The journal follows a strict double blindfold review policy to ensure neutral evaluation. During this review process identity of both, the authors and reviewers are kept hidden to ensure an unbiased evaluation. All manuscripts are subject to peer review and are expected to meet standards of academic excellence. Submissions will be considered by an editor and “if not rejected right away” by peer-reviewers. High-quality manuscripts are peer-reviewed by a minimum of two peers in the same field.
The reviewers submit their reports on the manuscripts along with their recommendation of one of the following actions to the Editor:
Publish “As it is”
Consider after Minor Changes
Consider after Major Changes
Reject: Manuscript is flawed.
When all reviewers have submitted their reports, the Editor can make one of the following editorial recommendations:
Publish “As it is”
Consider after Minor Changes
Consider after Major Changes
If the Editor recommends “Publish “As it is”,” the manuscript is accepted for publication.
If the Editor recommends “Consider after Minor Changes,” the authors are notified to prepare and submit a final copy of their manuscript with the required minor changes suggested. The Editor reviews the revised manuscript after the minor changes have been made by the authors. Once the Editor is satisfied with the final manuscript, the manuscript can be accepted.
If the Editor recommends “Consider after Major Changes,” the recommendation is communicated to the authors. The authors are expected to revise their manuscripts in accordance with the changes recommended by the reviewers and to submit their revised manuscripts in a timely manner. Once the revised manuscript is submitted, the Editor can then make an editorial recommendation which can be “Publish “As it is”,” “Consider after Minor Changes,” or “Reject.”
If the Editor recommends rejecting the manuscript, the rejection is immediate. Also, if the majority of the reviewers recommend rejecting the manuscript, the rejection is immediate.
The editorial workflow gives the Editors the authority to reject any manuscript because of the inappropriateness of its subject, lack of quality, or incorrectness of its results. The Editor cannot assign himself/herself as an external reviewer of the manuscript. This is to ensure a high-quality, fair, and unbiased peer-review process of every manuscript submitted to the journal, since any manuscript must be recommended by one or more (usually two or more) external reviewers along with the Editor in charge of the manuscript in order for it to be accepted for publication in the journal.
This journal believes that no manuscript should be rejected only on the basis of ‘lack of Novelty’, provided the manuscript is sufficiently robust and technically sound. Too often a journal’s decision to publish a paper is dominated by what the Editor/reviewer thinks is interesting and will gain greater readership – both of which are subjective judgments and lead to decisions that are frustrating and delay the publication. This journal will rigorously peer-review your submissions and publish all papers that are judged to be technically sound.
All research articles, and most other article types, published in BBASR journals undergo thorough peer review. This usually involves review by two independent peer reviewers. Individual journals may differ in their peer review processes; for example, some journals operate an open and others a closed peer review system. For an individual journal’s peer review policy, please see the journal's 'About' page.
Peer review policy
All submissions to BBASR journals are assessed by an Editor, who will decide whether they are suitable for peer review. Where an Editor is on the author list or has any other competing interest regarding a specific manuscript, another member of the Editorial Board will be assigned to assume responsibility for overseeing peer review. Submissions felt to be suitable for consideration will be sent for peer review by appropriate independent experts identified by the Handling Editor. Editors will make a decision based on the reviewers’ reports and authors are sent these reports along with the editorial decision on their manuscript. Authors should note that even in light of one positive report, concerns raised by another reviewer may fundamentally undermine the study and result in the manuscript being rejected.
Open peer review
For journals operating an open peer review process, the reviewers' names are included on the peer review reports. In addition, if the manuscript is published, the named reports are published online alongside the article. On rare occasions, information from the pre-publication history may not be available for a specific article.
Authors will be aware of the reviewers’ names during the peer review process and vice versa. However, there should not be direct correspondence between authors and reviewers. Any correspondence between the authors and the reviewers during or after the review process should be made through the journal Editors.
Transparent peer review
For journals operating a transparent peer review process, if the manuscript is published, the peer review reports are published online alongside the article. The name of the reviewer is not published. On rare occasions, information from the pre-publication history may not be available for a specific article.
