Peer Review Process
All submissions are initially assessed by members of the editorial team, who decide whether or not the article is suitable for peer review and in the journal’s scope. Submissions considered in scope and suitable for peer review are assigned to two or more subject experts, who assess the article for clarity, validity, rigour, and significance. If suitable experts external to the journal cannot be found, members of the Editorial Board may be asked to complete a review task.
Authors may be invited to recommend or ask for the exclusion of specific individuals from the peer review process. The journal does not guarantee to use these suggestions. All reviewers must be independent from the submission and will be asked to declare all competing interests.
For research articles, the journal operates a double-blind peer review process, meaning that authors and reviewers do not know each other's identities during the review process. For case studies, a single-blind process is used where authors are known to reviewers but not vice versa. The review period is expected to take around six to eight weeks, although this can vary depending on reviewer availability. Reviewers are asked to provide constructive formative feedback, even if an article is not deemed suitable for publication in the journal.
Based on the reviewer reports the editor will make a recommendation for rejection, minor or major revisions, or acceptance.
Members of the editorial team are permitted to submit their own papers to the journal. In cases where an author is associated with the journal, they will be removed from all editorial tasks for that paper and another member of the team will be assigned responsibility for overseeing peer review. A competing interest must also be declared within the submission and any resulting publication.
The editor should remove this paragraph if the journal will not allow author suggestions/exclusions
Reviewers are asked to provide comment on the below topics and guidelines:
- Scope: Is a substantial connection to cybernetics made? Does the article reflect the content and spirit of the journal?
- Significance and originality: Does the article say something distinctive, and is this clear? To what extent do the concepts discussed in the paper have innovative character? Has a rigorous approach been taken in the work?
- Clarity of argument: Is the argument coherent and clearly structured? Is the argument adequately supported by references? Does the abstract summarise the arguments in a succinct and accurate way? How well does the introduction signpost the arguments and the conclusion adequately summarise them?
- Figures and tables: Please comment on the article’s use of tables, charts, and figures – their relevance in terms of illustrating the arguments and supporting the evidential base, and the quality of the formatting and presentation.
- Formatting: Does the submitted file adhere to the general author guidelines listed for the journal? Are the citations and references formatted according to APA style?
- Language: Is the text well written and jargon free? How comprehensible and relevant is the paper to an interdisciplinary readership? Please comment on the quality of English and need for grammatical improvement
The journal is happy to accept submissions of papers that have been loaded onto preprint servers or personal websites, have been presented at conferences, or other informal communication channels. These formats will not be deemed prior publication. The journal accepts papers that have been published within formal conference proceedings, provided that the paper is expanded to provide substantially more in-depth analysis, critique, and/or discussion than the original conference paper. If the paper was presented but not formally published then more overlap is permitted. The accepted manuscript may also be uploaded to an open platform, under a CC BY licence. Authors must retain copyright to such postings.
Authors are encouraged to link any prior posting of their paper to the final published version within the journal if it is editorially accepted and published.
The journal allows authors to deposit draft versions of their article into a suitable preprint server, on condition that the author agrees to the below:
- The author retains copyright to the preprint and developed works from it, and is permitted to submit to the journal.
- The author declares that a preprint is available within the cover letter presented during submission. This must include a link to the location of the preprint.
- The author acknowledges that having a preprint publicly available means that the journal cannot guarantee the anonymity of the author during the review process, even if they anonymise the submitted files (see ).
- Should the submission be published, the authors are expected to update the information associated with the preprint version to show that a final version has been published in the journal, including the DOI linking directly to the publication.
All listed authors must qualify as such, as defined in our , which have been developed from the definitions. All authors must have given permission to be listed on the submitted article.
The journal strongly recommends that all authors register an account with Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (). Registration provides a unique and persistent digital identifier for the account that enables accurate attribution and improves the discoverability of published articles, ensuring that the correct author receives the correct credit for their work. As the ORCID remains the same throughout the lifetime of the account, changes of name, affiliation, or research area do not effect the discoverability of an author's past work and aid correspondence with colleagues.
The journal encourages all corresponding authors to include an ORCID within their submitting author data whilst co-authors are recommended to include one. ORCID numbers should be added to the author data upon submission and will be published alongside the submitted article, should it be accepted.
Competing Interests, Funding and Ethics
To ensure transparency, authors, reviewers and editors are required to declare any interests that could compromise, conflict or influence the validity of the publication. Competing interests guidelines can be viewed .
In addition, authors are required to specify funding sources and detail requirements for ethical research in the submitted manuscript, ensuring that ethical approval and consent statements are detailed within the manuscript (see ).
Corrections and Retractions
The publisher handles different kinds of error in accordance with guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (where applicable). All articles have their proofs checked prior to publication by the author/editor, which should ensure that content errors are not present. Please contact your the journal or publisher if an article needs correcting.
Post-publication changes are not permitted to the publication, unless in circumstances relating to factual inaccuracies that affect the data or conclusions being drawn. If an error is discovered in a published article then the publisher will assess whether a Correction article or Retraction is required. Visit our for more information.
Appeals, Complaints & Misconduct
Appeals, complaints, or allegations of misconduct will be taken with utmost seriousness, regardless of whether those involved are internal or external to the journal, or whether the submission in question is pre- or post-publication. If an allegation is made to the journal, it must also be passed on to the publisher, who will follow guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics () on how to address the nature of the problem.
Should an individual wish to submit an appeal, complaint or raise an issue of potential misconduct regarding the journal or its content, they should first read the full and then that editor in chief and/or the publisher to explain their concerns.
The journal does not tolerate abusive behaviour or correspondence towards its staff, academic editors, authors, or reviewers. Any person engaged with the journal who resorts to abusive behaviour or correspondence will have their contribution immediately withdrawn and future engagement with the journal will be at the discretion of the editor and/or publisher.