The peer review process of Acta Neurológica Colombiana (ANC) is carried out according to the conditions of the "double blind" system. This means that, in order to promote independence of criteria in the reading and issuance of concepts on the manuscripts, the identities of the authors and the evaluators are reserved during the whole process.
Likewise, the evaluation of manuscripts in ANC is developed through the following stages:
Editorial review. Manuscripts submitted to the journal, before being sent for external peer review, go through a filter or editorial review. This review is concerned with the following aspects:
Similarity to other sources. All manuscripts are reviewed to establish whether they make correct use of other sources, through an anti-plagiarism tool. The journal uses iThenticate (by Turnitin). If misuse is identified, the manuscript will be returned to its authors for an explanation or for clarification or correction of the manuscript.
Thematic correspondence. Manuscripts are verified by the journal editors to corroborate that their subject matter corresponds to the thematic spectrum of ANC and to the textual typologies it publishes.
Ethics, editorial and scientific quality. The editors verify that the manuscript complies with the ethical requirements required to formalize a submission (ethics committee endorsement, declaration of ethical implications, declaration of conflicts of interest, authors' contribution), that it has a sufficient quality in its structure, a correct use of language and a current and pertinent bibliographic support for the subject and focus of the manuscript.
At this stage, if the editors or the editorial team of the journal identify that a manuscript has a major flaw involving ethical aspects of the research or that calls into question its editorial or scientific quality, they may reject it or return it to its authors to request clarifications or corrections as appropriate.
Search and selection of reviewers. Once a manuscript passes the editorial review, the process of searching for and assigning external reviewers will begin. The reviewers will choose according to their academic path and their publications. They should be specialists, experts in the topic they are called to evaluate, have a role as active researchers in an institution (university, university hospital, clinic, research center) and recent and frequent scientific publications in impact journals (Scopus-SJR or JCR).
After identifying the most suitable reviewers for a manuscript, the editors will invite them to read the manuscript, ad honorem, and establish a deadline for their concept.
Peer review and results. According to the guidelines for evaluating the manuscripts of the journal and that are consigned in its "Evaluation Guide", the reviewers will be able to give their verdict as follows:
1. Manuscript approved without modifications
2. Manuscript approved with modifications of form
3. Manuscript approved with modifications of form and substance (subject to verification, "revise and resubmit").
4. Manuscript rejected
This verdict must be accompanied by a comprehensive review of each section of the manuscript and also by comments from the reviewer suggesting a concrete course of action to revise, improve or restate the conditions of the manuscript. Although there is the option of rejecting or discarding the publication of a manuscript, the journal will seek that the reviews be constructive, respectful and scientific, so that the authors can take advantage of the comments that the journal returns to improve their proposal.
Conflict resolution. In the event of a contradictory result in the evaluation of a manuscript -one reviewer approves the publication and another rejects it-, a third reviewer will be summoned to evaluate, with the purpose of resolving the conflict. Based on this third concept and on the conscientious review of the arguments for and against the manuscript, the final publication decision will be made, once it has been corrected by the authors.
The authors, in the case of disagreement with a final decision to reject a manuscript, may present their position for the editors of the journal to analyze it. Such rebuttals should have the necessary academic and scientific arguments to support the authors' objection to a review process. If there are insufficient arguments, the process will not be reviewed.
Corrections. The corrections requested to the authors of a manuscript, after the reviewers' reading, will be submitted to a verification by the same reviewers. The authors must be meticulous, precise in their academic or scientific arguments, when resolving the doubts of the reviewers or responding to the questions they have been asked, so that all the problems that were pointed out are solved in the corrected version.
If a manuscript continues to present flaws after being corrected or the authors' answers were not satisfactory, the journal will give one (1) more opportunity to review and make the pertinent adjustments. In the event that problems persist in the manuscript, after a new round of adjustments, the journal may close the review process, discarding the publication.
Final decision. The journal will always issue an official result of the review process to notify the authors of the final result, consolidating the reviewers' comments, and to formally move on to the professional editing or production phase (style correction, design and layout, proofreading) for all those manuscripts that have been approved.
