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    Peer Review and Vetting Policies
    Virginia Tech Publishing

    Virginia Tech Publishing (VTP) produces a wide variety of publications for the university community, including scholarly, educational, student, and general-interest works. Everything published by VTP is vetted for quality. Scholarly and educational works are peer reviewed following the standards described below; general-interest works undergo an internal vetting process; and student publications are evaluated by the originating department or class instructor. 


    The Virginia Tech Publishing imprint. Books published under the VTP imprint include scholarly, educational, general-interest, and student books. Due to this variety in genre, audience, and purpose, VTP uses different criteria and methods in its evaluation process. All scholarly books presenting original research follow the best practices in peer review as set forth by the Association of University Presses. A peer review statement in the book (usually on the copyright page) describes the specific practices followed. General-interest books undergo an internal vetting process that varies depending on the needs of each book’s content and genre. 

    Collaborative publications. In an effort to serve the varied publishing needs of the university community, VTP collaborates with academic units (departments, institutes, centers, etc.) on discrete long-form works such as collections of essays, conference volumes, and institutional histories. These books are published by the unit in association with VTP. As such they follow the editorial protocols established by each unit.

    Student publications. Books authored and edited by Virginia Tech undergraduate and graduate students are published by the department, school, or college in association with VTP. Because these books are usually the culmination of class projects for advanced or capstone courses, students and class instructors establish their own means of editorial oversight and peer review. 


    All VTP journals are peer reviewed. While each journal determines the particular form of peer review process that best serves the needs of that journal, VTP encourages all of its journals to adhere to the guidelines for best practice set forth by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). Student-run journals employ some form of peer review as part of a faculty-mentored authorship experience. Each student journal is responsible for its own peer review policy and mentoring practices. To learn more about the peer review policy of a particular journal, go to that journal’s website, which can be accessed at publishing.vt.edu/site/journals/.

    Born-Digital Projects

    VTP is eager to support faculty and students who wish to publish scholarly and educational works that employ nontraditional technologies and platforms. These “born-digital” works (i.e. works conceived for online rather than print publication) include DH (Digital Humanities) projects, but VTP is also open to publishing innovative works that explore wider connections among the arts, humanities, social sciences, design, and technology. All such projects undergo one or more types of pre-publication review, depending on that particular project’s genre and audience. 

    Open Textbooks

    VTP collaborates with the University Libraries’ Open Education Initiative in publishing original and adapted educational resources (OER) that are openly licensed, including open textbooks. All proposals are reviewed in-house prior to project acceptance. Projects are accepted on the basis of overall coherence, author readiness, appropriateness of timeline, local need, national and international benefit, and ability of the initiative to support the project within an allotted time frame. 

    All open textbooks benefit from one or more types of pre-publication review, depending on subject matter and areas of perceived need. These include commissioned review by past exemplary students, in-class field study, commissioned single-blind external peer review, commissioned technical review, and peer review conducted by editorial teams and section editors (for multiple-author works). Single-author works are always subject to commissioned external pre-publication peer review by experts in the field. In-class field studies and commissioned external reviews are conducted by the Open Education Initiative staff in conjunction with Virginia Tech’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and VTP. Authors are also strongly encouraged to implement course materials in class for a minimum of one semester before public release. All review processes are intended to identify aspects of the manuscript needing improvement and are implemented by the author in consultation with the book’s sponsoring editor. 

    After publication, open textbooks may be selected and openly reviewed by virtue of their inclusion in the Open Textbook Library. Review criteria for the Open Textbook Library can be found at https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/reviews/rubric.