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Review procedure

The procedure for reviewing texts submitted for publication in Problems of Forensic Sciences is based on the guidelines of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education concerning good practice in review procedures in science. The following procedure is applied by the Editorial Committee of Problems of Forensic Sciences:

1.  Acceptance of an article for review by the Editorial Committee PFS on the basis of fulfilling the following requirements:

   the article should not be longer than 40,000 characters including spaces;

   there should be an abstract in English that does not exceed 20 lines;

   key words should be in English (3–6 words);

   affiliations of all authors should be given together with e-mail address, postal address for correspondence and contact telephone number of the author responsible for correspondence;

   declaration of contribution forms should be filled in by all co-authors concerning the contribution of particular authors to the publication, stating their affiliations and specific contributions, i.e. who is the author of the conception, assumptions, methods etc. used when preparing the publication (this is a procedure to prevent ghostwriting and ghost authorship); responsibility for the authenticity of the declaration rests with the author submitting the text.

2.  Preliminary acceptance of articles for review is carried out by subject editors who are members of the Editorial Committee PFS.

3.  Two independent Polish and/or foreign reviewers (referees) are appointed to assess the article.

4.  The Editorial Committee encourages authors to suggest reviewers of their papers; however, the Editorial Committee reserves the right to make the final decision on selection of reviewers.

5.  Reviewers are competent in their field and also have appropriate academic achievements.

6.  Reviewers are not affiliated with the institution of the authors.

7.  The Editorial Committee applies the principle of double blind review, taking care to  ensure that reviewers and authors do not know each other’s identities.

8.  In the event that the group of experts is too narrow in a given field to comply with points 5 and 6, there may be exceptions to the rule set out there. Then reviewers are asked to sign a declaration stating that there is no conflict of interest (i.e. second degree of kinship, legal ties, personal relations, relations of professional subordination or direct scientific cooperation in the last two years preceding the review).

9.  The Editorial Committee allows reviewers freedom to decide whether to accept or reject a text for review.

10.  Reviewers are required to maintain confidentiality until the moment of publication of the reviewed text.

11.  Sample peer review form can be found at www.forensicscience.pl/content/view/16/21/lang,en/ under “review procedure”.

12.  Reviewers send completed reviews to the Editorial Committee PFS in electronic form and also in hard copy (i.e. a printed paper version) signed with a handwritten signature,  which is stored by the Editorial Committee for 2 years. The review should finish with an unequivocal conclusion as to whether to admit or not to admit the article for publication.

13.  The Editorial Committee does not accept reviews which do not fulfil the substantive and formal requirements of a scientific review and which have not been written in accordance with the peer review form sent to reviewers.

14.  The reviewer’s comments are sent to the author of the reviewed text, who is required to take into account the recommendations of the reviewer and correct the text. Reviewers are entitled to re-examine the revised text.

15.  If the author does not agree with the conclusions of the reviewer, s/he has the right to respond to them. The author accepts that failure to accept a reviewer’s comments may result in rejection of the article. The final decision about publication of the text is made by the Editor-in-Chief  with the support of members of the Editorial Committee PFS on the basis of analysis of comments and conclusions contained in the review together with any responses to it by the author of the text and (on the basis of analysis) of the final version of this text provided by the author.

16.  The fundamental form of the publication is the printed form. The author, by agreeing to print the article in Problems of Forensic Sciences, at the same time agrees to publication of the electronic version on-line on the publisher’s website.

17.  Once a year, the Editorial Committee PFS publishes a comprehensive, up-to-date list of reviewers with whom it works in the printed version of the journal, and this list is also permanently available on the website.

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