Guidelines for Reviewing and Publishing Articles

Submitted for Publication in the

Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Sciences: Studies in Literature and Language [Izvestiya RAN. Seriya literatury i yazyka]

(further abbreviated as B_RAS.LL)

 1. General information

 1.1. The review process in B_RAS.LL is designed to ensure standards of quality required of the journal publications.

 1.2. All materials offered for publication in B_RAS.LL and answering the journal’s thematic requirements undergo the review process in order to get expert feedback. The reviewer has to provide an unbiased, holistic evaluation of the received text and to weight its strengths and weaknesses.

 1.3. All materials received by the journal editors should be sent for a review to the members of editorial board or to external reviewers holding an academic degree (Doctor of Sciences, Candidate of Sciences, PhD, etc.), familiar with submission guidelines, and versed in the subject. Each reviewer has to be an acknowledged expert on assigned subject and has to have several academic publications in the field within last 3 years. 

 1.4. Materials offered by scholars holding or pursuing a doctorate-level degree are reviewed by Doctors of Sciences. Materials offered by Candidates of Sciences and by post-graduate students are reviewed by Doctors and Candidates of Sciences.

 1.5. It is preferable if the reviewer and the reviewed are employed by different organizations. The editorial board strives to avoid the so-called ‘conflict of interest’ between the contributors and the reviewers.

 1.6. The length of a review is up to the reviewer, but it’s recommended to keep commentaries to 1-2 typed pages (font size 12, line spacing 1).

 1.7. When the manuscript is received by the editors and is sent for review, the contributor is notified. The identities and institutional affiliations of the reviewers are not revealed to the authors.

 1.8. It is up to the editorial board to decide how many reviews each manuscript will require. The editorial board may accept a manuscript for publication, if the first review is unreservedly positive. If the first review is negative or suggests substantial revision, the editorial board would assign other reviewers. As far as writing across disciplines is concerned, the manuscript should be sent to several referees.

 1.9. The final decision whether the manuscript is to be accepted for publication in B_RAS.LL or rejected, rests with the editorial board and depends on the referees’ recommendations, as well as on the authors’ informed responses to peer-critique.

 1.10. A copy of a positive review is forwarded by the editors to the author along with the publication schedule. The letter of rejection should state the reasons for not accepting the manuscript.

 1.11. The original reviews are archived and kept by the editorial board for at least 5 years, starting from the date the article is published.

 1.12.  The Editorial board provides the copies of all available reviews to the official officers of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, upon certain request.

 2. Steps in the Review Process

2.1. All manuscripts submitted to B_RAS.LL should be registered by the assistant editors and then sent to the Editor-In-Chief or Deputy Editor-In-Chief, who distribute the manuscripts among the editorial board members knowledgeable of the subject.

 2.2. Each member of the editorial board has a right to write the first review or to suggest an external reviewer / reviewers – experts in the field.

 2.3. As soon as the Editor-In-Chief officially appoints the reviewer, the assistant editors contact the reviewer and forward the manuscript accompanied by a cover letter to him/her. It’s up to the reviewer whether he/she would receive a hard copy of the manuscript or its electronic version (an email attachment).

 2.4. After the reviewers (the referees) have received a paper from the editor, they are required to provide individual critiques within a month.


2.5. The reviewers give feedback using either free form or closely following the guidelines suggested by the editorial board. The review should be printed out and signed by the referee and sent to the Editor-In-Chief or Deputy Editor-In-Chief. Also, the electronic version of the review should be emailed to the editors.

 2.6. The editorial board discusses the review and pronounces one of the following decisions:

  • · accept without change or with minor revision;
  • · assign additional reviews;
  • · request for revisions and resubmission (revisions should be made by the author according to the suggestions, objections, and comments of the reviewers);
  • · reject the manuscript and inform the author of the reasons.

 2.7. The authors of the submitted manuscripts are kept informed of the referees’ feedback. The assistant editor sends the unsigned versions of all the reviews to the contributor (via mail or by e-mail) with a cover letter. The marked-up text of the manuscript might be attached as well.

2.8. All reviews are either single-blind or double-blind, meaning that the identities of the reviewers are not disclosed to the authors.

 2.9. The review can be ordered by the author from the assistant editors in print form or via e-mail. The authors are required to acknowledge in writing, or by e-mail, the receipt of the reviews and of the editorial board’s decision. By acknowledging the arrival of the review, the author is considered to acknowledge the fact that he/she made himself/herself familiar with its content.

 2.10. If the author is willing to revise the manuscript, the editor usually agrees to reconsider the paper in its revised version and to send it to the referees.  The review process goes on. It is recommended that in the new cover letter the author lists his/her revisions and explains the relevance of each change. After the revised version of the manuscript is received by the editors, the new date of submission is registered.

 2.11. When the referee and the editors request minor revisions, the manuscript can be accepted for publication, providing that the author agrees to collaborate during the editing process.

 2.12. If the author is unwilling to revise his work and submits a rebuttal letter, the editorial board has the right to decide whether the materials are to be published in B_RAS.LL or rejected.

 Peer Review Guidelines

Reviewers can use a free form for their responses; however, a review should address the following questions:

  • · whether the problems raised in the manuscript are up-to-date and of current scholarly interest;
  • · whether the solutions offered by the author correspond to the raised problems;
  • · whether the account of the problem is accurate and the sources are reliable;
  • · whether the author’s findings are original, important, and significant; how much they advance the field;
  • · whether the proposed solutions are justified and workable;
  • · whether the article’s headings and organization are appropriate;
  • · whether the scholarly approach and methodology employed by the author make sense;
  • · whether the terminology, as well as the tone and style of the paper are suitable.

 It is recommended that the referees indicate notable strengths and weaknesses of the paper and group the latter together into patterns.

 The evaluation should result in a recommendation:

  • · recommend that the paper be published – with no changes;
  • · recommend that the paper be revised (minor or substantial revisions);
  • · recommend that the paper be rejected.

 Approved by:    Vadim V. Polonsky,


January 15, 2015