IES maintains a rigorous, high standard of peer-review process, and single-blind assessment with at least two independent reviewers. The final decision of either accepting or rejecting the publication of a manuscript is given by the Editor-in-Chief, or an academic editor appointed by the Editor-in-Chief. The Editor-in-Chief is responsible for the quality of the publication process and outcomes, appointment of guest editors for special issues, and new editorial board members.
All new submissions are initially checked by the Managing Editor to ensure that manuscripts are suitable with the aims and scope of the journal and to filter visibly poorly written manuscripts.
Manuscripts that pass the initial check will be handed to an academic editor who will perform additional quality checking before assigning reviewers to review the manuscripts. In the case of regular submissions, the Editor-in-Chief serves as the editor; in the case of special issue submissions, the Guest Editor serves as the editor.
Most of IES’ journals practice single-blind reviewing process, which means reviewers know the identity of authors and not vice versa. Some journals adopt double-blind peer review.
The Editor-in-Chief appoints at least two reviewers to review each manuscript, and at least two review reports are collected to assist in making a decision on manuscripts. Reviewers may be our Editorial Board members, qualified reviewers from our database, or authors of related articles identified through web search.
All appointed reviewers must satisfy the following conditions:
- They have no conflict of interest to ensure the publication of manuscripts, including not having published together with any of the authors of the manuscript in the last five years.
- They have a PhD (exceptions are made in medical field).
- They must have good track record of publication in the field of the submitted manuscript.
Our Managing Editors will communicate on behalf of Academic Editors with reviewers and authors so that Academic Editors can focus on the technical content and quality of manuscripts. Academic Editors can check the status of a manuscript and identity of reviewers at any time. Only Academic Editors can approve a manuscript for publication.
Reviewers are given 14 days to review each manuscript and return their review report. Reviews of a revised manuscript should be returned within 7 days instead. Extension may be granted on a case-by-case basis.
IES offers the option to publish under open peer review, which means that authors have the option to choose to publish reviewers’ reports alongside the main manuscripts. The purpose of open peer-review publication is to enhance the transparency of the review process and to provide additional information for prospective readers. In all cases, IES encourages authors to choose the open peer-review option. Under this option, reviewers are given the option to declare their identity in the published reviewers’ report, or to remain anonymous and for the reports not to be published. The decision of reviewers is prioritized over the decision of authors in this open peer-review option.
Authors are encouraged to suggest three potential reviewers with relevant expertise to review their manuscript, of which such a process will be prompted in the IES submission system. The proposed referees should not be any of the co-authors, current collaborators, have published with any authors of the manuscript within the last five years, or a member of the same institution with any authors of the manuscript. You may identify appropriate editorial board members or authors from among the papers you frequently cited as potential reviewers. However, the IES editors reserve the right to not select any of the suggested referees if any conflict of interest is deemed possible.
Only an academic editor, i.e., Editor-in-Chief, a Guest Editor, or a suitable Editorial Board member, can make decisions on a manuscript, after ensuring that adequate and appropriate reviews and responses have been collected, and novel and high level of scientific work are presented in the manuscript.
Reviewers’ suggestions are normally accepted by academic editors. However, they are free to disagree but a valid justification should be presented to authors.
All suspicions of plagiarism are checked against the iThenticate software.
Editorial independence is paramount for IES and supporting staffs, including managing editors. They do not interfere with the independent editorial process upheld by academic editors. All manuscripts can only be published with the agreement of academic editors, without the influence of any staffs from IES.
IES staffs and editorial board members (including Editors-in-Chief and guest editors) are welcome to contribute their manuscripts in any of IES journals, but their manuscripts must be handled by independent editors, who will select at least two independent reviewers, to avoid conflict of interest.
During minor revisions, authors are usually requested to revise the manuscript before resubmissions. Manuscripts at this stage may undergo further reviews depending on the request of reviewers and academic editors involved. In the case of major revisions, authors are encouraged to ensure sufficient improvements have been made, and a limitation of only two rounds of major revisions are allowed.
IES carries out production on all manuscripts, including copyediting and conversion to XML.
IES adheres to the suggestions and standards given by COPE, especially its standard on Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing, in dealing with potential unethical behaviors demonstrated by authors, reviewers, and editors.
Substantiated allegations on ethical concerns, including validity of research, raised by readers are investigated by the editorial office following procedures recommended by COPE. Disputes of authorship, data ownership, and author misconduct may be referred to external organizations, such as the university ethics committee.
Publishing Standards and Guidelines
ICMJE: Medically related IES journals follow guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which covers all aspects of journal editing, peer review, and handling of complaints. The majority of ICMJE guidelines is generally applicable in other fields and journals, and is therefore followed by all IES journals.
The CONSORT statement and guidelines cover reporting of randomized, controlled trials. Authors are highly encouraged to verify their work against the CONSORT checklist and flow diagram and upload both documents during submission.
TOP provides comprehensive guidelines for ensuring transparency in research reporting. All IES journals aim to be at the top two levels of all aspects defined as transparent research reporting by TOP. Specific requirements vary between journals, and more stringent requirements may be requested by the editorial office.
PRISMA provides guidelines for systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Authors are highly recommended to compare their manuscripts against the checklist and flow diagram of PRISMA and upload both documents alongside their manuscript during submissions.
ARRIVE provides guidelines for reporting in vivo experiments. Authors are highly recommended to compare their manuscripts against the checklist of ARRIVE and upload it alongside their manuscript during submissions.
Compliance to one or more of the standards above is taken into consideration when academic editors make final decisions on all manuscripts. Authors are recommended to mention in their cover letter the relevant guidelines they referred to.