Review policy

Peer Review Process

General editors first check that the article meets the quality criteria specified in the Author Guidelines. If they do, the papers are double-blind peer-reviewed by two external referees.

For collective special issue submissions, the potential Guest Editors will be invited to propose selected papers or authors to submit papers to OSLS. Editors-in-chief will assess the issue proposal and will decide whether it fits the criteria for publication in OSLS.

Editors-in-chief may decide to include individual articles, related to the main topic of the issue or not, to be published in the same issue; if this is the case, the guest editors will be informed beforehand and offered to mention these articles in the introduction to the issue. In either case, the individual articles will be visually separated from the thematic articles by a different section title.

Editors of the journal can also gather in a single issue a number of articles that, despite being in themselves individual submissions, may fall within a general thematic area, thus strengthening the overall attractiveness of the resulting issue.

In regard to the review process, Guest Editors will be asked to suggest names of potential reviewers. However, reviewers are nominated by the OSLS editors-in-chief, advised by the Editorial Board.

Authors are requested to anonymize their paper and to remove their name and references from the document metadata. Reviews are anonymized too. All communication between authors and reviewers is done through the IISL, to ensure anonymity of both authors and reviewers.

Due to its well-established and respected status, OSLS has succeeded at garnering interest in academics from all over the world who are willing and keen to review for us, therefore establishing a large roster of reviewers who, all together, cover all areas of Sociology of Law and contribute to keep up the quality of our journal. OSLS can now attest to an international, diverse and inclusive pool of reviewers from several countries in all continents and continues to appoint or accept new qualified reviewers. Since 2011 until mid-2019, OSLS had received reviews from 1,200 scholars. The average period since reception of an article until publication is 16 weeks. (Source: Web of Science Master Journal List, September 2021.)

Reviewers are asked to comment on the following aspects:

  1. Is the paper well organised and structured, does the argument flow well?
  2. Are sources adequately and properly cited, and are the language and expression clear, adequate and appropriate?
  3. Is the paper of sufficient interest and originality to be published in the Series?
  4. Do you have suggestions for revision of the paper:
    • (i) parts which could be shortened or deleted,
    • (ii) arguments or points that need clarification, expansion or development,
    • (iii) important and relevant views or work which the author should take into account, or
    • (iv) for reorganisation of the paper?
  5. Please state whether your suggestions are
    • (i) advice to the author and the paper could be published without checking the revised version
    • (ii) you have suggested specific changes which must be made but a non-specialist could check before publication that the changes have been made;
    • (iii) the paper should not be published unless the revised version is approved by you (or if you are not able or willing to read a revised version, please if possible suggest someone who could); or
    • (iv) the paper should not be published.

In the system, they must choose one of these options:

Accept submission ; Revisions required ; Resubmit for review; Resubmit elsewhere ; Decline submission ; See comments

In case of serious disagreement between reviewers, the editor may make a final decision or nominate a third reviewer.

Based on the reviewers' recommendations, authors will be notified of the review process (Accept submission ; accept with minor revisions ; resubmit for review ; decline submission), including the reviewers' reports and comments.

Authors must revise their papers accordingly in four weeks’ time. A letter explaining the changes made can also be included. Authors are required to respond to critical or disfavourable reviews, by addressing the main points raised by the reviewer.

The reviewers’ recommendations will always be taken in consideration; however, editors will make the final decision on the publication of the paper, and the author will be informed. All the communication will be to the email account used to submit the paper to the journal.

If authors think they will be unable to return a revised paper within the allotted time, they are asked to tell the Managing Editor and to suggest an alternative deadline. If authors do not return a revised paper within the deadline, and they have not communicated with the journal, or do not respond to the journal's attempts for contact, the journal may archive the submission.