Peer Review

Peer review process

Dulwich Centre Foundation is committed to upholding the highest standards of publishing ethics and peer-review integrity.

International Journal of Narrative Therapy and Community Work publishes peer-reviewed articles, and also publishes practice notes, interviews and reviews that are not peer-reviewed. Peer-reviewed papers are clearly designated on our website.

We have put a lot of thought into our peer-review process to ensure that the articles we publish are of high quality and the journal meets its publishing responsibilities while also benefitting and supporting authors. Many of the articles that we publish are the result of some collaboration between the author/s, the Editorial Team and peer reviewers. We greatly value these collaborations and believe that the processes are as important as the final outcome.

All submissions are initially screened by the Editorial Team to ensure that they comply with our submission guidelines and fit with the journal’s aims and scope and its publication policies and ethics. We also consider the quality of the submission and its potential contribution to the field of narrative practice.

Papers that are a good fit will be considered for publication in the peer-reviewed section of the journal.

Our peer-review process is open: authors know who the reviewers are, and reviewers know who the authors are.

The process we have developed is as follows:

  • Papers that we are considering for publication are sent to two reviewers identified by the Editorial Team. These are drawn from our Editorial Board and a wider international network of experienced practitioners and researchers. We do not accept author suggestions for reviewers.
  • Each of the reviewers prepares a formal response to the paper based on a series of questions (see below) and makes a recommendation to the Editorial Team about whether the journal should: accept the article for publication (with or without minor revisions); accept the paper with significant revisions; advise the author revise and resubmit the article; or decline to publish the article. The reviewers may also make suggestions in the manuscript itself about how the paper might be improved.
  • The Editorial Team considers the reviewers’ responses and recommendations and makes a decision about the next steps for the article. They may at this stage seek advice from an additional reviewer.
  • The Editorial Team informs the author about their decision in relation to publishing the article, shares the reviewers’ reports and any additional editorial feedback, and provides information about the next steps.
  • If the paper is to progress towards publication, the author revises the paper in response to the reviewers’ feedback and produces a statement about how they have responded to each of the substantive points made by the reviewers.
  • The paper is then reviewed by the Editorial Team who will determine whether the article is ready to be formally accepted for publication, whether additional revision or another round of peer-review is required, or whether the journal has decided to decline publication.
  • If accepted for publication, the article will enter the production process, beginning with copy editing. Authors will be invited to enter into a publishing agreement with Dulwich Centre Foundation.

All correspondence in relation to peer review takes place via the Managing Editor. Authors and reviewers do not correspond directly, and reviewers do not correspond with each other.

All pre-publication versions of articles are treated as strictly confidential by the journal and its reviewers.

Reviewers’ names are not published with the articles they review. Reviewers are welcome to have their contribution recognised through platforms such as Publons or to list their reviewing work for the journal on their own website or CV without mentioning specific articles. Reviewers’ reports are treated as confidential advice to the publisher and author, and they are not to be published or further distributed by any party.

After publication, a further process of review is enabled through public commenting on the article’s landing page on the Dulwich Centre website. Comments are moderated and can be anonymous or made under a pseudonym. Any concerns raised about an article following publication will be investigated according to our publishing policies and ethics.

The final decision about whether an article will be published in the journal is made by the Editorial Team. Throughout the course of a year, we receive many submissions to the journal. Although this is lovely (we like receiving submissions!), we can only publish a limited number of articles. For us, publishing is about distributing ideas, making links and building a sense of community through the written word. Even if we cannot publish someone’s writing in our journal, we can often suggest ways for ideas to be shared and further links made. This may include assisting authors to identify other publishing avenues or other ways in which to distribute the ideas they are writing about to the people who would most benefit from them. We seek to ensure that authors who submit their work for publication in the journal have a positive experience of the process, even if we are unable to publish their writing.

Instructions to peer reviewers

Peer reviewers make an important contribution to the field of narrative therapy and community work by ensuring that the work we publish is of a high standard and through helping authors to refine and develop their work so it can be of use to practitioners.

Reviewers must:

  • read the journal’s peer-review process
  • alert the Editorial Team of any actual or potential competing interest that could affect the impartiality of their reviewing and decline to review where appropriate (this includes being employed at the same institution or organisation as any of the authors, having been a close collaborator with an author, or having been a supervisor or supervisee of the author)
  • maintain the confidentiality of manuscripts and reviewer reports
  • write their peer-review report independently without input from anyone else, except with the approval of the Editorial Team
  • refrain from contacting authors directly during the review process
  • provide fair, honest and appropriate feedback
  • submit peer-review reports in a timely manner and in the format required.

Formal review questions

These are the questions we send to reviewers to structure their peer-review report. We also invite reviewers to provide feedback in the form of comments in the manuscript.

  • Do you think this article makes an original contribution to the field of narrative therapy and community work and/or contributes to the application of narrative ideas in unique ways?
  • If so, what sort of contribution do you think it makes?
  • Were there aspects of the paper that were particularly meaningful to you as a reader? If so, which sections and why?
  • Were there any aspects of the paper that you didn’t understand and/or did not agree with? If so, which sections and why?
  • Are there any particular themes that the paper currently does not address that you think deserve attention?
  • Do you have any concerns about the publication of this article? If so, please explain your concerns and what steps (if any) could be taken to address them.
  • Do you have any reflections in relation to the writing style, clarity or organisation of the piece?
  • Do you have any concerns about the accuracy of any part of the paper?
  • Is there any relevant literature that is not cited that you believe would be important to cite?
  • Do you have any other feedback on how the paper might be refined or improved?
  • After reading this paper, are you thinking differently about any aspect of your own practice as a therapist? If so, how? What difference, if any, will the reading of this paper make to your work?
  • Please convey to the author your response to this paper in a short paragraph.
  • Which of the following do you recommend to the Editorial Team in relation to the publication of this article:
    • accept the article for publication without substantive changes
    • accept the article for publication after minor revisions
    • consider accepting the article for publication after the author has made major revisions
    • advise the author revise and resubmit the article for future consideration
    • decline to publish the article
  • Do you wish to make any confidential comments to the editor that are not to be shared with the author?