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Editorial Policies

Peer Review Process

All submissions are initially assessed by an Editor, who decides whether or not the article fits the scope of the journal and is suitable for peer review. Suitable submissions are then assigned to an associate editor knowledgeable about the submission’s topic. The associate editor then solicits reviews from a selection of independent experts, who assess the article for clarity, validity, and sound methodology.

Authors are permitted to recommend or ask for the exclusion of specific individuals from the peer review process. The journal does not guarantee to use these suggestions. All reviewers must be independent from the submission and will be asked to declare all competing interests.

The review period is expected to take around four weeks. Reviewers are asked to provide formative feedback even if an article is not deemed suitable for publication in the journal.

Based on the reviewer reports the associate editor will make a recommendation for rejection, minor or major revisions, or acceptance. Overall editorial responsibility rests with the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, who is supported by an expert, international Editorial Board.

The journal does not dictate whether submissions are reviewed in a double-blind, single-blind, or open fashion. The authors choose whether to blind their submission files, which will dictate whether the reviewer can identify them during the review process. Equally, the reviewer will be given the option to provide their name and affiliation within their review feedback, which will be accessible to the author.

Streamlined Review

On request, the Journal of Cognition will consider manuscripts that have been rejected from another journal for reasons besides scientific merit and integrity in a streamlined process. Authors interested in receiving streamlined review must state this clearly in their submission cover letter, stating the journal that the manuscript was previously rejected from, and provide the complete action/decision letter (including unedited review comments) received from the other journal. The submitting author must upload the action letter as "supplemental material - not for review” so that the editor can ensure that these materials are treated confidentially. Submissions requesting a streamlined review must also provide a response to the previous reviews, explaining any changes made to the manuscript in light of the action letter and reviewer feedback. This streamlined submission process is most likely to expedite publication when the action letter from the rejecting journal makes very clear that the evidence reported is rigorous and technically sound.

The editors will consider this package of materials and decide what additional information is needed to reach a decision. In the clearest cases, a selection of editors may accept the paper based on the author’s response to the previous action letter. If more information is required, Journal of Cognition may decide to elicit further peer review and may contact the editor at the previous journal to ask for clarification or advice. If the information from the previous review is not adequate, the journal reserves the right to proceed with a full peer review process. Just like with any submission, the journal may reject a manuscript if we do not think it fits the scope of the journal or we judge that the quality is insufficient.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact the editorial team.

Reviewer Guidelines

After accepting the invitation to complete the review of an article, reviewers will be asked to provide comment on the below topics and guidelines, along with a quantitative score on the topics of: Interest; Quality; Originality; Overall score. The reviewer will also have the option to enter their name into the review form, allowing the review to be non-blind (optional):

1. Originality:
Does the manuscript contain original information that progresses knowledge on this subject? Are there original findings, or do conceptual arguments provide a somewhat new perspective on established thinking?

2. Abstract/Summary and Introduction:
Does the Abstract (Summary) clearly and accurately describe the content of the article? Is the introduction to the subject matter clearly and concisely stated?

3. Methodology:
Overall, is the methodology appropriate for the subject matter being examined in the submission, with no significant weaknesses?

4. Cohesion and thoroughness:
Are the interpretations and conclusions justified by the results? Does the message of the paper follow logically from the methods and analyses?

5. Writing quality and referencing:
Is the language acceptable? Do you find the writing to be clear and structured in a logical manner? Is adequate reference made to other work in the field? Are the literature review and discussion sufficiently thorough, or are relevant findings or views missing?

6. Ethical approval:
Are the necessary statements of ethical approval by a relevant authority present? Where humans have participated in research, has informed consent been declared.

7. Confidential Input:
Are there any confidential remarks about the piece which the editors should consider? These will NOT be shared with the author.

Competing Interests

To ensure that all publications are as open as possible all authors, reviewers and editors are required to declare any interests that could appear to compromise, conflict or influence the validity of the publication. This process is designed to reinforce the readers' trust in the review process. The Competing Interests guidelines can be viewed here.

Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP)

The Journal of Cognition is a signatory to the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) guidelines suggested by the Center for Open Science. We expect authors to be forthcoming about disclosing details about their research, to pre-emptively share data and materials when possible, and to take all reasonable steps to assist other researchers in replicating or verifying their work. Specifically, we endorse the eight TOP guidelines at the following levels:

1. Citation standards, level 3: Citation of articles is routine and well-formulated. Similar standards can be applied to citation of data, code, and materials to recognize and credit these as original intellectual contributions. Level 1 recommends citation standards, Level 2 requires adherence to citation standards, and Level 3 requires and enforces adherence to citation standards.

