Review Process

Upon receiving the manuscript, the editorial assistant will check the completeness of the statements in the cover letter, as well as all other prerequisite conditions of the submission. Any submission failing to meet the submission requirements will be unsubmitted or desk rejected.

The manuscript that passes the submission threshold will be assigned to an Associate Editor or the Editor-in-Chief. Desk rejection will be issued if the manuscript clearly fails one of the key areas of the evaluation as listed in the Reviewer Guidelines section.

If the manuscript passes the editor’s initial screening, it will be assigned to at least two reviewers. The editor will make the decision regarding the manuscript’s acceptance or rejection. The EIC’s decision is final.

Desk Rejection

The desk rejection criteria follow the recommendation of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association:

A manuscript is usually rejected because the work (a) is seen as falling outside the coverage domain of the journal; (b) contains such severe flaws of design, methodology, analysis, or interpretation that the editor questions the validity of the findings; or (c) is judged as making a limited contribution to the field, given the standards of the journal.

A desk rejection is issued when the manuscript is (a) not appropriate for NCMR’s scope of publication because either the content or the format is not in keeping with the journal’s mission; or (b) when the editor determines that the it is unlikely that the paper will be evaluated favorably during the peer review process. Both decisions allow for a more efficient and effective review process. When a manuscript is submitted for a special issue, the desk rejection can also include the lack of fit for the special issue.

Editorial Rejection

An editorial rejection might occur when initial review of the manuscript reveals formatting flaws such as exceeding the prescribed page limits.

A manuscript that has been rejected by NCMR may not be revised and resubmitted without invitation from the editor. If a manuscript is rejected on the basis of the peer review, the editor explains why it was rejected and may provide feedback from the reviewers. Authors who believe a pertinent point was overlooked or misunderstood by the reviewers may contact the editor to appeal the decision. Those who feel that their manuscript was unfairly rejected should consult the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) and present their arguments in a formal letter. The EIC will evaluate the arguments and decide whether a different decision will be made or different reviewers will be used to assess the quality and the suitability of the manuscript to be published at NCMR.

Authors are free to submit the rejected manuscript to another journal. Authors are welcome to use the reviewers’ and the editor’s feedback when revising their manuscript.

Registered Reports

Registered Reports that are deemed potentially suitable are processed in two stages:

Stage 1 manuscripts include only an Introduction, Methods (including proposed analyses), and Pilot Data (where applicable).

Reviewers at Stage 1 will evaluate:

1.       The importance of the research question(s).

2.       The logic, rationale, and plausibility of the proposed hypotheses.

3.       The soundness and feasibility of the methodology and analysis pipeline (including statistical power analysis where appropriate).

4.       Whether the clarity and degree of methodological detail is sufficient to exactly replicate the proposed experimental procedures and analysis pipeline.

5.       Whether the authors have pre-specified sufficient outcome-neutral tests for ensuring that the results obtained can test the stated hypotheses, including positive controls and quality checks.

After Stage 1 peer review, manuscripts will either be:

-       Rejected

-       Offered the opportunity to revise, or

-       Issued an in-principle acceptance (IPA), indicating that the article will be published pending successful completion of the study according to the exact methods and analytic procedures outlined, as well as a defensible and evidence-bound interpretation of the results.


Stage 2 manuscripts are complete manuscripts, including Results and Discussion sections.

Stage 2 manuscripts will more closely resemble a regular article format. The manuscript will then be returned to the reviewers, who will evaluate:

1.       Whether the data can test the authors’ proposed hypotheses by satisfying the approved outcome-neutral conditions (such as quality checks, positive controls)

2.       Whether the Introduction, rationale and stated hypotheses are the same as the approved Stage 1 submission (required)

3.       Whether the authors adhered precisely to the registered experimental procedures

4.       Whether any unregistered post hoc analyses added by the authors are justified, methodologically sound, and informative

5.       Whether the authors’ conclusions are justified given the data and results.

Please note that editorial decisions will not be based on the perceived importance, novelty, or clarity of the results. For more information click here