Decolonial Subversions
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Peer Review Process




If you have a background in decolonial scholarship, activism or other practice and you wish to be considered as a Reviewer for Decolonial Subversions, please contact us.

We operate an innovative open peer review process, where the names of Reviewers and Contributors are communicated to each other. As opposed to the traditional blind peer review, this allows for the two parties to know each other’s positionality and to provide a more informed review process, while maintaining standards of excellence and rigour. Eventually, we hope this can foster long-term professional relationships and friendships, and strengthen the international network of Decolonial Subversions.

Where Contributors choose blind peer review, neither the Reviewer nor Contributor’s names are disclosed.

We believe in duly acknowledging the meticulous and hard work provided by Reviewers. For this reason, independently of whether they operate an open or a blind peer review, we offer to publish their short personal profiles in our dedicated page for Reviewers [link].

Since we accept contributions from activists, practitioners, academics, artists and many more—because knowledge is not the exclusive purview of an elite of individuals trained in higher education—our peer review process must reflect this. Contributions by activists are thus reviewed by peer activists, whereas work submitted by story tellers will be reviewed by peer story tellers, submissions by academics are reviewed by fellow academics, and so on.

More on our review process can be found in the Basic Manifesto and in the Guidelines below.

Contact us at mh121@soas.ac.uk (Monika Hirmer) or ri5@soas.ac.uk (Romina Istratii) or via the form [link] if you wish to be considered as a Reviewer for Decolonial Subversions.






Guidelines for Reviewers




Reviewers are requested to familiarize themselves with the below Guidelines in order to best provide feedback to the Contributors, so that submissions can achieve highest standards.

Reviewers are selected on the basis of expressed interest and area of expertise on a first-come basis.

Reviewers are expected to work voluntarily and to commit their time until the submissions they are in charge of are published on the Decolonial Subversions official website.


Review Process Guidelines

The review process can be either (a) blind or (b) open based on the preferences of the Contributor.


  1. In the case of a blind review the steps to be followed are summarised below:

    1. Contributions are firstly sent to the Founding Editors, who verify that the contributions are in line with the platform’s decolonial aims and ethics guidelines.

    2. The Editors assign the contributions to the Reviewers who have expressed interest based on their expertise.

    3. Reviewers are then asked to review and make comments and edits on a separate document, not on the articles themselves, and send these back to the Editors. In particular, ‘Originality’, ‘Structure and Clarity of Expression’, ‘Strength of Argument’, ‘Quality of Research and Contribution to the Field’ should be assessed. However, criteria for assessment may differ according to type of submission (e.g. opinion piece, research paper, podcast, photography essay, etc.), which will be communicated by email to the Reviewer at the time of contact.

    4. If Reviewers so wish, they can also make changes on the text itself, but always using the function of ‘tracking changes’, so that the Contributor can easily see suggested modifications.

    5. Editors anonymise the comments/edits and revert to the Contributors with the comments.

    6. The Contributors rework on the submissions and send them back to the Editors. The Editors check if the Reviewers’ comments were properly addressed. If issues arise the Editors communicate with the Reviewers for final consultation.

    7. The Editors read the finished articles and send them to the IT team for layout and uploading.

  2. In the case of an open review the steps to be followed are similar to the ones above (a), with the difference that:

    1. Both parties’ (Contributor and Reviewer) identities are openly communicated.

    2. All correspondence should still be via the Editors, or, if Contributor and Reviewer exchange communication about the review process, the Editors must be kept in the cc.

    3. It is hoped that with an open review bias that could otherwise be masked behind the anonymity of Reviewers and Contributors is minimised. Similarly—keeping in mind that the scope of a review is to guarantee excellence of research, clarity of argument and wide outreach—an open review can significantly reduce the inconsiderate or patronising tones that if often present in blind review when identity is protected by the anonymous review process.

    4. It is hoped that the process of open review can create important new links between experts from the same or similar fields. Such connections may lead to further collaborations in the future.

    5. Through an open review it becomes possible to also acknowledge the Reviewer in the final publication. Their contribution to refining the rigour and presentation of the publication is crucial and, as such, should be acknowledged.


Reviewers are expected to familiarise themselves with these steps. Should there be any queries Reviewers should communicate with the Editors for clarifications.


Timeline

Editors will reach out to Reviewers when pertinent submissions have been received and after the Reviewers’ CVs have been assessed to match contributions with the most suitable Reviewer.

