Peer-review Process


Peer-review Process


The Journal of Global Politics and Current Diplomacy follows recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE)



General Information
Duties of Reviewers
Conducting a review
Preparing a report

General Information


Peer review in all its forms plays a crucial role in guaranteeing the integrity of the academic reputation. The process depends to a large extent on trust and requires that everyone involved behaves responsibly and ethically.

Following the COPE’s guidelines, we underline the main principles and standards that all peer reviewers should respect in the peer-review process on the papers submitted to our Journal. We assume that peer reviewers play a role in ensuring the integrity of the academic reputation. The peer review process depends to a large extent on the trust and willing participation of the scholarly community and requires that everyone involved behaves responsibly and ethically.

The Journal of Global Politics and Current Diplomacy guarantees a double-blind peer review process to all manuscripts submitted to us. In this respect, the following features are important to be known by the authors:

MEDIATION Editors mediate all interactions between reviewers and authors
PUBLICATION Peer reviews are not published
FACILITATION Review facilitated by a journal
OWNERSHIP Review owned by a journal or third party

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Duties of Reviewers

Contribution to editorial decisions

Peer review assists editors in making editorial decisions and, through editorial communications with authors, may assist authors in improving their manuscripts. Peer review is an essential component of formal scholarly communication and lies at the heart of scientific endeavour. AP-SMART shares the view of many that all scholars who wish to contribute to the scientific process have an obligation to do a fair share of reviewing.


Any invited referee who feels unqualified to review the research reported in a manuscript or knows that its prompt review will be impossible should immediately notify the editors and decline the invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.


Any manuscripts received for review are confidential documents and must be treated as such; they must not be shown to or discussed with others except if authorized by the Editor-in-Chief (who would only do so under exceptional and specific circumstances). This applies also to invited reviewers who decline the review invitation.

Standards of objectivity

Reviews should be conducted objectively and observations formulated clearly with supporting arguments so that authors can use them for improving the manuscript. Personal criticism of the authors is inappropriate.

Acknowledgement of sources

Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that is an observation, derivation or argument that has been reported in previous publications should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also notify the editors of any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other manuscript (published or unpublished) of which they have personal knowledge.

Disclosure and conflicts of interest

Any invited referee who has conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies or institutions connected to the manuscript and the work described therein should immediately notify the editors to declare their conflicts of interest and decline the invitation to review so that alternative reviewers can be contacted.

Unpublished material disclosed in a submitted manuscript must not be used in a reviewer’s own research without the express written consent of the authors. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for the reviewer’s personal advantage. This applies also to invited reviewers who decline the review invitation.

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Conducting a review

Initial steps:

Read the manuscript, supplementary data files and ancillary material thoroughly (e.g., reviewer instructions, required ethics and policy statements), getting back to the journal if anything is not clear and requesting any missing or incomplete items you need. Do not contact the authors directly without the permission of the journal. It is important to understand the scope of the review before commencing (i.e., is a review of raw data expected?).


Respect the confidentiality of the peer review process and refrain from using information obtained during the peer review process for your own or another’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others (e.g. see COPE Case 14-06: Possible breach of reviewer confidentiality). Do not involve anyone else in the review of a manuscript (including early career researchers you are mentoring), without first obtaining permission from the journal (e.g. see COPE Case 11-29: Reviewer asks trainee to review manuscript). The names of any individuals who have helped with the review should be included so that they are associated with the manuscript in the journal’s records and can also receive due recognition for their efforts.

Bias and competing interests:

It is important to remain unbiased by considerations related to the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, origins of a manuscript or by commercial considerations. If you discover a competing interest that might prevent you from providing a fair and unbiased review, notify the journal and seek advice (e.g. see COPE Case 15-05: Reviewer requests to be added as an author after publication). While waiting for a response, refrain from looking at the manuscript and associated material in case the request to review is rescinded. Similarly, notify the journal as soon as possible if you find you do not have the necessary expertise to assess the relevant aspects of a manuscript so as not to unduly delay the review process. In the case of double-blind review, if you suspect the identity of the author(s) notify the journal if this knowledge raises any potential competing or conflict of interest.

Suspicion of ethics violations:

If you come across any irregularities with respect to research and publication ethics do let the journal know (e.g. see COPE Case 02-11: Contacting research ethics committees with concerns over studies). For example, you may have concerns that misconduct occurred during either the research or the writing and submission of the manuscript, or you may notice substantial similarity between the manuscript and a concurrent submission to another journal or a published article. In the case of these or any other ethical concerns, contact the editor directly and do not attempt to investigate on your own. It is appropriate to cooperate, in confidence, with the journal, but not to personally investigate further unless the journal asks for additional information or advice.

Transferability of peer review:

Publishers may have policies related to transferring peer reviews to other journals in the publisher’s portfolio (sometimes referred to as portable or cascading peer review). Reviewers may be asked to give permission for the transfer of their reviews if that is journal policy. If a manuscript is rejected from one journal and submitted to another, and you are asked to review that same manuscript, you should be prepared to review the manuscript afresh as it may have changed between the two submissions and the journal’s criteria for evaluation and acceptance may be different. In the interests of transparency and efficiency it may be appropriate to provide your original review for the new journal (with permission to do so from the original journal), explaining that you had reviewed the submission previously and noting any changes. (See discussion2 with Pete Binfield and Elizabeth Moylan highlighting some of the issues surrounding portable peer review).

