e-ISSN: 2671-3659
p-ISSN: 2671-3675
Founded: 2021
Period: Biannually
Publisher: Balkan Studies Foundation

Notes for Referees and Editors

Guidelines for Referee Guide

Recognising that the Journal of Balkan Studies aims to publish original and important articles, we ask referees to help us evaluate the article submissions we receive. Below is a description of the article review process, advice on how to become a reviewer and how to write a good review. Also included are our terms and conditions for reviewing, based on the COPE Principles, which provide more information on how to conduct an objective and constructive review. Journal of Balkan Studies has adopted a double blind reviewing model.

Selection of Reviewers

The referees are selected among the experts who have a PhD degree in the field of science to which the article is related and who have publications.

Duties and Responsibilities of Referees

  1. Objectivity: Reviews should be conducted objectively. Reviewers should be aware of any personal bias and take this into account when reviewing an article. The reviewer should clearly express his/her judgements in support of his/her decision.
  2. Contribution to Editorial Decision: Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and provides the author with the opportunity to improve the manuscript. In this respect, a referee who feels inadequate in reviewing an article or who thinks that he/she cannot complete the review in a short time should not accept the referee invitation.
  3. Confidentiality: All manuscripts received by the journal for review must be kept confidential. Reviewers should not share reviews or information about the manuscript with anyone or communicate directly with the authors. Information contained in the manuscript should not be used by a reviewer in his/her own research without the express written permission of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review should be kept confidential and should not be used for personal gain.
  4. Sensitivity to Vioations of Research and Publication Ethics: Reviewers should be alert to potential ethical issues in the manuscript and report them to the editor.
  5. Conflict of Interest: Reviewers should not agree to review a manuscript with potential conflicts of interest arising from their relationship with the authors or the organisations with which the manuscript is affiliated.
  6. Request for Referee Citation: If a referee suggests that an author include citations to the referee's (or their collaborators') work, this should be for genuine scientific reasons and not for the purpose of increasing the referee's citation count or increasing the visibility of their work. See also Code of Ethics for Referees

Conducting a Review

Referees' evaluations should be objective. During the refereeing process, referees are expected to make their evaluations by considering the following points.

  • - Does the article contain new and important information?
  • - Does the abstract clearly and accurately describe the content of the article?
  • - Is the methodology described in a coherent and understandable manner?
  • - Are the interpretations and conclusions substantiated by the findings?
  • - Are adequate references given to other studies in the field?
  • - Is the language quality adequate?
  • - Do the abstract/abstract/keywords/keywords accurately reflect the content of the article?

Editor's Guidelines

Selection of Editors

The editors are selected among the experts who have a PhD degree and have publications in accordance with the scope of the journal.

Editor’s Duties

Coordinating the Referee Process

The editor should ensure that the peer review process is fair, impartial and timely. Research articles should be reviewed by at least two external reviewers, and the editor should seek additional feedback when necessary.

Identification of Reviewers

The Editor will select reviewers with appropriate expertise in the relevant field, taking into account the need for appropriate, inclusive and diverse representation. The Editor will follow best practices to avoid the selection of fraudulent reviewers.

Protecting Confidentiality

The editor must maintain the confidentiality of all material submitted to the journal and all communications with reviewers, unless otherwise agreed with the authors and reviewers concerned. In exceptional circumstances and in consultation with the publisher, the editor may share limited information with editors of other journals where the editor deems it necessary to investigate suspected research misconduct. The editor must protect the identity of reviewers. Information contained in a submitted manuscript should not be used in the editor's own research without the express written permission of the author. Privileged information or ideas obtained during the refereeing process should be kept confidential and should not be used for personal gain.


The editor should evaluate manuscripts for their intellectual content without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, ethnicity, citizenship or political philosophy of the authors.

Investigation of Allegations

An editor who finds convincing evidence of ethical violations should contact the Editorial Board and the Publisher to have the manuscript corrected, retracted, or otherwise amended.

Conflict of Interest

The editor should not be involved in decisions about manuscripts written by him/herself or by family members. Furthermore, such a paper should be subject to all the usual procedures of the journal. The editor should follow the ICMJE guidelines on disclosure of potential conflicts of interest by authors and reviewers.

Publication Decision

The editor is responsible for reviewing the referee reports and deciding which of the manuscripts submitted to the journal should be published. The editor must comply with the policies determined by the Editorial Board.

Request for Citation to the Journal

The editor should not attempt to influence the ranking of the journal by artificially increasing any journal metric. The editor will not request citation of articles from his/her journal or any other journal, except for scientific reasons.

Correction, Retraction, and Publication of an Expression of Concern

Editors may consider publishing a correction if minor errors are detected in the published article that do not affect the findings, interpretations and conclusions. Editors should consider retracting the manuscript if there are major errors/violations that invalidate the findings and conclusions. Editors should consider issuing a statement of concern if there is evidence that the findings are unreliable and that the authors' institutions have not investigated the incident, or if the possible investigation seems unfair or inconclusive, if there is a possibility of research or publication misconduct by the authors. COPE and ICJME guidelines are taken into account regarding correction, retraction or expression of concern.