Australian Journal of Crop Science   AJCS

Editorial and Peer Review Policy for the Australian Journal of Crop Science (AJCS)

Summary of Editorial Process:

After submitting manuscripts via the journal's online portal, the following steps will occur: 

1) Upon submission, all manuscripts undergo thorough examination by the managing editor and editor-in-chief. The editor-in-chief assigns the manuscript to an associate editor or relevant editorial member. Two external peer-reviewers are then selected to evaluate the manuscript based on the area of expertise . Prior to commencing the peer-review process, editors and reviewers verify the originality of the work using plagiarism checkers.

2) An initial decision is reached within 5 days of submission by the editor-in-chief or associate editor regarding whether the manuscript should proceed to peer review. During this stage, the editors assess the manuscript for minimum English language requirements, originality, scientific quality, and content merit. If authors do not receive correspondence within 5 days, it indicates that their submission will advance to external peer review. Communication with authors primarily occurs through the journal's online system (OJS), with important notifications, such as review outcomes, sent via email from the editor or managing editor.

3) The external peer-review process typically spans 30-45 days. Following receipt of all reviewer comments, a final decision is made based on the reviewers' feedback and recommendations. Authors are notified of the decision by the managing editor.

4) Authors are responsible for ensuring that the Australian Journal of Crop Science (AJCS) meets their institutional publication criteria. Submission to AJCS implies authors' agreement with the editorial policy; however, the journal does not guarantee indexing in specific databases post-submission, unless those that explicitly stated on the journal's website.

The Australian Journal of Crop Science (AJCS) employs a rigorous editorial review process to ensure the quality, originality, and significance of the research to our readership. Manuscripts submitted to AJCS undergo a single-blind peer review, where the identities of reviewers are concealed from the authors. However, reviewers may have access to the list and affiliation of authors.

Details of Editorial Process:

Authors may suggest a preferred editor upon submission, but editor assignments depend on factors such as availability and expertise. Submissions undergo initial assessment by the editor-in-chief, associate editor, or managing editor to ascertain suitability within the journal's scope and adherence to scientific standards. Manuscripts meeting these criteria proceed to external peer review, while those outside the scope are promptly returned to authors to seek alternative publication options.

During external review, manuscripts are evaluated by at least two subject experts. In exceptional cases, where obtaining two reviews is challenging, the editor-in-chief or associate editor may rely on a single reviewer's comments alongside their own assessment or return the manuscript to authors for submission elsewhere to prevent delays.

In cases where a previously rejected manuscript is revised and resubmitted, it will typically be sent to the original reviewers for evaluation. However, the editor-in-chief retains the discretion to invite new reviewers or exclude original reviewers when deemed appropriate.

Revised manuscripts must be submitted within two months of receiving a "Major revision" decision. Failure to meet this deadline may result in the resubmission undergoing a new full review process. Authors must submit revised manuscripts in their final form, with changes highlighted in blue font and accompanied by a detailed response to reviewers. Exceptions to the time limit will be considered when the reason thoroughly explained to the editor-in-chief in writing. Therefore, if you need more time, please directly contact the managing editor.

Manuscripts must be submitted in their final form, with revised sections indicated in blue font plus a detailed "Response to Reviewers", in which all questions and concerns raised by the editor and reviewers have been itemised, answered and addressed properly. The files accepted within the journal's online system or those were sent directly to managing editor via email will be the ones supplied to the publisher for production. Any major alterations requested at the proof stage may cause delays in publication.

After receiveing the final revised files, Acceptance of manuscripts typically takes one day to two weeks, although unforeseen circumstances may cause delays. Authors are encouraged to contact the managing editor with any concerns about acceptance timelines.

As an open-access journal, AJCS levies a one-time publication fee post-acceptance. Upon receipt of full payment, the manuscript undergoes printing and online dissemination through various publication partners.

Authors receive email notifications at each stage post-acceptance, including pre-prints, galley proofs, corrections, and final publication.

Publication Ethics:
The Australian Journal of Crop Science (AJCS) upholds a strong commitment to publication ethics and follows the guidelines outlined by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). We expect all editors and authors to adhere to these ethical practices, including those related to authorship, plagiarism, dual submission, attribution, image integrity, figure preparation, and competing interests. AJCS also maintains policies on research ethics, encompassing human subjects research, animal research, and global research. Detailed guidelines can be found in the COPE's practice guidelines or here.

Concerns Raised on Publications:
AJCS takes concerns raised by editors, readers, authors, and reviewers seriously, regardless of the time since publication or study completion. In the event that concerns are raised, AJCS will thoroughly investigate and, if necessary, take appropriate measures to correct or clarify the scientific record. This may involve issuing corrections, expressions of concern, or retractions.

Copyrights and Responsibilities for Authors:
Authors retain the sole copyright for their content, and no copyright will be held by AJCS. Authors are responsible for the accuracy and honesty of their data. AJCS maintains records of the "consent to publisher's form" signed by authors for future reference and potential resolution of any concerns or conflicts that may arise.

Reviewer Guidelines:
Reviewers invited to assess manuscripts for AJCS are expected to comply with generally accepted publication ethics and best practices, including the AJCS's Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers established by COPE. Southern Cross Publishing, the parent organization of AJCS, supports and adheres to these guidelines as well. Generally, the review format is free-style and reviewers can directly comment inside either MS Word or PDF document of submitted manuscript or write a separate review document or both.

AJCS and Southern Cross Publishing emphasize the importance of confidentiality in the peer review process. Reviewers are expected to respect the confidentiality of peer review and refrain from disclosing any details of a manuscript or related communications, except those released by the journal. Authors are also required to maintain confidentiality until the journal peer review process is finalised.