Peer Review Process



Manuscript Submission

The corresponding or submitting author submits the paper to ABAA journal. This is usually via our OJS online system.


Initial Checks
1. Scope
2. Format
3. Quality of tables & figure
4. Reference style
5. Copyright form
6. Plagiarism (Turnitin)


Editorial Pre-Screening

After initial checks by ABAA journal editorial office, the Editor-in-Chief evaluates the manuscript to ensure that it fits the scope of ABAA  journal, has novelty and urgency, has technical validity, and is of high quality. This pre-screening process is critical to not overburden the reviewer pool and to ensure timely decisions on manuscripts. Manuscripts not meeting the standards of the journal can be rejected at this point in the process. Meanwhile, those deemed acceptable are assigned to Editorial Board Members for further screening and action. It is worth noting that the Editorial Board Members can also determine whether a manuscript meets journal standards, rejecting the manuscript if necessary. Once the assigned Editorial Board Member determines the manuscript warrants further review, they move on to the next step in the process: selecting reviewers.

Selecting Reviewers

Reviewers are drawn from our source: an independent pool of experts maintained by the journal. Regardless of the source of the reviewer, the Editorial Board Member selects reviewers based on their broad knowledge and understanding of the field; their technical expertise to evaluate the experiments, data, and interpretation; and their ability to offer constructive, fair, and unbiased opinions of the manuscript.

Reviewers are given a specific (yet, flexible) due date to submit their feedback to the Associate Editor to maintain reasonable timelines for decision-making. Once a sufficient number of reviews have been received, the Associate Editor moves to the next step: making a decision.


Making a Decision

The Editorial Board Member has several decisions for which they can opt, but they generally fall into three main categories: accept, reject, and revise. To determine which path is most appropriate, the Editorial Board Member first reads and analyzes each reviewer report alongside the manuscript. Editorial Board Members will specifically look to see if the manuscript requires revisions or additional experiments to address reviewer feedback and concerns. Once the decision is made, it is communicated to the corresponding authors of the manuscript.

If the decision is to accept the manuscript, no further revision is required, and the manuscript proceeds as is to the publishing office. A decision to accept may come after the initial round of peer-review, or more frequently, following one or more rounds of revision.

If the reviewers provided generally positive feedback but indicated that the manuscript requires some level of revision or addition of new experiments and data, a decision for either major or minor revisions will be communicated. Typically, a decision for major revisions provides the authors more time to address the feedback and will often require additional reviewer feedback following revision to ensure the feedback has been adequately addressed. Several rounds of review and revision may be required to ensure the manuscript meets the journal standards and sufficiently addresses the reviewer’s comments before ultimate acceptance.

Finally, if the majority of the reviewer feedback indicates that the manuscript is not suitable for the journal and will not be improved sufficiently upon revision, a manuscript will typically be rejected. In select situations where a manuscript is rejected primarily based on journal scope and fit, a rejection may be accompanied by an offer to transfer the manuscript to a more suitable journal within the same publishing group. This can be a fantastic way to reduce review time at the new journal by leveraging feedback already provided during the first review with the original journal.


Successfully Dealing with Rejection

From the flow diagram of the peer-review process, you’ll see that there are several decision points where a manuscript may be rejected by either an Editor-in-Chief or Editorial Board Member. Receiving a rejection can be demoralizing, disappointing, and stressful. Many authors, myself included, have had (multiple) manuscripts communicating years of effort rejected by scientific journals throughout their careers. While your initial reaction might be to feel angry or defensive, there is always the opportunity to successfully lead a rejection toward a positive outcome. Making lemons out of lemonade depends on understanding why your manuscript was rejected by the journal.

If an Editor-in-Chief or Editorial Board Member determined during pre-screening that the manuscript did not meet the journal’s defined scope or standards and you disagree with the decision, you may contact the editorial office and request an explanation. It is possible to appeal the decision if you believe that the significance of your work has been overlooked, but doing so is uncommon and should be done judiciously.

If your manuscript has been rejected after peer-review, it is sometimes best to take a step back after reading the reviewers’ comments to refocus on the science. Approach the comments with a growth mindset and ask yourself how you could improve the content of your manuscript and the communication of that content to your intended audience. Update your manuscript and resubmit to either the same journal or a different one better suited for your work.


Responding to Reviewer Comments

When you receive reviewer comments on your manuscript, you’ll need to address them through the revision process promptly. Whether you add new experiments or update the text to better explain the existing content, you’ll need to provide a point-by-point rebuttal of all the reviewer comments with your revised manuscript.

When I read reviewer comments, I try to approach them with a mindset focused on the audience’s experience and understanding of the manuscript. Essentially, a reviewer’s feedback represents a gap between what my manuscript communicates at the moment and what I want the manuscript to communicate about my research. In revising a manuscript, I think about how I can best bring the audience closer to my intended message and experience. By helping the audience see your research the way you see it, you will more effectively communicate your achievements and improve the impact of your work.