It has happened in a very few selected cases with us. However, it must be added here that a journal is only as good as its Editorial Team and Reviewers who remain an asset for the journal. The Editor also has a role in resolving disputes if any between reviewers and authors. The authors can also appeal to the Journal Ombudsman against the decision of the Editor or redress of their grievances’ if any against the journal.
Reward for the Reviewers: We do not have enough resources to offer any honorarium to the reviewers or reward them financially. However, we do offer 50% discount to our reviewers in publication charges if they submit their manuscripts for publication. They are also offered 50% discount in fast track processing or at times the processing fee is waived off. In some cases some of their manuscripts may be published complimentary.
In every issue, we do have quite a few such manuscripts wherein the authors have been offered some discount or waivers and decision is taken on case to case basis depending on the financial viability. We try to keep contact with our reviewers, meeting some of them within the country personally thanking them for their patronage, help and assistance in this academic activity and those overseas are sent e mails expressing our thanks. This we feel is extremely important to maintain some emotional touch instead of leaving everything to automation offered by these manuscript management software’s which certainly lack emotions. In some exceptional cases some of the reviewers have also been invited to join the Editorial Board which is a very small token of appreciation and recognition of their work.
Improvement of English language and Grammar: About 25-30% of the manuscripts which are accepted for further processing does need improvement of English language and Grammar as well. As we follow an author friendly policy, we do request our reviewers and sometimes our editorial team will do this job. The idea is not to discourage people but encourage the authors as far as possible and if they can be helped, we try to do that. However, in some cases the manuscripts need extensive revision and rewriting for which the editorial team certainly has no time; they are returned to the authors with suggestions.
About 75% of the manuscripts accepted for further processing and external review (out of 30% of the overall new submissions) do get accepted after minor changes and corrections which are done by the Reviewers or by the editorial team but another 15% are accepted after one or more than one revisions. The remaining 10% eventually get rejected after peer review and even revision. This is not liked by authors and it is not uncommon to receive some uncharitable comments and even at times threatening e mails and the poor Editor has to live with all this.
Final Editing: Once the revised manuscripts or those recommended for acceptance by the reviewers are received, they go through the final editing process. Even at this stage, one may come across serious flaws and problems. As the quality of reviewers varies some being excellent, some good and some not so good, the overall responsibility for the quality of manuscripts accepted for publication lies with the Editor, hence one has to be extremely careful. During editing, one may come across that the reviewer did not check some of the figures carefully, there is difference in total in tables, and some of the references marked in the text do not tally with the references in the list at the end. Many of the small journals do not have the luxury of having separate copy editors and even this job has to be performed by the editor.
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