Peer Review Process

Peer review process is one of the most important and fundamental component in the publication process. The credibility and reputation of a journal mainly depends on the integrity of peer review process and trust of authors. Onyx Journal of Business and Social Sciences (OJBSS) likes to assure the research community that it applies very stringent and rigorous peer review process in order to deliver high quality of content to its widespread readers around the globe. OJBSS is releasing its 1st volume and likes to move towards higher review standards and strict control over submissions in accordance with the new reduced domain (commerce, business and economics rather than wide domain of all social sciences previously) following the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) guidelines. 

Onyx Publishing follows peer review guidelines of HEC for its journals in true letter and spirit to meet the requirements of annual funding. All papers submitted to OJBSS undergo a rigorous internal and external review by experts in the relevant area of interest:

Internal Review
Each paper goes through an internal review by a relevant editorial board member to determine whether it is properly formatted, within the scope of OJBSS 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, and the authors are generally informed within 1 to 2 weeks.

External Review
Onyx Publishing follows a double-blind review process after a paper 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 author(s) of a paper referred to them for peer review.

External reviewers (1-2) generally comment and suggest on originality, quality of presentation, research design, data/results/conclusions, usefulness of the study and interest to the researchers community. During external review, if reviewers find that the research paper has major flaws that cannot be resolved through major revision, they can recommend to decline the paper.

Suggesting Reviewers
Following the HEC guidelines in letter and spirit, authors submitting their research papers to OJBSS are not given an option to suggest potential reviewers to 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:

1Must hold a PhD degree or advance professional qualification with extensive professional/academic experience, i.e. CPA, CFA, CMA, etc.
2Recognized expert in the field (having publications in reputable academic or professional research journals)
3Never coauthored paper with author(s)
4Not affiliated with the institution of author(s)
5Should have good understanding of data analysis

Resources Available to Reviewers
Reviewers of Onyx interscience 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 of Onyx Interscience can be broadly described as:

No.StepEstimated Time
1Submission of paper
2First internal review *1-2 weeks
3External review(1-2 reviewers)5-6 weeks
4Communication of review reports to authors for minor/major revision **1 week
5Submission of  revised paper4-8 weeks(depends on other commitment of authors)
6Second internal review(to assess whether reviewers suggestions have been incorporated satisfactorily) ***1 week
7Acceptance 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 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 the unnecessary delay in 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 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 the needless interruption in review process. Generally, review report is provided in columnar form. Last column of the review report is 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 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 for extra time, if they feel that revision needs more efforts and time to improve the quality of paper.

Appeal/Complaint Process
Editorial board of OJBSS is committed to provide quality editorial services to its contributors and believes in building and maintaining trust and respect to all contributors, readers and practitioners. OJBSS believes to improve its services by responding 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 chief editor at: The appeal must provide detail justification (harm, ethical issues or response to editor/reviewer comments). The chief editor would look after the matter independently and forward it to some appropriate OJBSS editorial board member. Finally, the board member after going through whole the complaint/justification can finally recommend acceptance of 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 paper 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. 

Plagiarism Policy
In accordance with the guidelines of Higher Education Commission (HEC), journals of onyx interscience observes Zero Tolerance to plagiarism. Onyx Interscience uses either Turnitin or iThenticate for all research papers submitted to detect possible plagiarism. If similarity is more than 12%, the paper is returned to the author(s) immediately. Onyx interscience journals follow HEC and COPE guidelines to make the determination whether (or to what extent) plagiarism exists.

If plagiarism or other unethical practices are detected after publishing the paper, editorial board has the authority to correct or retract the paper as HEC’s plagiarism policy. All authors are responsible for their content individually and collectively. In case of serious plagiarism issues, editorial board may decide to consult the institutions of authors.

Self-plagiarism: verbatim or substantial copying of authors’ own published work (or under consideration for publication at some other outlet) effecting originality of current submission is also not acceptable in any way.

Acceptance Rate
Onyx Interscience current acceptance rate is around 50%.