REVIEW PROCESS & SUBMISSION
The Iraqi Journal of Architecture and Planning (IQJAP) only selects the most knowledgeable in their fields to review the articles submitted for publication. The selection of a reviewer is based on several factors, the most important of which are the reviewer's availability and specialization alignment with that of the article under review.
This journal uses a Double-blind reviewing process, meaning that author name(s) and reviewer name(s) are concealed from each other throughout the review. Author and reviewer anonymity prevents bias, for example, based on an author's country of origin or previous controversial work. Additionally, articles written by prestigious or renowned authors are considered based on the content of their papers rather than their reputation. Generally, manuscripts are evaluated because they present new insight into the investigated topic and are likely to contribute to a research progress or a change in practice.
Please follow the following steps for a successful review:
I) STEP 1: THE REVIEW REQUEST
As a reviewer at IQJAP, you must familiarize yourself with the process and general guidelines for publishing at IQJAP by reading the Authors Guide and Reviewers Guide (this guide). Generally, you will receive Reviewing Request Email from the IQJAP editorial office asking you to review a specific article. A copy of the report under review (without authors' names) and the Article Evaluation Form will be attached to the email. If any files are missing or corrupted, please report them to the editorial office immediately.
It would be best if you tried to respond to the Reviewing Request by replying to the email as soon as possible (generally 48 hours) to avoid delaying the publication process. You should accept the reviewing Request only if:
1) The manuscript sent matches your expertise
If you receive a manuscript that covers a topic that does not sufficiently match your area of expertise, please notify the editorial office as soon as possible. Also, please feel free to recommend an alternative reviewer; it will be appreciated.
2) Have enough time to review the manuscript
Generally, finished reviews of an article should be completed within two weeks. If you do not think you can complete the assessment within this time frame, please let the editorial office know and, if possible, suggest an alternative reviewer. For your review to be efficient, allocating at least three uninterrupted hours per week to read the article, evaluate it, and provide constructive Feedback is wise.
If you have agreed to review a paper but can no longer finish the work before the deadline, please get in touch with the editor as soon as possible. You can submit a reviewing extension request to the editorial office with reasons for the extension (need more time to finish the evaluation, require further data from the author, or have unexpected circumstances).
3) There is no potential conflict of interests
While conflicts of interest will not disqualify you from reviewing the manuscript, disclosing all conflicts of interest to the editors before reviewing is important. If you have any questions about potential conflicts of interest, please do not hesitate to contact the receiving editorial office.
If you feel you are not qualified/best suited to review an article, please decline the reviewing request as soon as possible while providing reasons for your decline. This information will improve the reviewing process's speed and efficiency and update our database.
II) STEP 2: THE REVIEW
The deadline for reviewing any article and sending the final evaluation form is usually two weeks after receiving the reviewing request approval. However, reviewers can submit their final evaluation forms earlier if they feel there is nothing more to add and are certain of their decision. Before you start reviewing the article, you should know that IQJAP seeks to publish experimental and theoretical research results of outstanding significance in original research articles, review articles, conference papers, and perspective/commentary articles. Although it is the authors' responsibility to define his/her/their article as the appropriate type and comply with the corresponding general criteria described below, reviewers should carefully check and confirm that the right article type was chosen for the manuscript under review. (For more details, please check the Authors' Guide – Article Types)
Despite the article type, there are general criteria for evaluating the manuscript. Generally, reviewers are required to judge the manuscript validity to be considered for publication at IQJAP based on the requirements:
1) Article alignment with journal aims and scope
Is the article in line with the aims and scope of the journal? For example, does it satisfy the general criteria for the specific field of research selected by the author(s)?
2) Content Quality and Originality,
Is the article sufficiently novel and interesting to warrant publication? Does it add to the canon of knowledge? Does the article adhere to the journal's standards? Is the research question an important one? To determine its originality and appropriateness for the journal, it might be helpful to consider the research in terms of what percentile it is in. Is it in the top 25% of papers in this field? You might wish to do a quick literature search using tools such as Scopus to see if there are any reviews of the area. If the research has been covered previously, pass on references to those works to the editor.
3) Organization and Clarity
Title: Does it clearly describe the article?
