EDITORIAL POLICY

Journal Policies, Author Guide, and Peer-Review Guide

- for further details please refer to the JSFP main website.

Who Can Submit?

Anyone may submit an original article to be considered for publication in Journal of Solution Focused Practices provided he or she owns the copyright to the work being submitted or is authorized by the copyright owner or owners to submit the article. Authors are the initial owners of the copyrights to their works (an exception in the non-academic world to this might exist if the authors have, as a condition of employment, agreed to transfer copyright to their employer).

General Submission Rules

Submitted articles cannot have been previously published, nor be forthcoming in an archival journal or book (print or electronic) in English. Articles published in non-English languages may be submitted for review with JSFP provided copyright permission is obtained from the original copyright holder. Please note: "publication" in a working-paper series does not constitute prior publication. In addition, by submitting material to Journal of Solution Focused Practices, the author is stipulating that the material is not currently under review at another journal (electronic or print) and that he or she will not submit the material to another journal (electronic or print) until the completion of the editorial decision process at Journal of Solution Focused Practices. If you have concerns about the submission terms for Journal of Solution Focused Practices, please contact the editors.

Formatting Requirements

Journal of Solution Focused Practices has no general rules about the formatting of articles upon initial submission. There are, however, rules governing the formatting of the final submission. See Final Manuscript Preparation Guidelines for details. Although bepress can provide limited technical support, it is ultimately the responsibility of the author to produce an electronic version of the article as a Microsoft Word file. .

Open Access

Journal of Solution Focused Practices is an Open Access publication; all articles are freely available online immediately upon publication. With few exceptions, articles are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License, where readers may reuse the materials with proper citation to the original.

The Journal of Solution Focused Practices does not charge submission or any other form of author fees.

Publication Agreement

Copyright is retained by the author(s). Where an author is prevented from being the copyright holder (i.e., U.S. government employees), the copyright line and license statement in individual articles will be adjusted. Please contact the editors during or immediately after submission of your paper.

General Terms and Conditions of Use

Users of the Digital Scholarship@UNLV website and/or software agree not to misuse the Digital Scholarship@UNLV service or software in any way.

The failure of Digital Scholarship@UNLV to exercise or enforce any right or provision in the policies or the Submission Agreement does not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any term of the Submission Agreement or these policies is found to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties' intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of the Submission Agreement and these policies remain in full force and effect. These policies and the Submission Agreement constitute the entire agreement between Digital Scholarship@UNLV and the Author(s) regarding submission of the Article.

Guide for Peer Review

The peer review system is the cornerstone of academic research. In general, manuscripts cannot (and should not) be published in journals until they have been verified by other experts in the field. Peer reviewers offer a valuable service––they strengthen papers by checking them for mistakes, anticipating potential problems or gaps in the research, and offering suggestions for how the manuscript can be improved, then ultimately decide whether the manuscript is ready for publication or not. Peer reviewers ensure the quality of the research being published, benefiting the greater community and all those who depend on it.

Reviewers are not usually paid for their services. The role of reviewer is carried out as a service to the research and academic community, and can be seen as something of a quid pro quo - reviewers will usually also be writing articles which themselves will be reviewed by others.  Being a reviewer carries with it a status within the community, even if it is not usually explicitly recognised.  

Articles for review are submitted to the editor, either by email or perhaps in future via an online submission system.  Articles should not be under review with another journal when they are submitted.  If the article was originally published in another language, copyright permission must be granted to republish manuscripts in English.  

JSFP operates a double blind review system; the authors of the papers are not known by the reviewers, whose identity is also hidden from the authors.  This arrangement is traditional and is intended to allow everyone to focus on the quality of the work rather than the identity of the authors.  We may be experimenting with different systems including buddy-pair reviewing (where the reviewers work together).   

JSFP currently has three different review forms (i.e. research, personal history, and theory). The type of review form given to you as reviewer should fit the type of manuscript being reviewed.  Please do not state your recommendation about publication in your comments to the author (e.g. accept, reject). The author(s) will benefit from all of your feedback, and the Editor’s response will be more useful if linked directly to the content of the reviews.

Responding to a review request 

Requests for review will come from the editor(s), usually with a request to review a paper or article by a certain date (often about a month away).  You don’t have to accept - we all understand that people are busy and will have many other commitments.  However, it’s good to be playing a role in the community and being asked to do a review is an acknowledgement that you are recognised as having relevant experience so please accept the review if you can.  

In accepting, you are committing to carry out the review by the due date.  If things change (as we all know they can) and this is no longer possible, please inform the editor immediately and either offer a new date or (in the last resort) decline. If you know someone else who may be able to do the review, please let the editor know. 

If you have reviewed this manuscript for another journal previously, let the Editor know immediately and we will select an alternative reviewer.

Carrying out the review

The purpose of peer review is to confirm that the work described is of high-enough quality and addresses issues relevant to the field.  This will take some time - some experienced reviewers suggest allowing at least two hours for the process. Remember that the author(s) will have taken much more time than this in doing the work and writing the paper, so please honor their work and effort.  

It’s sometimes the case that you are given a paper which you feel less confident about reviewing; maybe the methodology is not one you are familiar or confident with or the context is very different to yours and you cannot judge the quality.  Please contact the editor and discuss this with them rather than continue.  It does not mean you cannot do the review as the other reviewer may have the expertise and experience you lack.  You might be directed to focus on other aspects or the editor will allocate it to another reviewer.  Please review the aspects of the article (topic, research method, etc) which you are comfortable to review and note this in the ‘confidential comments to the editor’ section. 

