1. On receipt of a paper, the editorial team decides whether it is likely to be accepted for publication. Admittedly, and regrettably, this is a subjective judgment call. If deemed unlikely to be accepted, the paper will be returned to the author(s) so they may quickly pursue publication elsewhere. Otherwise, the editor will proceed.
2. For peer review, the editorial team gets up to three referees to review the paper. If the paper proves too difficult to get reviewed (e.g., ten or more people decline to serve as referees), the paper will be returned to the author(s) so they may quickly pursue publication elsewhere.
3. Each referee will vote on whether a paper should be published. “No” means the paper would require substantial changes to be publishable. “Yes” means the paper should be published in its current form or pending small changes.
For a “no” or “yes” vote to count, the referee must reasonably explain why they voted that way.
For a “yes” vote to count, the referee must specify what small changes, if any, are necessary for that vote to hold (i.e., not be changed to “no”).
4. On receipt of two “no” or “yes” votes, the editorial team will proceed to the publication decision (though see the first caveat, below). If there are two “no” votes, the paper will not be accepted for publication. If there are two “yes” votes, it will be accepted for publication, pending small changes required by reviewers. There are three caveats:
If two “no” or “yes” votes are received before the third review is received, that referee will be asked to bow-out or, preferably, submit their review within one week.
The editorial team reserves the right to veto majority votes, though this power will be used sparingly, if ever.
The author(s) of an unaccepted paper may submit a substantially revised version, on one occasion, to restart the review process.
5. Reviews are published on CrimRxiv, which is criminology’s open archive. Each review is given a unique DOI. For the sake of transparency and credit, referees are strongly encouraged to sign their reviews, especially if the vote is “yes.” At the end of each published article, the editorial team provides each review’s DOI.
To see what exactly we ask of (potential) referees, you can read our Review Request Email & Form.