Reviewing Policy of PRAGYANA–A Peer Reviewed International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research
Introduction

PRAGYANA has its own policy for reviewing research articles, papers and proceedings. All research articles, received to be published in PRAGYANA, undergo a peer review process that generally takes review from two (or three) independent, peer reviewers or experts of the subject area. PRAGYANA peer review comprises a double-blind peer review process where the identities of both the author and reviewer are kept undisclosed to one another. Thus, the authors’ identity is unknown to the reviewer and vice-versa, therefore it prevents the reviewer(s) from forming any bias.

Peer Review

In order to maintain the quality of work it is necessary to publish articles which reflect a high level of research or innovation. To achieve this objective a fair review of paper is required with a sole purpose to provide the Editor(s) with the information needed to reach an impartial, evidence-based decision that observes the journal’s editorial benchmarks. Reviews should be done in such a way that their reports may be helpful for authors to revise their research articles in accordance with the guidelines so that paper may be accepted and published. If the paper is rejected, the report should be self-explanatory communicating main weaknesses in research; so that the revised manuscript may be resubmitted or submitted to some other journal.

Policy for Peer Review

When a research article is submitted for publication it is ensured that it has been submitted as per the submission guidelines and is complete in all sense. Then it is sent to the editor for assessment to know whether or not it is suitable for peer review. It is minutely checked, if the editor is in the list of authors, the article is sent to the other editor for assessment. Reports of reviewers are considered while Editors take a decision, but may not take the opinions or recommendations given by them. A concern raised by a single peer reviewer or the Editor himself may result in the manuscript being rejected. Author(s) will receive the editorial decision on their manuscript along with reports of reviewers after the process of peer review. In case of Conference Proceedings, the Session Chairs, Review Committee Members and other designated members of the said conference review the papers they also select external experts and reviewers and take help from them.

Selection of Peer Reviewer

For a quality publication, the selection of peer reviewer is crucial which should consider number of factors that include reviewer's inclination and field of research, expertise, repute, citation, previous publications and conflict of interest along with this ability of reasoning, rapidity of response and meticulousness are also needed.

Responsibility of Editors:

It is the duty of the Editor that reports from minimum two peer reviewers are obtained for manuscripts submitted whether primary research or secondary analysis. In case of very specialised or new topic, where it is not possible to find two independent peer reviewers, the Editor(s) can also take decision to publish an article on the basis of the report of one peer review only, ensuring that one report fulfils all the criteria of publications:

1)    As the language of the Journal is English and papers are accepted in the English medium the Peer review reports should also be in the same language. The reports should consist of critical and productive evaluations of research work, specially that suitable methodology has been used, the results have been calculated on the basis of using correct tools of analysis, and the conclusion has been drawn appropriately from results. Final decisions of the Editor(s) will be made on the basis of peer reviewers.

2)    The contact details of reviewers, if suggested by authors, should be verified by the editor(s) independently or other third parties should be involved for verification. Most preferably the institutional email of reviewers can be used while contacting them. As a matter of policy one of the reviewers must be outside the list as suggested by the author.

3) Manuscripts such as editorials, case studies, book reviews, commentaries or opinion articles, may not be sent for peer review and be accepted without it as they that do not necessarily report primary research or secondary analysis. The editor(s) should assess theses manuscripts, if the topic matches with the expertise of editor(s); otherwise, where topic does not fall in the expertise of the Editor(s), an independent expert or reviewer should be called for assessing such manuscripts.


Although, the policy of peer reviewing is having a rule to get reviewer report from two peer reviewers but in an extraordinary case where two independent peer reviewers are not possible to find, editor(s) will take decision based on only one report or the Editor will submit report in place of second reviewer. Also the following sholud be followed properly wherever applicable:
A.    The expertise of editor, if acting as a second reviewer, has a match with the research topic or he/ she has got sufficient knowledge of that research topic.
B.    Review reports should be properly signed by the Editor in order to ensure clarity and credibility in the reviewing process.
C.    Each report should be systematic and comprehensive in all manners.
D.    While selecting reviewers the recent research publications and seniority of the reviewers should be kept in mind specially for the first reviewer.

For the publication in Pragyana, authors can suggest some potential reviewers to include or exclude from consideration the suggestions for peer reviewers should be given in the cover letter. Editor may ask authors to provide the information information which is helpful to verify the identity and expertise of the reviewer, i.e., his/ her institutional email address or their IDs on ORCID/ Scopus. Authors should avoid recommending their colleagues from the same organisation where they work. Editors have the ultimate right to consider the request and editor's decision for choosing peer reviewers will be final and binding. Any potential peer reviewers, if selected, should inform the Editor, immediately, if there is any possibility of conflicts of interest before sending their consent to review the manuscript. All communication between editors and peer reviewers should be kept confidential and should not be shared with third parties.