Peer-review policy

Peer-review policy

African Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (AJOPRED) has a peer review policy structured on international best practices. When the editorial team receives an original article, the Managing Editor or Associate Editor will first decide whether the article meets the formal criteria indicated in the Instruction to authors and whether it fits within the aims and scope of the journal. As part of this preliminary evaluation, a plagiarism test is also conducted on the manuscript. Only papers that are successful after the preliminary editorial screening will be sent for peer review.

All articles shall be handled by an Editorial board member who does not have any potential conflict of interest with any of the manuscript’s authors. All manuscripts will undergo a double-blind peer-review process, where the authors and reviewers do not know each other’s identity to ensure the highest quality of the journal.

Article handling editor will select the potential reviewers for each article who must (i) not have co-authored publications with the author and (ii) not be affiliated with the same institution as the author(s). All articles except Editorials will be sent out for peer review process and at least two reviewer comments per manuscript will be collected. Reviewers must be independent experts and may be members of the Editorial Board or other non-members who are experts in the field of the manuscript under consideration. Reviewers will be asked to complete their review within ten days; however, they are allowed to extend the review period of time in order to complete and submit their report.

Peer reviewers can make one of the following recommendations for the editors to consider:

  1. Accept manuscript without any change.
  2. Accept after minor revision (i.e., article can be accepted if the author makes the requested minor revisions)
  3. Accept after major revision (i.e., article can be accepted after major revisions have been made – the manuscript may be sent out for another peer review round)
  4. Reject manuscript (i.e., the manuscript is flawed or not sufficiently novel)

When all reviewers have submitted their reports, the Editor can make one of the following editorial recommendations:

  1. Accept
  2. Revision
  3. Reject

Revision

Authors are usually sent the reviewers reports alongside any editorial comments to guide their revisions. When authors submit their revised manuscripts, the papers are re-evaluated by the editors (and possibly the external reviewers) to ensure that the recommendations are adhered to and the paper is of high quality before it is accepted for publication. The number of rounds of revision depends upon how the authors are able to revise their papers carefully and accurately. 

Publication

If the manuscript is accepted, the author will be sent a galley proof in order for them to make any final corrections. All accepted peer reviewed manuscripts will be published online and are citable by the digital object identifier (DOI) assigned at the time of online publication.

Time from submission to decision

The duration from submission to first editorial review comments is about one week. The duration from submission to first peer review reports is about 4 to 6 weeks.  The period from acceptance to publication is about 2 weeks.

Roles of the Editorial Board Members

Editorial Board members can assist in the following:

  1.  Identifying and selecting reviewers and making publication recommendations to the Editor-in-Chief, who makes the final decision based on the reviewers’ reports.
  2. Providing expert advice to the journal publisher and Editor-In-Chief concerning issues about the journal’s policies and publication ethics when necessary.
  3. They could be called upon to serve as reviewers for submitted manuscripts.
  4. They can help to either identify hot topics for Special Issues of AJOPRED and they might also help to organize and/or guest edit any subsequent publications.
  5. They can assist to attract new and established authors and article submissions.
  6. The Editorial Board members can submit some of their own research work for consideration but MUST ensure that they adhere to Conflict-of-Interest rules and clearly state their relationship to the journal.

Roles of AJOPRED Peer Reviewers

  1. Through the editorial communications with the author, peer reviewers are expected to guide the author in improving the paper in several ways including improving the quality of presentation and research rationale.
  2. A reviewer who feels unqualified to review a manuscript or knows it will be impossible to provide a prompt review of the manuscript should notify the Editor-in-Chief and withdraw from participating in the review process.
  3. It is critical that any manuscript that is received for review be treated as a confidential document. except authorized by the Editor-In-Chief, the manuscript must not be shown to, or discussed with others.
  4. Reviewers are expected to express their opinions clearly and support them with evidence. Reviewers are required to check the Instruction to authors to ensure that the manuscript adheres to the standard set forth by the journal. It is unacceptable for a reviewer to criticize the author(s) personally.
  5. Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors of the article. A reviewer has a duty to inform the Editor of any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other previously published paper of which the reviewer is aware.
  6. Reviewers must not consider manuscripts with conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions linked to the papers. AJOPRED follows IMJE’s guidance on Disclosure of Financial and Non-Financial Relationships and Activities, and Conflicts of Interest, so reviewers must follow this guide to disclose any conflict when fulfilling their roles in the article review process.

Roles of AJOPRED Contributing Authors

  1. The authors are responsible for providing a critical account of the research that has been conducted and a discussion of its significance. There should be an accurate representation of the underlying data to allow reproducibility.
  2. When needed, authors are requested to provide raw data as part of a paper being submitted for editorial review. It is expected that the author(s) make the raw data publicly available for public viewing (in accordance with the ALPSP-STM Statement on Data and Databases), and that they retain the raw data for a reasonable period of time after publication.  The authors are encouraged to share their raw data on existing dataverses, such as Harvard Dataverse and preprint servers.
  3. The author(s) should ensure they have written entirely original works, and appropriately acknowledge cited or quoted sources to ensure integrity of the work. AJOPRED uses TURNITIN to check submitted papers’ similarity index to prevent cheating and plagiarism. All papers are expected to comply with the plagiarism policy of the journal by having a similarity score not more than the acceptable upper limit 18%. When published papers are proven to be plagiarized, authors will be notified, and appropriate sanctions imposed until the manuscript has been retracted.
  4. Author(s) must not submit or publish manuscripts describing the same research in multiple journals or primary publications as this constitutes unethical publishing behavior.
  5. The right of authorship should only be given to individuals responsible for the conception, design, execution, and interpretation of the research report. Authors should adopt the Contributor Roles Taxonomy(CRediT) to describe each author’s specific contribution to the research output. Authors should be aware that AJOPRED seeks to follow the standard criteria for authorship as defined by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), so all contributing authors listed in a research paper must meet the criteria.
  6. Authors must clearly indicate any unusual hazards associated with the use of human participants, chemicals, procedures, or equipment in the manuscript if the work used any of these items.
  7. Authors should fully declare in their manuscript any financial or other substantive conflicts of interest that may be construed to have affected the results or interpretation of the manuscript in any way. 
  8. The roles of each author should be stated in the manuscript.
  9. Authors should notify the journal’s Editor-in-Chief or publisher promptly if they discover a substantial error or inaccuracy in the research paper they have published and cooperate with respect to retraction or correction of the work.  In deciding to retract a published paper with fundamental errors, AJOPRED publisher follows the COPE Guidelines for Retracting Articles.