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Advances in Aerospace Science and Technology (AAST)

AAST: The Review Style

Degree of Openness of the AAST Peer Review Process

A new proposal is discussed on the OASPA Blog. 5 stages of transparency in the peer review process should be distinguished. There seems to be a logical sequence of advancing towards more openness in peer review. Adding one more measure towards openness will add one star. The most open peer review process would allocate 5 stars:
*     Providing clear dates of submission, revision, acceptance, and publication
**    The above and: Listing the reviewers involved once a year(1)
***   The above and: Providing a yearly overview of submissions and acceptance(1)
****  The above and: Naming the Handling Editor (Academic Editor) and Reviewers(2) per article
***** The above and: Publishing the (Pre-Publication) Review Report(3) online alongside the final article
Certainly, also other sequences would be possible if it makes sense at another journal.

(1) At AAST this is done in a citable Editorial with DOI (see Journal and Review Statistics).
(2) At AAST reviewers are only named after their written consent, but the total number of reviewers who have taken part in the review is specified in any case with each article.
(3) At AAST there is currently no intension to publish pre-publication review reports. However, AAST welcomes everyone to write a review which is published along with the paper in the moderated post-publication blog based on DISQUS. Certainly also reviewers who have been part in the pre-publication review are invited to write in the post-publication review.

The AAST review process and review style would qualify for 4 stars (****) in peer review openness. On the rest of the page details are explained. For comparison, SCIRP in its standard journal operation would currently qualify for one star.


Review Style Definition

The advantages and disadvantages of the three elementary review styles have been compiled concisely by Elsevier: AAST has chosen a review style coined Single Blind, Open Review Choice. This review style is a traditional Single Blind Review; however, if the reviewer chooses to be revealed to the author, this is also possible (Open Review Choice). The openness of the review process may be seen as an additional 7th dimension of openness with respect to the Open Access Spectrum.


"Single Blind, Open Review Choice" - Review Style Advantages

The idea is to get the advantage from the Open Review combined with the advantage from the Single Blind Review. In most cases it should be possible for all parties to communicate openly with one another. However, if need arises, the reviewer can use the anonymity for an impartial and free decisions.

Double Blind Review is sometimes seen as "the next step up" from the Single Blind Review. It is certainly true that Double Blind can eliminate bias, but it does not foster openness either. Possibly a more open review style fits better to the ideal of openness at heart of the Open Access movement.

AAST has a review process called "single blind open review choice". This offers a reviewer the choice to (for details, see below):

The spirit of the AAST Review is characterized by appreciation, support and mentoring. This spirit is fostered by an Open Review. We want to bring the manuscript to the stage of a good final paper which is providing useful information to readers worldwide. Please observe: If the reviewer gets in a conversation with the author, the reviewer may not make any comments on the chances of the manuscript getting published. This final decision is made by the editor after considering and balancing the comments of all reviewers. Also the final comments to the author are written by the editor as a balanced summary of the advice given by all reviewers and editors.


Review Style Implementation

In detail, each reviewer has the choice:

Number of Reviews for Reviewer Status To be credited as reviewer of the reviewed paper in the title footnote of this reviewed paper and in an Editorial written and published annually based on journal statistics ...

To be listed as a reviewer to AAST on a (subordinate) web page of AAST ... ... together with the number of performed reviews and the reviewer status (idea inspired by Elsevier's Peer Review Challenge): Reviewers are ask is they have any Conflict of Interest. If reviewers have a conflict of interest they should recuse themselves from the review task.


Handling Editor

Each manuscript is taken care of by an Editor. It is the person guiding the review process and is mentioned on the title page of the paper (see below). An Editor whose duty is limited to core activities and decision making is named Academic Editor. An Editor additionally in charge of the correspondence with reviewers and with the Corresponding Author is named Handling Editor. AAST will work in most cases with a Handling Editor. For the rest of the text here "Handling Editor" can also be replaced by "Academic Editor". Generally and in most cases the Handling Editor (HE) for papers in AAST is the Editor-in-Chief (EiC). As the journal is increasing its publication rate, the Editor-in-Chief may occasionally delegate the activity of guiding a manuscript through the review process to other members of the Editorial Board (EB). Accordingly, another EB member takes the roll of the Handling Editor for a selected manuscript. Another EB member will also take the roll of the Handling Editor if the EiC himself is one of the authors of the manuscript. The Handling Editor personally carries the responsibility for the quality of the review process of the paper. Each paper will have gone through a review process. The name of the Handling Editor on the title page of the paper is a guarantee for the quality with which the review process has been carried out. For the Handling Editor to be mentioned on the title page of the paper, it is honor and burden of responsibility at the same time. The lines on the title page of the paper (below title, author, affiliation and e-mail contact) look like this:

Received yyyy-mm-dd; revised yyyy-mm-dd; accepted yyyy-mm-dd

Handling Editor: FirstName LastName, Affiliation, Country

Copyright © 2014 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY).

