Peer Review

Principles of peer review of the ORBIT journal

The ORBIT journal publishes papers that are fully double-blind peer reviewed. Each paper is reviewed by at least two reviewers. The peer review process is guided and supervised by an editor of the journal.

Peer review in ORBIT aims to be supportive and developmental. The purpose of the journal is to support the community and exchange of information. This is reflected in the review process.

Roles involved in ORBIT peer review


The editors of the ORBIT journal are overall responsible for the strategy and implementation of the ORBIT journal. They have the final decision on acceptance / rejection of all papers.

Managing editor

The managing editor is typically an employee of ORBIT. Responsibilities include

  • Initial check of all submissions for eligibility and suitability
  • Allocation of  papers to associate editors
  • Review of deadlines and outstanding reviews or revisions
  • Communication with authors, reviewers and associate editors

Associate editors

The associate editors are senior researchers who take responsibility for the peer review of a paper. Their responsibilities include

  • Initial check of quality of paper, is it worth sending it for review?
  • If the quality is sufficient, AE selects at least 2 suitable reviewers per paper
  • AE communicates with reviewers, ensures they accept the review
  • AE oversees review, where required chases reviewers
  • Upon receipt of reviews, AE makes editorial decision:
    • accept as is
    • minor revisions
    • major revisions
    • reject
  • AE prepares communication with authors, contextualising reviews, providing guidance on how to respond.
  • Where required, AE consults with editors about editorial decision
  • AE communicates with authors according to outcome of review round
  • Where paper requires more work from authors, AE oversees subsequent round of revision.
  • Upon receipt of revised paper, AE decides whether reviews have been addressed and decides to
    • accept (typically only when minor or no revisions were required)
    • send out for additional round of review (typically when minor or major revisions were required)
    • reject (if reviews were not adequately addressed)
  • The last steps get repeated until the paper is either accepted or rejected.

Editorial review board members

Editorial review board members’ main role is to review papers. This includes

  • Agree or decline invitation to review without major delay.
  • Review paper within 4 weeks of receipt of request
    • Fill in the review form, providing quantitative assessment of paper
    • Provide detailed comment on the paper and ways to improve it
    • Specify changes required to render paper acceptable
    • Propose editorial decision
      • accept as is
      • minor revisions
      • major revisions
      • reject
  • If possible, agree to review a revised version of the paper

Review criteria

The review process ensures that the papers are of good academic quality, follow a logical and consistent argument and are rigorous and robust.

Reviewers are asked to comment on the following aspects of a paper on a scale from 1(weak) to 5 (very strong):

  • Is the paper of interest to a reasonable segment of the ORBIT / RRI community?
  • Is the paper logically and technically correct?
  • Is the research methodology rigorous and sound, where appropriate?
  • Are the title and abstract appropriate?
  • Does the paper make a sufficient contribution to RRI theory or practice, so as to warrant publication in the ORBIT journal?
  • Are the references appropriate and complete (in APA style)?
  • Is the English satisfactory?