Peer Review Policy

What is expected of writers
What is expected of reviewers
Double-blind policy
Equity policy
Complaints procedures

Expectations of writers

  1. The following outlines expectations for all content contributors to the Canadian Army Journal (CAJ), or any affiliated publications, as well as content reviewers and the editorial staffs of those publications. These expectations and this policy are the same for both print and online material, in all sections of the journal, unless noted otherwise in the submission criteria for those sections.
  2. Contributors of original content to CAJ are expected to do the following in their contributions:
    1. Accurately summarize current knowledge, properly cited.
    2. Use original sources where possible and avoid self-citation.
    3. Accurately and completely report their own findings.
    4. Maintain clarity in both their thesis and their conclusions.
    5. Adhere to all accepted ethical standards, including prohibitions on plagiarism.
    6. Be able to provide the CAJ Editor-in-Chief (hereinafter, “the Editor”) and anyone to whom the Editor has delegated editorial responsibilities, with supporting data if requested.
    7. Apply sound analysis.
    8. Admit to limitations or weaknesses of method.
    9. Provide figures and tables that will help readers understand the text.
    10. Do not digitally manipulate images without acknowledging it.
    11. Inform the Editor if any previous version of the manuscript has been shared publicly.
    12. Inform the Editor of anyone who helped with the writing of the work.       

Expectations of reviewers

  1. A peer review is an unbiased review by experts in the relevant field to confirm the clarity, originality, significance and validity of a journal contribution. Reviewers for CAJ articles will be selected by the Editor, based on 
    1. knowledge of the research area,
    2. objectivity, including declaration of any conflicts of interest, and
    3. availability.
  2. In their work with the Editor, all reviewers are expected to do the following:
    1. Immediately disclose any inability to assess any specific aspect(s) of a contributor’s work. For example, does the reviewer have something similar in preparation themselves, or do they have any other recognized form(s) of conflict of interest?
    2. Identify, in advance of their review, anyone they would like to consult or share the document with.
    3. Immediately disclose any biases or conflicts that emerge during the reviewing process.
    4. Immediately identify any suspected ethical problems or misconduct by the contributor, including plagiarism.
    5. Provide a clear recommendation to accept, revise or reject the content reviewed, within a pre-agreed timeframe.
    6. Conform to any format and scoring requirements established by the Editor.
    7. Provide supporting evidence or references to substantiate the reviewer’s own claims.
    8. Avoid hostile, inflammatory, defamatory, derogatory or unfounded comments about the contributor’s work.
    9. Review the manuscript in its totality or explain to the Editor why they could not.
    10. Offer comments on how to improve the work and substantiate its claims, within the approximate current length of the contribution.
    11. Refrain from suggesting the addition of citations purely out of personal interest or preference.

Double-blind policy

  1. All CAJ peer reviews will be double-blind. Reviewers and contributors will not be identifiable. Reviewers can interact with each other and with the contributor only through the Editor. Reviewers are never to be in contact with contributors directly through the review process. The Editor must make reasonable efforts to minimize the likelihood that a reviewer could be in other regular contact with a contributor, without revealing the reviewer’s or author’s identity.
  2. Anonymization of the manuscript is the responsibility of the contributor. Contributors must follow these guidelines to prevent the discovery of their identity during the review process:
    1. If referring to any previous work by the contributor, use only the third person. All self-references must be to previous work relevant to the reviewer’s evaluation of the current submission.
    2. Cite any references to the contributor’s prior work as “Anonymous [Year]” in the endnotes, and as “Anonymous [Year] (Details omitted for double-blind reviewing)” in supporting reference lists.
    3. Omit any reference to funding sources and any acknowledgements to others from the review draft of the document.
    4. Ensure that none of the file names, file properties or metadata contain identifiable information about the contributor.
    5. Ensure that the contributor’s name has also been removed from any figures or graphics.
    6. Send any acknowledgements of others’ contributions to the Editor separately. Such acknowledgements may, with the agreement of the individuals acknowledged, be included in the final document after peer review has been completed.
  3. Peer reviews, either in full or in part, will not be shared with the contributor in any way that would permit their independent attribution to a specific reviewer (i.e. they shall not be signed). Any intellectual property rights for a reviewer’s product are retained by the reviewer and, outside of the immediate decision process to accept/revise/reject a contributor’s work, cannot be re-shared by CAJ without the reviewer’s permission.
  4. Conflict: In the event that a reviewer conflict is detected, the Editor must be notified as soon as possible, and the reviewer must refrain from further interaction with the manuscript.
  5. Accidental Disclosure: If the identity of the contributor or reviewer is accidentally revealed (for instance, if they find out in an unrelated conversation), the reviewer may choose to complete the work only if no potential competition or conflict of interest is created by that knowledge.
  6. Double Reviews: If a reviewer is asked to review the same or a similar manuscript by the same contributor for a second or other journal, the original review must be provided to CAJ (if CAJ is the second journal) or to the other journal (if CAJ is the first to commission the reviewer). In either case, acceptance of the review task assumes that the review process will be done thoroughly, taking into full consideration any authorial changes between similar manuscripts by the contributor or changes or differences in journal acceptance criteria.
  7. Reviewers and the Editor will not reveal details of the peer review of an article publicly without permission from the contributor and, in the case of reviewers, the Editor. Confidentiality is expected even after an article is rejected or published.

Equity policy

  1. Both the Editor and the Reviewer must remain unbiased by any consideration of nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the contributor.
  2. Reviewers and the Editor must try to consider any original submitted manuscript on its merits, not its method of origin or submission.
  3. Reviewers and the Editor must not allow their work to be influenced by any commercial considerations.
  4. Reviewers and the Editor will make reasonable allowances for contributors who may not be writing in their first language or the one in which they are most proficient.

Complaints procedures

  1. The Editor is ultimately responsible to the CAJ Editorial Board for all complaints about the behaviour of editorial staff and that of reviewers.
  2. Complaints from or received through the CAJ Editorial Board will be referred to the Editor for initial comment.
  3. All complaints will be dealt with quickly, courteously and constructively. They will be acknowledged immediately and responded to within two weeks if possible.
  4. Complaints about editorial decisions brought to the CAJ Editorial Board must not be based only on a disagreement, but must identify a failure of process or a severe misjudgment of content.

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