Managing Editors' Guidelines
The main purpose of the Managing Editors Team is to make your authorial decision, informed by the external reviewers (when the manuscript goes for the full external review), about the fate of the submitted manuscript, to which you are assigned.
The Managing Editors Team consists of two members of the DPJ Editorial Board and one of the DPJ Main Editors.
Managing Editors' work involves the following steps:
Step 0-1: Meet via email, Zoom, or Skype to discuss the Team's self-organization (who is doing what and how) and Step 1.
Step 1. Quick judgment. (7-10 days). The 3 Managing Editors (you) make a first decision on the manuscript:
The submitted manuscript would be rejected at this stage either because it is out of the Focus and Scope of the journal OR due to unsalvageable problems with the quality of its argumentation, grounding, and/or research that would not promise an important contribution and productive dialogue in the DP field. A rejection of the manuscript should be based on the three Managing Editors' consensus about rejection. In this case, the Managing Editors should notify the authors and their manuscript has been rejected. Their e-mail should be informative and polite. The Managing Editors also inform the Editors-in-Chief about their decision.
If the Managing Editors disagree with each other or find the manuscript promising, the manuscript moves to the next step, step 2. In some cases, the Managing Editors may send the manuscript back to the author(s) for correcting gross errors and issues potentially distracting future reviewers.
Step 2. Starting a peer-review process. After the Managing Editors inform the Editors-in-Chief that the manuscript goes to a full external review.
The Managing Editors jointly select 4-5 referees, peer reviewers competent in the field of the submitted manuscript scholarship, and send them the manuscript upon their agreement. The referees can be selected from the pool of DPJ referees or outside of this pool (e.g., using Google Scholar, ERIC, and keywords of the manuscript) – in the latter case, referees must register on the DPJ site. Please use a pre-designed invitation letter and guidelines for reviewers (available on the DPJ site - http://dpj.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/dpj1/about/editorialPolicies#peerReviewProcess) and send the invitations through the DPJ site.
At the same time, the Managing Editors should check the existence of all the components of the manuscript file and metadata. The following components should be submitted both in the metadata and within the body of the manuscript main document: Title, Abstract, Keywords, and References. In case there is a discrepancy, please contact Ana Marjanovic-Shane, one of the DPJ Main Editors (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The referees will have about 4 weeks to provide their reviews to the Managing Editors (DPJ website will provide a reminder to the referees).
Step 3. The First Round Decision. The three Managing Editors make their decision informed by the Referees’ comments, recommendations and judgments: (“Accept submission” – as is; “Revisions required” – minor revisions that will not require additional peer review; “Resubmit for review” – major revisions are needed with a new round of reviews; or “Decline Submission”).
The Managing Editors compose a response to the author(s), explaining the basis for their authorial judgments, informed by the external reviewers, and decision.
If they cannot make the decision, the editor-in-chief is assigned to make it (or the deputy of the editor-in-chief depending on circumstances (~1 week).
If the manuscript is rejected, please provide justifications for your decision to the authors.
If revisions are needed (minor or major), please consider the following guidelines for justifying your decision and helping the author to improve the manuscript, please:
a) In a paragraph or so, provide a short summary of the main points of the manuscript in order for the authors to see how you read the manuscript;
b) Reveal the actual and potential strengths of the submitted manuscript and the reasons why the manuscript was not completely rejected;
c) Identify the major problems with the current version of the manuscript and justify why you see them as the problems and why they are major. If you refer to referees' comments, please justify their importance from your point of view (that may be different from the referees);
d) Ask questions to the author(s) for clarification as needed;
e) Reveal minor problematic areas of the manuscript;
f) Make suggestions for improvements to the manuscript and to make the author's voice stronger;
Step 4. Publication of Managing Editors' decision. The Managing Editors' decision needs to be recorded on the DPJ website. An email including the first round decision and the guidelines for revisions (if any) should be sent to the authors through the DPJ platform.
Additionally, the Managing Editors' publish their decision on the DPJ Community Space along with referees' full comments and judgments (minus comments directed exclusively to the Managing Editors).
Knowing that your and the referees' judgments, analyses, guidelines, suggestions, will be published to the whole DPJ community hopefully may lead to a more answerable, analytical, and collegial peer-review process.
A. It is OK to disagree with the referees' and DPJ community's judgments – their judgments serve only to inform yours, not to replace your judgment. You are the judge -- they are only your advisors. We can foresee a situation when you can make a judgment opposite to all or a majority of the referees;
B. Please do not be trapped by a stylistic taste in judging the manuscript such as manuscript being "one-sided", "monologic", "not balanced", "authoritarian," and so on (remember Bakhtin's characterization of Tolstoy's novel or short stories as "monologic" – it would not have prevented Bakhtin from publishing Tolstoy's "monologic" novels!). Your judgment should be guided by the manuscript's contributions to and potential to provoke important dialogues in the field;
C. Complement your comments on the manuscript with examples from the manuscript and your analysis;
D. Manuscripts ready to be published can not and do not have to be perfect, completely "weakness-free", from your point of view, but rather good enough for interesting public discussions;
E. If you sense a paradigmatic disagreement or a paradigmatic "disgust" in yourself or in the referees, this is a very good sign that this manuscript is worthy of publication. New paradigms should not be censored but published although they may highly disturb our tastes and senses;
F. In problematic situations that you cannot resolve yourselves completely, please seek help and/or advice from the Editors-in-Chief and, in some cases, even with the entire DPJ Editorial Board.
G. When one member of the Managing Editors Team resigns or stops responding to the MET’s communication, the remaining team members decide whether to call the DPJ Editorial Board for replacement of the retired MET member OR to work in reduced size of just two members to continue the momentum.
The DPJ does not necessarily agree or endorse theoretical and/or empirical findings, paradigmatic or conceptual frameworks, methodological approaches, or ethics of the scholarship published in the journal. Our main goal of the journal is to publish scholarship of the high scholarly quality, fitting the focus and scope of the journal, for a further public academic and educational forum. The DPJ does not reject manuscripts solely based on ethical concerns about the submitted scholarship and/or empirical research because we believe that these concerns have to be publically discussed. To promote a discussion of ethics of scholarship and research, we want to encourage our DPJ external reviewers and the DPJ Managing Editors Team to raise emerging ethical concerns and issues about the scholarship and/or empirical research for the authors. If the authors of a submitted manuscript choose to ignore or reject these ethical concerns or the authors address them in a way that is viewed by the DPJ Managing Editors (at least one of them) as unsatisfactory or as worth of a further discussion, the DPJ Managers have a right to add a preamble to the publication, list.