Journal authors belong to a community of professional interest and concern and on this basis are asked to provide critical and constructive feedback on the work of their peers. People who submit a paper to the journal are requested to referee up to three other submitted papers from the current or subsequent volumes of the journal. Once assigned to a paper, referees are requested to complete reports within two weeks.

The refereeing process for the journal can be either 'one way blind' (paper submission one month after the conference, which gives the presenter the chance to refine their paper in the light of their presentation) or 'double blind' (paper submission three months before the conference, which means the presenter needs to have a finalised, fully publishable paper well before the conference). 'Double blind' means that neither the author nor the referee are provided each other's identity. 'One way blind' means that the referee knows the identity of the author, although the referee's identity remains confidential.'Double blind' refereeing cannot be guaranteed later than three months before the conference because it is easy to locate the title and author in the conference program.

If the outcome of the referee reports is a recommendation that the paper should not be published, we provide the opportunity for rewrite and resubmission to different referees.

Papers will be assessed by referees against ten criteria—or fewer if some criteria do not apply to a particular kind of paper.

Papers may have a focus on practice, research or theory, and will be assessed against the kind of focus they have.

Role of the Referee

Referees are requested to observe the following guidelines:

  1. Expertise: Papers are not always sent to a referee whose field is identical to the subject matter of that paper. You don’t have to be precisely qualified in a field to be a constructive referee. In fact, an excellent paper will speak beyond its narrowly defined field. If, however, a paper is so distant from your field that you do not feel qualified to judge its merits, please return it to the publishing manager for the journal, who will locate another referee.
  2. Confidentiality: Referees receive unpublished work, which must be treated as confidential until published. They should destroy all electronic and printed copies of the draft paper and referee report once they have received confirmation that their reports have been received by the publishing manager (in case we can’t open the report files you send us). Referees must not disclose to others which papers they have refereed; nor are they to share those papers with any other person.
  3. Conflict of Interest: Referees must declare any conflict of interest or any other factor which may affect their independence—in cases for instance, where they have received a paper of a colleague or an intellectual opponent. In cases of conflict of interest, please notify the publishing manager of your inability to referee a particular paper.
  4. Intellectual Merit: A paper must be judged on its intellectual merits alone. Personal criticism or criticism based solely on the political or social views of the referee, is not acceptable.
  5. Full Explanation: Critical or negative judgments must be fully supported by detailed reference to evidence from the paper under review or other relevant sources.
  6. Plagiarism and Copyright: If a referee considers that a paper may contain plagiarism or that it might breach another party’s copyright, they should notify the publishing manager for the journal, providing the relevant citations to support their claim.

Become an Associate Editor

Become an Associate Editor of the The Social Sciences Collection

As part of the process of publishing the Social Sciences Journal all submissions are sent for peer review, prior to publication. Assessment, comments and guidance by the referees are an essential part of the publication process and invaluable to the authors of the submitted papers.

In recognition of the important role of referees, the international advisory board lists all referees who have reviewed papers as an 'Associate Editor' in the volume of the journal they have contributed to.

If you would like to referee papers submitted to the Social Sciences Journal please email the Social Sciences Journal with your professional details, areas of expertise and contact details. If we feel you are qualified and we require refereeing for papers within your expertise, we will contact you.