The article shows only the publication month (on top of the title page - not shown here). The exact publication date is given on the web site. This is due to the publication work flow. When the PDF is prepared, the exact publication date is not known.

Handling Editors should recuse themselves from the task if they have Conflict of Interest or relationships that pose potential conflicts related to articles under consideration.


Paper Category / Article Type

TitleFootnote Two terms paper category or article type are used and mean the same thing. In this text the term "paper category" is used. AAST has quite a detailed selection of available Paper Categories. Authors are encouraged to make proposals on the Paper Category for their manuscript. Based on the author's proposal, the Editor-in-Chief will make a preliminary decision on the Paper Category. During the course of the review process a final decision on the Paper Category will be made. The paper category is given in a gray line above the title of each paper (see picture on right).

Important is certainly also which article types (document types) are covered in Scopus. It may be important independent from the fact if AAST is presently indexed in Scopus or not. A discussion about document types can be found in:

Scopus: Content Coverage Guide, 2014, pp. 11,12.
Covered in Scopus are: Article (original research), Editorial, Letter, Note, Review (significant review of original research), and Short Survey (short or mini-review). Not covered in Scopus are Book Reviews. Hence Book Reviews do not help authors to build up citations (and the h-index) in Scopus. All other paper categories at AAST - as presented below - should be beneficial for author's citation buildup following Scopus' standards.

Available Paper Categories for AAST are:

REVIEW Comprehensive Review Papers (more than 15 pages written in a concise style with many references; any form of review) will get a sticker "Review Paper" in the AAST list of papers on the Internet. (See sticker on the right.)

EDITORIAL Editorials will get a sticker "Editorial" in the AAST list of papers on the Internet. (See sticker on the right.)

[1] http://libguides.unf.edu/originalresearch
[2] http://www.springerplus.com/authors/instructions/methodology
[3] http://www.springerplus.com/authors/instructions/database
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Case_study
[5] http://www.emeraldinsight.com/authors/guides/write/abstracts.htm
[6] http://www.springerplus.com/authors/instructions/review
[7] http://www.bjst-journal.com/authors/instructions/bookreview (SpringerOpen)
[8] http://arc.aiaa.org/page/contributorinfo
[9] http://de.wiktionary.org/wiki/Editorial
[10] http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/editorial


Journal and Review Statistics

The Journal and Review Statistics are published at the beginning of each New Year as an Editorial. The article starts with In the same way als all other papers in the journal, also this Editorial will have a DOI. In this way the reviewer and handling editor contributions are citable.

The statistics (see Table 1) consist of simple performance figures, impact measures (as appropriate to the age of the journal), measures of the publication speed and about the review process. Statistics about the review process help to make Open Access publishing more transparent and safeguard the journal against allegations.

Table 1: AAST Annual Performance and Review Statistics for 2014, ...
Productivity since start last year
Issues Published --- ---
Items Published (total) --- ---
   Original Research --- ---
   Review Papers --- ---
   Technical Papers --- ---
   Comments --- ---
   Viewpoints --- ---
   Editorials --- ---
Pages Published (total) --- ---
Impact since start last year
Number of (new) Index Entries --- ---
Number of Journal Page Visits --- ---
Number of Paper Downloads --- ---
Number of Discussions --- ---
  absolute per paper
Number of Quotations on Google --- ---
Publication Speed average
since start
last year
Average Time from "Submission" to "Preliminary Review" --- ---
Average Time from "Preliminary Review" to "First Review Summary" --- ---
Average Time from "First Review Summary" to "Revision" --- ---
Average Time from "Revision" to "Acceptance" --- ---
Average Time from "Acceptance" to "Author's Formatted Version" --- ---
Average Time from "Author's Formatted Version" to "Publication" --- ---
Avarage total Time from "Submission" to "Publication" --- ---
Review Process
  absolute relative [%]
Rejected Submissions, Rejection Rate --- ---
   Failed in Publisher's Check (plagiarism, hoax) --- ---
   Failed in Preliminary Review --- ---
   Failed in Full Review --- ---
Accepted --- ---
Withdrawn or Change to other Journal at SCIRP --- ---
Sum --- 100

The Editorial publishing the annual journal statistics should comment on the statistical data and can also report on:

LAST UPDATE:  2015-06-14
home  Prof. Dr. Scholz