Peer Review Process

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The following materials that are submitted to the "Computer Tools in Education" journal are subject to compulsory review:

  • full articles;
  • review papers;
  • short Communication Articles.

    Not subject to review are: 
  • letters;
  • editorial articles;
  • open reviews of articles or books;
  • announcements. 

1 Requirements for reviewers

The reviewer is obliged to get acquainted with this provision and the provision on publication ethics.

The editorial team warns the reviewer that, in connection with his activity, he can be accused of dishonest behavior.

1.1 Qualification requirements

Reviewers should be recognized specialists in the area of the materials under review, have a PhD degree (or equivalent foreign scientific degrees) and,  during the last 3 years, have publications on the subject of the article being reviewed.

1.2 Conflict of interest requirements

If the reviewer has a conflict of interest in connection with the proposed manuscript, he is obliged to notify the editor about it before he agrees to the review.

If suspicions of the existence of a conflict of interest arose in the reviewer in the process of working with the manuscript or circumstances are discovered that do not allow him to perform the review objectively and impartially, he should inform the editor about it.

In particular, conflict of interest for the reviewer is considered:

  • the participation in a competing or collaborative research with the authors of the publication;
  • the existence of joint publications with the authors for a period of 3 years;
  • working in a single scientific institution with the authors at present or having worked together in the last 3 years, and also the intention to start working in such an organization;
  • working in the same scientific group or over the same grant for the same time periods;
  • if one of the authors, in turn, acted as a reviewer for an article published by the reviewer in the last 3 years.

The existence of a conflict of interest may serve as a basis for the disqualification of a reviewer. In the event that the responsible editor considers the detected conflict as insignificant, he informs the editor-in-chief, the members of the editorial team, who participated in the selection of reviewers, and the authors of the manuscript (to the extent that this does not threaten the reviewer's confidentiality).

1.3 Privacy requirements

1.3.1 Confidentiality of participants

Рецензент имеет право раскрыть свою личность авторам, но только предварительно поставив в известность редакцию. В любом случае рецензент не имеет права напрямую контактировать с авторами без разрешения редакции журнала.

The editorial team takes all necessary steps to preserve the confidentiality of the reviewers.

To ensure the confidentiality of the reviewers, all correspondence between them up to the publication of the manuscript is carried out through the editor. In this case, the editor guarantees the preservation of anonymity.

The reviewer has the right to disclose his identity to the authors, but only after informing the responsible editor in advance. In any case, the reviewer has no right to directly contact the authors without permission by the editorial team of the journal.

1.3.2 Confidentiality of the manuscript

The reviewer is obliged to not transfer materials received for review and to not disclose their content to third parties, either during the review process or after its completion. An exception is allowed with the consent of the editor in cases where there are reasonable suspicions of violation of the publication ethics by the authors.

The use of materials submitted for review in the reviewer’s own scientific work (or in the work of third parties with his participation) before publication of the article is considered grossest violation of the publication ethics by the reviewer.

The reviewer is obliged to not disclose the content of the review.

1.4 Requirements regarding the fulfillment of undertaken commitments

The reviewer is obliged to accept the manuscript for review only if he is confident of his ability to review it within the agreed timeframe.

The reviewer is obliged to review the article again, even if the manuscript was reviewed by him for another journal.

If in the process of working with the manuscript, the reviewer finds out that changed circumstances do not allow him to complete the review within the agreed timeframe, he must immediately notify the responsible editor about it, and if the responsible editor does not refuse his services, indicate a new timeframe.

1.5 Obligations of the reviewer after completion of the review

After the review the reviewer is obliged to:

  • keep the contents of the manuscript and of the review secret;
  • contact the journal if newly discovered circumstances require changes in the content of the review or of the recommendation.

2 Reviewing procedure

2.1 Selection of reviewers and negotiations with them

2.1.1 Selection of reviewers

Each manuscript is reviewerd by at least two specialists.

The selection of specialists is carried out by the responsible editor with the involvement of other members of the editorial team and on the recommendation of those members of the editorial team whose scientific specialization is closest to the subject of the manuscript.

At least one of the reviewers involved is not a member of the editorial board or the editorial team of the journal.

A combination the duties of the responsible editor and the reviewer is not allowed.

The authors of the manuscript have the right to:

  • propose one or more specialists as reviewers;
  • indicate persons to whom the manuscript should not be given for review and the reasons why this should not be done.

The responsible editor takes into consideration such recommendations, but reserves the right not to follow them. 

2.1.2 Checks designed to avoid conflict of interest

For some groups of authors special review conditions are established:

  • articles whose authors are affiliated with the publishing organization are submitted for review to representatives of other organizations;
  • articles written by members of the editorial board or the editorial team are reviewed only by persons who are not members of the editorial board and the editorial team.

2.1.3 Consultations with the reviewer

To the potential reviewer is sent:

  • a letter requesting the review of the manuscript;
  • abstract of the manuscript.

If the reviewer expresses interest in further evaluation of the document, he should confirm in writing acquaintance with and consent to follow the provisions of the following documents:

  • Provisions on publication ethics of the “Computer Tools in Education” journal;
  • Provisions on the review of manuscripts on the journal "Computer Tools in Education".

A full text of the manuscript is sent to the reviewer, and after getting acquainted with it he either agrees to prepare a review or refuses to reviewer it. In case of agreement, the reviewer should propose a timeframe, necessary for him to prepare the review (it is recommended no more than 4 weeks).

The reviewer may recommend to the responsible editor to another person as a reviewer for the proposed manuscript (regardless of whether he himself agreed to review it or not).

