At NEJLT, the review process has the following top-level steps.

  • An anonymised article is submitted for review in the journal template.
  • Editors are assigned to manage contact with the authors, and the review process.
  • Expert reviewers are found, to submit their reviews.
  • Once all reviews are in, a decision is made on the article.
  • Depending on the outcome, the article is published, sent for revisions, or rejected.

The process is explained in detail below, as well as how NEJLT manages anonymity.

Author anonymity

Author identity should be hidden from those reviewing NEJLT manuscripts. This is achieved through accepting only anonymised submissions, and obscuring author identity during review.

Blind review can impose unreasonable constraints on resource-type papers, and so in this case, blinding requirements are relaxed slightly; there need be no “undignified mental gymnastics” in describing work on language resources that one has done. The goal is to protect, and not to punish, the author. However, a reasonable effort should be make to conceal names of authors from reviewers who may be unfamiliar with the resource or its context, including e.g. hiding some URLs, keeping author names off the title page, and avoiding referring previous work with pronouns like “my” or “our”.

Reviewer visibility

While during reviewing authors and other reviewers will have their identities concealed from each other, NEJLT adopts an open policy later in the decision process. After reviewing is done, reviewer names may be revealed both to other reviewers and also to authors. This follows indications that malicious reviews are less prevalent when reviewer identity may be revealed.

At NEJLT, we hope to foster constructive dialogue between authors and experts in the field, and remove the shields of anonymity is a step towards improving that dialogue, especially important in a field such as computer science where reviewing can be hypercritical. Revealing reviewer identity serves to improve review tone, while also removing biases during reviewer discussions.

Review workflow

Submissions are assigned a managing editor (ME), who desk-checks and deals with author contact, and allocates an action editor (AE) to make the decision and to find reviewers.

Papers must reach “minor edits” by the end of the 2nd review cycle. Possible cycle outcomes are:

  • reject (implicit 12-month embargo at NEJLT) - when there are flaws in core contributions or multiple contributions;
  • major edits - flaws in some contributions or some core questions are not answered;
  • minor edits (<15% of the content needs change);
  • accept / polish+accept (<1% of the content needs change)

NEJLT maintains a large standing pool of reviewers, drawn from the global NLP community and from reviewers who have previously been responsive and thorough. We expect AEs to be responsive; in return, we limit their load, and will find new AEs if manuscript load increases. The journal should have as much transparency as possible: this means notifying authors as manuscripts move through the pipeline.

The normal estimated reviewing time is seven weeks, and from 2021, the target maximum time from submission at NEJLT to a first decision is twelve weeks.

Prior reviews from some venues may be submitted with a manuscript. These may be considered by AEs for the first decision, and are released to reviewers only after the first round of reviewing. This is to avoid biasing our reviewers’ initial impression and thus compromising review quality. Consent is requested during manuscript submission to verify reviews with the original venue.

Sometimes a manuscript is not eligible for review and has to be rejected before this step. This is called a desk reject. Desk rejects should be quick. These will be issued for manuscripts that are clearly out of scope; that are much below the required quality standard; that are duplicates or plagiarised; or that openly reveal author names. These are generally unfortunate for both authors and editors to deal with, and we would prefer not to send any desk rejects, so please read the guidelines before submitting a paper; contact us if you are in doubt.