Peer Review Process & Policy

Double-blind review
JOHA implements a rigorous double-blind review process, ensuring that the identities of both the authors and reviewers are kept confidential. When a manuscript is deemed appropriate for the journal, it is typically sent to at least two independent expert reviewers or external reviewers who assess the scientific quality of the paper. The Editor holds the final responsibility for determining whether the articles are accepted or rejected.

In situations where there are delays in the review process, the Editor may request editorial board members to review the articles. Alternatively, in rare cases, the authors may be asked to suggest potential reviewers or consider withdrawing the manuscript from submission. These measures are taken to maintain the integrity and efficiency of the review process.

It is also noted that letters to editors and editorials do not undergo a peer review. This is also described in the editorial process and section policy

To facilitate the double-blind review, authors are asked to include the following separately:

  • Title page (with author details): This should include the article’s title, authors’ names and affiliations (including emails), acknowledgment, funding, conflicting interest statament, and a complete address for correspondence.
  • Blinded manuscript (no author details): The main body of the article (including the references, figures, and tables) should not include any identifying information, such as the authors' names or affiliations.
  • Supplementary material is also subjected to peer review.


Peer review process

Each reviewer will receive an email invitation to review a journal article, which will contain embedded hyperlinks for responding to the invitation. By clicking the appropriate hyperlink, the reviewer's response is automatically sent to the journal's editorial office, indicating whether they are able to review the article or not.

If the reviewer accepts the invitation to review the manuscript, they can proceed to download it and complete a Manuscript Review Form, typically in a free form format. Reviewers are expected to provide an objective and critical assessment of the manuscript, evaluating aspects such as the study's concept, relevance to current scientific knowledge, scientific content, language, and grammar. It is important to maintain a professional tone in the review comments, as any offensive language is not tolerated.

Each reviewer is required to make an initial decision or recommendation for acceptance or rejection of the manuscript. However, the final decision is made by Editor-in-Chief. The decision includes:

  1. Accept Submission: it is ready to go to Copyediting as is.
  2. Revisions Required: it requires minor changes that can be reviewed and accepted by the editor.
  3. Resubmit for Review: it requires major changes and another round of peer review.
  4. Resubmit Elsewhere: it doesn’t seem like a good fit for the focus and scope of this journal.
  5. Decline or Reject Submission: it has too many weaknesses to be accepted.
COPE has published its Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers, outlining "the basic principles and standards to which all peer reviewers should adhere during the peer-review process." These can be accessed here.

In addition, peer reviewers should:
  • only agree to review manuscripts for which they have the subject expertise required to carry out a proper assessment and which they can assess promptly;
  • respect the confidentiality of peer review and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer-review process, beyond those that are released by the journal;
  • not use information obtained during the peer-review process for their own or any other person’s or organization’s advantage or to disadvantage or discredit others;
  • declare all potential conflicting interests, seeking advice from the journal if they are unsure whether something constitutes a relevant interest;
  • not allow their reviews to be influenced by the origins of a manuscript, by the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender, or other characteristics of the authors, or by commercial considerations;
  • be objective and constructive in their reviews, refraining from being hostile or inflammatory and from making libelous or derogatory personal comments;
  • acknowledge that peer review is essentially a reciprocal endeavor and undertake to carry out their fair share of reviewing in a timely manner;
  • provide JOHA with personal and professional information that is accurate and a true representation of their expertise
  • recognize that impersonation of another individual during the review process is considered serious misconduct.
Cases of suspected misconduct
Allegations of misconduct or cases of suspected misconduct are investigated in accordance with the COPE Best Practice Guidelines as far as is practicable.
JOHA is registered with Reviewer Credits. Therefore, each reviewer will be qualified for the third-party certification provided by this organization and assigned credits which may be used on the Reviewer Credits online store. To get the certificates, each reviewer should register a free Reviewer Credits account here.