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Preparing a report


Be objective and constructive in your review, providing feedback that will help the authors to improve their manuscript. For example, be specific in your critique, and provide supporting evidence with appropriate references to substantiate general statements, to help editors in their evaluation. Be professional and refrain from being hostile or inflammatory and from making libellous or derogatory personal comments or unfounded accusations.

  • We recommend seeing the COPE Case 08-13: Personal remarks within a post-publication literature forum.

Appropriate feedback:

We require a fair, honest, and unbiased assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript.

We warmly accept from our reviewers to provide confidential comments to the editor as well as comments to be read by the authors.

In the end, JGPCD requires a recommendation to accept/revise/reject; any recommendation should be congruent with the comments provided in the review.

We recommend our peer reviewers to follow this structure in their report:

Structure and content

(see the References below)


Does the article say something new and interesting enough to warrant publication? Does it add to the body of knowledge? Is the research question an important one? In order to determine its originality and appropriateness for the journal, it might be helpful to consider the article in the context of the wider published research, using tools such as Web of Science or Scopus. How does it compare to the most highly cited or downloaded papers in the field? If the research has been covered previously, forward any relevant references to the Editor.

Layout and format

Authors must comply fully with the journal’s author guidelines, which include manuscript presentation. If the author has clearly failed to present the article according to these guidelines and the Editor has not already highlighted this in the invitation to review, you should either flag this to the Editor or note this in your review. If the paper is particularly original or interesting the Editor may choose to overlook the formatting issues throughout the peer review process and ask the author to address these only shortly prior to eventual acceptance; but at other times the Editor may ask the author to restructure the paper before progressing it any further.


Does it clearly describe the article? Does it include the most important keywords (consider how you search for research articles) and demonstrate the significance of the research? Does it make sense?!

Structured abstract

Have all mandatory fields been completed? Does it accurately reflect the content of the article?


Does this describe what the author hoped to achieve and clearly articulate the research question? Has the author provided a summary of the current research literature to provide context? Is it clear how this is being challenged or built upon? Are there any important works that have been omitted?


Does the author accurately explain how the data was collected? Is the design suitable for answering the question posed? Does the article outline the procedures followed? If the methods are new, are they explained in detail? Is there sufficient information present for you to replicate the research? Was the sampling appropriate? Have the equipment and materials been adequately described? Does the article make it clear what type of data was recorded; has the author been precise in describing measurements?

Statistical errors

These are common and so close attention should be paid.


This is where the author should explain clearly what was discovered in the research. Are results presented clearly? You should consider the merits and appropriateness of the author’s analysis.


Are the claims in this section reasonable and supported by the results? Are the findings consistent with the author’s expectations? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper? Does the article support or contradict previous theories? Does the author explain how the research has added to the body of knowledge?

Graphics and tables

Where these are included, please check the content and if possible make suggestions for improvements. Do the figures and tables inform the reader? Are they an important part of the story? Do the figures describe the data accurately? Are they presented consistently (e.g. in the same format throughout)?


Does the quality of English make it difficult to understand the author’s argument? If this is the case, you do not need to correct the English but should instead mention this as part of your review. In extreme cases where an interesting or original contribution is undermined by poor quality of expression you may bring this to the attention of the Editor who can then advise of sub-editing services.

If you have not reviewed the whole manuscript, do indicate which aspects of the manuscript you have assessed. Ensure your comments and recommendations for the editor are consistent with your report for the authors; most feedback should be put in the report that the authors will see.

As COPE’s guidelines underlines, confidential comments to the editor should not be a place for denigration or false accusation, done in the knowledge that the authors will not see your comments.

Language and style:

Bear in Mind that it is the authors’ paper, so do not attempt to rewrite it to your own preferred style if it is basically sound and clear; suggestions for changes that improve clarity are, however, important.

In addition, be aware of the sensitivities surrounding language issues that are due to the authors writing in a language that is not their first or most proficient language and phrase the feedback appropriately and with due respect.

Suggestions for further work:

It is the job of the peer reviewer to comment on the quality and rigour of the work they receive. If the work is not clear because of missing analyses, the reviewer should comment and explain what additional analyses would clarify the work submitted. It is not the job of the reviewer to extend the work beyond its current scope. Be clear which (if any) suggested additional investigations are essential to support claims made in the manuscript under consideration and which will just strengthen or extend the work.


Prepare the report by yourself, unless you have permission from the journal to involve another person.

  • Refrain from making unfair negative comments or including unjustified criticisms of any competitors’ work that is mentioned in the manuscript.
  • Refrain from suggesting that authors include citations to your (or an associate’s) work merely to increase citation counts or to enhance the visibility of your or your associate’s work; suggestions must be based on valid academic or technological reasons.
  • Do not intentionally prolong the review process, either by delaying the submission of your review or by requesting unnecessary additional information from the journal or author.


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COPE Council. Ethical guidelines for peer reviewers. September 2017. www. Version 2 Published September 2017 Version 1 Published March 2013

Willey, Peer Review General and Ethical Guidelines. The fundamentals of ethical reviewing. In Best Practice Guidelines on Publishing Ethics. A Publisher Perspective. Second Edition.

Emerald Publishing. Reviewer guidelines.