Trans/Form/Ação inaugurates new practices for the evaluation and review of manuscripts and knowledge democratization

Marcos Antonio Alves, Editor of Trans/Form/Ação, Philosophy journal of Unesp, Professor at the Department of Philosophy and Coordinator of the Graduate Program on Philosophy of Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp), Marília, SP, Brasil.

About the journal

Autor´s photos.

Trans/Form/Ação was created in 1974 with the initial goal of integrating the Philosophy Department of UNESP with other similar departments in the country. Between 1976 and 1979, its publication was interrupted, but since then, a regular pattern has been maintained with several changes in periodicity to meet indexing and internationalization demands and requirements. The target audience is formed by professors, researchers and students in Philosophy and related areas from Brazilian and foreign universities, as well as others, interested regularly or not, in the topics covered.

It was the first Philosophy journal indexed by SciELO, in 2005, and since 2010, it has also been indexed in the Web of Science. Currently, it is ranked as A2 in the Qualis/CAPES. As an open access journal, it seeks the unrestricted and universal democratization and socialization of knowledge, according to the Open Science objectives (PACKER; SANTOS, 2019b). In order to expand communication with its readers, it started to regularly publish news on its web page, also sent by e-mail to those registered.

Evaluation process: new practices in search of transparency and manuscript review

Manuscripts submitted for publication must be submitted online via the SEER platform, already in the “blind evaluation” format. Papers written in Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French, and English are accepted. In this first phase, the manuscripts undergo a plagiarism check via Turnitin.

Once past the first phase, the papers already in the “blind evaluation” format are directed to a reviewer in the Philosophy area, in order to check the relevance for publication, as well as the format adequacy, to be later forwarded to the referees. The article is sent for evaluation only if it meets the originality and suitability requirements.

In the evaluation phase, the manuscript, whether in the form of an article, a translation of some philosophical text or a review of philosophical books, is submitted to “double-blind” examination, on average by three reviewers from the journal’s areas. It is understood that this blind assessment is important for maintaining transparency in the peer review process for manuscripts involving relationships and interactions between authors, editors and reviewers, according to the Open Science objectives (PACKER; SANTOS, 2019a).

When approved, the article undergoes grammatical review and normalization by hired professionals. The authors must again observe the suggestions and make the necessary corrections. That being done, the article goes on to the editing phase, performed by the Editorial Laboratory of Unesp and later publication.

Celerity in evaluation and publication

In 2020, there was a drastic decrease in the time for evaluating manuscripts, an effort by the editorial board to decrease the evaluation process to an average of four months. The importance of a quick evaluation is well understood, mainly a consideration to the manuscripts’ authors.

However, it is not wise to leave approved texts out of the readers’ reach for a long time. Even though in Philosophy and related areas, knowledge does not “age”, it is essential to socialize it with agility. To shorten the time period between approval and publication, special issues are organized, grouping articles by content, thematic line, and historical periods.

On another front, the journal intends to provide a Preprint modality, in the sense of celerity and transparency in research communication, according to the Open Science objectives (PACKER; SANTOS, 2019a). Once the texts are approved for publication, they would be pre-published in a special section on the journal’s page, open for comments, criticisms, and observations. It would also be possible for authors to make changes to the text before the final version for publication and to respond to comments on the text made in this environment, for a certain period, until the moment of final editing of the article for publication. The implementation of this practice still requires a certain structure, both physical and virtual, in addition to economic feasibility to be implemented. This practice is expected to start in the second half of 2020.

The comment modality

As described on its page, Trans/Form/Ação aims at socializing knowledge, seeking to promote the debate and exchange of ideas. Therefore, a new type of texts is inaugurated in 2020, which consists of comments on approved articles, previously consented by the articles’ authors.

Attached to the original article, there are mini articles, around four pages long, produced and signed, in principle, by the reviewers of the submitted manuscript. Only after the article has gone through the entire evaluation process and requested reviews, having been approved for publication by the editorial committee, moving on to the editing phase, according to the journal’s rules, the referees’ comment is requested. For these, considering the commentator condition, no longer from reviewer, it is optional to accept the invitation to this activity, now as the author of a text produced on the submission of which he was one of the evaluators.

It is the publication of a constructive criticism, no longer on the quality of the article, since the evaluation process has already been passed. The author of the comment can expose possible disagreements of ideas, compare concepts between authors, perspectives or philosophical systems, hermeneutic, methodological, or epistemological differences. It is also possible to construct an extension, explanation or even the insertion of some important concept for the understanding of the argumentative line of the commented article, relevant explanatory notes or the commentator’s position regarding the exposed thesis. In this sense, an attempt is made to promote a dialogue between both texts, aiming at deepening and expanding knowledge.

Comments are also a way of formally valuing the work of the journal’s reviewers, offering them the opportunity to publish their ideas and reflections that may even have originated from the analysis of the evaluated manuscript. The journal’s evaluation policy, however, remains double-blind. The results have been quite satisfactory, both due to the adherence of the commentators invited, as well as to the reading of the published texts and their quality.

References

PACKER, A.L. and SANTOS, S. Open Science and the new research communication modus operandi – Part I [online]. SciELO in Perspective, 2019a [viewed 16 May 2020]. Available from: https://blog.scielo.org/en/2019/08/01/open-science-and-the-new-research-communication-modus-operandi-part-i/

PACKER, A.L. and SANTOS, S. Open Science and the new research communication modus operandi – Part II [online]. SciELO em Perspectiva, 2019b [viewed 16 May 2020]. Available from: https://blog.scielo.org/en/2019/08/01/open-science-and-the-new-research-communication-modus-operandi-part-ii/

External links

Trans/Form/Ação – Trans: www.scielo.br/trans

https://revistas.marilia.unesp.br/index.php/transformacao

 

Como citar este post [ISO 690/2010]:

ALVES, M. A. Trans/Form/Ação inaugurates new practices for the evaluation and review of manuscripts and knowledge democratization [online]. SciELO in Perspective: Humanities, 2020 [viewed ]. Available from: https://humanas.blog.scielo.org/en/2020/06/02/trans-form-acao-inaugurates-new-practices-for-the-evaluation-and-review-of-manuscripts-and-knowledge-democratization/

 

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