Editorial Policy

Round 1

The First Round consists of double-blind, three-member panels of editors who pass or fail articles on simple majority after submission of their individual reviews.  

The Round 1 Process encompasses of two processes: A Plagiarism Check, and a Detailed Review of the manuscript, providing reasons for their decision to fail/pass the manuscript. In the instance that a manuscript is over 15% plagiarised, the same shall not be considered for review. The Review, apart from being a critical analysis of the manuscript, shall primarily ascertain whether the piece is a valuable contribution to academic literature and discussion, while including feedback as to how the manuscript can be improved. The Review must also include suggestions on how the piece could be improved for future publication.

Ultimately, all articles must be assessed on their academic contribution in light of existing literature, and their relative novelty in the academic realm. The traditional criteria of evaluation, of novelty & originality, logical coherency & clarity, grammar, research and publishability shall serve as guidelines to assess a particular manuscript.

Subsequently, the Panel convenes for a discussion on the academic merit of each of the articles, and shall reach an unanimous decision to either pass or fail the article. If the Panel ascertains that the article does not comply with the submission guidelines or meet the minimum standards of academic writing, the submission shall not proceed to the next stage in the review process.

In a scenario where a Panel deems a manuscript to have potential for publication, with extensive edits, the Panel may direct the Author(s) to revise the submission accordingly, and resubmit the same for reconsideration.

Round 2

Submissions that pass the First Round of review, shall be sent to a Review Committee, constituted by the Chief Editor for further scrutiny. A Review Committee consists of four Panels (12 members). The Committee shall approve or reject the decision of the original three-member Panel in Round 1, by further deliberating on the merits/demerits of the Article. Any manuscript, written by an author, not pursuing an undergraduate degree, shall be peer reviewed accordingly.

Approved Submissions are redirected to the three-member panel that reviewed the manuscript in the First Round. The Chief Editor  may redirect submissions to panels or alter the composition of panels in the Review Committee to address inequitable workloads or unforeseen circumstances. 

Round 3

The Third Round involves a collaborative editing process between the author and a three-person panel of editors. These editors will work on the article until publication. This process involves four steps: source pulling, citation checks, style review, and a final draft. 

Source pulling

At this stage, the panel procures and reviews all authorities and materials relied upon by the author, and verifies that the material adequately supports (or, as the introductory signal of the citation may indicate, contradict) the relevant assertion. This verification is both procedural and substantive. At the procedural level, the panel verifies the authenticity and the accessibility of the relevant authority. If an open-access source is available, it will be preferred. At the substantive level of source review, the panel verifies, in collaboration with the author, whether the argument advanced is best supported by the authority, or if another stronger authority may take its place. The panel may also recommend that the argument be refined during this process. 

Citation checks

At this stage, the panel shall verify that citations comply strictly with the Bluebook (20th Edition). The Journal recognises that the Bluebook is not freely accessible, and in such cases, for reference, the Indigo Book may be relied upon. The panel will also, in collaboration with the author on substantial matters, correct each citation to reflect the rules of the Bluebook. 

Style Review

Style Review consists of the following steps: a spelling/grammar/usage check, both automated and by hand. This section of the review checks for consistency of style with the Bluebook as well as accepted standards of modern English usage. The Journal believes that style is not a consideration merely for the body text of an Article. Citations too must be considered part of the editing and revision process. The panel, at this point, deals with both the formal compliance with the Bluebook, and with the readability of the citation, attempting to ensure that readers may clearly comprehend the relevance of the citation to the assertion.

Final Draft

After the preceding steps, the team of assigned editors will again review the accepted article, checking if various requirements have been complied with, fixing formatting, and editing for grammar and spelling. Citations will also go through a final substantive and procedural review: first, checking for any citations that do not adequately support (or as the introductory signal may indicate, contradict) the assertion; and second, checking for accuracy with the Bluebook (20th Edition).

Finally, an editor designated by the Editor-in-Chief, considering experience, constraints, and other factors, will compile all the articles into a final draft. 

For an example of the current design of the Journal, please refer to the PDF copy of the 2019 edition. This final draft is then reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief and submitted to the entire Board for comments and approval. After suggested edits are made and errors corrected, the Journal is uploaded to the Website, and a sample print copy is archived at the NUALS Library.