Abstract: Does it reflect the content of the article? Is it the right length?
Introduction: Does it accurately describe what the author hoped to achieve and clearly state the problem being investigated? Normally, the introduction should summarize relevant research to provide context and explain what other authors' findings are being challenged or extended. In addition, it should describe the experiment, the hypothesis(es) and the general experimental design or method.
Method: If the data used were primary, Does the author accurately explain how the data was collected? Is the design suitable for answering the question posed? Is there sufficient information present for you to replicate the research? Does the article identify the procedures followed? Are these ordered in a meaningful way? If the methods are new, are they explained in detail? Was the sampling appropriate? Have the equipment and materials been adequately described? Does the article clarify what type of data was recorded; has the author been precise in describing measurements?
Results: This is where the author/s should explain what they discovered in the research. It should be laid out and in a logical sequence. You will need to consider if the appropriate analysis has been conducted. Are the statistics correct? If you are uncomfortable with statistics, please advise the editor when you submit your report. Interpretation of results should not be included in this section.
Conclusion/Discussion: Do the results support the claims in this section? Do they seem reasonable? Have the authors indicated how the results relate to expectations and earlier research? Does the article support or contradict previous theories? Does the conclusion explain how the research has moved scientific knowledge forward?
Tables, Figures, Images: Are they appropriate? Do they properly show the data? Are they easy to interpret and understand?
4) Article and author(s) compliance to Research Ethics
Although IQJAP continuously improves its system to identify ethical issues such as plagiarism, such methods are not always successful. The existence/clarity of the different precautions taken by the author to limit the ethical problems and comply with the research ethics could be one of the criteria for evaluation and areas for further improvement. However, this is a very sensitive subject. One of the reviewer's obligations is to inquire about other details from the author(s) via the editorial office about any part of the article to identify potential ethical issues if they suspect anything. This includes any supplementary data not included in the manuscript, such as raw/primary data, sampling… etc. Reviewers can check for any ethical issues, such as:
Plagiarism: If you suspect an article is a substantial copy or translation of another work, please inform the editorial office. Please cite the previous work and provide as much detail as possible.
Fraud: It is very difficult to detect the determined fraudster, but if you suspect the results in an article to be untrue, discuss it with the editorial office.
Other ethical concerns: Has the confidentiality of the sample participants been maintained? Has there been a violation of the accepted norms? If so, then these should also be identified to the editorial office.
III) STEP 3: FINAL COMMENTS, EVALUATION AND RECOMMENDATION
After finishing the review and regardless of the final recommendation, reviewers must reply to the Reviewing Request email with the filled Article Evaluation Form attached. The Feedback should adhere to the IQJAP standards and be numbered according to article page numbers. Generally, you will have four options to choose from as your final evaluation decision:
1) Accepting the Article - No revisions are required
In this case, the article is of excellent quality and could be important in advancing academic knowledge. Moreover, the article adheres to IQJAP aims, scope and standards and has no issues or areas for further improvement.
2) Accepting the Article - Revisions required - No need for re-evaluation.
In this case, the article is very good quality and could be important in advancing academic knowledge. The paper mostly adheres to IQJAP aims, scope and standards. However, minor revisions and improvements are required before publishing.
3) Accepting the Article - Revisions required - Further evaluation is needed.
In this case, the article is of good quality and could be important in advancing academic knowledge. However, the paper needs further improvements to be aligned with IQJAP's aims, scope and standards. These improvements are critical for the report to be published. Thus it should be returned to you after revision to re-evaluate. Please keep in mind that you can accept or reject after re-evaluation. You can also get the article while requiring further modifications with/without re-evaluation a second time.
4) Rejecting the Article.
In this case, the article is poor quality or lakes the requirements for advancing academic knowledge. Alternatively, the report does not adhere to IQJAP aims, scope and standards and has multiple issues that could not be accepted for publication in its current state.
Your recommendation regarding an article will be strongly considered when the editors make the final decision, and your thorough, honest Feedback will be much appreciated. Please remember when writing comments to indicate the section intended for only the editors and the selection of words that can be returned to the author(s). Finally, please never hesitate to contact the receiving editorial office with any questions or concerns.