Review Process

JCSHESA is committed to providing timely and relevant scholarship. Additionally, JCSHESA believes that the writing process should be developmental, professional, open, and undertaken with an ethic of care. As such, the journal undertakes an open-review, peer-review process and requires all reviewers to agree to an Ethics of Care and Practice. Please note that depending on the journal’s leadership structure, the open-review process may not be used. During the 2021-2022 academic year, use of the open-review process has been paused and JCSHESA is only accepting anonymous submissions.

What is an open peer review?

There will be an Associate Editor and three reviewers assigned to each manuscript. During an open review process all papers will be uploaded to a secure third-party site that allows reviewers to provide feedback and critique manuscripts while the authors simultaneously respond (similar to Google Documents). Please note that depending on the journal’s leadership structure, the open-review process may not be used.

  1. If participating as an open submitter (as opposed to an anonymous submitter), authors will also have the opportunity to provide real-time feedback to the reviewers allowing for timely discussion. This process allows the journal to shorten the time to publication by reducing the feedback timeline and it allows authors to discuss their editorial choices. See both option descriptions under the Review Process section on this page.
  2. In addition to the three Editorial Board Reviewers, all other Editorial Board members will have access to each manuscript and the option to provide feedback during the First Review Process. They may provide feedback, but will not recommend a final decision on manuscripts. The three assigned editors and the Associate Editor will recommend final decisions.
  3. The first round of review is open to the three assigned Editorial Board Reviewers, authors, and the entire Editorial Board.
  4. The second round of review is open only to the three assigned Editorial Board reviewers (closed-review).

Review Process

Authors have two submission options:

  1. Anonymous submitting- If submitting anonymously, the author’s information and other identifying markers (e.g., title page, institutional affiliations, in-text citations) must be removed from the manuscript. If authors choose this option they will still be informed of their paper’s reviewers, but the reviewers will have no knowledge of the author. All authors who are formally affiliated with JCSHESA must submit using this option. Authors will not be able to discuss their feedback in real-time during the review process.
  2. Open submitting- If open submitting, the authors may keep all identifying markers in their manuscript. If authors choose this option, all author and reviewer information is available. Both reviewer and author will have the opportunity to discuss feedback regarding their paper in real-time during the review process. During the 2021-2022 academic year, use of the open-review process has been paused and JCSHESA is only accepting anonymous submissions.


JCSHESA strives to provide timely and relevant scholarship; therefore, the timeline to publication is shorter than most journals. While the journal hopes to maintain the integrity of this timeline, this will not always be the case. If the timeline requires modification, the Associate Editor assigned to an article will be in contact with the authors. This timeline starts from the point of submission. All reviewers commit to adhering to this timeline.

  • Manuscript assigned to Associate Editor (1 month)
  • First-round open review begins (3 weeks)
  • Determine required revisions and communication to author(s) (1 week)
  • Author revisions and resubmissions (3 weeks)
  • Formatting and notifying reviewers (1 week)
  • Second-round closed review begins (2 weeks)
  • Additional requested revisions from author(s) and submission of Research in Brief and Communicative Media (3 weeks)
  • Copyediting (2 weeks)

Ethics of Care and Practice

The Journal of Critical Scholarship on Higher Education and Student Affairs requires all of its editorial board and reviewers to adhere to an ethic of care and practice. By adhering to this document, editors and reviewers promise authors developmental feedback, professionalism, and open communication. Below are the guidelines that JCHESA adheres to:

  1. Reviewers should use collegial tone by writing in first or second person to convey personal care in providing feedback.
  2. Reviewers should approach manuscripts as coaches, offering specific and detailed information regarding issues for improvement.
  3. In pointing out areas of weakness, reviewers should offer constructive ways of addressing issues.
  4. Reviewers can offer suggestions when appropriate. However, reviewers should refrain from re-writing the paper or offering advice that would compromise the core of the manuscript.
  5. Every review should start by conveying the central idea and key contribution in the paper. By demonstrating a clear and enthusiastic summation of the paper’s essence, it shows care for the writer and their ideas.
  6. The introduction should convey an understanding of the core message and point of view derived from the manuscript, summarize strengths and areas of improvement, and foreshadow key actions authors should consider in revision.
  7. Even if a manuscript has significant issues and may ultimately be rejected, reviewers should demonstrate appreciation for the core of the manuscript in hopes to encourage writers to submit to the journal in the future.
  8. Reviewers should offer well-organized feedback.
  9. Reviewers should refer to specific page numbers or line numbers.
  10. Reviewers should not offer opinion on the likeliness of publication except when assigned to do so.
  11. Reviewers should commit and follow through with all deadlines.