Frequently Asked Questions

What's the relationship between QScience.com, Hamad bin Khalifa University Press and Qatar Foundation?

QScience.com is the primary content platform of Hamad bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU press). It is here you will find all of our journals, conference proceedings and ebooks.

HBKUP were previously known as Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals until January 1st 2016. They are entities owned by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, a private institution of public utility established by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani in January 2007.

For five years Bloomsbury Publishing UK provided management and marketing services to establish Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals and the QScience.com platform to serve the interests of the researcher communities in Qatar and the rest of the world.

How do I cite an article in a QScience.com journal?

Each final format PDF has citing information in a bar at the foot of the first page, and this is also available on the abstract and full text views in the online versions of the articles.

Can I start a new journal with you?

Yes. We need to ensure certain conditions are met before we go ahead and would very much like to discuss any new journal proposals with you. Email us in the first instance at [email protected]

I'm a librarian who would like to support OA publishing with QScience.com – how can I get involved?

There are several practical things you could do. Link to QScience.com, or its journals, from your library website and ensure that SFX or similar linking is activated to allow your patrons to find local copies of cited material.

If your institution or library offers funds to cover article processing charges, then a publicity campaign amongst your patrons to highlight the existence of this fund and the benefits of open access would be a nice idea.

Can I get printed versions of the journals?

Generally speaking we do not print copies of our articles or journals. However we can reprint certain articles, or groups of articles, with glossy covers on demand. Email us on [email protected] to discuss your specific needs. 

Do you comply with Internationals Standards in Publishing?

Yes. HBKU Press is committed to making our author's papers easily discovered and disseminated. We are pleased to support and promote industry standards for content linking, reporting, archiving and preservation.

We are active members of the following bodies that share our our commitment to research excellence and the principles of open access publishing:

  • COPE
  • Creative Commons
  • Crossref
  • iThenticate
  • Portico

What are the Article Processing Charges and why are they necessary?

Article Processing Charges are associated with accepted articles to cover the costs of making the final version of the manuscript freely available via open access. Typically they cover part of the costs of the following: 

  • editorial costs, including peer review management
  • copyediting
  • electronic composition & typesetting
  • DOI assignment & article preservation
  • manuscript submission systems
  • journal hosting systems
  • customer service
  • overheads & administrative costs

We also have many of these costs for all submitted articles that are subsequently rejected so must cover for those costs too.

We believe that researchers and their host institutions and funding agencies are willing to pay reasonable and affordable article processing fees for the sake of faster and fairer access and greater exposure of their work. Therefore we tailor our APCs to each individual field, realizing that some scholars have less access to research funds than others.

What is the peer review policy of QScience.com journals?

All submitted manuscripts will be sent for review unless they are out of scope or below the threshold level of the journal.

Unless otherwise stated, the manuscripts will be sent to two experts for an informed recommendation on whether the articles should be accepted for publication. Statistical reviewers are also used where necessary.

Typically we employ  a 'double-blind' review system where both reviewer and author are anonymous to each other. Reviewers are asked to declare any competing interests.

Generally speaking we are asking reviewers to declare that the work is a coherent and valid addition to the scientific corpus and put less emphasis on the levels of interest. We prefer our readers to determine interest levels. If the quality of English needs improving, the reviewers can recommend the manuscript be edited by our partner Enago.

Ultimate responsibility for editorial decisions rests with the Editor-in-Chief of that journal.

What is open access?

Open access means that the articles are immediately and permanently available online, in an easily readable format and archived wherever possible in internationally-recognized open access repositories, such as PubMed Central. 

Unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium is permitted, provided the article is properly cited.

Anyone is free: 

  • to copy, distribute, and display the work  
  • to make derivative works 
  • to make commercial use of the work

Under the following conditions:

  • the original author must be given credit  
  • for any reuse or distribution, it must be made clear to others what the license terms of this work are  
  • any of these conditions can be waived if the author gives permission

How is the peer review process going?

The peer review process is broadly summarized in the below steps, although these steps may vary slightly between journals. 

1. Editorial Assessment: The Editorial Office checks that the paper adheres to the journal’s Author Guidelines. The quality of the paper is not assessed at this point. The EIC also checks the paper, considering the aim, originality, and merits. The EiC may reject the paper at this stage.

2. Reviewers invitation: The editor sends invitations to individual reviewers. As responses are received, further invitations are issued, if necessary, until the required number of reviewers is secured– commonly this is two, but there is some variation between journals. Potential reviewers consider the invitation against their expertise, conflicts of interest, and availability. They then accept or decline the invitation to review. If possible, when declining, they might also suggest alternative reviewers.

3. Peer review is under process: The reviewer sets time aside to read the paper several times. The first read is used to form an initial impression of the work. If major problems are found at this stage, the reviewer may feel comfortable rejecting the paper without further work. Otherwise, they will read the paper several times, taking notes to build a detailed point-by-point review. The review is then submitted to the journal, with the reviewer’s recommendation (e.g. to accept, revise, or reject the paper).

4. Editorial assessment: The editor considers all the returned reviews before making a decision. If the reviews differ widely, the editor may invite an additional reviewer to get an extra opinion before making a decision.

5. The Decision is sent: The editor sends a decision email to the author including any relevant reviewer comments. Comments will be anonymous if the journal follows a single-anonymous or double-anonymous peer review model.

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