Peer Review Procedure

Initial review by the editorial team

Before being sent out for formal review, all submitted manuscripts are initially checked by the editorial team to determine whether they meet the MusAu editorial criteria. Manuscripts are rejected promptly if they are judged inappropriate with regard to our formal criteria. An article sent out for review receives an "Under Review" status on the author's My Articles page.

Selecting referees

The editors select at least two referees on the basis of their expertise in the article's topic, the author-selected keywords, and, if possible, the suggestions and exclusions provided by the author.
Reviewers are asked to abide strictly by the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers.

Access to the manuscript

The referees who agree to review the manuscript receive online access to the submitted draft. They are allowed to post inline comments, which can be read and replied to by any other party that accesses the article, including the author and editors. The author is welcome to participate actively in the peer review by replying to reviewers' comments anonymously. We do not edit any reviewer's comments addressed to the author.
Furthermore, both the author and the editors are allowed to make modifications (corresponding to the reviewers' comments) to the draft, which are made visible to the referees.

Anonymity

MusAu adheres to a double-blind reviewing policy. The editors do not pass on any reviewer's identity either to the author or to other reviewers. Neither do they reveal the author's name to a reviewer. Although authors and reviewers are asked to not reveal their names to each other, both parties nevertheless may independently decide to identify themselves to the other.

Transparency and timing

MusAu is committed to timely editorial decisions and reviews and expects the review procedure to be finished within 3–6 weeks from online submission. Since we seek transparency with regard to our review procedure, articles are published with submission and review dates. Furthermore, authors can participate in the peer review by reading and replying to reviewers' comments and working their suggestions into the manuscript.

Review criteria

To be considered for publication in MusAu, a manuscript should meet a high standard of criteria. Referees are asked to evaluate a paper according to the following major aspects:

  • Formal correctness, suitability for MusAu
    • Does the author follow the MusAu policies and guidelines?
    • Is the paper interesting and understandable?
  • Originality and Relevance
    • Is the paper's topic of current relevance?
    • For whom is the paper relevant and how?
  • Organization and Presentation
    • Is the organization clear and easy to follow?
    • Is the material effectively presented?
  • Sources and References
    • Are references provided appropriately?
    • Are online sources reliable and hyperlinked?
  • Language and Style
    • Is the writing style correct and clear?
  • Errors

On the basis of these criteria, reviewers are asked to forward a final reasoned recommendation that will be the basis for the editors' decision to publish a paper:

  • Acceptable in present form and recommended for publication.
  • Acceptable with minor corrections; no further review necessary.
  • Requires moderate or major revision and a second review.
  • Not acceptable.

Final formatting and publishing

An article accepted for publication may still require some final editing and formatting. This can be done either during the review procedure or immediately after it. When published, the article receives a "Published" status on the author's My Articles page. Note that none of the comments posted during the review procedure will be published.