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Frequently Asked Questions

About the Journal of Catholic Higher Education

 

For Authors

1. What article topics do you accept?
We consider articles that address significant issues related to Catholic higher education (CHE). Articles that are primarily aimed at a specific field’s professional audience (history, science, etc.) are generally not appropriate unless they address issues directly related to CHE. We have a particular interest in articles that address ways to strengthen the mission and identity of CHE, including the unique traditions and charisms, across various contexts and disciplines.

2. What process is used to review and accept articles?
Twice a year, the Journal releases a call for articles on topics related to future issues. The Journal also accepts articles that are submitted outside the formal “call for papers” process. When articles are received they are reviewed for appropriateness, based on content and academic rigor. If appropriate, they enter the review process. If an article is determined not to be a match for the Journal, it is returned to the author with explanation.

All articles that match our demands for content and academic rigor then go through a blind peer-review process. In this process, all identification of the author is removed from the article, which is then sent to two reviewers with expertise in the field of the article’s focus. The reviewers also remain anonymous to the author, and to each other. The reviewers recommend whether the article should be accepted or not based on a set of guidelines provided by the Journal editor. Reviewers also provide suggestions for improving the article, if applicable. Reviewer feedback is then merged into a unified feedback letter which is given to the author, with one of the following decisions presented: Accepted, Conditionally Accepted, Resubmit and Re-review, or Not Accepted.

Once an author makes the recommended changes to an article, the article is reviewed. The author is then notified as to whether the article has been accepted for publication or not. If accepted, the article is then edited, footnotes checked, and final preparations for publication made.

3. How long will it be until I hear whether my article has been accepted?
The process described in question #2 takes from four to six months to complete. The author will hear within two weeks if the article will be considered for review (i.e., found appropriate for the Journal). The peer-review process generally takes from two to three months. Please note that articles received through the “call for papers” process will be submitted for review only after the deadline for papers has passed.

4. How long until my article reaches publication?
Generally, approximately six to eight months pass between an article’s submission and its publication.

5. If I submit my manuscript before the “call for papers” deadline, will I hear back sooner on your publication decision?
No, the review process does not begin until the deadline passes.


For Peer Reviewers

1. How often will I receive manuscripts?
Generally, reviewers are asked to review no more than two manuscripts during an academic year. Most reviewers are invited to review a manuscript, on average, once a year. On rare occasion, reviewers may be asked to review more than two articles, especially if they have expertise in a particular area or others with that expertise are currently unavailable to help.

2. Is there a particular format I need to follow?
Yes, reviewers are asked to follow a standard format, details of which are provided to each reviewer. Reviewers are asked to evaluate a paper’s merits based upon its academic quality and its application to CHE: Is the topic of importance to CHE? Does the article pass academic scrutiny? Is the literature search section complete and up to date? Is the work original and of interest? Does it further the field or rehash tired arguments?

3. What happens if I do not have time to complete the review?
When a reviewer determines that he or she cannot complete a review for any reason, the reviewer must notify Journal staff immediately so a new reviewer can be identified. Reviewers are asked to update their profile at EJ Press (our online submission and peer-review system) when they know they will be hard-pressed to participate in a review process. Reviewers are encouraged to decline review requests if they know that time pressures might prevent them from completing the review in a timely or careful manner.

4. What if I do not have the knowledge required to complete the review?
If, upon receiving an article for review, a reviewer determines that the article is outside his or her area of expertise, the reviewer should notify Journal staff immediately so a new reviewer may be assigned. This speaks to the importance of carefully selecting your areas of expertise when you create your online profile.

5. Can I be a peer reviewer and also submit articles as an author?
Yes! Not only may one serve as a peer reviewer and also submit articles as an author, but peer reviewers also are encouraged to submit original articles for consideration. However, if you submit an article to the Journal, you will not be permitted to be a reviewer for that same issue, as this would pose a conflict to the full blind peer-review process. In all cases, appropriate professional ethical standards are to be followed. For example, it would be inappropriate for a reviewer to write an article based upon ideas and information provided in an article previously reviewed until that article appears in print.