2, 3, 4. Data, Analytic Methods (Code), and Research Materials Transparency, level 2: The policy of the Journal of Cognition is to publish papers with data, methods used in the analysis, and materials used to conduct the research that are clearly and precisely documented and are maximally available to any researcher for purposes of reproducing the results or replicating the procedure. However, we understand that complete disclosure is occassionally not possible, for example for legal or ethical compliance. If your data, analytic method, and/or materials are not publicly available, please state why not explicitly in your Author Note.

5. Design and analysis transparency, level 1: The policy of the Journal of Cognition is to publish papers where authors follow standards for disclosing key aspects of the research design and data analysis. Authors are encouraged to review the standards available for many research applications from http://www.equator-network.org/ and use those that are relevant for the reported research applications. For much of the work we publish, the most relevant standard is the APA's Journal Article Reporting Standards.

6, 7. Preregistration of studies and analysis plans, level 1: The Journal of Cognition supports, but does not require, authors indicating whether the conducted research was preregistered in an independent, institutional registry (e.g., http://openscienceframework.org/). Preregistration of studies involves registering the study design, variables, and treatment conditions prior to conducting the research. Including an analysis plan involves specification of sequence of analyses or the statistical model that will be reported.

8. Replication, level 3: The policy of the Journal of Cognition is to encourage submission of replication studies, particularly of research published in this journal. Replication studies are reviewed in two stages following the Registered Reports format. In particular, the first stage of review is conducted prior to the data being collected or, for existing data sets, before the outcomes are observed.

We commit to reviewing our TOP commitment periodically and updating it to keep current with the best practices for encouraging healthy transparency in cognitive psychology research.

Preprint Policy

The journal allows authors to deposit draft versions of their paper into a suitable preprint server, on condition that the author agrees to the below:

  • The author retains copyright to the preprint and developed works from it, and is permitted to submit to the journal.
  • The author declares that a preprint is available within the cover letter presented during submission. This must include a link to the location of the preprint.
  • The author acknowledges that having a preprint publicly available means that the journal cannot guarantee the anonymity of the author during the review process, even if they anonymise the submitted files (see review policy).
  • Should the submission be published, the authors are expected to update the information associated with the preprint version to show that a final version has been published in the journal, including the DOI linking directly to the publication.

ORCID

The journal asks that all authors submitting a paper register an account with Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier (ORCID). Registration provides a unique and persistent digital identifier for the account that enables accurate attribution and improves the discoverability of published papers, ensuring that the correct author receives the correct credit for their work. As the ORCID remains the same throughout the lifetime of the account, changes of name, affiliation, or research area do not effect the discoverability of an author's past work and aid correspondence with colleagues.

The journal asks all corresponding authors to include an ORCID within their submitting author data whilst co-authors are recommended to include one. ORCID numbers should be added to the author data upon submission and will be published alongside the submitted paper, should it be accepted.

Funding and Ethics 

To ensure transparency, authors are required to specify funding sources and detail requirements for ethical research in the submitted manuscript (see Author Guidelines). All authors must confirm that they fit the definition of an author (see Authorship Guidelines), during submission.

Corrections and Retractions

The Press handles different kinds of error in accordance with guidelines from the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), where applicable. All articles have their proofs checked prior to publication by the author/editor, which should ensure that content errors are not present. Please contact the editorial manager if you believe an article needs correcting.

Post-publication changes are not permitted to the publication, unless in exceptional circumstances. If an error is discovered in a published article then the publisher will assess whether a Correction paper or Retraction is required. This ensures that the error can be appropriately corrected, whilst the integrity of the publication record is not broken. Please contact the publisher for the full Correction/Retraction policy.

Misconduct and Complaints

Allegations of misconduct will be taken with utmost seriousness, regardless of whether those involved are internal or external to the journal, or whether the submission in question is pre- or post-publication. All reasonable steps will be taken to identify and prevent the publication of papers where research misconduct has occurred, including plagiarism, citation manipulation, and data falsification/fabrication. If an allegation of misconduct is made to the journal, it must be immediately passed on to the publisher, who will follow guidelines from the Committee  on Publication Ethics (COPE) on how to address the nature of the problem. Should the matter involve allegations against a member of the journal or publishing team, an independent and objective individual(s) may be sought to lead the investigation.

Should an author wish to lodge a complaint against an editorial decision or the editorial process in general they should first approach the Editor-in-Chief of the journal, explaining their complaint and ask for a reasoned response. Should this not be forthcoming or inadequate, they should raise the matter with the publisher, who will investigate the nature of the complaint and act as arbiter on whether the complaint should be upheld and investigated further. This will follow guidelines set out by COPE.

Section Policies

Review Articles

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Research Articles

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Registered Reports

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Data reports

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Material Development Reports

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Methods notes

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

Commentaries

  • Open Submissions
  • Indexed
  • Peer Reviewed

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