The purpose of the peer review process is to ensure that every manuscript maintains a high scholarly quality, as well as relevance for its intended audience. For this reason, every book published through Kriterium must undergo a structured, transparent review process before publication. Kriterium applies Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA) quality requirements for OA publishing. Book proposals are sent to the Editorial Board, read more here. Publishers or publishing houses that apply for review and publication of a manuscript within the Kriterium framework should suggest an Academic co-ordinator, to be approved in turn by the Kriterium editorial board.
Publishers applying to publish a manuscript through Kriterium should appoint an academic co-ordinator (at minimum qualified as a Senior Lecturer within the subject of the manuscript), who should in turn be approved by the Kriterium academic review board. The academic co-ordinator must not have previously collaborated with the author/editor, and in addition must not currently be engaged at the same department as the author/editor. Exceptions may be made for editors of publication series, who may function as academic co-ordinators even if they are engaged at the same department as the author/editor of the manuscript. In these cases, it is especially important that the suggested reviewers are not engaged at the same department as the author/editor of the manuscript. For further information please refer to the current policy of the Swedish Research Council regarding bias and conflicts of interest.
The appointed academic co-ordinator has the overall responsibility for the review process, and should:
1) appoint two reviewers with expertise in the relevant field. These must not have previously collaborated with the author/editor (suggestions for reviewers are revised in collaboration with the chair of the academic review board);
2) ensure that the reviewers provide their feedback within a reasonable time frame (preferably no more than three months) and upload this feedback to Kriterium’s digital platform. It is the academic co-ordinator who decides when the reviewers have delivered in full, as a second round of review may sometimes be deemed necessary;
3) evaluate the reviewers’ feedback and consult the author/editor (as well as the relevant publisher) to assess which changes need to be made. It is the academic co-ordinator who decides when the manuscript is to be considered ready for publication. If both reviewers oppose publication, the academic co-ordinator should consider already at this stage to advise against publication (see below);
4) after any potential editing, provide a summary of how the process is carried out, how the reviewers’ feedback has been incorporated into the manuscript and provide an assessment which either recommends or advises against publication within Kriterium. Even in cases when the academic co-ordinator advises against publication, they should provide a statement. The rejection applies to the Kriterium platform only, and should the publisher or publishing house wish it, the option remains of course to publish the work without the Kriterium label.
The academic co-ordinator might delegate practical aspects of the process, such as contacting the reviewers, to another (for example a publisher) but retains the chief responsibility of the overall review process.
Since the review process is trust-based, it is vital for all parties to follow the ethical guidelines. The guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics advice that reviewers should be independent of the author or editor of the book or journal, meaning that:
Please prepare a summary statement of your review on 2-5 pages using the below headings. Detailed comments can be added under a separate heading or as comments directly in the manuscript. The questions given under each heading indicate what may be taken up in your comments. Please take care also to provide comments that articulate the virtues of the manuscript in addition to critique and suggestions for changes. A summary of the manuscript is not expected to be a part of your review.
What are major themes? What are the main knowledge claims? Is there a reasonable scholarly contribution in relation to the research? Are the results and knowledge claims made in the text relevant and in which ways do they contribute to new knowledge
- within the specific subject area/sub-discipline?
- on a general, theoretical and/or comparative level?
Is there anything that is particularly innovative or of greater scientific importance in the script? Are there clear grounds in the theme, the field and the scope of the work that justify a book?
Is the content and main arguments presented logically and in a well-structured and comprehensible manner or can you recommend alternative ways to structure some parts or chapters? If language editing is required, please give specific examples, specify the scope and point to the parts this applies to? Are the individual chapters well focused on what you think are essential elements of the work? Are there parts that are less relevant to the field and/or the study's main focus?
Is the methodological and theoretical framing of the scientific work adequate and in line with expectations in the field? If the work is based on empirical data, is it reported with the accuracy that can be expected?
To what extent has the text integrated starting points and results from relevant literature? Are there any missing important references or bodies of work? Are there already published books similar to or close to this work? How independent and unique can the text be considered?
Would you recommend the manuscript to be accepted for publication in Kriterium? Would any major changes be necessary before accepting the manuscript for publication, and, if so, would you suggest that a revised version of the manuscript undergoes a full review again?
Detailed comments and suggestions (may be constituted through comments directly in the manuscript)