Peer-review process


Articles in the peer-reviewed section are evaluated by the three experts, one of whom may be a member of the journal’s editorial board. Before this scientific assessment, the editorial board alone evaluates whether the contribution belongs within the field of the journal concerned and confirms that it meets the formal criteria of a scientific article.

The scientific review is based on the so-called double-blind principle, meaning that the author and the evaluator are unaware of each other’s identities. To ensure this, all documents are anonymized. Assessment is structured using a form in which the evaluator indicates whether he/she recommends that the paper be accepted as it is, accepted after minor revisions, accepted after major revisions, or rejected. Otherwise the assessment statement is a well-grounded report in the evaluator’s own words on the scientific quality of the material assessed. Evaluators are asked to pay attention to the following issues:

  • Does the manuscript have a clear research context?
  • Are the research methods applied appropriate?
  • Are the conclusions clearly articulated and does the article contribute new scientific information?
  • Does the article provide the scientific community with a basis for useful discussion?
  • Is the manuscript well written and structured?
  • Does the text have connection to urban studies, planning practice or policies?

The evaluator agrees to abide by the following assessment principles:

  • Evaluator must inform the editor if he/she recognizes the author and is ineligible to make the evaluation because of a conflict of interest or family relationship. In the case of a conflict of interest the evaluator must withdraw from the assessment
  • The editor should be informed in cases when a significant overlap with already published work is found.
  • Plagiarism is not allowed
  • Assessed documents are confidential and cannot be shared with a third person unless duly agreed and authorized by the editor-in-chief for some valid reason
  • The evaluator may not use the unpublished material for his/her own benefit
  • The evaluation report is submitted within the time frame agreed
  • The report is written with propriety and properly argumented in a manner that helps the author to develop the manuscript

If two out of three assessments are in favour of accepting the paper the reports will be sent to the author with a request to develop the manuscript on these bases. The editorial board may also send additional comments to the author regarding to shortcomings and offer suggestions for improvements. These additional comments are usually related to language and readability, the length of a text or its suitability for the journal’s domain and audience.

The resubmitted article must include an explicit report on how the manuscript has been improved and on how the remarks of the evaluators have been incorporated. Editors and in the case of major revisions the editorial board will ensure that the manuscript has indeed been sufficiently improved. In debatable issues the final decision will be made by the editor-in-chief. All the names of evaluators will be listed annually in the last issue of the journal. All activity considered unethical will be reported to Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity.

Texts submitted to other sections of journal will be evaluated by the editorial board. The editor-in-chief will assign at least one member of the board to check the quality and suitability of the material for the journal. On bases of this brief assessment the author will be asked to revise the manuscript. The request for revision will normally be sent to author by the sub-editor. This is usually done via e-mail, but may also be done orally. All texts submitted texts will be discussed in editorial board meetings. In exceptional cases this maybe done via email. The editor-in-chief will make the final decision on publishing.