The ASHA Journals Peer Review Model
Manuscripts submitted to the ASHA journals go through an editorial board peer review model. In this model, an editor-in-chief (EIC) is responsible for assigning each manuscript to an editor who has the appropriate content expertise. The editor assigns typically two to three reviewers who are editorial board members (EBMs) or one EBM and one ad hoc reviewer, or any combination thereof. Reviewers submit lists of strengths and weaknesses in a number of categories appropriate for the type of manuscript as well as any brief additional comments. Upon receipt of reviews, the editor is not expected to provide additional detailed comments. The editor, in a decision letter, instead helps the author identify the most important changes, particularly when EBMs or ad hoc reviewers disagree. An editor would be free to recruit additional reviews, such as for specialized statistics review, as needed.
This is a change from the previous peer review model in which an editor rendered a decision after two to three reviews were submitted to an associate editor, who made a decision recommendation. Also, review comments were not structured.
ASHA journals perform single-blind reviews, which means that the reviewer knows the author’s name, but the authors do not know the reviewers’ identities unless reviewers choose to include their names in the review. On rare occasions, authors do request a double-blind review (please see the Blind Review Policies page for additional information). Our standard review process is outlined below.
Peer Review Steps and Timeline
Original Submission Review
Using the ASHA Journals Editorial Manager system, you will upload a properly formatted manuscript and answer a series of disclosure questions (see our guide on Manuscript Submission for more information). The manuscript will then be assigned by the editor-in-chief to an editor with the right subject matter expertise. The editor will typically then assign the manuscript to at least two editorial board members (EBMs) or ad hoc reviewers, or some combination thereof, for reviews. The EBMs or ad hoc reviewers submit comments using a structured peer review template, along with a decision recommendation, to the editor. The editor then reads the reviews in depth, considers the recommendations, and renders a decision.
Author Revision and Submission
If your manuscript requires a revision, as is most typically the case, then you will be given up to 6 weeks to revise and resubmit the manuscript.
Revised Submission Review
After receiving your revised manuscript, the journal editor will typically then assign at least two EBMs or ad hoc reviewers, or some combination thereof, to review the revised version of the manuscript. The reviewers will submit comments and recommendations, and then the editor will render a revision decision.
Second Author Revision and Submission
If your manuscript requires a second revision for acceptance, you will be given up to 3 weeks to submit a revised manuscript.
Overall Estimated Time From Submission to Decision
Assuming two rounds of review (one round for the original submission and one round for the revised manuscript), time from submission to final decision in the editorial board peer review model can take as little as approximately 4 months. But again, the overall time from submission to final decision of a manuscript depends largely on the number of rounds of review and how long authors take to complete revisions. Authors following submission instructions and submitting revisions that thoroughly address review comments help peer review maintain a swift pace.
Before and After a Decision on Your Manuscript
If your article is accepted, it will begin the journal production process. During the production process, you will be asked to provide some answers to author queries and make some basic revisions, but most of the process will be handled by the ASHA Journals production staff at this point.
There are a number of reasons a manuscript may be rejected for publication in the ASHA Journals. They can range from the manuscript not being a good fit for the scope and mission of the journal to which it was submitted, to concerns over the overall quality.
Authors may disagree with the decision of the editors of ASHA journals and may wish to challenge and appeal those decisions.
All appeals concerning decisions of an editor are first directed to the editor. In many cases, author-editor disagreements can be resolved directly through discussions between these parties. If no resolution is achieved, the author may file an appeal with the chair of the Journals Board.
The Journals Board chair discusses the disagreement with both parties to determine whether the dispute involves matters of scientific or technical opinion. If the dispute solely concerns such differing opinions, the appeal is not considered further and the original editorial decision is upheld. The chair then notifies the author and editor of the decision.
If the chair concludes that the issue could be the result of personal bias and/or capriciousness in an editorial decision, the chair then convenes an ad hoc Journals Board Appeals Committee. This committee is made up of two voting members of the Journals Board and the Journals Board chair. This committee is charged with the task of determining whether the author’s appeal has merit. This decision will be determined by majority vote.
If the decision is that there is no merit to the appeal, the chair of the Journals Board notifies the editor and the author of the decision.
If the committee determines that the appeal has merit, the editor is given an opportunity to reconsider the final decision.
If the editor maintains the original decision, the chair of the Journals Board may assign a new guest editor for the manuscript. New editorial board member reviewers would then be solicited and the review process re-initiated.