Peer Review Process

JSS is committed to providing a rigorous and fair peer review process consistent with the highest ethical standards.

Peer Reviewer Selection

Peer reviewers are selected by the JSS editors. Prospective peer reviewers should submit a request through the JSS website.

Accepted peer reviewers shall have:

  1. Completed an undergraduate degree in a STEM field, and
  2. Completed or currently enrolled in graduate level studies in a STEM field, and
  3. At least one of the following experiences:
    1. Published peer-reviewed research directly relevant to system safety, or
    2. More than 10 years of system safety experience, or
    3. Completed a MS or PhD with documented peer-review experience with another safety-related journal, and
  4. Shall provide evidence of their institutional affiliation (such as a verified email address)

The editor-in-chief may approve exceptions to any of the above requirements for otherwise extraordinarily qualified peer reviewers.

All peer reviewers are strongly encouraged to complete the following training:

Peer reviewers are also encouraged to create accounts at one of the following websites to receive credit for their peer reviews. These credits can also be automatically added to an ORCID account.

Peer Review Process

A minimum of two peer reviewers shall be assigned to each reviewed manuscript. Another editor (separate from the decision maker) may be assigned as a peer reviewer.

A minimum of two weeks shall be allowed for each cycle of peer review. Additional time may be requested by the reviewer. Editors should not unduly pressure reviewers to reduce review time at the expense of review quality.

Unless otherwise approved in writing by the responsible editor, reviews shall be performed using the online review workflow software. Training on the review workflow software is available online.

Responsibilities of Reviewers

Peer reviewers are expected to be familiar with and conform to the JSS editorial policies, including:

Peer reviewers are expected to only accept review assignments where they have the necessary expertise and available time to effectively review the manuscript.

Peer reviewers are expected to disclose any potential conflicts of interest prior to accepting a review assignment.

Peer reviewers are expected to provide a fair, honest, and unbiased assessment of the manuscript under review, including assessment of the rigor and quality of the work. Reviewers should not comment on any portions of the manuscript they have not read.

Peer reviews are expected to maintain confidentiality throughout the process, not sharing information about the authors, manuscript, or comments outside of JSS.

Peer reviewers should not attempt to rewrite a manuscript in their preferred style. Comments to improve clarity are allowable, but should be provided respectfully.

Peer reviewers should take care not to expand the stated scope of the manuscript. Suggested additional work or analysis should be strictly limited to supporting the claims made in the manuscript.

Peer reviewers should follow JSS policies for detecting publication misconduct as described in the Ethical Oversight Policy.

Peer reviewers are expected to maintain a respectful, professional tone in all review comments.

Peer Reviewer Monitoring

JSS editorial staff will review the output of peer reviewers for the purpose of ensuring technical quality and detecting peer review manipulation. Editors will monitor peer reviewers for evidence of peer review manipulation, as described in the COPE document How to Spot Manipulation of the Peer Review Process.

Responsibilities of Editors

As directed by the editor-in-chief, JSS editors shall be the primary interface between authors and peer reviewers. Editors also perform the peer reviewer monitoring process and initiate corrective actions as required.

Peer reviews are considered to be owned by the reviewer. As such, editors should not add, delete, or modify review comments. However, JSS editorial staff may suggest revisions and/or withhold the entire review from the authors if the review does not conform with JSS editorial standards or policies.

Editorial Decisions

Decisions on acceptance, revision, and rejection are made by the editor-in-chief based on input from peer reviewers and editorial staff.

Unless otherwise directed by the editor-in-chief, the peer review process for submitted revisions will be the same as for original submissions.

Concerns about editorial decisions may be made through the Ethics Complaints and Appeals process.


Any concerns about the integrity of the peer review process should be reported per the Ethics Complaints and Appeals process.