Final decisions on whether or not to publish a manuscript that has received a request for corrections will be made after such corrections have been verified and approved by the reviewers.
Manuscripts submitted by members of the journal's editorial structure (editors, editorial and scientific board). The main manuscripts (original research article, reviews, clinical cases, updates, short communications, consensus) that come from a member of the journal's editorial structure (editor-in-chief, associate editors, guest editors, member of the editorial and scientific committee, process editors), as author or co-author, will receive the same treatment as the rest of the manuscripts.
In this case, the evaluation of the manuscript will be managed through a "triple blind" process, in which the author of the manuscript will not be able to have any interference in the editorial filter (it will be carried out with the support of an external reviewer), in the selection of the peers, nor in the subsequent interactions derived from the external review; likewise, the identity of those involved will be protected during the whole process.
Peer review timeline (average time). The first decision on a manuscript, as far as the editorial filter is concerned, will be made within 8 to 10 days. If there are objections about the manuscripts, requests for clarifications or other important aspects, the authors will be notified within this period. Assignment and peer review will be handled within 4 to 8 weeks. The time to make corrections to a manuscript will depend on the complexity of the observations and on agreeing on a reasonable time with the authors; in principle, however, corrections should be made within a maximum of 4 weeks. Thus, on average, the final decision on a manuscript, from its submission to its approval or not for publication, takes three months.
Manuscript submission requirements. The journal asks all authors interested in submitting a manuscript to the journal to read the detailed instructions for authors found at the following link:
It is very important for authors to be aware, before submitting a manuscript, of the main requirements of the journal regarding the types of manuscripts it receives, the languages of the manuscripts, the scientific quality and, in general, the operation of the journal's publication cycle. It is also essential that authors note that the journal only receives original and unpublished manuscripts, as follows:
Originality. The journal only accepts the submission of original manuscripts, which have not been published partially or completely by other means. The submission of articles already published in other languages or the recycling of texts will be considered an ethical misconduct.
Finally, authors should also be aware of the journal's ethical considerations, best practices and procedures, including provisions on the definition of authorship and co-authorship:
Ethical considerations for reviewers
The journal seeks that its evaluation process does not serve exclusively for making decisions about what is published and what is not. Also, the expectation is that the review will serve the authors to substantially improve the conditions of their manuscripts and that the process will be constructive, even if the work is not finally published in ANC. To this end, there are some considerations that we suggest reviewers take into account:
Review approach. The concepts about the articles should be respectful, argumentative and oriented towards giving some course of action to the authors, so that they can improve their approaches or the particular conditions of the manuscript. Comments or personal attacks on authors are unnecessary; the journal seeks to evaluate manuscripts, not individuals.
Protection of information and content. Reviewers are entrusted with unpublished manuscripts that may contain valuable scientific information or novel knowledge. Thus, the misuse of such privileged information, the disclosure of such information to third parties, or the use of such information for personal, professional, or scientific benefit is unacceptable and would be considered a serious misconduct.
Impersonation. ANC selects its reviewers based on a careful analysis of the reviewer's profiles, academic degrees, research experience and activity, and most recent publications in relation to the topic he/she is asked to review. Thus, delegating the evaluation of a manuscript commissioned by the journal to a third party (resident, doctoral student, colleague, etc.) is not correct and could compromise the quality of the review. If for any reason the reviewer considers that the criteria of a third party could contribute positively to having a more solid concept about a manuscript (for methodological issues, for example), he/she should first consult with the editor-in-chief.
Thoroughness. Concepts that are limited to filling out the journal's evaluation guide in the quantitative or selection items, and whose comments or courses of action are very brief, are not very useful either for authors or for the journal's editors when making a decision on a manuscript. We urge reviewers to try to be as precise as possible in their assessments of shortcomings or likely improvements to a manuscript, as this will make corrections more accurate and easier. Also, in the case of a rejection, it is important that the author receives sufficient arguments as to what are the problems or errors that prevent the publication of his or her work in the journal.