Peer-review Process

ULUM Journal of Religious Inquiries is a peer-reviewed journal that is indebted to the hundreds of experts who donate their time to critically appraise articles submitted for publication consideration. Peer-reviewed articles are considered highly credible because they have undergone scrutiny by experts with particular knowledge in the topic. Peer review is critical in the editorial process because editors do not have the time or expertise to evaluate all aspects of each submission. The primary aims of peer review are 2-fold: to decide whether or not an article should be published (based on quality and relevance to the journal), and to improve the article before publication.

All submissions first go through an internal peer review process, and most go through an external peer review process. Each submission is reviewed by the assigned editor who makes an initial decision to send the manuscript out for peer review or to reject without external review. Articles can be rejected at this stage for a variety of reasons such as similarity with a recently published article, the topic is outside of the scope of the Journal, little new information is provided, important flaws in the scientific validity, or an unprofessional presentation. If the editor believes the article may be of interest to our readers, it is then sent out for external peer review.

Submissions to ULUM should be original articles evaluating previous studies in the field and should produce new and worthwhile ideas and perspectives. 

An article to be published in ULUM should not have been previously published or accepted for publication elsewhere. Papers presented at a conference or symposium may be accepted for publication if this is clearly indicated.

This journal uses double-blind review fulfilled by at least three reviewers (Double-blind peer review: Reviewers are unaware of the identity of the authors, and authors are also unaware of the identity of reviewers.) Referee names are kept strictly confidential. Referee identities may only be disclosed to journal Editorial Board members, who are also instructed to maintain confidentiality.

Type of peer review: ULUM uses double-blind review, which means that both the reviewer and author identities are hidden from each other, throughout the review process. The authors and reviewers are responsible to show their efforts to conceal the identities from being known to each other. This involves the authors, and reviewers (who upload documents as part of their review) checking to see if the following steps have been taken with regard to the text and the file properties: The authors of the document have deleted their names from the text, with "Author" and year used in the references and footnotes, instead of the authors' name, article title, etc. With Microsoft Office documents, author identification should also be removed from the properties for the file.

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 journal criteria may be rejected at this stage.

Submission is typically sent to three reviewers for evaluation. Then, Section Editor works with three reports, and submit a unified report to the author(s). An article, in order to be accepted to the journal, must take a positive evaluation from two referees. When necessary, the third referee or the advisory committee may be asked to contribute to the evaluation process. Reviewers play a central role in scholarly publishing. External peer review helps validate research, establish a method by which it can be evaluated, and increase networking possibilities within research communities. Despite criticisms, peer review is still the only widely accepted method for research validation.


Double Blind Review

Both the reviewer and the author are anonymous.

Referee names are kept strictly confidential. Referee identities may only be disclosed to journal Editorial Board members, who are also instructed to maintain confidentiality.    

Anonymizing your manuscript for double-blind peer review: a checklist

Do not include author names or affiliations anywhere in the manuscript, or in any Supplementary Information files (or in any file names).

Provide a separate title page giving all the author names and affiliations (when you reach the “File Upload” stage on submission, please choose the file designation “Title Page”).

Do not include an Acknowledgments section containing author names in the manuscript on submission. The information can be added to the manuscript after completion of the peer review process.

Do not include work in the reference list that has not yet been accepted for publication.

When referring to your own work within the paper, avoid using terminology that might reveal your identity (e.g. avoid phrases such as “we have previously shown [reference]”).

Do not sign rebuttals at revision stage with author names, nor appeals.

    • Author anonymity prevents any reviewer bias, for example, based on an author's country of origin or previous controversial work.
    • Articles written by prestigious or renowned authors are considered on the basis of the content of their papers, rather than their reputation.
    • Reviewers can often identify the author through their writing style, subject matter or self-citation.
    • Length of Review Process: The publication process of the accepted work lasts 2-8 months from the date of receipt.
    • Plagiarism policy: Plagiarism is defined to present a portion or all the work of others as their own. Duplication or self-plagiarism is the reuse of a portion or all of the work in another article without citing the original work. 
    • CrossCheck is a multi-publisher initiative to screen published and submitted content for originality.  ULUM uses the iThenticate software to detect instances of overlapping and similar text in submitted manuscripts. Wherever you see the “CrossCheck Deposited” or “CrossCheck Depositor” logos, you can be reassured that the publisher whose content you are reading is committed to actively combating plagiarism and publishing original research.  To find out more about CrossCheck visit iThenticate is the leading provider of professional plagiarism detection and prevention technology used worldwide by scholarly publishers and research institutions to ensure the originality of written work before publication. iThenticate helps editors, authors and researchers prevent misconduct by comparing manuscripts against its database of over 50 billion web pages and 130 million content items, including 40 million works from 590 scholarly publisher participants of CrossCheck, a service offered by CrossRef and powered by iThenticate software. iThenticate is developed by Turnitin, the leader in plagiarism and originality checking for educational institutions worldwide.