The peer review process is one of the most important and fundamental components in the publication process. The credibility and reputation of a journal mainly depend on the integrity of the peer review process and the trust of authors.
Being an HEC recognized/accredited journal, Al-Mahdi Research Journal follows peer review guidelines of HEC in true letter and spirit to meet the requirements of annual funding. All papers submitted to Al-Mahdi Research Journal undergo a rigorous internal and external review by experts in the relevant area of interest:
Each paper goes through an internal review by a relevant editorial board member to determine whether it is properly formatted and follows the publication ethics. The board member would also consider whether basic protocols of research have been followed in research design/analysis and contribution to the literature. Papers that do not meet the basic requirements are not sent out for external review.
Al-Mahdi Research Journal follows a double-blind review process after a paper is screened through the internal review. Authors are requested not to include their personal information in the text of the paper. They are further indicated not to post their papers on any website to prevent their identity to the potential reviewers. While reviewers are also expected to refuse if they come to know about the identification of the author(s) of a paper referred to them for peer review.
External reviewers generally comment and suggest originality, quality of presentation, research design, data/results/conclusions, the usefulness of the study, and interest to the researcher’s community. During an external review, if reviewers find that the research paper has major flaws that cannot be resolved through a major revision, they can recommend declining the paper.
Following the HEC guidelines in letter and spirit, authors submitting their research papers to Al-Mahdi Research Journal are not given an option to suggest potential reviewers review their research papers. While authors may indicate those scholars (due to any real or perceived conflict of interest) to whom they feel not suitable to serve as reviewers for their specific paper.
Criteria for Selection of Reviewers
Reviewers are selected carefully based on the following criteria:
1. Must hold a Ph.D. degree or advance professional qualification with extensive professional/academic experience, i.e. CPA, CFA, CMA, etc.
2. Recognized expert in the field (having publications in reputable academic or professional research journals)
3. Never coauthored a paper with the author(s)
4. Not affiliated with the institution of author(s)
5. Should have a good understanding of data analysis
Resources Available to Reviewers
Reviewers of Al-Mahdi Research Journal are reputable academic and professional researchers who have access to a wide range of research-related databases and other latest material. If reviewers need further material to complete their review, it is also provided to them.
Publication Ethics (for reviewers)
All reviewers are encouraged to follow the HEC guidelines for reviewers to meet their responsibilities in relation to objectivity, promptness, conflict of interest, confidentiality and reporting.
Steps in Peer Review Process
Peer review process can be broadly described as:
|S.No||Steps of Review Process||Estimated Time|
|1||Submission of Paper|
|2||First Internal Review*||3-4 weeks|
|3||External Review||4-5 weeks|
|4||Communication of review reports to authors for minor/ major changes**||1 week|
|5||Submission of the Revised Paper||4-8 weeks|
|6||Second internal review (to assess whether reviewers suggestions have been incorporated satisfactorily) ***||2-4 weeks|
|7||Acceptance of paper (on successful submission of revised paper)||1 week|
* Paper is returned to authors if it does not meet the basic criteria
** Paper is returned to authors if external reviewers find that the research paper has so serious faults that cannot be resolved through a major revision
*** Authors are requested for further revision if editors find that reviewers’ suggestions have not been incorporated satisfactorily
Note: Authors are requested to revise the paper carefully in accordance with the reviewers’ suggestions to avoid unnecessary delay in the review process.
Resubmission of paper (after peer review)
Nearly every published paper goes through at least one revision. Authors should take a revision request as good news and an opportunity to learn and improve the quality of their research paper. They are directed to revise the paper carefully in accordance with the reviewers’ suggestions to avoid needless interruption in the review process. Generally, the review report is provided in columnar form. The last column of the review report is the Authors’ action/response. This column is to be filled by the author(s) in detail, the way each review point is incorporated in the revised version of the paper (This is a compulsory part of the review process). Revised paper along with reply/response to review report should be submitted within two months. Author(s) should be very careful regarding accuracy and completeness in accordance with the reviewers’ suggested points, so as to avoid further review and delay (further revision can be recommended if editors find that reviewers’ suggestions have not been incorporated satisfactorily).
Keeping in view the other academic/professional commitments, authors can request extra time, if they feel that revision needs more effort and time to improve the quality of the paper.
The Editorial Board of Al-Mahdi Research Journal is committed to providing quality editorial services to its contributors and believes in building and maintaining trust and respect for all contributors, readers, and practitioners. Al-Mahdi Research Journal believes to improve its services by responding to appeals and rectifying its mistakes against:
a) Objection to publications causing harm to any party
b) Infringing ethical boundaries in any manner and
c) Rejection of research paper
Authors/readers can submit their appeal directly to the Editor at mrj.com.pk or firstname.lastname@example.org. The appeal must provide detailed justification (harm, ethical issues, or response to editor/reviewer comments). The Editor would look after the matter independently and forward it to some appropriate Al-Mahdi Research Journal editorial board member. Finally, the board member after going through whole the complaint/justification can finally recommend acceptance of the appeal, further review, or uphold the original decision (if any).
English Language Editing
It is the basic responsibility of authors to ensure that their research papers should be free from spelling, typing, grammar, and syntax errors. Authors whose native language is not English must get their research paper edited by an English language expert.