Upon submission to a Sage Journal, your paper enters peer review, where “peers” evaluate the quality of your work. Reviewers aim to ensure the work is rigorous, coherent, uses existing research, and contributes to the discipline.
Download this infographic, which provides a visual journey of your paper’s process from submission to peer review. This path is also described below.
Upon submission, the journal editor will first look at your manuscript to:
Check that it meets the aims & scope of the journal
Ensure that it complies with the submission guidelines
Conduct a brief scientific/methods check
After the initial check, one of three things may happen:
The time spent in review is unique to each paper, ranging from a few weeks to several months, depending on submission quality and reviewer availability. Log in to the manuscript submission site to check the status of your paper.
Once the review is complete, reviewers usually make one of three recommendations to the editor about the submission:
Note that the editor will make the final decision to accept or reject, based on the reviewer’s recommendation and their own feedback. Rejection is a normal part of academia and rates can be very high, so if your paper is rejected know you are not alone. Carefully consider the reviewer’s comments in order to determine what your options may be for rewriting or resubmitting your paper.
In most cases, a provisionally accepted paper will be returned for major or minor revisions. The author will revise and should respond to all editor and reviewer comments. For guidance, use the Author Response to Reviewers Template. The revisions process may be repeated until the editor can make an informed decision whether to accept the paper. Rejection may still occur, even after several rounds of revision if the comments are not adequately addressed.
An editor may call upon peer reviewers to review revisions to ensure comments have been addressed. Occasionally, new expert referees will be invited to review subsequent drafts, in which case the paper will go through another round of peer review. While reviewers provide recommendations, the editor makes the final decision of acceptance.
If your paper has been accepted, congratulations! Find out more about what to expect upon acceptance and publication.