About the Journal

Focus and Scope

Occhialì – Rivista sul Mediterraneo islamico is the Open Access journal the Department of Languages and Educational Sciences of the University of Calabria, Italy. It publishes academic articles, scholarly essays, original translations, and book reviews. Its main aim is to foster specialized research regarding Islam in the Mediterranean area, in order to make quality information and research available to a broader public of academics, readers and Internet users. 

Special attention is devoted to the social, cultural and political aspects of all Middle Eastern and North African countries of the Mediterranean basin, but also to interdisciplinary approaches to the study of Islam and its history. 

Occhiali – Rivista sul Mediterraneo islamico journal secures:

  • open access to contribution (the authors retain copyright);
  • Peer-review by international experts;
  • Wide dissemination of published contributions both in the national and international area.

Peer Review Process

All articles published by our journal’s platforms are peer-reviewed according to the guidelines established by COPE and Elsevier, available respectively at COPE: Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors and Elsevier: How to Conduct a Review.

The process of peer review adopted by the journal is here described in detail:

  1. the Editorial team will make a preliminary assessment of the contributions received. In cases of non-compliance with the journal’s editorial rules, the Editorial team communicates the problem detected to the authors, inviting them to send again a revised or modified text within fifteen (15) days since the receiving of the Editorial team’s communication. In cases of inconsistency or extraneousness of the contributions received with the issues pertaining to the subject of the journal in its thematic issue, or to the journal’s scope and focus in its open one, the Editorial team informs the authors of the impossibility of publishing the contribution.
  1. Once the preliminary assessment of the received contribution has been successfully completed, the Editorial team selects two or more referees with reference to the following requirements: 
    1. level of knowledge of the issues involved in the contribution to be assessed;
    2. Knowledge of the language of the contribution;
    3. Availability in terms of time to dedicate to the refereeing activity;
    4. Absence of conflicts of interest.

Acceptance of the assignment by the referee is equivalent to confirmation by the latter of the possession of all these requirements. With reference to requirement (d.), if a referee has received the anonymous report to evaluate, and identifies situations of any kind that could compromise his objectivity of judgment, he is required to immediately communicate it to the Editorial team, which will replace him with another evaluator.

Referees are selected as a priority by the Editorial team both from among the members of the journal’s Scientific council, and through the significant involvement of external referees. The Editorial team will ensure over time the principle of rotation in their selection process. All referees are bound to the utmost confidentiality, not to divulge all or part of the contribution submitted for their examination, not to use it unduly for purposes other than that of the referee, and to guarantee that their evaluations will remain strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties.

  1. The review is done through double blind peer review, in which the author and referee are anonymous. After their examination, referees are required to fill in the referees form in its entirety (prepared by the Editorial team in a uniform manner for all referees). Referees must send their evaluation through the refereeing form within the terms assigned by the Editorial team, that is thirty (30) days from its reception. Both the list of those who have been entrusted with refereeing tasks and the refereeing forms received are archived electronically.

Referees must base their evaluation on the following criteria: 

  1. clarity in identifying the scientific objectives that the contribution sets and in formulating conclusions;
  2. Clarity of exposure;
  3. Originality and innovativeness of the work proposed and its contribution to a deeper understanding of the topic (or topics) covered;
  4. Methodological rigor of the analysis and consistency of the arguments developed;
  5. Adequate structure and coherence between the different parts of the contribution;
  6. Adequate reconstruction of the different orientations present in doctrine and jurisprudence with reference to the subject dealt with;
  7. Accuracy of bibliographic references.
  1. The judgment of each referee, expressed by filling in the refereeing form, can opt for one of the following alternatives: 
    1. acceptance without the need for changes;
    2. Acceptance subject to non-substantial changes;
    3. Invitation for review and resubmission with substantial changes;
    4. Non-acceptability of the contribution.

The refereeing form includes, in addition to this summary opinion, a commentary note from the referee in which the referee must briefly illustrate the reasons for the opinion in relation to all the criteria of evaluation, and must report to the authors the suggested revisions for the contribution. In any case, the editorial team must communicate the outcome of such judgement to the author within sixty (60) days since the reception of the article.

If the judgment of the referees is rendered in the sense of sub (a.), the Editorial team limits itself to communicating to the authors the totally positive outcome of the double-blind peer review, with the consequent admission to publication. 

If the referees’ judgment is made in the sense of sub (d.), the editorial team limits itself to communicating to the authors the totally negative outcome of the peer review, with the consequent refusal of publication. 

If one referee expresses himself in the sense sub (a.) and the other in the sense sub (b.), or in the case of a judgment made by both referees in the sense sub (b.), the Editorial team communicates to the authors, in addition to the partially positive outcome of the peer review, the non-substantial changes to be made as reported by one or both of the anonymous referees, and verifies that they are then carried out by the authors, otherwise the contribution will not be published. 

If the judgment of the referees is made in the sense sub (c.), the Editorial team communicates to the authors, in addition to the partially negative outcome of the peer review, the substantial changes to be made as reported by the anonymous referees. In this case, the authors must submit within thirty (30) days since the receiving of the communication their revised version of the article to the journal, in order to highlight what changes or additions they have introduced to their work in relation to the referees’ observations.

Each referee who had requested an extensive revision must again express his evaluation of the new version of the contribution within a week (7 days) and must hereby express himself, definitively, only in the sense of acceptability or, alternatively, of non-acceptability of the contribution as updated. 

In the event of a conflict between the evaluations expressed by the two referees where one expresses themself for the acceptability under (a.) or (b.) and the other for the postponement or the non-acceptability under (c.) or (d.), the publication of the contribution with or without modifications is subject to a third and final evaluation which must be expressed, unanimously, by all the members of the Editorial team. Publication decisions by the Editorial team are final.

