The Review Process

Our editorial team ensures a high quality, rigorous, and efficient peer-review process for all manuscripts submitted to Cad_Lin. Editors and reviewers are experts in the subject of the manuscript with necessary expertise to evaluate the research by having established a sufficient research work or publication record on the same or related research area. Review reports are verified to ensure they provide a constructive assessment of the manuscripts' validity and quality to the authors.

Cad_Lin operates open peer review for full transparency about decision-making and in order to mitigate issues that contribute to editorial bias, and to enable reviewers to collect their contributions as part of their academic record. Reviewers are named and they are asked for agreement when posting their comments on the reviewing form.

Accepted manuscripts will be published with their signed review reports along with a response from the authors if they choose to produce one; these reports will be assigned an individual DOI. Reviewers retain copyright of the public review and consent to CadLin publishing the public review using a Public Domain Dedication, which allows the review to be freely reused by anyone for any purpose.

Open peer review does not mean that reviewers should contact authors directly, or that authors should contact reviewers.

Cad_Lin values the public discourse that is occurring around preprints prior to journal submission. To facilitate the use of this information in our peer-review process, we make our editors and reviewers aware of relevant commentary to factor into their assessment as they deem appropriate.

Reviews are usually structured as follows:

    1. An evaluation summary (in two or three sentences) that captures the major conclusions of the review in a concise manner accessible to a wide audience.
    2. public review that details the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript, and discusses whether the authors’ claims and conclusions are justified by their data.
    3. If required, a set of recommendations for the authors that outline how the science and its presentation could be strengthened. 

Review Decision and Subsequent Steps

The journal staff and in-house editorial team perform an initial quality check to identify potential issues, such as competing interests, compliance with editorial policies, formatting requirements and ethical standards. Submissions may be rejected or returned to authors for changes or clarifications at this stage.

If a manuscript is sent for peer review, the handling editor is accountable for inviting and overseeing expert reviewers. Article require at least two reviewers to complete a review. These reviewers are recruited among experts in the field. Editors and reviewers have no relationship to the authors and/or research that would affect the objectivity of the peer-review process. The reviewers are asked to submit an independent review within two weeks after accepting the assignment.

It is the prerogative of a handling editor to manage the reviewer recommendations of a manuscript. When the reviewers make their recommendation – to reject, revise, or accept the manuscript – the handling editor must validate this decision.

If the handling editor disagrees with the final recommendation of a reviewer, whether it is to reject or accept the manuscript, it is the handling editor who is afforded the right to seek further expert feedback and invite an additional reviewer(s).

The time to render a first decision averages about 4 weeks, but times vary depending on how long it takes for the editor to receive and assess reviews.

Decisions are communicated to the corresponding author in a formal letter, along with reviewer feedback and any other requirements from the journal office.

The journal's chief editors retain the right after a decision has been made by the handling editor to request further manuscript revisions, additional expert evaluation, and to overrule either acceptance or rejection. This decisional power is part of Cad_Lin's editorial policies, which all authors agree to before manuscript submission. All submissions to Cad_Lin are subject to the same processes and editorial policies.

Editorial Decision - Revisions

If the editor feels that the manuscript has the potential to be published, but requires changes, the authors will be invited to revise it. The authors will have 15 days to resubmit the revised manuscript. If the authors decide to proceed with a revision, we will post each review alongside the preprint. Authors are requested to send a cover letter responding to all reviewer reports and summarizing what changes have been made to the manuscript. Revised manuscripts should be posted both as a new preprint version and at Cad_Lin's system.

In most cases, the revised manuscript is re-assigned to the original reviewers. The editor may make a new decision based on their own assessment of the revised manuscript and your response to reviewers, or request additional input from external peer reviewers.

Editorial Decision – Accept

If the reviewers endorse the publication of the manuscript in its current form, they must finalize their review reports.

The handling editor can then either accept the final version of the manuscript or request further changes as necessary, typically within a few days.

Acceptance by the handling editor moves the article into the final validation phase, during which the editorial team performs final technical and quality checks, including whether the review was performed adequately. Should the manuscript fail the final checks, it can either be put back into review to address the identified issue(s) or else the provisional acceptance decision can be overridden and the manuscript will be rejected at this stage without publication.

Editorial Decision – Decline

If the reviewers decide that the paper is not appropriate for Cad_Lin, the handling editor drafts a decision letter that explains the reasons for rejection: this letter will also include the public reviews and detailed feedback from each reviewer. We hope and expect that many authors whose papers are rejected will nonetheless find the reviews constructive and suitable for posting alongside their preprint.

However, we realize that some authors may be reluctant to participate in a system that they fear might compromise their ability to get their work published if it is not accepted by Cad_Lin. We will therefore give authors the option to delay posting our reviews until their paper has been accepted for publication in another journal. Because all reviews will ultimately be publicly posted, we hope that most authors will be motivated to address the concerns raised during Cad_Lin's review process before it is published.

Implicit Bias

Implicit bias (unconscious associations that affect our actions) has repeatedly been shown to influence decisions in scholarly publishing, especially with respect to author gender, career stage, nationality and other social groupings. To help increase awareness of what implicit bias is and how it might affect the Cad_Lin's review process we encourage editors and reviewers to consult resources such as Project Implicit and Outsmarting Human Minds.

Involvement of Early-Career Researchers in Peer Review

Cad_Lin encourages editors to nominate and involve early-career researchers in the review process. This is an excellent opportunity to provide outstanding early-stage researchers the opportunity to peer review manuscripts.

To be eligible, researchers have to be either a doctoral or a postdoctoral researcher with at least two publications in an area of research within the scope of the paper to be reviewed.

Cad_Lin also encourages reviewers to involve early-career colleagues as co-reviewers. A co-reviewer is a researcher, often more junior in their career, or a technician who evaluates an article alongside a more senior (invited) reviewer. It is a valuable learning experience that we are pleased to support when used properly. The senior reviewer can only have one adequately competent co-reviewer. Besides, co-reviewing is an excellent way to mentor new reviewers. An invited reviewer can co-review a manuscript with a co-reviewer, as long as they tell the journal when they agree to review. For more information about co-review, please revise our Co-Review Policy.

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