Papers submitted to Research in Learning Technology are subject to rigorous peer review so as to ensure that the research published is 'good science'.
All articles go through a preliminary review by the Editor-in-Chief. When articles are not felt to be appropriate for full peer review, authors are notified within approximately one week. Articles that are felt to be appropriate for full review are assigned to at least two peer reviewers. Where the Editor-in-Chief has not made the final decision, the Associate Editor who has been responsible for the review process is named on the published article.
Manuscripts are sent out for review electronically, and all correspondence takes place via e-mail. Research in Learning Technology adheres to a 'double blind' review process: Authors are not told who reviewed their paper, and reviewers are not told who wrote the paper. Peer reviewers are informed of the identity of the authors immediately after the manuscript is either accepted or rejected. The referees’ identity remains unknown to the authors although it is up to the referee if he/she wants to contact the author at a later stage and reveal his/her identity.
Peer reviewers are asked to give their opinion on a number of issues pertinent to the scientific and formal aspects of a paper, and to judge the papers on grounds of originality and urgency. All relevant information will be forwarded to the author(s).
Peer reviewers will have six possible options, for each article:
- Accept manuscript (i.e. no need for any revision)
- Accept after revision (i.e. accepted if the author makes the requested revisions)
- Revise and resubmit (i.e. accepted or rejected after revisions have been made - paper will be sent out for another peer review round)
- Submit elsewhere (i.e. if the manuscript is better suited for another journal)
- Reject manuscript (i.e. if the manuscript is substandard)
- See comments (i.e. if the reviewer cannot choose from any of the above)
When asking for revisions, reviewers have two possible goals: to ask authors to tighten their arguments based on existing data, or to identify areas where more data are needed. Even formal revision may be required if the language or formalities is sub-standard. To facilitate rapid publication, authors are given a maximum of 4 weeks for revision. After 2 months, revised manuscripts will be considered new submissions.
A typical peer review 'cycle' can look as the following:
- Authors submits paper
- Editor-in-chief does first review and assigns paper to the handling editor within 1-2 days, or rejects paper.
- The handling editor assigns at least 2 reviewers as soon as possible, but within one week.
- Reviewers have 3 weeks to review the paper.
- Editor informs author about the editorial decision as soon as reviews are complete (aim within a month after submission).
- Author resubmits within 4 weeks.
- Second round review if necessary.