Publication Frequency and Editorial Policy

From the year 2017, Occhiali – Rivista sul Mediterraneo islamico is published two times per year (June – December). The first issue of the journal concerns a specific research issue, that will be decided in turn by the editorial board and will be specified in the appropriate Call for Paper. The second yearly issue instead will be a number open to all the academic contributions, within the scope and themes of the journal, and the appropriate advice will be provided in the Call for Paper. 


Guidelines for Special Issues

A Special Issue is an issue of the journal dedicated to one chosen topic. Special Issue articles should fulfill all the normal requirements of any individual Occhialì – Rivista sul Mediterraneo islamico article, and should be of relevance to a wide international and multidisciplinary readership. Authors should note that the same criteria of quality, originality, and significance apply to articles in Special Issues as to regular articles. Special Issue articles must not consist of overviews of the authors’ previously published work e.g. peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, official reports etc. 

1.  Initial proposal and agreement in principle

All Special Issues must receive initial approval from the Editorial Board before the papers are submitted. Proposals should be emailed to laboratorio.occhiali@gmail.com. There are two formats proposals can take:

1: A detailed formal proposal which includes the titles and abstracts of the proposed articles. This proposal format must contain:

  • The title of the Special Issue.
  • A brief CV of the proposed Guest Editors (usually no more than three).
  • A statement of the Special Issue’s significance for Occhialì – Rivista sul Mediterraneo islamico and a draft introduction if possible.
  • Titles and draft abstracts of each of the proposed articles and any draft papers that are available.
  • Brief details of contributors.
  • An outline timetable.

2: A proposal for a Special Issue Call for Papers. This proposal format must contain:

  • The title of the Special Issue.
  • A brief CV of the proposed Guest Editors (usually no more than three).
  • A statement of the Special Issue’s significance for Occhialì – Rivista sul Mediterraneo islamico, and the likely content to be covered.
  • A draft of the Call for Papers. The Editors in Chief can be contacted for guidance and examples of previous Calls for Papers.
  • An outline timetable.

The Editorial team will consider whether the initial proposal is of interest to the journal and the proposed Guest Editors will be informed whether or not it will be granted agreement in principle to proceed. The Editors in Chief will then appoint one of Occhialì – Rivista sul Mediterraneo islamico’s Editors to assume responsibility for the sponsorship of a Special Issue. Guest Editors are expected to oversee the peer review process for the Special Issue but final acceptance approval for each paper will be given by the sponsoring Editor.

The Sponsoring Editor and Guest Editors will point liaise directly with each other regarding progress of the Special Issue and any queries that arise throughout the process. In cases where a Call for Papers is issued, the Editors in Chief will liaise with the Guest Editors and the Sponsoring Editor to finalise and release the Call for Papers as widely as possible. Guest Editors will also be given full support and guidance regarding the use of the online submission and reviewing system used by Occhialì – Rivista sul Mediterraneo islamico.

3.  The review process and editorial procedure

For the detailed formal proposal (type 1 above):

After agreement in principle, the Guest Editors consider the articles and, when they are happy that they meet the appropriate standard of quality, originality, and significance, instruct the authors to submit their papers to Occhialì – Rivista sul Mediterraneo islamico by email (laboratorio.occhiali@gmail.com). Guest Editors should make it clear to authors that being invited to submit a paper is not a guarantee of its publication. Authors should submit their papers to the appropriate Special Issue, from a dropdown menu within the system, when asked during the submission process.  The submitted papers will then be available within the online system for the Guest Editors to send out for double blind peer review. Sponsoring Editors are available to assist should there be any doubt about a course of action to take.

For proposals for a Special Issue Call for Papers (type 2 above):

• As submissions for the Special Issue arrive directly from Authors in the online submission and review system, the Guest Editors will be able to access these and assess whether each paper is in scope for the Special Issue. The paper will then either be rejected or should be sent out for peer review.  If a paper does not meet the criteria required for the Special Issue, Guest Editors may reject papers without them having been sent for external peer review. Sponsoring Editors are available to assist should there be any doubt about a course of action to take.

For all Special Issue types please note that:

• The Editor may wish to take a first look at all papers submitted to a Special Issue and can reject papers without review on the basis of quality, originality, or significance, or ask for further revisions to be made prior to review.

• The double blind peer review of each paper is carried out in the normal manner by the Guest Editor. Once reviews are returned the Guest Editor will need to take a provisional decision and this will be communicated to the Sponsoring Editorial Office for their confirmation of decision. Should the Sponsoring Editorial Office not agree with the acceptance decision proposed, the Guest Editor may appeal at this point if wished.

• As articles start to be accepted the Guest Editors will be prompted to start preparing an introductory article (which will be original and not previously published) to be submitted no later than 2 weeks after the acceptance of the last article in the issue.  This introduction should set the scene and provide the premise for the special issue referencing the articles included within.

• It should be noted that during the review process, the sponsoring Editor can reject individual papers, or, in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief, the Special Issue as a whole, if it does not meet quality standards. If fewer articles than anticipated are accepted, a part-Special Issue may be proposed by the Editor, or a grouped publication of articles without an introduction.

• As each article is accepted it will be published until the full Special Issue is accepted and complete. Authors will be sent proofs to check during this time.

• The Editors-in-Chief will adjudicate on any disagreements that arise during the editorial process.

4. General information

Length

As a general guide, a full Special Issue should comprise of approximately 5-10 articles. Where the review process results in fewer articles than this a part-Special Issue or Special Section can be published.

Timetable

Authors should work to clear deadlines set by the Guest Editors and Sponsoring Editors, and be made aware that if they miss deadlines for submission, revisions or return of proofs then their papers may be excluded from the Special Issue so as not to disadvantage other authors.