Peer Review

Peer Review Process at IntechOpen Explained

Peer Review

Peer review (also known as refereeing) is the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work, research, or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field, before a paper describing this work is published. Peer review helps the publisher decide whether the submitted work should be accepted, considered acceptable with revisions, or is rejected. For a flowchart description of the peer review process at IntechOpen please see below.

IntechOpen is dedicated to publishing high-quality content and we are a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). All referees and Editors are instructed to review submissions in line with the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers..

There is a wealth of information regarding peer review available and we would encourage our editors, authors, and reviewers to educate themselves further regarding this process. A clearer understanding of peer review can only lead to a better maintenance of the high standards of the peer review process, better perseverance of the integrity of the scholarly record, and responsible and ethical behaviour of all parties participating in the peer review process.

For more information we recommend the following:

Peer-Review: The Nuts and Bolts by Sense About Science (SAS)

Alan Meier's Guidelines for Peer-Review of Technical Papers

Web of Science Academy (former Publons Peer Reviewer Academy)

The Peer Review Process at IntechOpen

Edited Volumes

At IntechOpen, the book catalog (topics) is first developed by IntechOpen's Senior Content Specialists - STM (Internal Staff). Afterward, Commissioning Editors (Internal Staff) contact recognized experts in their respective fields and invite them to become Academic Editors (External Editors) for each planned book. Once the Academic Editor (External Editor) has been appointed after being carefully selected by the Commissioning Editor (Internal Staff) and the concept for the book is finalized (working title, scope, topics, keywords), the book is open for submissions. Book chapter manuscripts are submitted as contributions to edited volumes. At this stage the manuscript submission and processing is supported by a Manuscript Tracking System and the handling of the publishing process is managed by Publishing Process Managers (Internal Handling Editor), whose responsibilities include monitoring and facilitating all publishing activities for Authors, Academic Editors, Co-Editors, reviewers and production specialists. Publishing Process Managers (Internal Handling Editors) ensure a simple and efficient process throughout every step of the publishing journey, from chapter submission to its publication. Publishing Process Managers (Internal Handling Editors) do not interfere with Academic Editors' (External Editors') decision-making processes and the review process is carried out independently.

Book chapter manuscripts go through a two-step review process: chapter proposal review and full chapter review.

Prior to submitting a full chapter, Prospective Authors are first asked to submit a chapter proposal in the form of an abstract which is then assessed by the Academic Editor (External Editor) for its suitability in terms of the overall scope and direction of the book. Chapter proposals should contain a tentative title, keywords, a short topic description of the proposed chapter (100 - 150 words), and the names of all contributing authors and their corresponding affiliations. At this point, the submitted chapter proposal will be either rejected (not scientifically sound or out of scope) or deemed suitable for inclusion by the Academic Editor (External Editor). If a chapter proposal is deemed suitable by the Academic Editor (External Editor), the Authors are informed by the Publishing Process Managers (Internal Handling Editor) to submit a fully drafted manuscript.

Once the full chapter manuscript is submitted, it is automatically subjected to a plagiarism check via Ithenticate, prior to being passed to the Academic Editor (External Editor) who performs the peer review.

The peer review outcomes can be: accept, revision required (minor or major), and reject. All decisions are carried out by the Academic Editor(s) (External Editor) independently. The publisher does not influence the decisions carried out by the Academic Editors, be that rejection or the acceptance of the manuscripts.

During the review process, the Academic Editor(s) (External Editor) can suggest rounds of revision and authors work on improving their chapters. Resubmitted manuscripts are also automatically subjected to a plagiarism check via Ithenticate prior to being submitted to the Academic Editor (External Editor) for another round of review.

Authors typically receive their peer review results within 30 days of the submission date.

Once the peer review has been completed, the Academic Editor (External Editor) communicates (via Manuscript Tracking System) their decision to the Publishing Process Manager (Internal Handling Editor), who then informs the Authors of their decision. Should the Academic Editor (External Editor) wish to contribute a chapter, the double anonymised peer review process is arranged by the Publishing Process Manager (Internal Handling Editor). The reviewers are carefully selected and checked against any connection with the Academic Editor, to avoid professional or personal conflict of interest. The invitations are coordinated by the Publishing Process Manager (Internal Handling Editor) and the external reviewer performs the review autonomously. The result is a fully peer-reviewed book.

In case the Academic Editor (External Editor) considers that the content of the book needs an introduction in a form of a chapter that would cohesively recapitulate the subject of the book, they can submit an introductory chapter. Introductory chapters are written by the Academic Editors and are equivalent to editorial articles in journals. They serve as an introductory editorial to the Edited Volume and are not peer reviewed.

The peer review process, at any stage, must be kept confidential by the Academic Editor. They should not disclose any information about the manuscript to anyone outside the peer review process.

All chapters that successfully pass the peer review process and are accepted for publication are published individually via Online First ahead of the book publication. Once all chapters selected for inclusion in the book publication have gone through the copyediting, typesetting, proofing (and potentially appearing as Online First - if finished before the finalisation of the entire publication), the book is ready to be published as a whole.
The Open Access Publishing Fee (OAPF) is applied only to those chapters that are accepted following the peer review process and does not influence the editorial decisions.

The independently appointed Academic Editor (External Editor) manages the peer review and decision-making process and warrants the quality of the review. The Publishing Process Manager (Internal Handling Editor) is responsible for the coordination of the publishing process and is not involved in the (peer review) decision process. IntechOpen's Author Acquisition Managers, supported by the Senior Content Specialists - STM (Internal Staff), following the concept development of the book performed by the Academic Editor (External Editor), are in charge of author acquisition. As a result, author acquisition and manuscript review are completely independent and unassociated. This distinction between Internal Staff/Internal Handling Editor and External Editor roles (summarised below) ensures a fully robust and objective peer review process.

