Peer Review Process

All submissions, whether research papers or Perspectives, are first checked to make sure they meet our citation style guidelines, word-count parameters, and our geographical and subject purviews. Passing this, the submission then undergoes a quick internal pre-review by a member(s) of our Editorial Board. If it passes this stage, the manuscript is then sent out for double-blind external peer review. The reviewers assess the scholarly quality of the submission as well as its relevance to Pacific Affairs’ audience and conformity with the goals of the journal. We have a minimum of two double-blind peer reviews per manuscript, although in some cases there will be more. As an interdisciplinary journal, we are open to submissions from all disciplines; at the same time we strive to match the submissions with appropriate referees who can speak to both a manuscript’s contributions to the specialized field and also to its accessibility to non-specialist readers.

Please note that the criteria for acceptance for Pacific Affairs are stringent: we publish one or two out of every ten manuscripts that we receive. We carefully assess submissions for their relevance to our mission, for their potential appeal to our readership and empirical and conceptual contribution to the existing body of relevant literature (though the requirement for original empirical contribution may be waived in the case of a Perspectives submission). We look for evidence of deep engagement with local knowledge (including the use of non-English sources), analytical rigour, and critical engagement with an awareness of relevant theories.

Some reasons for rejection include, among others: insufficient development of the argument; lack of depth or originality in empirical research; exclusive emphasis on policy recommendations (unless intended for Perspectives); and frames or central questions that might be more appropriate for country-specific or disciplinary-specific journals.

Peer reviewers will have the following possible options for each manuscript:

  1. Accept
  2. Accept with Revisions
  3. Revise and Resubmit
  4. Reject

We confirm the receipt of all reviews, and inform all reviewers of our initial and final decisions.

About half of peer-reviewed submissions are rejected in the first round of review, while about half receive a “revise and resubmit” assessment.  If authors receive a “revise and resubmit” decision, they are free to resubmit their manuscript within 4 months from the date of the original editorial decision. In the case of an “accept with revisions,” the author will be given a set deadline to complete relatively minor revisions (usually 2-6 weeks). Such papers do not undergo a second round of external review, but only an editorial read, following which they are accepted if they have met the revision requirements.

“Revise and resubmit” manuscript will go through another round of external peer review following resubmission. Along with the revised manuscript, the author’s letter detailing the changes made and the initial reviews will be sent back to the original reviewers, if possible. In the re-review stage, the re-reviewers will recommend from the following:

  1. Accept
  2. Accept with Conditions
  3. Reject

Following the receipt of the external re-review reports, the paper will be sent on to a member of our Executive Committee and the Editor for what we call an Editorial Read. Following this, the Editor will come to an editorial decision. The paper will be accepted as is, accepted with conditions, or rejected. If accepted with conditions, minor revisions will be requested with a short deadline, though these final revisions will not require another round of external review. If the paper is rejected, the author will be informed of this, and the review process with us will come to an end. If a paper is given an accept, we will issue the publication agreement. After this stage, our Managing Editor and copyeditor will contact the author(s) regarding copyediting and other technical issues and the paper will be slated for the next available issue.

The articles in Pacific Affairs do not represent the views of the University of British Columbia or the Institute of Asian Research. The editor is responsible for the selection and acceptance of articles, but responsibility for all opinions expressed in them rests with their authors.

Based upon recent statistics (but be aware that these are averages, and some unavoidable challenges in finding appropriate and available reviewers can result in delays), our average turnaround times are as follows:

  • Time from manuscript submission to pre-review decision: 9 days
  • Time from pre-review approval to completion of double-blind peer review and editorial decision: 60 days
  • Time from receipt of a revised manuscript to completion of double-blind re-review and editorial decision: 49 days


If you would like to be considered as a peer reviewer for manuscripts under consideration by Pacific Affairs, please fill out our Article Referee Information Form