Dear Reviewer,

Thank you for visiting our web page about peer-reviewing.

The success of the Dialogic Pedagogy Journal (DPJ) and the field as a whole heavily depend on the work of the journal peer reviewers who assess and promote the Dialogic Pedagogy scholarship. Engaging with a manuscript is, we believe, an act of scholarship, which benefits both the author(s) of an article, but also the reviewer him/herself, reviewing thus becomes part of a wider dialogue on the development and understanding of the field.

I. Purposes and tasks of the peer-reviewing process
We see the main goal of the peer-reviewing process in assuring the professional quality of scholarship in the broadly defined field of Dialogic Pedagogy (see the Focus and Scope). This goal realizes through the following functions of the peer-reviewing:

  1. Providing a justified recommendation to the DPJ Managing Editors Team by making an authorial professional judgment about whether or not the manuscript is suitable and (potentially) good enough for publication in the Dialogic Pedagogy Journal and justifying this judgment. However, the reviewer should not expect that this recommendation must be followed by the Managing Editors Team – the purpose of the recommendation is to inform the authorial independent judgments by the Managing Editors Team:
    1. Accept Submission (i.e., publish as it is, the manuscript goes for the editing and layout processes);
    2. Revision Required (i.e., accept with minor revisions, the manuscript goes to the author for suggested minor changes, no more external reviews involved);
    3. Resubmit for Review (i.e., request major revisions and encourage resubmission without any promise to be published, the manuscript goes to the author for major revision and then for the next round of review, including external reviewers);
    4. Decline Submission (i.e., reject either due to unsuitability or poor scholarly quality).
  2. Providing justification of the Reviewer's overall judgment;
    1. Sharing how the Reviewer read and understand the manuscripts and their strengths;
    2. Identifying problems and issues affecting the quality of the manuscript;
  3. If the reviewer does make recommendations for improvements, he or she should provide particularly detailed suggestions for the next revision to the author(s) with justifications, assuring and promoting the author's (NOT the reviewer’s) voice and contribution to the field. Also, these recommendations should be really suggestions, assuming the author’s final authority and responsibility for his/her/their manuscript, rather than conditions for successful publication;
  4. (Optional) If the reviewer judges a manuscript should be rejected, she or he may try to offer (but is not required) constructive suggestions for improvement so that it might be submitted elsewhere.
  5. Where appropriate, providing feedback comments on the readability of the manuscript in its margins and in the text for the author(s);
  6. (Optional) Providing a particular reader's response to the manuscript to the author(s), which is different than the review.

Thus, a peer reviewer for the DP journal will have several, at times conflicting, roles: a referee on quality and suitability, an advisor to the managing editors, a collegial helper to the author(s), a reader-commentator on the manuscript (optional).

II. Criteria for acceptance

A. Suitability of the manuscript for the Dialogic Pedagogy journal
The reviewer should make a judgment about whether or not the manuscript is suitable for the DPJ and its community behind the journal based on the description of the journal's Focus and Scope). If you have doubts about suitability and/or the description of the journal's Focus and Scope, please raise these doubts in your review to the editor.

B. Quality of the scholarship presented in the manuscript
A ‘good’ manuscript should have an important contribution to the field and a strong potential for generating an important dialogue in the DPJ community (and hopefully even beyond it, but it is not required), in the reviewer's authorial professional judgment. A dialogue-disagreement is not less (but can be even more) valuable than a dialogue-agreement. The agreement is not necessarily a proxy for truth. Thus, the manuscript does not necessarily have to resonate with the reviewer’s own views or to be convincing for the reviewer. If the reviewer's judgment is that the manuscript has a strong potential for generating an important scholarly dialogue through a revision process, the manuscript should not be rejected without giving an opportunity for the author to improve it through a guided revision process. The reviewer should provide guiding suggestions for improvements and justify them, give the benefits of the doubt, and ask the authors clarifying questions.

Coming from a dialogic perspective, we do not believe that an agreement or a consensus among relevant people is a good proxy for truth and quality of scholarship. Even more, a strong, passionate disagreement between the reviewer and the author may signal the quality of the manuscript – we want to encourage the reviewer to volunteer to submit a response-disagreement for publication.

We do not believe that the quality and the rigor of scholarship can be ensured by a high rate of manuscript rejection. We believe that the criteria of quality never fully pre-exist the work of scholarship itself – any good scholarship generates new criteria of what good scholarship is about and transforms a relevant community of practice. The creative job of the peer reviewer is to pick up new criteria of quality emerging in the manuscript's scholarship. We believe that the quality of scholarship will be ultimately established through "internally persuasive discourse" (Bakhtin, 1991), in which "truth becomes dialogically tested and forever testable" (Morson, 2004, p. 319).

Although we approach reviewing positively for this Journal, seeking to recognize the best in all manuscripts, unfortunately from time to time, some manuscripts have to be rejected. Rejection should occur when the reviewer expects through his or her justified authorial judgment that the manuscript is not salvable through any revision process, or when the author cannot deliver enough improvements after a few revision cycle(s), and/or the manuscript does not contribute to either scholarly dialogue or to the wider field of DPJ. The reviewer provides important and necessary gatekeeping on behalf of the entire DPJ community and readership. The process of rejection may be uncomfortable, even painful, but it is a very important work for the DPJ community of practice. Accepting poor quality scholarship can be detrimental for the field, the journal, and, arguably, even for the author. The reviewer may offer constructive suggestions for the author of the rejected manuscript (optional).

