Guidelines for Reviewers

The peer review process

All papers submitted to the Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy (‘the Journal’) are peer reviewed. Usually – and always in the case of academic authors – a minimum of two reviewers are used, with 'double blind' reviewing.

The role of reviewers

Reviewers have two important roles: to maintain a high level of quality control for articles published in the Journal; and to assist authors to improve the quality and readability of their papers, if deemed suitable for the Journal.

Suitability for the Journal 

The first criterion to consider is the paper’s suitability for the Journal.  If it is not suitable, it is best not to spend any further time in reviewing it – other than suggesting a more suitable vehicle for publication; we try to be constructive at all times.  (If this your first time reviewing for ajTDE, read Scope and Readership of the Journal below).

Criteria applied in judging submissions

Please comment briefly on whether the paper satisfies the following criteria:

  • Timeliness and relevance of the topic
  • Originality  (we normally do not republish articles, and certainly not those that have been previously published online)
  • Readability (very important)
  • Well structured arguments – including an Introduction that provides good explanatory background, and adequate ‘Conclusions’
  • Citation of sources to back up assertions falling outside the author’s own work, and to give due credit to others’ work.

Length permitted

Except where articles have been specially commissioned by the Editorial Board, or are considered of exceptional merit as reference works, articles should not exceed 5,000 words (excluding References and the Abstract).

Short articles (1,000 to 2,000 words) are very acceptable, if they meet the other criteria.

When annotating the submission

It is a good idea to use Track Changes when reviewing the article (which will be supplied in Microsoft Word), so you can capture any improvements you want to suggest, including correcting typos or poor grammar or spelling.  Before using Track Changes, anonymise yourself by going to Word ‘preferences’ and making your user name suitably anonymous (e.g. ‘Reviewer A’ or ‘Anon’) or else delete your user name.

In case of doubt …

… do not hesitate to Contact the Editor in advance of writing your report.

Outputs required from the reviewer:

(1) Send your anonymised Reviewer’s Report by email attachment to the editor or theme editor.  

(2) (optional) email to the Managing Editor your Track Changes annotated version of the author’s paper, if there are several errors requiring fixing. 

Scope and readership of the Journal:

Scope of the Journal: The Journal is a multidisciplinary policy journal. It interprets ‘telecommunications’ in the broadest sense, so as to include fixed and mobile networks, the Internet, broadcasting, digital content, and operational, regulatory and consumer experience. The ‘digital economy’ is interpreted as encompassing not just the range of services that can be delivered via telecommunications, but also the digitally enabled society that uses it.

Our readership: The Journal has a readership of both specialists and general readers, and aims to be multidisciplinary in the inclusive sense of that word. The specialists have high levels of expertise in particular disciplines, but very few have expertise in more than one of these fields.  The general readers (most of whom work in the industry) have a broad understanding and interest in telecommunications, and want to be brought up to date with new developments, including the practical implications of new technologies or regulatory reforms. 

Both classes of readers value good tutorial papers on new developments.  The specialists also value papers that are at the cutting edge of their disciplines, but expect the Journal’s papers to be written for the benefit of the general readership as well.  We therefore exclude papers that are written purely for technologists (steering them to other journals, such as the IEEE Transactions) or purely for lawyers (steering them to law journals); and similarly for papers considered to be written exclusively for economists or social researchers.