An author submits a manuscript for publication consideration to the editor via email. In the email, the author(s) should identify ten persons in the field qualified to review the manuscript because of their subject-matter expertise and provide their institutional affiliation and contact information (email address).
On receipt of a paper, the editor 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 editorial process will proceed.
The editor identifies 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.
Each referee will vote on whether a paper should be published. “Do not publish” means the paper is not competently executed (would require a substantial change in method or data collection) or does not present one or more good ideas. “Publish” means the paper is competently executed and/or presents one or more good ideas and should be published in its current form or pending small changes. “Publish pending minor edits” means that the manuscript’s existing writing, structure, or presentation can be easily polished or edited to be worthy of publication. “Publish pending major edits” means that the paper can be made publishable by making substantial changes to the writing, structure, presentation, or data analysis of the manuscript. For a vote for either of these four categories to count, the referee must reasonably explain why they voted that way. For a “Publish,” “Publish pending minor edits,” or “Publish pending major edits,” vote to count, the referee must specify what minor or major changes, if any, are necessary for publication.
On receipt of two “Do not publish” OR two “Publish”/“Publish with minor edits” votes, the editor makes a publication decision. If there are two “Do not publish” votes, the paper will not be accepted for publication. If there are two “Publish”/“Publish pending minor edits” votes, it will be accepted for publication, pending any changes required by reviewers. If two “Do not publish” or two publish votes (“Publish,”/“Publish with minor edits”) are received before the third review is received, that referee will be asked to bow out or, preferably, submit their review within one week.
Two or more “Publish with major edits” votes will result in a decision to accept the manuscript for publication pending the major revision recommendations of the reviewers if the author(s) are amenable to making the changes. Qualitative Criminology does not do “revise and resubmit” in the sense that revisions are sent to the same or different reviewers for a re-review. Instead, the editor provides the author(s) one occasion to address reviewer comments for a manuscript receiving multiple “Publish with major edits” votes. A manuscript receiving a “Publish with major edits” vote gets re-reviewed by the editor to ensure that the major edit requests are met by the author(s). In some instances, the editor may ask one additional person (who did not review the manuscript on the first occasion) to review the revised manuscript to help determine if the author(s) addressed the initial reviewers’ comments and suggestions.
A combination of “Do not publish” and “Publish with major edits” (regardless of the third vote) will function as a decision not to publish a manuscript.
The editor reserves the right to veto majority votes, though this power will be used sparingly, if ever.
Authors are identified. Qualitative Criminology trusts that referees will not discriminate—in favor of or against—authors based on their identity. This applies to institutional affiliation, gender, race, rank, and anything that doesn’t emanate from the paper alone.
Reviews are published on the Qualitative Criminology website. 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 to publish. At the end of each published article, the editorial team provides a link to each review. Reviews for manuscripts not published by Qualitative Criminology are published on a separate page.
Click here to view the content of the review form we ask a reviewer to submit.