Reviewers will be given about three weeks to review and to submit their comments, which will then be communicated anonymously or openly (depending on the type of review) to the Contributors.

The Contributors will be given about two weeks to make corrections/revisions and to submit their final versions, provided that their submissions have not been found to contradict or fall short of meeting the platform’s decolonial aims and ethics at first review.

If Editors consider that the Reviewers’ comments were not properly addressed, or are unsure of the quality of the paper, they can revert back to the Reviewers or a Third Reviewer for a final consultation.

These guidelines are tentative and may change for the sake of improving the review process. Dates and deadlines will also be specified and communicated to Reviewers by the Editors at the time of initial communication.


Instructions for Contribution Review

Decolonial Subversions aims to publish high-quality work and although it welcomes all submissions, there are certain criteria that need to be met for a submission to be deemed suitable for publication on the platform. These criteria include:

  1. Submissions must be pertinent to the theme of the running Call of Papers and must follow the rough length and format/style requirements of Decolonial Subversions as outlined in the Call for Papers. These are replicated below:

    The decolonisation of knowledge is a topic that has become increasingly salient. Our aim is to engage with questions regarding decolonisation and its enactment. We want to explore what it means to Contributors to decolonise from their disciplinary perspective and socio-cultural positionality, but also to provide them with a platform to ‘do’ decolonisation through their contributions. We wish to attract contributions from a wide array of fields and in a variety of formats.

    Publishing formats include:

    Written contributions
    • Research articles (6,000-8,000 words, excluding footnotes and bibliography)
    • Field notes (2,000-3,000 words)
    • Book reviews (800-1,500 words)
    • Ethnographic stories centred on real encounters (1,500-2,000 words)
    • Opinion pieces or journalistic commentaries (2,000-3,000 words)
    • Poetry

    Acoustic contributions
    • Songs
    • Podcasts (20-40 minutes length)
    • Interviews (up to 60 minutes long)
    • Recounted local tales and myths (up to 60 minutes long)

    Visual contributions
    • Photography Essays
    • Paintings
    • Drawings
    • Short Films (up to 20 minutes long)

    Other formats reflective of local modes of knowledge production and transmission not listed here

    Word count does not include abstract, notes, bibliography and tables/legends.

    The style guide is as follows:

    The body of the texts should be double-spaced, Times New Roman, size 12, and margins of 3 cm. Footnotes should be used and should be single-spaced, preferably not exceeding five lines. Quotations with less than 40 words should be incorporated in the text and enclosed in double quotes. Long quotations (40 words or more) must be included in a separate paragraph, without quotation marks and indenting five spaces in the left margin.

  2. Decolonial Subversions is generally flexible with word count, but any agreement about exceeding the indicted threshholds should be reached with the Editors before submission. If such an agreement does not exist and submissions exceed in length considerably, this should be communicated to the Contributor in the review sheet by the Reviewer. The Contributor should be encouraged to cut down the length of the submission. If the Contributor does not address this issue or does not provide convincing reasons for failing to remain within the limits set by the platform, Editors may mark the contribution down.

  3. Research articles following a more standard academic format, will be deemed appropriate for publication as long as they are grammatically and syntactically accurate (in the respective languages), are within the theme of the Call, and content is presented coherently and on the basis of well-evidenced arguments. These criteria are summarised as: ‘Originality’, ‘Structure and Clarity of Expression’, ‘Strength of Argument’, ‘Quality of Research and Contribution to the Field’. Reviewers should aim to offer comments on all the assessment criteria, including the relevance to theme and the extent to which articles agree with format guidelines.

  4. All other contributions will be assessed on similar criteria of rigour, originality and argumentation, however they can be discussed on a case by base basis with the Editors, given the vast array of formats reviewed. Images should be submitted in high resolution in .jpeg, audios in .mp3, and videos in .mp4.

    Submitted contributions must also demonstrate ethical reflexivity and, where pertinent, they must demonstrate how reflexive and transparent practices were followed when interacting with human individuals in all types and modes of research, including audio and visual material.

    The Editors maintain the right to decline publication of submissions that are counterproductive to the aim of decolonisation, which is the chief objective of Decolonial Subversions. The vision of the platform is outlined in the website. Please also read the Basic Manifesto that accompanies it.

  5. Contributors will have to address the comments of the Reviewers point by point to show their maturity to accept critical, but constructive, feedback and to work with maturity to improve their manuscripts.

Download the Guidelines for Reviewers here [make into a link to the PDF].