FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
REGARDING MANUSCRIPT SUBMISSION
- What is the correct way of submitting a manuscript to JoTT?
It is mandatory to submit two copies of the manuscript to JoTT online:
(a) One copy of the manuscript WITHOUT author details (names, affiliations, roles, copyright information, museum collector names, new species authorities, etc.) and Acknowledgements. This should be a WORD document under 10MB.
(b) One copy WITH author details and Acknowledgements. This should be a PDF document under 10MB.
- What is the maximum file size allowed to be uploaded?
The maximum size of any file that can be uploaded on the JoTT website is 10MB. Sometimes, images can be too heavy and can exceed the maximum file size. In such circumstances, their lower resolution versions can be included in the main manuscript at the initial stage for ease of convenience for review. The higher resolution versions of the images can be submitted as individual JPGs as attachments at a later stage of manuscript processing.
- Why am I not able to submit a new manuscript on the site?
To submit a manuscript to JoTT online, a user needs to be registered on the JoTT website. The process of registering on the site is easy and free. While registering on the site, the default role assigned to the user is that of a ‘reader’. If you want to submit a manuscript, you will need to add the role of ‘author’ by editing your profile.
- What is article metadata?
Metadata is the background information to an article. It includes author details (names, titles, affiliations, complete postal address, working e-mail IDs, and ORCID IDs of all authors) and manuscript details (Abstract, Keywords, Running title, and References).
- What is ORCID and why is it important?
ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes a particular author from all others. By supporting automated linkages, it also ensures that the author’s work is recognized. It is mandatory for all authors who submit their manuscripts to JoTT to have an ORCID ID. Registering for ORCID is an easy and free process and can be done at <www.orcid.org>. The ORCID may be submitted at the time of the final acceptance of the manuscript.
- What is DOI and why is it significant?
The Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is used on digital networks to identify any entity ‘physical, digital, or abstract’ that is shared to a community or managed as intellectual property. The DOI system is adopted as an international standard. For more details, visit <http://www.doi.org>.
- How does JoTT determine if the references I use are predatory or not?
JoTT has a strict policy against publishing any data from predatory journals. JoTT follows <https://beallslist.net>, <https://beallslist.weebly.com>, and <https://predatoryjournals.com> as reference lists to determine predatory publications. JoTT also evaluates journals and publishers based on the criteria set by Beall as there are many journals and publishers that have not been evaluated or listed yet. Learn more by visiting the above sites and read JoTT’s policy on predatory publications.
- Should I submit an abstract even for a Note?
Yes, it is mandatory to submit an Abstract even for a Note. This is for the purposes of article metadata online.
- How are the required documents to be submitted on the JoTT website?
(i) All documents should be attached as files online.
(ii) Reviewer names and details should be submitted in the ‘Comments for the Editor’ section.
- Should I follow the normal process of submission to JoTT even for a Note?
Yes, the procedure is the same irrespective of the type of manuscript, which includes submission of Abstract, Keywords, and Running title.
- What is meant by an ethics statement and where can I find it?
The ethics statement varies from one manuscript to another. It could include topics such as consultations with co-authors, permits sought, the welfare of animals, genuine research, plagiarism or duplicate submission, etc. that are deemed important to be indicated as part of the submission. Points can also be drawn from the submission guidelines and policies of JoTT.
- What types of manuscripts can be submitted to JoTT?
JoTT accepts scientific communications, reviews, opinions, and letters. The content of the manuscript determines the category under which it is placed. In the case of scientific communications, the technical complexity (and not length) of the manuscript determines its placement in one or the other category. Monographs are more complex than Articles which, in turn, are more complex than Short Communications, and Notes.
- What is the style of in-text citation and referencing followed by JoTT?
JoTT mandatorily follows its own style of in-text citations and referencing. Examples of the format can be found in the JoTT website’s Submissions page. Authors are expected to list all the entries in the Reference section of their manuscript in the JoTT format.
- How do I resubmit my revised manuscript to JoTT?
Upload the revised files online on the JoTT website under the same submission number as revisions. We do not accept email submissions of revisions. When submitting the revisions, make sure the following are submitted:
(i) Revised manuscript WITHOUT track changes or highlights (in WORD),
(ii) Revised manuscript WITH track changes or highlights (as WORD),
(iii) Steps that are taken to address all comments individually in a separate file.
This will help facilitate the reviewers/ editors to go through the revised manuscript easily and quickly. Due to lack of time and resources, we are unable to personally intimate the authors regarding the receipt of the revised manuscript. The authors are requested to check the JoTT site regularly regarding the status of their manuscript.