Closed peer review
Most journals operate a closed peer review process. Reviewers will be treated anonymously and the pre-publication history of each article will not be made available online.
Authors may suggest potential reviewers if they wish; however, whether or not to consider these reviewers is at the Editor's discretion. Authors should not suggest recent collaborators or colleagues who work in the same institution as themselves. Authors who wish to suggest peer reviewers can do so in the cover letter and should provide institutional email addresses where possible, or information which will help the Editor to verify the identity of the reviewer (for example an ORCID or Scopus ID).
Authors may request exclusion of individuals as peer reviewers, but they should explain the reasons in their cover letter on submission. Authors should not exclude too many individuals as this may hinder the peer review process. Please note that the Editor may choose to invite excluded peer reviewers.
Intentionally falsifying information, for example, suggesting reviewers with a false name or email address, will result in rejection of the manuscript and may lead to further investigation in line with our misconduct policy.
Portability of peer review
To support efficient and thorough peer review, we aim to reduce the number of times a manuscript is re-reviewed after rejection from a BBASR journal, thereby speeding up the publication process and reducing the burden on peer reviewers. If a manuscript does not reach the interest criteria of a given BBASR journal, but is sound and in scope for another BBASR journal, we offer authors the option to transfer the manuscript together with the reviewer reports to the other journal.
Editors may share manuscripts with Editors of other BBASR journals before contacting authors in order to assess suitability for transfer to another journal. Authors who do not wish their manuscript to be shared with other BBASR journals should indicate this in their cover letter on submission. Reviewers who do not wish us to share their report with another BBASR journal should indicate this in the confidential section of their report. Transfer of a manuscript does not imply that it will be automatically accepted by the receiving journal, and on some occasions the Editor of the receiving journal may need to conduct their own peer review and/or reject the manuscript if it is not suitable.
If a manuscript is transferred to, and published in, a journal with open peer review, we will, wherever possible, make the reviewers' reports available through the pre-publication history of the article (see ‘Open peer review’ above). On some occasions this will not be possible; for example, when the manuscript has been peer reviewed in a closed peer review journal first. Although we will ask reviewers to make their reports available, reviewers providing reports for closed peer review journals will sometimes prefer to maintain this confidentiality and their anonymity.
Where a manuscript was initially reviewed in an open peer review journal and is subsequently transferred to a closed peer review journal and published, the reviews will not be published alongside the article.
Between BBASR and other publishers/third parties
BBASR supports innovations in peer review which can improve efficiency and save peer reviewers’ time and effort. Some BBASR journals will consider manuscripts from other publishers, for example journals in the Neuroscience Peer Review Consortium and from journals in the eLife consortium. We are also willing to consider manuscripts which have been reviewed by third parties. However, submission of a manuscript with reviewer reports from another journal or an independent review service does not imply that it will be automatically accepted by the receiving journal and additional peer review may be required.
Editors will treat all manuscripts submitted to all BBASR journals in confidence. BBASR adheres to COPE’s Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Reviewers are therefore required to respect the confidentiality of the peer review process and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer-review process, beyond the information released by the journal. If reviewers wish to involve a colleague in the review process they should first obtain permission from the journal. The Editor should be informed of the names of any individuals who assisted in the review process when the report is returned.
BBASR will not share manuscripts with third parties outside of BBASR except in cases of suspected misconduct. See our Misconduct policy for further information. Manuscripts may be shared with other Editors at BBASR, unless authors indicate on submission that they do not wish for their manuscript to be passed on beyond the journal they submitted to. See portability of peer review for more information.
BBASR regularly undertakes research projects designed to help improve processes for authors, reviewers and editors, and how science is communicated in our journals. Participation in this research will not affect the editorial review of manuscripts, the consideration given to reviewer reports by Editors or the confidentiality of the submission and review process. Depending on the nature of the research project we may seek ethical approval and may need to contact you for consent to participate. Research may be undertaken retrospectively after the publication of manuscripts; in all cases details of manuscripts will be kept confidential.