The Journal of Criminology, Psychology and Law (Cripsiley), being a refereed journal, subjects all articles to a rigorous evaluation process that takes place at various times and its duration ranges between 2 and 5 months, depending on the number of manuscripts. received. The evaluation in Cripsiley is carried out under the modality of academic opinion by blind peers. This begins after the receipt of the manuscript and the stages of analysis of the adaptation to the formal guidelines and of thematic relevance and of the basic conditions of academic writing (see editorial process). The stages of blind peer evaluation are listed below.
FIRST BLIND EVALUATION OF EXPERT PAIRS
Once the Editorial Board determines that the manuscript corresponds to the thematic field of the journal and meets the formal requirements demanded by it, the evaluation process begins under the modality of academic opinion by blind peers. For this process, the editor asks some high-level experts on the specific topic of the manuscript to evaluate it anonymously. The number of experts who evaluate each article may vary, to start the process it is proposed that at least 2 expert pairs agree to review the manuscript, but it is possible that more will be convened. These experts are external to the editorial committee and, generally, from countries other than those of the authors.
The editor sends each peer evaluator:
- The manuscript without any reference to its authors.
- A publication standards document.
- An evaluation format, according to the nature of the article.
The evaluators have a period of 15 working days to prepare and send the concept.
In the evaluation format, peers are asked:
- Indicate the fulfillment or not of criteria of form and content.
- Develop a concept in which they make a general assessment of the article including suggestions, contributions, observations.
- Recommend the publication or not of the same on a scale that includes the possibility of proposing the publication with certain modifications or with profound modifications.
Additionally, in the evaluation format, peers are asked if they are willing to evaluate the new version prepared by the authors according to their observations, to continue the process until they consider that the manuscript can be published.
When the editor receives the concepts from the expert evaluators, she prepares a document that collects the observations of the three and eliminates any information that allows them to be identified. This document is sent to the authors, and the editorial team defines if they can present a new version of the manuscript, taking into account the comments of the evaluators or if it is withdrawn from the process. In case the authors are interested in submitting the new version to continue in the evaluation process, the editor assigns a submission date according to the depth of the adjustments that must be made. If the authors decide not to continue in the process, the manuscript is withdrawn from the journal’s database and the evaluators are informed that there will be no new versions for evaluation. In the event that the manuscript is totally rejected by the evaluators, the authors are informed that it will be withdrawn and the concepts are also sent to them. Because part of the Cripsiley policy is aimed at contributing to the improvement of the writing processes of the articles, the authors always receive the concepts issued by the evaluators, even in the case of withdrawn or rejected manuscripts.
SECOND BLIND EVALUATION OF EXPERT PAIRS
First, the adjustments in the second version are verified by the peer evaluators. Upon receiving the new version of the article, the editor forwards it to the evaluators anonymously, together with the evaluation of the first version of the manuscript that each expert prepared. In this way, each evaluator receives the second version of the manuscript plus the evaluation carried out on the first version, in order to verify if the suggested adjustments were taken into account by the authors. Based on this, each expert evaluates the article again and indicates to the editor if it is necessary to make further adjustments or if he considers that the article can already be deliberated to the editorial committee.
Once the editor receives the new concepts from the peer reviewers, if they agree that the manuscript can be published as is, the article, the concepts and the manuscript’s history are sent to the editorial committee in order to analyze the rigor of the process. In this way, it is approved or rejected for publication. When the evaluators, or one of them considers that it is still necessary to make adjustments to the manuscript, the editor prepares a new document with the evaluations taking care of the anonymity of the experts, sends it to the authors and repeats the previous process until the evaluators consider that the manuscript can be published. In all instances, the anonymity of both the authors and the evaluators is maintained.
On occasions, the author or authors send responses and meta-observations to the evaluators’ comments to explain or clarify the reasons why certain suggested adjustments are not made to the manuscript. In these cases, a blind dialogue is established between the evaluator and the author, mediated by the editorial committee, which is presented as a space for discussion to deliberate on the adjustments. But, in any case, the approval or rejection depends on the concept of the expert evaluator.
In the event that, despite having three evaluators, the concepts are very dissimilar and controversial, a fourth evaluator is used to resolve the matter. The process followed is the same as that described.
The process will end with the final version of the manuscript accepted by the reviewers and its editing (see editorial process).