Peer review policy

Journal of Semiconductors uses the IOP's Peer Review Policy (LAST UPDATED OCTOBER 2016).


Impartiality

Journal of Semiconductors is international in authorship and readership. Referees are carefully selected from the worldwide research community. Unbiased consideration is given to all manuscripts offered for publication regardless of whether or not the authors request publication on an open access basis and regardless of the race, gender, religious belief, ethnic origin, citizenship, political philosophy, sexual orientation, age or reputation of the authors.


Invitation to review an article

To uphold this impartiality, referees should consider any potential conflict of interest before agreeing to referee and should contact the editorial office to declare any potential conflict of interest in the following instances:

if you are in direct competition with the authors

if you are a co-worker or collaborator with one of the authors

if you are in a position to exploit the authors’ work (commercially or otherwise)

if you are in a position which prevents you from giving an objective opinion of the work.

Minor conflicts do not disqualify a referee from reporting on an article but will be taken into account when considering the referees' recommendations. Major conflicts of interest do disqualify a referee. Referees should act within the spirit of the Nolan Principles of Public Life.

If you are unable to act as a referee due to a conflict of interest we will then select an alternative referee.


Referee reports and anonymity

Referee reports are sent to the authors with the decision letter. Referee reports are generally sent intact but may under go minor editing for clarity, to correct spelling or typographical errors, or to remove any text that in advertently reveals the referee's identity.

Referee names are kept strictly confidential. Referee identities may only be disclosed to journal Editorial Board members, who are also instructed to maintain confidentiality. (Journal of Semiconductors thus operate the 'single-blind' review process, in which referees know the identity of the authors but authors do not know the identity of the referees.)

Referees are asked not to transmit reports directly to the authors.

We also ask that referees do not otherwise disclose their identity to the authors or discuss the papers they have reviewed with colleagues unless they have been published.


Single-blind peer review

Journal of Semiconductors operates a single-blind peer review policy. The referees know the identity of the authors but authors do not know the identity of the referees.


General procedure

Pre-refereeing stage

Upon receiving a new manuscript, the Editorial office conducts initial pre-refereeing checks to ensure the article is legible, complete, correctly formatted, original, within the scope of the journal in question, in the style of a scientific article and written in clear English. Any article that has problems with any of the above criteria may be rejected at this stage.


Refereeing stage

Articles passing successfully through the pre-refereeing stage then begin formal peer review.

Research papers submitted are generally sent to two independent referees who are asked to report on the quality, novelty, scientific rigour, significance to the field and presentation. (Non-paper article types, such as reviews, may differ. See the 'Specific article types' section below).

Referees are selected from our reviewer database and we try to find the best combination of scientific expertise and referee experience for each paper.

Authors are welcome to suggest referees for their paper if they wish but this is not required. In the interests of impartiality, if an author-suggested reviewer is used then we will complement this with a review from a second referee chosen by the journal from the general referee pool.

Further information about the role of referees can be found in our Referee Guidelines.


Use of an adjudicator

If the referees’ reports are not in agreement, the paper and the reports are sent to an adjudicator (often a Board Member) who is first asked to form their own opinion of the paper and then to read the referees’ reports and adjudicate between them. If a referee is overruled by an adjudicator, we will notify the referee of this.


Revised papers

When authors make revisions to their article in response to the referees’ comments they are asked to submit a list of changes and any replies for transmission to the referees. The revised version is usually returned to at least one of the original referees who is then asked whether the revisions are satisfactory. If the referees remain dissatisfied, the paper can be referred to the Editorial Board of the journal for further consideration.


Refereeing times

If a reviewer proves unable to report, we will try to find an alternative referee as quickly as possible. However, if a referee requests a short extension to their deadline for providing a report, we will usually grant this if it is reasonable. We try to strike a balance between the needs of authors (who will often ask for as fast a review as possible), and those of referees (who will often prefer to have more time to thoroughly study the paper and compose their report).

In those rare cases where an article’s review process has been delayed due to unexpected difficulties in obtaining reports, we make use of our Editorial Board members’ expertise to conclude the process swiftly.


Appeals

Authors have the right to appeal against a rejection, whether it is after full review with referee reports or at the pre-refereeing stage. To lodge an appeal the author should contact rqjin@semi.ac.cn, outlining their case for reconsideration. In order to be considered appeals must directly address the reasons given for the initial rejection decision. If referee reports were included with the rejection letter then these criticisms must be responded to in the appeal. Appeals that do not address referees’ comments, or which dismiss them out of hand, will not be considered.

Appeals are then sent to a member of the journal’s Editorial Board for consideration. If successful, an appeal can lead to the article’s review being resumed and the article may ultimately be published following any revisions the Board feels are necessary. However, if the appeal is rejected then the original rejection decision is upheld and no further consideration of that article is possible.

Please note, we must receive your appeal within 4 weeks of your rejection decision, otherwise we are unable to consider it.