Review Process

The Review Process

  • Both executive editors will read all submissions and determine whether the submission fits with the goals and readership of MSRJ:
    • In cases of disagreement between the two executive editors a senior editor will serve as a tie-breaker.
    • Authors will be notified of the submission status as soon as an initial decision is made.
  • Some initial rejections may be allowed to be resubmitted if initial quality of the manuscript is not suitable for review, but the topic still fits within the scope of  MSRJ.
  • If the editors agree that the submission should continue along in the review process, one executive editor will be in charge of the paper and will assign it to a senior editor.
  • The senior editor is in charge of assigning a junior editor to oversee the student review process. In addition the senior editor finds an appropriate faculty expert to act as a reviewer.
  • Three trained student reviewers will review the submission independently and send comments to the junior editor.
  • The junior editor will compile all student and faculty reviewer comments and the senior editor will contact the authors with the majority decision regarding the manuscript status, and provide the authors with reviewer comments. The types of reviewer decisions are described here.
  • If necessary, the authors will then be expected to make necessary changes and submit the new document with a formatted response.
  • The senior editor will be in contact with the authors until the changes are deemed acceptable.
  • When all needed changes have been made, the submission will be sent to the copy editor.
  • The copy-edited and formatted format will be reviewed by the authors, junior editor, senior editor, executive editor, and faculty to ensure the manuscript is finalized before publishing.
  • Finally, the manuscript will be ready for publication in our next issue.

Timeline from submission to publication

This page elaborates on the timeline of the submission process. The review process should be read first.

  1. A submission is received, and queued for executive editor review.
  2. The executive editors take 1-2 days to decide if the manuscript is appropriate for the journal
  3.  Once the senior editor, junior editor, and reviewers are assigned, it will take approximately 4-5 weeks to complete the first set of reviews
  4. The faculty reviewer will be assigned and will expect approximately 2 weeks for a review to be completed
  5. Shortly after all reviews are completed, a compilation of reviewer comments with a decision will be sent to the author.
  6. Depending on the decision, the author will have a set amount of time to return the manuscript with any changes. This process is variable because multiple rounds of editing may need to take place.
  7. Following this, the authors, junior editor, senior editor, executive editor, and faculty advisors assigned to the article will look for any errors or problems.
  8. Finally the manuscript will be ready for publishing in the next available edition.

Potential Outcomes of the Review Process

Once the reviewers have completed the reviewing process regarding the submitted manuscript, there are 4 possible outcomes described below:

1. Accept without Revisions: The manuscript is ready for publication in its original form and no revisions are required. Only superficial changes such as grammar, spelling, and formatting will be made.

2. Accept with Revisions: This is a fine manuscript that is nearly publishable, but some minor or major flaws require attention; the manuscript is provisionally accepted and will be published provided the authors make the revisions suggested by the reviewers. Authors are asked to explain if comments are not able to be met, or if the manuscript cannot be modified as suggested. Responses must be formatted according to our author response guide. To enable timely publication, the authors are generally given 2 weeks to complete the revisions.

3. Resubmit: This decision is neither an acceptance nor a decline. In order for your manuscript to be reconsidered in another round of review, the manuscript must be edited according to the suggestions made by the reviewers and faculty adviser. Three new reviewers will evaluate whether or not the resubmission is adequate. Authors are asked to explain if comments are not able to be met, or the manuscript cannot be modified as suggested. We ask that the revised manuscript be sent back with the changes, and a copy of author responses to each reviewer’s comments be submitted as well, according to our author response guide. To enable timely publication, the authors are generally asked to complete the revisions in 3-4 weeks.

4. Reject: A decline status indicates the manuscript is not appropriate for the journal or does not meet the quality of MSRJ for publishing. No further revisions will be considered. Authors will still receive reviewer comments and suggestions for improving the manuscript for submission to a different journal.