Training, Language and Culture is committed to ensuring a fair and productive peer review process to secure the integrity of the scholarly record. This journal uses double-blind review, which means that reviewers are unaware of the identity of the authors, and authors are also unaware of the identity of reviewers. The typical period of time allowed for reviews is 3 weeks.
Training, Language and Culture is committed to ensuring a fair and productive peer review process to secure the integrity of the scholarly record, and adheres to the policies promoted by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). The peer review process depends to a large extent on the trust and willing participation of the scholarly community and requires that everyone involved behaves responsibly and ethically. Peer reviewers play a central and critical part in the peer review process and have an obligation to conduct reviews in an ethical, objective and accountable manner.
Peer Review Definition and Purpose
Peer review, for the purposes of these guidelines, refers to reviews provided on manuscript submissions to Training, Language and Culture. The purpose of peer review is to assist the Editor in making editorial decisions, and through the editorial communications with the author it may also assist the author in improving the paper.
Type of Peer Review Used
This journal uses double-blind review, which means that reviewers are unaware of the identity of the authors, and authors are also unaware of the identity of reviewers. To facilitate this, authors need to ensure that their manuscripts are prepared in a way that does not give away their identity. In this vein, the authors need to ensure that they are submitting the manuscript with no author details both in the text and the document metadata (the Blinded Manuscript). Besides the obvious need to remove names and affiliations under the title within the manuscript, there are other steps that need to be taken to ensure the manuscript is correctly prepared for double-blind peer review. To assist with this process, the authors are required to:
- cite papers published by the author in the text as follows: (Author, 2007);
- make sure figures do not contain any affiliation related identifier;
- limit self-references only to papers that are relevant for those reviewing the submitted paper;
- remove references to funding sources;
- remove acknowledgments;
- remove any identifying information, including author names, from file names and ensure document properties are also anonymised.
Choice of Reviewers and Reviewer Requirements
The choice of reviewers is at the discretion of TLC Editors. The reviewers must be knowledgeable about the subject area of the manuscript, they must have no affiliation with the authors’ institution, and they should not have recent joint publications with any of the authors. Reviewers must not have conflict of interest with respect to the research, the authors and/or the funding sources for the research. If such conflicts exist, the reviewers are expected to report them to the Editor without delay. When approached to review, reviewers agree to review only if they have the necessary expertise to assess the manuscript and can be unbiased in their assessment. Reviewers are expected to identify clearly any gaps in their expertise when asked to review. Any selected reviewer who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should notify the Editor without delay.
Reviewers are expected to declare all potential competing, or conflicting, interests. Competing interests may be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political or religious in nature. If a reviewer is currently employed at the same institution as any of the authors or have been recent (e.g., within the past 3 years) mentors, mentees, close collaborators or joint grant holders, they should not agree to review. In addition, a prospective reviewer should not agree to review a manuscript just to gain sight of it with no intention of submitting a review, or agree to review a manuscript that is very similar to one they have in preparation or under consideration at another journal.
Suspicion of Ethics Violation
If a reviewer comes across any irregularities with respect to research and publication ethics, TLC Editors expect them to notify the journal (e.g. see COPE Case 02-11: Contacting research ethics committees with concerns over studies). For example, a reviewer may have concerns that misconduct occurred during either the research or the writing and submission of the manuscript, or they may notice substantial similarity between the manuscript and a concurrent submission to another journal or a published article. In the case of these or any other ethical concerns, reviewers need to contact the Editors directly at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org and not attempt to investigate on their own. It is appropriate to cooperate, in confidence, with the journal, but not to personally investigate further unless the journal asks for additional information or advice.
It is courteous to respond to an invitation to peer review within a reasonable timeframe, even in cases when the review cannot be undertaken. If a prospective reviewer feels qualified to judge a particular manuscript, they should agree to review only if they are able to return a review within the proposed or mutually agreed time-frame. Reviewers are expected to inform the journal promptly if their circumstances change and they cannot fulfil their original agreement or if they require an extension. In case the approached reviewer is unable to undertake the task, it is helpful to make suggestions for alternative reviewers if relevant, based on their expertise and without any influence of personal considerations or any intention of the manuscript receiving a specific outcome (either positive or negative). The typical period of time allowed for reviews is 3 weeks (can be modified during the editorial process).
Preparing a Report
Reviewers are expected to follow journals’ instructions for writing and posting the review. Training, Language and Culture uses a particular format for their reviews that includes both yes/no questions and an extended commentary rubric (in free form). Reviewers must be objective and constructive in their review, providing feedback that will help the authors to improve their manuscript. To help Editors in their evaluation, reviewers need to be specific in their critique, provide supporting evidence with appropriate references to substantiate general statements, be professional and refrain from being hostile or inflammatory and from making libellous or derogatory personal comments or unfounded accusations (e.g. see COPE Case 08-13: Personal remarks within a post-publication literature forum).
TLC Editors require a fair, honest, and unbiased assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript. It is the job of the peer reviewer to comment on the quality and rigour of the work they receive. If the work is not clear because of missing analyses, the reviewer should comment and explain what additional analyses would clarify the work submitted. It is not the job of the reviewer to extend the work beyond its current scope. Reviewers need to be clear which (if any) suggested additional investigations are essential to support claims made in the manuscript under consideration and which will just strengthen or extend the work.
Authors submit manuscripts to Training, Language and Culture via the online submission system. Initial screening of submitted manuscripts is conducted by TLC Editors, who decide whether the manuscript conforms to the journal Aims and Scope and can be referred further for review. Manuscripts that are not suitable for publication in the journal are rejected with a rejection letter sent to the authors stating the reason for rejection. If the manuscript conforms to the Aims and Scope of the journal and formally abides by TLC requirements, it shall be sent out for review. Depending on the type of paper, it could be accepted for publication immediately (invited editorial, book review, etc.).
Based on the reviewers’ comments, Editors make a decision to (a) accept without further revision; (b) consider for publication upon revision; (c) reject.
If reviewers recommend that the manuscript should be accepted for publication without further revision, an acceptance letter is sent to the authors, and the final manuscript is forwarded to production. If reviewers recommend that the manuscript should be considered for publication upon revision, authors are requested to revise in accordance with reviewers’ comments and resubmit the updated version of their manuscript for further evaluation. If reviewers recommend that the manuscript should be rejected, a rejection letter is sent to the authors stating the reason for rejection.
All reviewers assigned to the same manuscript act independently and are not aware of each other’s identities. If the decisions of the two reviewers are not the same (accept/reject), the Editors may assign additional reviewers or make the decision themselves.
Editorial team of Training, Language and Culture shall ensure reasonable quality control for the reviews. With respect to reviewers whose reviews are convincingly questioned by the authors, special attention will be paid to ensure that the reviews are objective and high in academic standard. When there is any doubt with regard to the objectivity of the reviews or quality of the review, additional reviewers will be assigned.
Applying to TLC Peer Review Panel
Authors who have benefited from the peer review process should consider becoming peer reviewers as a part of their professional responsibilities. Training, Language and Culture requires a semi-formal process of appointment to the review panel, meaning that anyone interested in becoming a reviewer for Training, Language and Culture can do so by sending a request in free form to email@example.com. Aspiring reviewers need to include in their request the general information about their professional background, affiliation, the scope of their expertise, their recent and/or most notable publications, as well as any personal and professional information that is accurate and a fair representation of their expertise, including verifiable and accurate contact information. It is important to recognise that impersonation of another individual during the review process is considered serious misconduct (e.g. see COPE Case 12-12: Compromised peer review in published papers).
TLC Submission Guidelines
Before you proceed to submit your paper, please make sure it meets our requirements