As an interdisciplinary and international journal of solution focused practices, JSFP is welcoming of various types of manuscripts. These range from personal accounts (e.g. experiences with Steve and Insoo), empirical research, theoretical ideas, applications of solution focused conversations to various settings, etc.  Please review each paper on its own basis and merits (e.g. there is no point insisting on statistical data in a personal account). 

Some basic questions to ask yourself might be: 

Is the aim/purpose of the paper clear?  (If not, it should be clarified) 

What is the author saying that is new or different?  (If nothing, why are they writing?) 

Is the content accurate and current?  If the author is using older ideas, are they at least acknowledging that?  

Does the paper have a sound logical structure? (It’s usually best if it does, but there are occasionally good reasons for taking a different approach) 

Has the author rooted their work in the literature of the field?  (They should usually make some references to previous work on which they are building.) 

Are the references presented clearly and in accordance with the journal’s standards? (JSFP uses APA formatting) 

What is the methodology used? (It may be a classic data-driven study, a case study, a theoretical development or something else - each of which has their own ways to be rigorous) 

Is the author clear about what they have done (in terms that someone else could in principle repeat or reprise, if they were so minded)? 

Are the conclusions drawn by the author justified based on the work presented? (If there are possible alternative conclusions these should at least be acknowledged. If the conclusions are tentative, does the author acknowledge this and indicate possible future work to consolidate?) 

Peer reviewers do not necessarily need to focus on typos, spelling and detailed style, which will be covered by the editors and typesetters.  If the style is interfering with the author’s message this should be noted, so that the editors can work with the authors to improve it.  JSFP is committed to working with authors to bringing their work to the point where it can be published.  

Some reviewers like to read the paper through first without coming to too many conclusions, to get a sense of what it’s about, the scope and conclusions.  Then they go back and go through it in detail, making notes.  It is usually good practice to make notes on the journal’s review form rather than annotate the original Word document, to help keep things together (though annotating the document may be a first step). 

Review Ethics

Reviewing an article puts you in a position of power.  The JSFP is committed to being a journal relevant to a global audience, sharing knowledge and practice across highly diverse contexts. We also recognise that there are historical problems with the academic peer review system as part of a western-European tradition that favors certain forms of knowledge production and expression.  We expect reviewers to recognise the context and knowledge system of the author, which may differ from their own and to make their judgements, comments and recommendations with that in mind. 

Writing the review

Remember that your comments will be going directly to the author(s).  (There is a separate section for comments to the editor - see below.)  You are encouraged to make detailed comments in the document itself as well as writing a summary on the review form.  If you do make comments in Word, remember to anonymize your comments.  Exactly how to do this depends on the version of Word you are using. In the most recent version it can be achieved by doing the following: 

In Word, go to File, open the menu and click Info 

Click on Check for Issues

Click on Inspect Document (opens a window with various items)

Save the document as requested

The Inspect Document window opens.  Click on Inspect at the bottom 

After a few seconds, the box reappears with various issues flagged up.  Go to Document Properties and Personal Information (second item down) and click on Remove All

Now save the document again (perhaps with a new name), go back and check that your name in the comments has been replaced by ‘Author’ 

What to include in the review

First acknowledge what is good, helpful, worthy and interesting about the work being described. This is of course good SF practice (and can get lost sometimes).  

The point of the review is to help the author(s) bring their work to publishable standard, and to improve it.  So it is often helpful to think in terms of ‘what do the authors need to do’ rather than simply ‘this is not good enough’, or even ‘I wouldn’t have done it like this’.  For example, if the authors have overlooked (or forgotten) some key aspect relevant to their work it may be helpful to suggest that they at least acknowledge it, rather than to demand that they rewrite the paper in the way you might have done.  Aim to be specific; refer to specific paragraphs and be as detailed as possible about what would improve the work and the presentation.  

We wish to assist authors to refine their ideas whether or not the manuscript is accepted for publication. Therefore we appreciate your attention to all aspects of the manuscript. In addition, if you number your comments the editorial staff and authors can respond to each area of concern directly and clearly. When providing feedback in the form of citation information or other resources, provide the authors with complete information so they can find the material and use it to improve their manuscript.

In the ‘private comments to the editor’ section you can add things which will not be seen by the author. This might be a more frank response to the paper, any comments for the editor about what to look for in future papers, and any potential conflicts of interest that appear to be relevant.  You may also want to use this section to comment on things like quality of writing.  Remember, we want to support papers with ‘good ideas’ even if the writing is initially below par.  This section does not have to be completed, and some reviewers prefer that all their comments are seen by the author. 

For JSFP the final recommendation option for the reviewer are: 

Accept

Reject

Revise and resubmit 

‘Accept’ can be seen as ‘accept subject to minor changes, typo corrections, reference sorting etc’.  

‘Reject’ should be quite a rare recommendation, particularly when we are looking to encourage authors to write. This means that even with substantial revisions, the work is not acceptable. It may also be best to reject if the subject matter or potential audience does not fit with the journal.  Talk to the editor if you are considering this.  

‘Revise and resubmit’ is quite a frequent outcome, and should be seen by the author as encouragement to keep going and improve their work and writing.  It helps if the reviewer is broadly encouraging and presents a balanced view, with reasons and details for their findings.   

Remember that the author gets to decide how to respond and can discuss their response with the editor.  You may sometimes be asked to re-review the work.  The editor’s decision about whether and how to publish is, of course, final.  

Submitting the review

Completed reviews and scoresheets can be submitted through the UNLV BePress Website. Please maintain the confidentiality of the manuscript and destroy it when the review is complete.

If the manuscript was submitted using the online feature on the journal website, it will come to you via this system.  Please use the system to send in your review.  


Send all editorial enquiries to: sarasmockjordan@gmail.com