Initial Checks: When articles are submitted, we check them for scope, language quality, plagiarism, number of references (usually at least 10-15), age of references (at least 5 references from the last 5 years, with some exceptions for certain disciplines), and authorship concerns (no more than 5 submissions from a single author in one year). Your manuscript may be unsubmitted back to you for edits or rejected at this stage if we identify any issues.

Double-Anonymized Peer Review: After initial checks, your manuscript moves to peer review. At this stage, we invite reviewers for your manuscript until we have three completed evaluation forms. Our peer review is double-anonymized, which means our authors and reviewers cannot know each other’s identities. The peer review stage can take varying amounts of time based on the subject of your article and the availability of reviewers. If a reviewer declines to review an article, they can give us feedback as to why (for example, whether the abstract of the article indicates poor language or study quality or whether they simply do not have time). If enough reviewers decline and indicate the abstract as the reason, we may choose to reject the article. This is one reason why your abstract is important.

First Decision: After peer review, your review team will recommend a decision to our Editorial Office. Once the decision is approved, you will receive your decision letter.

Revision: If your review team asks for revisions, please review their comments carefully to avoid unnecessary rounds of revisions. To facilitate a faster review, indicate your changes in a letter to your reviewers as well as in your revised manuscript. If you chose not to make some of the requested changes, be sure to explain why. You may use track changes or different colored font, but please avoid highlighting. Large sections of highlighting can make your manuscript difficult to read. When you upload the new version of your manuscript to our peer review site, please delete the old version. Be sure to upload a clean copy of your revised manuscript for us to send to Production. If you need an extension on your revision deadline, please email our Editorial Office. Do not submit your revision as a new submission.

Final Decision:  If your manuscript does not yet have an assigned Article Editor we assign a member of your article’s peer review team or one of our Section Editors to act as Article Editor. The Article Editor will review your revision and determine if it needs to be evaluated by the rest of the review team. Once the Article Editor submits their recommendation to our Editorial Office, we will review their work and issue a final decision.

Pre-Production: After your article is accepted, we will run the manuscript through our plagiarism software one more time to make sure no issues were introduced during the revision process. If we do not have a clean copy of your manuscript, we will request one at this stage. Please let our Editorial Office know if you have any discounts or waivers to apply to your article’s publication fees (

Production: Once your article is with Production, you will be able to pay your publication fee and complete your contributor form. If you have questions about either, please contact Please note that Sage Open only uses CC-BY licenses, and different license types cannot be requested through this inbox. Production will send you proofs for your final approval. This will be your final chance to make any minor edits to your article prior to publication. You should not make any major edits to your manuscript as it has already completed peer review.

Post-Publication Changes:  The version of your article that is first published on our site is the version of record. Readers should be able to visit your article and see the same version that was originally published. If you need to make a small correction and can show sufficient reason for the correction, a note will be added to the top of your article explaining the correction (the article itself will not be changed). If there is a more serious issue with your article, we can consider a retraction. This will also be a note at the top of your manuscript. We would only consider removing an article from our journal website if there is a serious privacy concern and removing the article is the only way to address it.