and cannot be lower than the general ones of LUMEN Publishing House.
II. SCIENTIFIC ASSESSMENT
The types of peer-review conducted within Lumen Publishing House are: peer-review, blind peer-review and double blind peer-review.
Peer-review is the process by which the author of a work submits his work for analysis to other fellow researchers in the same field of expertise, both the reviewers and the author(s) being unaware of each other’s identity.
Blind peer-review is the process of evaluating the scientific quality of a work, in which the reviewer knows the identity of the author, but the author does not know the identity of the reviewer. The process of blind peer review is that process that involves a team of experts in the evaluation and revision of a material proposed for publication. The evaluators participating in this action must come from the most varied scientific and academic environments, from areas of expertise correlated with the one proposed by the material sent for evaluation. Correspondence between reviewers and authors will be mediated by LUMEN Publishing House.
Double blind peer review consists of assigning a manuscript in blind (without authorship / author identification information) to a reviewer whose identity is not known to the author whose work is being evaluated, and will not be known by the author after the evaluation is performed. Correspondence between reviewers and authors will be mediated by the publisher.
LUMEN Publishing House mainly encourages the peer review process in the double blind system, the other forms of review being approved insofar as there are strong indications that the peer review process has not been affected by subjectivity or contrary interests.
A. The blind and double blind peer-review procedure
The peer-review process of LUMEN Publishing House’s journals and publications is carried out in the following stages:
– the texts are analyzed by the editorial team, to see if they comply with the orientation of the publication or the editorial category in which the work was framed by the author, and if they comply with the standards of editorial quality and writing of scientific publications;
– after this check, the texts of the articles or the abstract and the significant fragments of the volumes or the whole volume, as the case may be, are sent to LUMEN Publishing House’s reviewers.
– each reviewer will independently analyze the text proposed for publication. Since most of the programs of LUMEN Publishing House are rather a selection and not a competition, the works must receive a minimum number of points in all the criteria to be admitted to publication. The evaluation is done by the reviewers according to the following criteria of evaluation of the scientific quality:
- quality of information, with reference to the conceptual correctness of the work;
- the original contribution of the work and the degree of novelty;
- clarity of the scientific objectives of the paper;
- the value of the methodology, where it exists or is needed;
- the credibility of the results and their clarity in the research work;
- the quality of the bibliography and the existence of references for any publication or volume of scientific nature;
- originality, depth, scientific contribution;
- quality of writing and expression;
- other criteria considered by the reviewer.
– The scientific evaluation is completed in at least one of the following ways: acceptance, acceptance with modifications (minor or major), resubmission for evaluation after revisions or rejection. If one reviewer rejects the manuscript, but another accepts it, the manuscript is evaluated by a third reviewer or the publisher responsible for the peer-review process, who will have the right to veto and make the final decision. If the manuscript is accepted with modifications, corrections will be required from the author;
– in case a reviewer decides to accept the work and another rejects it, the work is sent for evaluation to a third reviewer, whose proposal is decisive. In case of acceptance with modifications, the author is requested to make the necessary corrections;
– the reviewers communicate their decision to the editorial team and, where appropriate, their observations and requirements (if any), which must be fulfilled as a condition for publication;
– the editor in charge submits the decision of the reviewer to the author and, if the reviewers have agreed on the acceptance for publication, but recommend changes to the text, it sends the paper back to the author to make the revisions;
– after the requested changes are made, the text or abstract and the significant fragments return to the same reviewer, to make their final decision.
The standards for accepting or rejecting the publication of a work are different depending on each editorial program. Thus, in international journals, especially those indexed or proposed for indexing by Clarivate Analytics, the minimum acceptance score must be higher or at least equal to 70% of the maximum possible score, with no indicator being able to fall below 50% of the maximum possible score. The same is true for the volumes published by LUMEN Publishing House. The acceptance of chapters in collective volumes will be done taking into account the same score, but this will be calculated by chapter / article and not by volume.
The only exception is the Promoting Young Researchers Program, where both the average score and the minimum score for each indicator must be at least 70% of the maximum possible score.
The expected average acceptance rate for publication is 30% for international scientific publications indexed in international databases or for publications for which LUMEN Publishing House ensures international visibility, including open source and open access.
B. Reviewers proposed by the author
The authors are invited to propose themselves specialized reviewers once the paper is submitted for publication. They can be coordinators of the research teams, coordinators of the doctoral theses, members of the doctoral guidance committees, etc. The opinions of the reviewers proposed by the authors will be taken into consideration by the chief editor of the journal, the coordinator of the book series, the editor of the Publishing House or the editor responsible for the final decision to accept the work for publication. The suggestions of the reviewers proposed by the author cannot replace the peer review made by LUMEN Publishing House. The scientific book and academic book programs compulsorily use peer review and optionally the evaluation methods with reviewers proposed by the author or invited reviewers.
The opinions of the reviewers proposed by the author will be taken into account in case of disagreement between the evaluators proposed by LUMEN Publishing House, or if the evaluators accept the works, but with modifications. Also, this method is used as an additional editorial peer review procedure, when the circumstances are such that they make it necessary.
C. Invited reviewers
The Director of the Publishing House, the editor-in-chief or the coordinator of the book series may request, in addition to the peer-review, expert reviewers with high experience and recognition in the field, to give their professional opinion on the work to be published. They can either propose the acceptance of the work or they can motivate its rejection.
III. ETHICAL ASSESSMENT, IDENTIFICATION AND RESOLUTION OF RESEARCH RELATED DEBATES ON RESEARCH ETHICS
Ethical evaluation follows two directions, namely editorial ethics and research ethics.
Regarding the editorial ethics, the suspicions of plagiarism and the inappropriate declaration of the authorship of the work are analyzed (including by mentioning authors who did not contribute to the research or the writing of the text and excluding the authors who contributed). The procedure also follows the potential conflicts of interest arising after the publication by the LUMEN Publishing House of the work, the rights to reproduce the fragments of images or text, or of the republications, as the case may be. The aim is to avoid double funding requests, when the volume or article appears to be financed from public funds. LUMEN Publishing House uses anti-plagiarism software and can verify any work submitted for publication with these software. LUMEN publishing house has 0% tolerance for plagiarism. The similarity index will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, depending on the content of the anti-plagiarism report.
Regarding the research ethics, it aims to evaluate the compliance with the ethical rules of scientific research, as the case may be: the rules of data confidentiality; obtaining the informed consent of the person(s) interviewed or for whom the research included in the works in the volume / article was carried out; protection of the interests of natural or legal persons, so as not to violate their image or other rights provided by law.
IV. REVIEW OF TRANSLATIONS BY THE EDITOR
The revision of the translations is made exclusively in terms of the quality of the translations in Romanian or from Romanian into another foreign language. The evaluation is performed by a specialist, a language expert or a native speaker, and the quality of the translation is verified by the editors of LUMEN Publishing House.
The author’s failure to review the translations, at the request of the publisher, is a reason for rejecting the publication of the work.