- What is the importance of the submission number of my manuscript and how is it assigned?
The OJS automatically generates a unique 4-digit submission number when a manuscript is submitted to JoTT. This number is maintained and used throughout the manuscript processing and publication stages to refer to the manuscript. All revisions of the manuscript are to be made under the same submission number.
- Why is it necessary to provide the working email IDs of all the co-authors?
Providing the email IDs of all co-authors is necessary for official confirmation from all co-authors that they have been consulted and are okay with the manuscript, with their names being included in it, and with the other details provided. The JoTT website will not allow the user to proceed with the submission if the email IDs of all co-authors have not been provided or have been incorrectly provided. In case a co-author does not have an email ID, provide a consent form from the individual stating they are okay with the submission.
- How do I get to know that my manuscript has been accepted?
Due to lack of time and resources, the authors will not be personally intimated regarding the acceptance of their manuscript. The authors are requested to check the JoTT site regularly regarding the status of their submission. When the manuscript is finally accepted and is processed for copyediting, the Managing Editor will intimate regarding the next steps.
REGARDING MANUSCRIPT PROCESSING
- How long does it take for an article to be published in JoTT once the manuscript has been submitted for publication?
If the submission process has been followed as per JoTT’s guidelines, the initial review takes one month from the date of submission, followed by 2–4 months of the first round of peer review. The time taken for the review may extend beyond four months depending on the time taken by the reviewers, or having to identify new reviewers when others don’t respond. The reviewed manuscript will be sent back for a round of revision to the corresponding author. Depending on how well the authors have revised based on the comments, the revised version will be sent to one of the three reviewers for the second round of review. Based on the comments in the second review, the manuscript will either be sent back to the authors for more revisions, or will be sent on to the subject editor for final review and edits. Once the manuscript is finally accepted, it will be published in the coming issue of the journal. Therefore, it takes 6–8 months on average from the initial date of submission for an article to be published in JoTT, if the submissions are complete and as per JoTT’s guidelines.
- What are the stages of acceptance of the manuscript?
a. The manuscript is accepted for initial review if all submission criteria are met.
b. The manuscript is accepted for peer review after the initial review.
c. The manuscript is provisionally accepted after the authors undertake proper revisions suggested during the peer review process.
d. The manuscript is finally accepted when the subject editor and/or chief editor accepts the final revised manuscript for publication.
- What review process does JoTT follow?
JoTT follows a double-blind peer review process. The author’s name is not revealed to the reviewer and vice versa.
- Why does the review process sometimes take a long time to be initiated?
The review process will be delayed if:
a. The submission is incomplete or the JoTT guidelines have not been adhered to.
b. The reviewers take a long time to respond to request for complete submission of documents.
- What is meant by ‘potential reviewers’ for an article I submit?
Potential reviewers are experts in the field of the submitted manuscript. Author(s) must put together a list of three potential reviewers for the submitted manuscript. This list should not include those from the same organization as that of the author(s) or those who have co-published with any of the authors in the last one year. Further, at least one of the suggested reviewers must be from outside the country of research.
- Is the subject editor’s word the final say in the acceptance of a manuscript?
Unless the chief editor or the editorial board has a differing opinion from that of the subject editor, the subject editor’s acceptance is usually final.
- When does the author receive an acceptance letter from the journal?
JoTT provides an acceptance letter for publication only after the final acceptance of the manuscript by the subject editor and the chief editor.
- What are the processes followed by JoTT after the final acceptance of the manuscript?
The manuscript is sent for language editing after which it is sent for copyediting. Unless there are comments to be addressed by the authors, the copyedited manuscript is typeset and the galley is sent to the author and the subject editor for final checks.
- Can a manuscript be rejected even at the galley stage?
Yes, if new information comes along, as pointed by the subject editor, chief editor, or the editorial board.
- Does JoTT charge for publishing?
Yes, JoTT has introduced a modest article processing charge (APC) for publishing since 01 April 2021.
- Why is JoTT charging a fee for publishing?
JoTT has been a platinum open access journal since 2009 and before that as Zoo’s Print Journal since April 1999. The onus on running the journal was solely on our shoulders. A small team of people at JoTT mostly volunteered their time in processing manuscripts and publishing them online in a professional manner keeping to all the stringent peer-review requirements and sticking to the date of publication of 26th of every month irrespective of holidays, festivals, or ill health. It has always been a struggle to keep JoTT going since everything requires money. We have had small funds coming in occasionally from funding agencies and individuals, but these have been less than 10% of the operating costs thereby making all personnel costs non-existent.
