Our Review Process

Double-Blind Peer Review

Dialectic’s two-stage peer review process is an important and essential aspect of the publication process of an article or visual essay or narrative.

The first stage of this process involves a desk review. Each submission is critically examined by one to three members of our Editorial and Advisory Boards, and/or our Producer, to assess 1) whether its subject matter is appropriate for Dialectic, 2) whether it has been written and/or visually crafted well enough to meet Dialectic’s standards for prose structure and argumentation or, in the case of visual essays or narratives, formal design, and 3) whether the topic it addresses, rationale(s) it advocates for, position(s) or concepts it espouses, or research it reports and/or examines is based on sound reasoning, credible theoretical frameworks and/or viable method(ologies). Only submissions that have been evaluated during our desk review process as being “worthy to advance” are sent on for more in-depth, “double-blind” peer review, or “refereeing.”

The second stage of Dialectic’s peer review process involves external, double-blind peer review. Submissions that have been deemed “worthy to advance” during the desk review process are sent to between two and four reviewers from the university-level design education community around the world who have developed knowledge in and around the topic area for more in-depth analysis and assessment. None of the external reviewers who analyze and assess a submission that has advanced beyond our desk review stage will know the identity of the author(s)/designer(s) of that submission until after (and if) it is published. These reviewers will also not of the author(s)/designer(s) address, e-mail, fax or web URL, and will only be able to discern the author(s)/designer(s)’ affiliation and country if these are somehow mentioned in the narrative of the submission. In the same manner, no author(s)/designer(s) will know the identity or affiliation of those who have analyzed and assessed their submission. Facilitating this process in this way eliminates the possibility of bias as it transpires and afterwards, and, as such, meets the COPE standard for double-blind peer review. Download one of our sample double-blind, external peer reviewer assessment forms.

Each external peer reviewer is charged with analyzing and assessing the relative strength and appropriateness per submission category for any and all submissions he/she receives from Dialectic’s Editorial Board and Producer. Once an external peer review for a specific submission has been completed, the external peer reviewer assessment form is sent from the reviewer to Dialectic’s Producer and/or one to three members of Dialectic’s Editorial Board. After the external peer reviewer assessment form for a given submission has been critically read by one to three of these personnel, it will be sent back to the author(s)/designer(s) for revisions that must be completed by the deadline date specified in writing by Dialectic’s Producer to the author(s)/designer(s).

Any information in the Acknowledgement and Declaration of Conflict of Interest that may lead to the uncovering of the identity of the author is also removed from the manuscript prior to sending it to reviewers.

In addition to offering critical commentary to author(s)/designer(s) in prose form, external reviewers will make one of the following recommendations to the submissions they assess on the external review form:

  • Accept As Is
  • Requires Minor Corrections
  • Requires Moderate Revision
  • Requires Major Revision
  • Submit to Another Publication, Such As:
  • Do not publish

On receipt of the author(s)/designer(s)’ revised manuscript or visual essay or narrative, which should be re-written or re-designed according to the feedback offered on the external peer reviewer assessment forms, these forms and the revision will be provided to members of Dialectic’s Editorial Board and its Producer. The revision will then be assessed by these personnel in light of the feedback provided on the external peer reviewer assessment forms. At this point, one of the three following decisions regarding the publication of the revised submission will be made:

  • Accept
  • The Manuscript Requires Improvement
  • Reject

Only an Editor or the Producer has the authority to “Accept” or “Reject” a submission to Dialectic.

If a submission is rejected, the author(s)/designer(s) are informed of the decision and no further processing is done on it.

If a submission requires improvement, it is sent to the author(s) with one or more Editor’s and/or the Producer’s recommendations for further revision. The Managing Editor and the Producer will then make a final decision on the revised submission either “Accept” or “Reject” it.