Editorial Policies

Peer Review Process


  • After submission, the authors receive a confirmation email, and the manuscript is automatically assigned a manuscript number.
  • The Editorial Assistant scans for standards (APA style, cover page, masked copy).
  • The manuscript is assigned to the appropriate Editor or Associate Editor, who reviews the manuscript for overall fit.
  • At this point, the authors may receive a request for revision prior to peer review, or a desk rejection if the manuscript is not appropriate for publication in JCES. Otherwise, the manuscript will be entered into the peer review process.


  • Each manuscript is sent to at least two peer reviewers. Peer reviewers are assigned to manuscripts based on their areas of expertise (e.g., topical, methodological). In the event that the originally assigned reviewers are unavailable or unresponsive, appropriate replacement reviewers will be selected.
    • JCES utilizes a double-blind peer review process.
  • Peer reviewers provide substantive feedback on the overall merits of the manuscript, make specific suggestions for individual sections, and provide a publication recommendation.


  • The assigned Editor or Associate Editor is sent the feedback and recommendations from the peer reviewers. As necessary, the Editor or Associate Editor will provide additional commentary to the authors and an editorial decision.


  • For articles that receive a request for revision (major or minor), the authors should plan to resubmit their revised manuscript (masked, unless otherwise indicated), along with a cover letter detailing how they addressed each of the reviewers’ recommendations.
    • In most cases, authors should expect to submit their revised manuscripts within four weeks, but are welcome to request additional time as anecessary.
  • At the discretion of the assigned Editor or Associate Editor, the manuscript may be sent out for additional peer review. Most often, the revised manuscript is sent to the original peer reviewers, but input from additional peer reviewers may be sought as well.
  • The assigned Editor or Associate Editor will then send the authors an updated editorial decision.
  • Please note that it is not unusual for articles to receive multiple rounds of peer review as we work with authors to strengthen their work.


  • Once a manuscript is formally accepted, it is entered into the JCES publication queue. The JCES production team provides additional editing and copyediting, as well as layout support. Authors are asked to approve any changes before the manuscript is published.
  • Works published in JCES are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License by default. However, authors have the option of selecting a different Creative Commons License when they submit their manuscript.
  • Once they authors approve the final version of their manuscript, it is assigned to an issue. To further improve our responsiveness to authors, JCES now publishes manuscripts online as they are ready. Every manuscript published online is considered to be republished in the annual printed JCES Anthology issue.
  • JCES is an open access journal, which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author.
  • Authors retain the copyright to their work and are not charged any fees to publish in JCES.

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.

Members of the editorial team/board 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.

Reviewer Guidelines

Reviewers are asked to provide comment on the below topics and guidelines:

  • Scholary Contribution and/or Innovation
  • Relevance to Community Engagement
  • Values and Research or Project Context
  • Theoretical and/or Conceptual Foundation
  • Assessment, Evaluation, and/or Research Methods
  • Findings, Implications, Best Practices, and/or Lessons Learned
  • Conclusions
  • Style, Organization, and Readability

Prior Publication

The journal is happy to accept submissions of articles 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 submissions that have been published within formal conference proceedings, provided that the article provides substantially more data, analysis and/or discussion than the original conference publication. If the article 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 article to the final published version within the journal if it is editorially accepted and published.

Preprint Policy

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.


Open Data

The journal strongly encourages authors to make all data associated with their submission openly available, according to the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). Data should be cited and referenced within the manuscript and should be linked to from a Data Accessibility Statement, which must describe how the data underlying the findings of the article can be accessed and reused. If data is not being made available with the journal publication (e.g. legal constraints) then a statement from the author should be provided within the submission to explain why. Data obtained from other sources must be appropriately credited. All data should be curated in a format that allows easy understanding and analysis (e.g. sensible column headers, descriptions in a readme text file). This help will ensure its reuse potential.

Structured Methods

As the traditional Materials and Methods section often includes insufficient detail for readers to wholly assess the research process, the journal encourages authors to publish detailed descriptions of their structured methods in open, online platforms such as . By providing a step-by-step description of the methods used in the study, the chance of reproducibility and usability increases, whilst also allowing authors to build on their own works and gain additional credit and citations.

Open Code

If research includes the use of software code, statistical analysis or algorithms then we also recommend that authors upload the code into , where it will be hosted on an open, cloud-based computational reproducibility platform, providing researchers and developers with an easy way to share, validate and discover code published in academic journals.

For more information on how to incorporate open data,  or  into a submission, please visit our .

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.

Expected behavior

The journal does not tolerate abusive behavior or correspondence toward its staff, academic editors, authors, or reviewers. Any person engaged with the journal who resorts to abusive behavior 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.