The Editorial Process and Peer Review

Peer review is an essential feature of JEL’s publication process as it helps to ensure the quality of the papers JEL presents to its readers. All manuscripts submitted to JEL are strictly and thoroughly peer-reviewed by external or in-house experts.

Immediately after submission, JEL’s Managing Editor will perform an initial check of the manuscript. A suitable Editorial Board member will be assigned by the Editor-in-Chief to check the manuscript and recommend reviewers. The assigned Editor can recommend to proceed with the peer review process, reject a manuscript, or request revisions before peer-review. If the assigned Editor recommends that the manuscript enter peer-review process, JEL’s editorial office will liaise with suitable editors identified by the Editor or the Editor-in-Chief. For Feature Articles the editorial office will collect two reviews from anonymous and independent experts. Other types of contributions are peer-reviewed by one internal or external qualified reviewer. Based on reviewers’ feedback, JEL asks authors for sufficient revisions (with a second round of peer review, whenever necessary) before a final decision is made. The final decision to accept or reject a manuscript is made by the Editorial Board of JEL. Accepted manuscripts will undergo copy-editing, language editing, proofreading by the authors, final corrections, and pagination as a final stage preparation for publication.

Reviewer Profile and Responsibilities

Manuscript reviewers play vital role and bear great responsibility in ensuring the integrity of the scholarly record and the quality of papers JEL presents to readers. JEL strives for a rigorous peer review to ensure a thorough evaluation of each manuscript. In consideration of this fundamental role of manuscript reviewers, reviewers for JEL are expected to: be experienced scholars in the field of the manuscript referred to them, as demonstrated by publication record, so that they can appropriately judge the scientific quality of the manuscript; provide quality review reports and remain responsive throughout the peer review process; and maintain standards of professionalism and ethics.

Instructions for Manuscript Reviewers

  1. To avoid delays in processing submissions to the Journal of Ethiopian Law, please tell us if you are not able to review the manuscript at all or by the deadline provided. If we do not hear from you, we assume that the report will be sent in time. When exceptional circumstances compel, you can ask extension of the deadline for submitting review report.
  2. Should you have circumstances (including conflict of interest) that prevent you from making an informed, objective and impartial review of the manuscript, please feel free to tell us.
  3. Suggestions for alternative reviewers are very welcome, but you should not approach directly alternative reviewer as manuscripts under review are confidential.
  4. JEL follows a double-blind peer review policy. Until the manuscript is published, reviewers should keep the content of the manuscript confidential. Reviewers should also be careful not to reveal their identity to the author(s), including in social conversation settings. The Editorial office of JEL will take responsibility to remove author or reviewer identifying information from comment and track changes mark ups or metadata of Microsoft Word or PDF files.
  5. Reviewers are expected to assess the manuscript’s interest to readers; strengths and weaknesses; originality; clarity of presentation; depth of scholarship and conciseness. Reviewers should use JEL’s Standard Reviewer Report Form. To report their assessment of manuscript based on these parameters. Use the following pointers as a general checklist in evaluating manuscript:
  • Has the author identified a clear and tangible issue for investigation? Is a gap in knowledge identified? Does the manuscript add new knowledge to the field of investigation?
  • Has the author employed a sound and appropriate methodology?
  • Is the manuscript clear, comprehensive, relevant for the field and presented in a well-structured manner?
  • Are the cited references mostly recent publications and relevant? Are any relevant citations omitted?
  • Is the manuscript logically sound and follows coherent reasoning throughout?
  • Is interpretation of information presented and legal authorities cited done appropriately and consistently throughout the manuscript?
  • Does the manuscript meet JEL’s standards of publication ethics?
  • Are the conclusions consistent with the evidence and arguments presented?

6. Ethical issues such as priori publication of the work; plagiarism; scholarly misconduct or fraud or any other unethical behavior related to the manuscript, if detected, should be immediately reported to the editorial office of JEL using its regular email address.