Topic: IntechOpen's Senior Content Specialists - STM (Internal Staff) defines the general topic of the book.
Academic Editor Appointment: Commissioning Editors (Internal Staff) seek out an External Editor who is a leading expert in the field related to the topic of the book. The External Editor is to be appointed as the Academic Editor of the book and is oftentimes joined by Co-Editors. Academic Editor (External Editor) can also engage Assistant to the Editor to assist them in the publishing process. The Assisstant to the Editor (External Staff) is an expert but is not qualified enough for the editorial role. They do not have access to any of the editorial features nor do they review the chapters
Concept, Scope, and Keywords: These are defined by the Academic Editor (External Editor) who develops the final scope, topics, and the TOC of the book - the concept before the book starts accepting submissions.
Author Acquisition: All contributing authors are independently acquired by the Author Acquisition Managers (Internal Staff). The identification of the most suitable and well-selected authors for the book is based on the concept development of the Academic Editor (External Editor): relevant keywords, scope, and topics are matched against the authors' scientific background.
Manuscript Receipt: If a proposal receives a favourable review, Authors proceed to full manuscript submission. This process is supported by a Manuscript Tracking System. The manuscript is first subjected to an automatic plagiarism check via iThenticate. The whole process is overseen by the Publishing Process Manager (Internal Handling Editor) who provides author support. However, the Publishing Process Manager (Internal Handling Editor) does not bear any responsibility in regards to Editor and Author acquisition, or the development of the book concept.
Manuscript Review: The peer review process of the full chapter manuscript is performed independently by the Academic Editor (External Editor) via the Manuscript Tracking System. Should the Academic Editor (External Editor) or any of their Co-Editors (External Editors) wish to contribute a chapter, the external peer review process for their chapter is arranged by the Publishing Process Manager (Internal Handling Editor). This removes any conflict of interest.
Contents Listing: The contents listing is decided by the Academic Editor (External Editor).
Final Title & Preface: Once all manuscripts have been subjected to peer review and the content listing confirmed, the Academic Editor (External Editor) defines the final title and preface.

IntechOpen Book Series

Edited Volumes that are part of the IntechOpen Book Series go through the identical process described above. The only exception to this policy are the Annual Volumes. Annual Volumes are part of the series and cover the latest developments and research trends pertaining to a series’ subject. They are continuously open for submissions, without a closing deadline. The Academic Editors (External Editors) of such titles retain their autonomy throughout all publishing process steps and decision-making. The only difference is that the authors are not required to submit their proposal before proceeding to the full chapter submission.


Monographs (long form and short form Compacts) are subjected to single peer review to ensure ethical and publishing standards compliance. This is a two-steps process:

  • The proposal and the full manuscript, in case of a favourable review outcome for the proposal, are submitted to a plagiarism check by the Publishing Process Manager (Internal Handling Editor), prior to peer review.
  • The Publishing Process Manager (Internal Handling Editor) selects independent external reviewers for monographs who volunteer their time and expertise to review the proposal and the final manuscript under a single blind peer review.
Please note that the Open Access Publication Fee is payable only after the manuscript has been accepted by the Internal Handling Editor following the peer review results.

Conference proceedings

To ensure that conference proceedings published with IntechOpen contain the highest calibre of work possible, Editors are required to adopt a thorough peer review process. Conference organizers and editors are to choose reviewers who are qualified experts within their fields and conduct all reviews according to standard requirements of an ethical review process. All submitted conference proceedings papers will be checked in iThenticate for plagiarism. The publisher also reviews all submitted review reports. Only after this is completed does the manuscript enter the production phase.

Review for Journals

All manuscripts submitted to our journals undergo single anonymised peer review (independent of paper types). The peer review process is organized in such a way that all submitted papers undergo initial editorial office checks and Section Editors scope and relevance checks after which they are forwarded to Editorial Board Members for review coordination. They will collect external peer review reports, request author revisions (peer-review again whenever necessary), before making the final decision on publication or rejection. More information can be found here:

Quality Standards

IntechOpen strives to uphold the highest research, ethical, and quality standards set by the industry for the manuscripts we receive and publish, regardless of their format. Our research integrity team monitors the adherence to these standards of all parties involved, including the Authors and the Editors. If we suspect any breach of research or ethical standards, or any other type of scientific misconduct at any stage of the publishing process before the publication, we will investigate it thoroughly and might consult independent bodies such as Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) for guidelines. If the suspicion is confirmed, the submission may be rejected and removed from the process before the publication regardless of their current stage. These sets of rules apply to the work of Academic Editors as well: if any kind of misconduct is confirmed, we reserve the right to remove the Editor from the process and assign a new one. For editorial decisions regarding potential breach of above-mentioned standards applied after a formal publication of the manuscript please refer to our Retraction and Correction Policy.

For all other editorial policies please refer to our Editorial Policies page.

Complaints and Appeals

In dealing with complaints and appeals, IntechOpen follows Committee on Publication Ethics guidelines. Should the Authors wish to file a complaint regarding the editorial decision for their manuscript, they need to send an appeal letter detailing the reasons for potential editorial decision overturn. This includes a detailed response to the review comments. Should the statement substantiate, the Editors might consider another round or review or submitting a revised manuscript. Once appealed the manuscript can not enter another appeal cycle and the editorial decision is final.
An Author or a reader may wish to file a complaint or raise a concern in regards to the peer review process, Editors, Authors, or the publisher. The complaint should be submitted in the form of a document, outlining the detailed reasons for such an action.
Appeals and complaints should be addressed to your dedicated Publishing Process Manager or to