Although the overall submission decline rate is around 70%, it still takes time and effort to process manuscripts to desk decline, decline after peer-review process, or process the accepted submissions for publication. This, therefore, has been completely reliant on us volunteering our time after completing the works of other funded projects every day. Then the pandemic happened …. all funded projects came to a grinding halt and so did all the funding. And, the number of submissions to JoTT tripled. We continued for a year under this stress, hoping the situation would improve, but it did not.
While the most prudent response to this would be to shut down JoTT, the philosophy for setting it up has guided us, and we wish to continue with the same. We tried other means of raising funds and wrote many appeals for donation from our readers and the general public, but the success rate has been miniscule. Perhaps, the COVID situation has hampered philanthropy. Therefore, in order to run the journal, we have had to move to a pay-for-publication model.
- How have the APC been arrived at?
After much deliberation and consultations, we have decided an optimal pay for publication model, which is charging for article processing. Keeping various considerations in mind, including ability to pay for publication for those who are unaided or underfunded, a simple payment model is introduced which ensures that the maximum payment is as much as a pair of branded jeans. And additional authors beyond the base charge for two-author will mean the individual cost for each author further reduces overall, making the publication not dependent heavily on only funding agencies, or hinder students from publishing either.
- What are the article processing charges for publishing in JoTT?
The following article processing charges are applicable for accepted articles in JoTT.
Base charge up to 2 authors
Additional charge 3rd author and above (per author)
Monographs (Articles 36 printed pages or more, up to 64 pages. Larger issues will be calculated on a case-by-case basis)
INR 30,000 / USD 600
INR 2,000 / USD 40
Full length articles: Article, Communications, Reviews, Conservation Applications, Essays, New descriptions with phylogenetic analysis
INR 8,000 / USD 160
INR 2,000 / USD 40
Short length articles: Short Communications, Data Papers, Peer Commentaries, Viewpoints, Checklists, Classical new descriptions
INR 5,000 / USD 100
INR 1,000 / USD 20
Brief articles: Notes
INR 3,000 / USD 60
INR 500 / USD 10
Editorial, Response / Reply, Book Review, Addenda / Errata / Corrigenda
- Why does JoTT charge to withdraw a manuscript from publication?
Being an open access journal, the philosophy of JoTT is to encourage authors to publish for a minimal article processing charge and for information to be available for readers for free. However, we have had experiences where some authors have taken advantage of the free peer review process. In order to ensure that the time and energy of the editorial team and the reviewers are not wasted, JoTT’s policy is to charge for withdrawal of the manuscript from publication after a week from the date of submission.
- If there is a genuine reason to withdraw a manuscript, will JoTT still charge for withdrawal of a manuscript?
If convincing appeals for withdrawal are put up by the authors, then JoTT may not charge.
- Are all publications in JoTTcopyright free?
Yes. JoTT is registered under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY). This license allows authors to retain copyright ownership over their intellectual property. It also allows anyone to use the data in an article by providing due credit to the author/ source and publication, without specific permission from the authors/ publishers. The copyright extends to all components of the article including tables, figures, and images.
- Why has the status of my manuscript on the JoTT website remained unchanged for a while, indicating that the reviews have not been completed?
As the reviews come in, the status of the manuscript on the site will change. Peer-review is a time-consuming process and some reviewers take more time than others. Consequently, some manuscripts get delayed due to the inability of experts to volunteer their time within the requested period. In order to have adequate peers involved in the process, non-response from a reviewer will mean following-up or eventually replacing the reviewer with a request to another expert, which will then add on more time. The JoTT team is unable to respond to every status enquiry individually, hence the delay or non-response. Authors are encouraged to log in to their accounts and check the status of their manuscript. Authors will be intimated as soon as we receive all the reviews.
- Why am I not able to download the manuscript I need to review?
Only if you agree to review the manuscript will it become available for download. This agreement has to be done online, and not through email.
- Why are certain published articles unavailable on the JoTT website?
A published article can be sometimes pulled down from the JoTT website if it comes to the notice of the scientific community that the article had presented or made use of incomplete or wrong data, it is inadequate in the light of newly available data, or it compromised on the ethics, standards, or pre-requisites of scientific publications (for example, by publishing the same manuscript in another journal). Please read JoTT’s Policy on Scientific Misconduct for more information.