Review Process

Review Process

The peer review process is one of the most important and fundamental components in the publication process. The credibility and reputation of a journal mainly depend on the integrity of the peer review process and the trust of authors.
Being an HEC recognized/accredited journal, Al-Abṣār follows peer review guidelines of HEC in true letter and spirit to meet the requirements of annual funding. All papers submitted to Al-Abṣār undergo a rigorous internal and external review by experts in the relevant area of interest:

Internal/Desk Review

Each paper goes through an internal / desk review by a relevant editorial board member to determine whether it is properly formatted and follows the publication ethics. The board member would also consider whether basic protocols of research have been followed in research design / analysis and contribution to the literature. Papers that do not meet the basic requirements are not sent out for external review.

External Review (National & International)

Al-Abṣār follows a double-blind review process after a paper is screened through the internal review. Authors are requested not to include their personal information in the text of the paper. If the personal information is displayed by authors, another file is uploaded after removal of author’s information and sent to reviewers. Authors/s are further indicated not to post their papers on any website to prevent their identity to the potential reviewers. While reviewers are also expected to refuse if they come to know about the identification of the author(s) of a paper referred to them for peer review.
Three reviewers, one local and two internationals, are referred to the article through online portal of AL-ABṢĀR, ensuring that each article is referred to a reviewer having specialization in the relevant field. A reviewer proforma is also attached with each review request which helps reviewer in the review process. Each reviewer is given a timeline of 4 – 5 weeks for review. If the reviewer fails to comply with the timeline, a reminder is sent.
External reviewers generally comment and suggest originality, quality of presentation, research design, data/results/conclusions, the usefulness of the study, and interest to the researcher's community. During an external review, if reviewers find that the research paper has major flaws that cannot be resolved through a major revision, they can recommend declining the paper.

Suggesting Reviewers

Following the HEC guidelines in letter and spirit, authors submitting their research papers to Al-Abṣār are not given an option to suggest potential reviewers review their research papers.

Criteria for Selection of Reviewers

Reviewers are selected carefully based on the following criteria:
1. Must hold a Ph.D. degree or advance professional qualification with extensive professional / academic experience.
2. Recognized expert in the field (having publications in reputable academic or professional research journals)
3. Not affiliated with the institution of author(s)
4. Should have a good understanding of data analysis

Steps in Peer Review Process

Peer review process can be broadly described as:


Steps of Review Process

Estimated Time


Submission of paper



First internal / desk review *

3-4 weeks


External review

4-5 weeks


Sharing of review reports to authors for minor/major revision **

1 week


Submission of the revised paper

3-4 weeks


Second internal review (to assess whether reviewers’ suggestions have been incorporated satisfactorily) ***

2-4 weeks


Acceptance of paper (on successful submission of revised paper)

1 week


Submission of Publication Charges

1 week


Publication of Issue (Online & Print)

Last week of every June & December

* Paper is returned to authors if it does not meet the basic criteria
** Paper is returned to authors if external reviewers find that the research paper has so serious faults that cannot be resolved through a major revision
*** Authors are requested for further revision if editors find that reviewers’ suggestions have not been incorporated satisfactorily
Note: Authors are requested to revise the paper carefully in accordance with the reviewers’ suggestions to avoid unnecessary delay in the review process.

Resubmission of paper (after peer review)

Nearly every published paper goes through at least one revision. Authors are directed to revise the paper carefully in accordance with the reviewers’ suggestions to avoid needless interruption in the review process. Revised paper along with reply/response to review report should be submitted within two weeks. Author(s) should be very careful regarding accuracy and completeness in accordance with the reviewers’ suggested points, to avoid further review and delay (further revision can be recommended if editors find that reviewers’ suggestions have not been incorporated satisfactorily).

Appeal/Complaint Process

The Editorial Board of AL-ABṢĀR is committed to providing quality editorial services to its contributors and believes in building and maintaining trust and respect for all contributors, readers, and practitioners. Al-Abṣār believes to improve its services by responding to appeals and rectifying its mistakes against:
a) Objection to publications causing harm to any party
b) Infringing ethical boundaries in any manner and
c) Rejection of research paper
Authors/readers can submit their appeal directly to the Editor at editor.Al-Abā The appeal must provide detailed justification (harm, ethical issues, or response to editor/reviewer comments). The Editor would look after the matter independently and forward it to some appropriate AL-ABṢĀR editorial board member. Finally, the board member after going through whole the complaint/justification can finally recommend acceptance of the appeal, further review, or uphold the original decision (if any).

Language Editing

It is the basic responsibility of authors to ensure that their research papers should be free from spelling, typing, grammar, and syntax errors. Authors whose native language is not English/Arabic/Urdu must get their research paper edited by an English/Arabic/Urdu language expert.