III. Suggested structure of the external review
Here is our suggested structure of the external review:

To the Managing Editors only:

  1. The reviewer's recommendation regarding the publication of the manuscript (to): 
    1. Accept Submission (i.e., publish as it is, the manuscript goes for the editing and layout processes);
    2. Revision Required (i.e., accept with minor revisions, the manuscript goes to the author for suggested minor changes, no more external reviews involved);
    3. Resubmit for Review (i.e., request major revisions and encourage resubmission without any promise to be published, the manuscript goes to the author for major revision and then for the next round of review, including external reviewers);
    4. Decline Submission (i.e., reject either due to unsuitability or poor scholarly quality).
  2. If any conflicts of interest affecting the review or important concerns about the reviewing process, the reviewer should articulate them (to the editors only).
  3. Comments (optional)
  4. Volunteering to submit a response for publication (optional).

To the Managing Editors and the Reviewer(s):

  1. Please summarize major points of the manuscripts how you see them – this may help the Managing Editors and the authors to contextualize your judgments.
  2. Please abstract major contributions of the manuscript to the field and its strengths if you can find ones.
  3. Please provide justifications for your recommendation.
  4. Please abstract major issues with the manuscript along with your examples from the text and justifications (if any).
  5. Please list minor issues (if any).
  6. Please provide collegial suggestions for the authors to improve the manuscripts (if applicable).
  7. Readability feedback and editing suggestions through comments on the text's margins suggested changes in the text, or at end of the text (e.g., asking for clarification by providing alternative reading the text, requesting missing info, asking to split or reorganize sentences, breaking texts on paragraphs, suggesting subheading). Please focus on the readability of the text having the DP international readership in mind rather than on the conventionality of scientific texts and the English Standard grammar. Please allow the author's cultural variation and personal experimentation with the style and genre that can fruitfully diversify the DP research (to the editors and the author). Clarity of communication addressing the DP community is the key issue here.
  8. (Optional) Feel free to provide your particular reader's response to the manuscript.


A)    Please do not be trapped by a stylistic or genre 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 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;

B)     Please try to complement your impressionistic observations on the manuscripts with examples from the manuscripts and your analysis;

C)    Publishable manuscripts should not be "weakness-free" but rather good enough for interesting public discussions;

D)    If you sense a paradigmatic disagreement or a paradigmatic "disgust" in yourself, 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;

E)     If you feel becoming polemical with the author of the manuscript, we want to encourage you developing a critical commentary for publication in DPJ along with the manuscript – please indicate this to the Managing Editors;

In problematic situations that you cannot resolve completely yourselves, please seek help and/or advice from the Managing Editors.

IV. The peer-reviewing policy and procedures

  1. Referees may choose to remain anonymous or attributed to the authors and/or the public;
  2. During the reviewing process both authors and referees may change their status from being anonymous to being attributed to each other (and public or just to each other).
  3. Referee's comments to the author(s) will be published on a special forum restricted to the Dialogic Pedagogy Journal website registered users.
  4. During the referee's work on their peer reviews, the referees are encouraged to visit and read comments posted on the special forum restricted to the Dialogic Pedagogy Journal website registered users by members of the DP community and/or the author(s).

V. The tone of peer review
We see any scholarship as often a difficult and frustrating process with a rather unpredictable outcome for any scholar: emerging or experienced, struggling, or highly successful in the past. Mistakes and failures can and do happen for every scholar. It is also a collegial, collective, discursive, and dialogic enterprise involving the entire ill-defined DPJ community. Also, peer-reviewing involves the asymmetrical application of power that can affect the institutional well-being of the author(s). Since we are all are practicing scholars with particular ontological, political, moral, ethical agendas, cultural and institutional biases, scientific paradigms, histories and backgrounds, social affiliations, and institutional and personal needs; we should seek open-mindedness and respect of the author’s work in the review process, and review as far as possible with the awareness of possible negative impacts. We should also expect at times running in conflicts of interests interfering with, disrupting, and contaminating our peer-reviewing process. We should also expect that some of these conflicts of interest may be invisible to us. Finally, we should expect our fallibility, – i.e., our unknown ignorance and even at times our invisible and unintended arrogance. That is why we need to use our peer reviewing power over the author(s) carefully, wisely, with reservations, and self-doubts (humbly).

The principles, which follow are, we believe, simply an articulation of good reviewing, which we are confident our reviewers would already demonstrate in practice. We suggest that the tone of peer-reviewing should be:

  1. Respectful (i.e., not putting the authors down, not patronizing, expecting that the author can legitimately reject our suggestions);
  2. Collegial (i.e., addressing the author as an equal peer, sympathizing with the difficulties and problems that the author has faced);
  3. Supportive (i.e., assuring and promoting the author's voice, affirming the author's contribution to the field, recognizing the author actual and potential strengths);
  4. Humble (i.e., we all are fallible and even more: we are fallible in ways that we do not know yet or ever);
  5. Avoiding any discrimination (e.g., sexism, classism, xenophobia, homophobia, racism, ageism, expertism, snobbism, hierarchism);
  6. Avoiding silencing the author's voice and scholarship just because we disagree with the authors' findings, paradigms, ideas, or arguments;
  7. Answerable for the review to the author and a broader DPJ community (and even beyond).

We suggest you re-reading the final draft of your review, before sending it to the editors, as if you are the author who gets this review, to test its tone.

VI. The reviewer's authorship
The review can be a solo or collective work with your colleagues. The apprenticeship of junior, emerging, scholars are welcomed.

VII. Resignation from the peer review process
If for any reason, you find yourself not being able to finish your review assignment, please inform the Managing Editors Team as soon as possible. Please do not feel very bad, we understand that diverse circumstances can interfere. You don’t need to provide any justification.

VIII. Ethical considerations
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 based on solely 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 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, listing their ethical concerns for the readers. The authors have a right to see a draft to this preamble and to address it which will become a part of this preamble.

Have a meaningful, fair, and enjoyable reviewing process!

The DPJ Editorial Board