2.1.4 Reviewering of individual parts of the manuscript

Quite common are cases when the reviewer does not consider himself competent enough to evaluate the entire manuscript, but sufficiently competent to evaluate individual parts.

The reviewer should inform the responsible editor about this and clearly identify the parts of the manuscript which he is competent to reviewer.

If the responsible editor does not succeed in obtaining the consent of new reviewers, this may be reason for rejecting the manuscript.

2.2 Work on the manuscript

The reviewer is obliged to not involve in the review process colleagues (including, to act as a mentor to a young colleague), without first obtaining the consent of the responsible editor. If the reviewer received (with the consent of the responsible editor) the assistance of others, then these persons and the nature of their contribution should be mentioned in the text of the review.

The reviewer may ask the authors:

  • texts of publications that are mentioned in the list of references (provided this does not conflict with copyright laws);
  • raw survey data or versions of images;
  • escription of software programs used or documentation for equipment used.

2.3 Submission of the review

The reviewer submits to the journal a review based on a template (downloaded from the site). Initially, the form corresponding to the template is filled out on the website of the electronic editor in the reviewer's personal area. The review is promptly received by the responsible editor and the author, which makes it possible to speed up the review process. Next, it is necessary to obtain a paper copy of the review and send it to the journal by mail. It is also possible to send a scanned version of the review with signature by e-mail, or signing of the electronic document in programs that provide such an opportunity (for example, Acrobat Reader).

Along with the review, the reviewer can send to the editor a letter with confidential comments.

3 Requirements for the content of the review

3.1 General recommendations

The reviewer should not allow himself degrading personal comments regarding the authors of the article and groundless accusations in the text of the review.

The reviewer should be specific in his criticisms, provide general statements, for example, "this work was published earlier", with references confirming their fairness in order to enable the editor to independently study the argument and be fair to the authors.

The reviewer should bear in mind the difficulties of the authors, when they write in a non-native language, take this into account when composing the review, which in any case should be written with due respect.

The reviewer should not leave unfair negative comments and unjustifiably criticize the work of competitors mentioned in the manuscript.

3.2 Form of the review

The reviewer should follow the instructions of the journal regarding the form and content of the review, provided there are no good reasons not to do so.

If the reviewer received permission by the responsible editor to evaluate only certain aspects of the work in question, this should be reflected in the introductory part of the review.

3.3 Content of the review

The review should contain comments by the reviewer on the following points:

3.3.1 Degree of originality of the article proposed for publication.

Does the article contain new data, methods or ideas. How is it ranked in the context of contemporary publications in the field under investigation.

3.3.2 Presence of errors

The task of the reviewer is to identify errors in the scientific content of the article. Error is understood to be an obviously incorrect or insufficiently grounded statement, which casts doubt on the results (or their interpretation) for the whole study or a significant part of it.

3.3.3 Presence in the article of signs of violations of publication ethics in terms of duplication of publications and plagiarism.

When the manuscript is submitted to the journal, the editorial team searches for incorrectly drawn up borrowings, including from previously published works of the authors and is responsible for the results of this work. The tasks of the reviewer include the identification only of such forms of violations of the publication ethics that require expert evaluation:

  • usage of other people's materials or ideas without direct textual borrowing (for example, retelling or translating text from another language);
  • duplication of publications.

3.3.4 Acquaintance of the author with actual publications on the research topic.

3.3.5 Practical significance of the research results.

3.3.6 Clarity of presentation, conformity to style requirements, completeness and quality of reference and illustrative material

3.3.7 Adequacy and relevance of research methods, including methods of statistical processing of results

3.3.8 Correctness of the conclusions

3.3.9 Interest for the reader

Is the manuscript interesting for readers, and if so, for which groups and in what can it consist, are these groups in the audience of the journal.

3.4 Recommendations for the editorial team

The reviewer should give one of the following recommendations:

  • the manuscript is recommended for publication without changes;
  • the manuscript is recommended for publication, it is necessary to make changes;
  • the manuscript requires substantial revision (re-review);
  • it is recommended to reject the manuscript.

3.5 Recommendations of the reviewer on improving the article

If the manuscript needs to be improved, the reviewer should offer his recommendations on how to improve it, regardless of whether he intends to recommend it for publication or not. The recommendations of the reviewer who gave a negative evaluation can help the authors prepare the manuscript for a new submission. Exception is cases where a negative review is caused by a violation of the publication ethics by the authors.

The reviewer should remember that the article is written by the authors and should not attempt to rewrite it in accordance with his own style, if the manuscript meets the basic requirements for correctness and clarity of presentation.

4 Storage of reviews and provision to third parties

4.1 Period of storage of reviews

The reviews are kept by the publishers for 5 years.

4.2 Providing review texts to persons not participating in the reviewing process

The reviews are not provided for inspection to third parties, except for the cases listed below.

4.2.1 Request from government authorities

Within 3 years after the writing of the reviews, copies of them may be submitted to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation or the Higher Attestation Commission upon receipt of a corresponding written request.

4.2.2 Investigation of violations of publication ethics

If a reviewer is being investigated for violations of publication ethics, copies of the reviews may be provided to the organizations with which the reviewer was affiliated at the time of writing.

If the Editor-in-Chief of "CTE" journal is the initiator of the investigation, he can provide the manuscript on its own initiative when contacting the organization with which the reviewer is affiliated.

If the initiator of the investigation is a third-party organization, the review may be provided only if there is a written, justifiable request. If the argumentation is found unsatisfactory, the Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to refuse to satisfy such a request.

If the Editor-in-Chief intends to provide copies of the reviews to third parties, it is obliged to inform the author of the review about it.