Peer review procedure

Kriterium is a portal for the review and publication of high-quality academic books, in accordance with the accepted principles of open access. Kriterium is a new quality mark for Swedish academic books. To obtain the Kriterium stamp of approval, all publications will undergo a stringent peer review according to set guidelines.

Kriterium is a collaborative venture between the universities of Gothenburg, Lund, and Uppsala, with representatives from the Swedish Research Council, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, the National Library of Sweden, the publishers Nordic Academic Press and Makadam, and the three universities’ publications series.

Through a publisher, either a publication series or a publishing house, an author of an academic book can advertise their interest in having a work reviewed and published in Kriterium. Since Kriterium is not a publishing house in its own right, the manuscript must have another publisher. The book will then be formally published, both in a series by the publishing house, and by Kriterium.

The review process

The publisher submits a synopsis of the book to Kriterium, including a suggestion for the academic co-ordinator. If the publisher is an academic publication series, the editor is usually the academic co-ordinator; for a publishing house, a person knowledgeable in the subject is assigned to work with the individual manuscript. Kriterium’s academic review board will then conduct an initial assessment of the subject and level of the manuscript, and whether they are suitable for Kriterium, and assess the appropriateness of the proposed academic co-ordinator.

Next, the publisher submits the manuscript to Kriterium’s digital review platform, through which the process is managed and documented. Reviewers and the academic co-ordinator access the manuscript through the system and then submit their reviews and comments in it. The academic co-ordinator appoints reviewers in consultation with Kriterium’s academic review board, taking into account the Swedish Research Council’s current conflict of interest policy as well as other aspects. A minimum of two reviewers are assigned to each manuscript. They read the manuscript and provide comments within the Kriterium framework. The review is carried out as a double- or single-blind one, as the reviewers are anonymous to the book’s author, but the author’s name is visible to the reviewers. The academic co-ordinator is responsible for ensuring the progress of the review work: to upload the manuscript for review, to ensure that reviewers’ comments are incorporated by the author, and documentation of the work through a written summary. Depending on the results of the review, more than one round of peer review and changes made by the author may be required.

Kriterium will then assess the review, the documentation of the process, the subsequent revisions and, to some extent, the manuscript - i.e. a meta-review. If the manuscript displays sufficient quality, it is subsequently approved for publication in Kriterium. If the manuscript is not approved, it may still be published, but without being included in Kriterium. If the manuscript is accepted, the book is published both in Kriterium’s series and by the publishing house or in the publication series.