Notes For Reviewers
TRC Journal of Humanitarian Action (TRCJHA), founded in 2021, is an open-access, double-blind peer-reviewed, international, and official journal of Turkish Red Crescent.
Contributors submitting their works to TRCJHA are informed that articles should include the following:
- Quantitative, qualitative, or mixed research methods
- Comprehensive literature reviews, meta-analysis, or meta-synthesis
- Model proposals, clinical experimental research models, or original writings of similar quality
Review and Publication Process for Manuscripts Submitted to TRCJHA
Editorial Board Assessment
- Manuscripts are first assessed by the Editors for purpose, topic, content, presentation style, and mechanics of writing.
- Only manuscripts that meet the TRCJHA criteria will be forwarded to reviewers.
- The Editors may consult experts (anonymous readers) before the referee review when deemed necessary. In such cases, the Editors’ decision will be based on the expert report.
During this preliminary assessment, the Editorial Board guidelines are as follows:
Quantitative research based on a single variable or that mainly analyzes frequency, percentage, difference, and correlational statistics usually undergoes preliminary assessment according to its contents. Quantitative research including multiple regressions, path and cluster analysis, or other advanced research and statistical methods is given priority.
Studies Developing a Measurement Tool
The authenticity, scope, quality of the group worked on, and efficiency of the reliability and validity of studies are taken into consideration to decide whether the measurement tool can be published independently. The Editorial Board encourages contributors to send their manuscripts if the developed measurement tool is used in a study in which the findings are reported.
Findings must be supported, detailed, and further elaborated with qualitative data.
Reliability and validity studies and in-depth analysis of the data are of utmost importance.
TRCJHA aims to publish analytical studies identifying and proposing solutions to key issues related to disaster and humanitarian activities. However, such studies should not resemble a book chapter based only on a literature review.
Mixed Research Designs
Such studies have a higher likelihood of being published. Mixed research design studies should justify why and how the author adopted the research design. Qualitative and quantitative sections are analyzed separately and are expected to meet the criteria described above.
- The Editors emphasize that TRCJHA articles should not include studies based on very frequently used measurement tools or on research topics that have been overly examined, unless they propose an innovative approach to the topic in question.
- Manuscripts based on thesis-related research should include all data used in the thesis. TRCJHA does not publish any article including unethical practices such as sliding.
- TRCJHA believes that the data collection process for original research should have been done in the last 5 years.
Referee Review Process
Manuscripts that meet the Editorial Board criteria are sent to two reviewers relevant to the field. If the reviewers differ in their opinions regarding the quality of the work, the paper will be referred to a third reviewer.
- All correspondence between the authors and Editors and all stages of the Editorial Board and reviewing process are transparent. However, correspondence between the Editors and the Editorial Board and the reviewers are an exception to this transparency principle. In referee reports forwarded to the author, the referees will remain anonymous.
- If the reviewer encounters ethical issues, problems with data integrity, or academic conflicts of interest, he or she must share these with the Editors.
- To contribute to a consistent and integrated review process, the Editors may ask the reviewers to comment on each other’s reports. However, identities of the referees will remain hidden.
Selection of Reviewers
- Many factors play a role in reviewer selection. Experience, a research background compatible with the study, and previous editing experience as a reviewer are the most influential factors in the selection process.
- Authors may request their manuscripts to not be sent to particular reviewers due to conflicts of interest. Authors should indicate this during the manuscript submission stage.
- Reviewer performance is periodically evaluated by the Editorial Board, and the Board of Reviewing Editors is updated with every new issue.
Things to Do upon Receipt of the Manuscript
- Reviewers should check the soft copy of the manuscript and make sure the file can be opened on their computers. Reviewers should assess the compatibility of the research topic and their availability for the given time period and then inform the Editors of their decision to review the manuscript.
- If the reviewer thinks he or she cannot be objective in the review process due to a conflict of interest (author, institution, and/or sponsor of the research), the Editors should be informed of this decision.
- Reviewers should read the Editors’ email carefully as the Editors may have a special request (such as to review only the methodology section of the manuscript).
- If reviewers request help from a third party during the review process, this person’s name should be revealed to the Editors. The Editors may recommend this person to be appointed as a reviewer for the journal.
Writing Reviewer Reports
Reviewer reports are expected to focus on the following questions:
- Does the study make an original contribution to the field?
- Do the research data and findings support the discussion?
- Is the research scientifically up to date?
Expectations from Reviewers
- Reviewers are expected to be critical and objective.
- Reviewers are required to limit their evaluation to the manuscript and avoid making derogatory remarks about the authors.
- Reviewers must provide details and clearly explain their negative feedback, not just tick the boxes on the evaluation form. Reviewers who reject the manuscript should justify their decision by clearly specifying the manuscript’s weaknesses.
- Editors may redact spelling errors, misconceptions, and derogatory comments in the reviewer reports.
- Reviewers are allotted 30 days to review a manuscript.
- If reviewers think they are unlikely to finish their evaluation within the allocated time, they may ask for additional time from the Editors or reject the manuscript. By doing so, the Editors will have sufficient time to appoint new reviewers, and the review process will be completed on time.
Conflicts of Interest
Authors can request to exclude reviewers with perceived competing interests from refereeing their paper, but are asked to provide additional information to support such a request. The Editors will respect these requests provided that they do not interfere with the objective and thorough assessment of an article.
The Editors do not send manuscripts to particular reviewers under such circumstances:
- If the reviewer has co-published an article with the author(s) before.
- If the reviewer has assisted the author(s) in proofreading their manuscripts.
- If the reviewer has had problems with the author(s) before.
- If the reviewer will benefit financially from publication of the article.
- If the reviewer works in the same institution (same department in the university) as the author(s).
- Since the Editors may not be aware of all the circumstances specified above, the reviewers are required to inform the Editors of such situations that may prevent them from being objective in their evaluations.
Editorial Policy and Ethical Issues
The Editors may not always notice the ethical problems or editorial policy conflicts in manuscripts. It is essential that reviewers notify the Editors about such situations.
Feedback to Reviewers
- The finalized version of the manuscript will be sent to reviewers who specifically request to see the manuscript in its finished form.
- Reviewers may find that not all their feedback is reflected in the final version. This may result from other reviewers having different views that the Editor has also taken into consideration. In this case, the reviewer may ask to see the reviews of other reviewers.
The Editors may choose to take one of the following options in accordance with referee reviews:
- The manuscript may be accepted for publication with minor or major revisions.
- The author may be asked to revise the study and resubmit for a new review process.
- The manuscript may be rejected.
Reviewers may express a unified opinion in their reports on whether the manuscript should be published; however, the Editors may override this opinion. The final decision of the Editorial Board is determined not by the number of reviewers for or against the publication of manuscript, but by the strength of their arguments. Thus, the Editorial Board considers reports with clear explanations, justifications, and recommendations more useful than reports with only checked boxes.