International Association of Facilitators

Group Facilitation: A Research & Applications Journal

Review Process

The review process for Group Facilitation is double-blind. That is, the identity of the authors is not known to the reviewers, and the identity of the reviewers is not known to the authors. To ensure this, authors should not identify themselves in any way throughout the manuscript.

To assure the quality of papers accepted by the journal the review process typically involves the following phases:

1. Once accepted for review by the Editor-in-Chief, the paper is assigned to an Associate Editor who sends the paper for review to at least three individuals having expertise in the subject matter of the paper. At least one reviewer will have an academic background and at least one will be a practitioner. Reviewers typically are given six weeks to complete their reviews, provide comments, and make a recommendation that the paper be accepted, rejected, or revised and resubmitted.

2. The Associate Editor prepares an overview of the reviewers' comments, integrated with his or her own, and – in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief –makes an editorial decision to: (a) request that the author(s) revise and resubmit, (b) accept or (c) reject the paper. At this stage it is extremely rare that a paper is accepted. The outcome for most papers is "revise and resubmit" or, in some circumstances, "reject."

3. An email message from the Associate Editor transmits the editorial decision along with the reviewers' comments and guidance that should make clear what revisions are necessary to make the paper acceptable. Copies are shared with the reviewers without disclosing the identity of the author or of the reviewers.

4. If the editorial decision is "revise and resubmit," the author(s) revises the paper based on the reviewers' comments and the guidance provided by the Associate Editor. The author may consult at any time with the Associate Editor about how to respond to the reviewers' comments.

In resubmitting the paper the author explains how the reviewers' comments have been addressed or why they have not been addressed. The timetable for the completion of this revision is at the author's discretion.

5. The Associate Editor sends the revised paper to the same reviewers as in Step 2. The reviewers indicate if their concerns have been adequately addressed and once again recommend that the paper be accepted, rejected, or revised and resubmitted.

6. In consultation with the Editor-in-Chief, the Editor makes an editorial decision. If accepted, an acceptance email message is sent to the author along with a final submission checklist to ensure that the submission is complete.

An additional note on the review process:

Ideally, the reviewers’ identify all of their concerns in the first review. In this case, the second review focuses on the degree to which these concerns were addressed by the authors.

However, a revision or major rewrite often results in the reviewers’ identifying new concerns. Sometimes, important points were missed by the reviewers in the first review but caught in the second. In these cases it is important for the reviewers to identify these concerns and provide additional comments in the second review.

Unfortunately the review process can be frustrating to authors. It is important to keep in mind that the purpose of the review process is to help the author improve the quallity of the paper and meet the Journal’s requirements.