Submitted manuscripts (except invited Debate contributions) are first assessed by the editors or guest editors, who desk reject submissions which do not fit the topic of the current special issue or do not meet the quality criteria of the journal. The remaining submissions are subject to double-blind peer review by at least two reviewers who are not based at the same institution as the authors, have not recently collaborated with the author and do not have other potential conflict of interest. In exceptional cases, one of the editors may serve as an additional reviewer, but she/he is then no longer included in the editorial decision process. The names of reviewers are not disclosed to the authors of the manuscript under review.
The reviewing process usually takes up to three months and includes the use of the plagiarism detection software PlagScan and other appropriate checks as required. The editors rely heavily on the judgments of the reviewers, although they are not bound by them and can summarise, restate, or elaborate the reviewers’ assessments in their recommendations to authors. The authors are informed of the board’s decision. In case of rejection or request for modifications, the authors receive an explanation or a specification of the modifications suggested by the reviewers and editors. Resubmissions should address comments provided by the reviewers and the editors. The editors may contact initial reviewers or contact new external reviewers to assess resubmissions if necessary.