Research in Engineering Design

Review Process

Motto: A journal is a product; one that requires careful design, design with input from all its stakeholders.


Consider yourself invited to take part in the continuous design and improvement of this journal by providing me input, for example, by commenting on this page.

Yoram Reich, PhD 




(1)   Objectives

(2)   The new review process of RED

(3)   Why would you want a rigorous, careful, review process?

(4)   How can you help reviewing your paper?


Objectives (and their outcome)

RED mission is to publish the best quality research papers in engineering design. Its goal is to publish papers that make a difference in design research and practice.


In order to understand this mission, we need to understand what quality papers and journal mean.


The quality of papers or a journal is a subjective matter.


The academic community adopts, at least partially, two quantitative indicators for quality:

(1)   the number of citations to a paper as a measure of its quality and

(2)   the use of ISI Impact Factor (IF) as a measure of journals quality.

IF calculation favors citation to papers published in the last 2 years. A new 5-year impact factor measures citations over a 5-year period.

IF is not the only measure of quality, we appreciate even more papers that provide deep understanding in difficult areas, that open new directions, and whose value might be recognized in several years. There are numerous papers published in RED who continue to accumulate citations over the years and whose content continue to impact design research.


In order to publish high quality papers, we need to attract the best papers possible. We believe that the first step is improving the review process significantly. It must be fast and engage the best experts in the area of the paper. In order to achieve this, RED editorial board has area editors in key design areas. They handle the review process of papers within their area of expertise. Their familiarity with the topics allows them to enlist the best suitable reviewers and make sure the review terminates in a timely manner. If needed, area editors read complete papers to synthesize conflicting reviews.


When reviews are complete, the reviews are shared by all reviewers. This helps reviewers gage their opinion compared to others. This is particularly useful when reviews are conflicting. It turns out that this is not an uncommon situation.


Another objective of RED is to train young researchers in reviewing other research papers. Such engagement, including the sharing of reviews among reviewers once the review process ends, will help them familiarize with other opinions, improve their own papers, and get them ready to be part of the regular review team. Therefore, an attempt would be made to include in each review process young researcher in that design area.


The new review process of RED

The new review process aims to shorten the time-to-publish, while improving the quality of reviews. Figure 1 shows the timeline of a single round of review process starting with paper submission to the web management system and ending with a decision.


CE Chief Editor

AE Area Editor

Figure 1: RED review process


Subsequent reviews of revised manuscripts start in step 4.


Why would you want a rigorous, careful, review process?

Publishing research papers in good journals is one of the major goals of researchers. However, it is insufficient to succeed in publishing a paper. That paper needs to be the highest possible quality presentation of the research behind it. It needs to distinguish itself from others so that its value stands out clearly to readers. With the exploding amount of information around us, including in design related publications in various journals and conferences; one cannot expect readers to do part of the work required by authors. One important goal of the review process is to make good papers stand out, make their statement clear to the potential audience so that the paper value gets delivered and subsequently rewards to its authors.

Performing good review is a time consuming task. Authors should keep in mind that the reviewers act as expert representatives of their expected audience. Comments included in reviews are therefore, part of what could be expected to arise in readers minds. Authors should therefore, seek to have their papers review rigorously and take comments seriously.


How can you help reviewing your paper?

Selecting good reviewers is a difficult task.

You can help us be proposing reviewers, mention papers they wrote that are relevant to your paper, and include complete citation of these papers.

It is good practice to be able to identify those people who could best evaluate your work because some of them may end up reviewing the work you submit to RED or to another journal.


Please do not select specifically those reviewers that you know would like your work.


Conflict of interest: This is a major point in science. Your reviewers should not have a conflict of interest between their work as reviewers and you. In particular, they cannot be involved in any way in the research reported in the paper, not even as remote advisors or consultants. Preferably, they should not have worked or published papers in the last few years with the authors of the paper.

If you and a proposed reviewer are collaborating or collaborated elsewhere, please say where.



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Last modified: 10/18/2010 8:51:56 AM