Our editorial process involves the following stages:
All papers are read by at least one member of the editorial team, with an editor assigned to each one. On the basis of this reading and informed by the editorial board comments, an initial decision is made. We aim to make initial decisions within 3 weeks of submission.
We reject around 40% of submissions at this stage. Papers are rejected where they are judged to fall outside the core remit of the journal (see guidance here), where the anthropological contribution is insufficiently broad or unclear, and/or where the empirical basis is insufficiently robust or analytic nuance is lacking.
All non-rejected papers are sent for review.
All non-rejected papers are sent for review. We will consider selecting a maximum of one reviewer from those identified by the author. Additional reviewers are selected by the editors on the basis of editorial board suggestions and their own reading of the paper. We normally aim to solicit between 2-4 reviews depending on reviewer availability and the degree of consensus between these. Reviewers are asked to return reviews within 4 weeks. Unfortunately, delays can result at this stage when reviewers decline invitations and/or are unable to return reviews within our target schedule.
When the reviews are received by the editorial team, we will make a decision on the paper. At this stage the possible outcomes are for papers to be: rejected, asked to revise and resubmit, accepted subject to minor revisions, or accepted. In practice, the latter is very rare following initial reviews. The most common outcomes at this stage are revise and resubmit or reject. Where revision/s are needed, reviews will always be accompanied by an editorial letter that sets out how these should be carried out.
Where revisions are requested, papers will be sent for further review after resubmission, unless the revisions are very minor. Commonly these will be returned to at least one of the initial reviewers. Additional reviews may also be sought, for instance if the focus of the paper has substantially shifted.
Stages 5-7 may be repeated until a final decision is reached.
If the paper is accepted (currently about 20% of submitted papers) it then enters the production process, involving copy-editing and proof reading. The time from acceptance to publication will vary, depending on the number of accepted papers.