Pre-Review Reviews

Some of you who've submitted articles know that we've started doing editorial reviews of submitted articles before we accept them as ready for the formal JITAg review process.

We do this for two reasons.

First, it helps authors. It helps them make their articles stronger, and that, in turn, increases the chance that they will ultimately be accepted for publication.

When we get an article that needs strengthening, we e-mail the submitting author, explaining what I see as the problems and suggesting ways to solve them.

Sometimes, the solution is simply to follow the JITAg Submission Guidelines. Some authors don't include abstracts, for instance. Others haven't paid sufficient attention to the differences among the article categories, so their articles don't fit in any of them.

Sometimes, the problems are a little more deep-seated. A fairly common one, for example, is not answering the "so what?" question, not addressing the implications of whatever's being written about.

This "pre-review review" does not guarantee publication in JITAg. (For one thing, we are no methodology maven and so can't address problems of that nature.) What it can do, however, is "clear the decks" for JITAg reviewers so that they can focus on methodology, recognize authors' intentions and the implications of their work, and make suggestions that may well lead to publication.