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Review process

This journal uses a single-anonymised model of peer review. The author does not know the identity of the reviewers, but the reviewers know the identity of the author. 

Review and selection of manuscripts

All submissions will first be subject to an in-house evaluation process with respect to suitability for BLC in terms of quality, content and methodology. This decision may normally take up to 2 weeks.

If the paper is to be rejected at this point, a rejection letter is sent out and the file is closed. If the paper seems suitable for the journal, the paper will be assigned to an Acting Editor, who will select external reviewers.

Authors can check on the status of their manuscript by logging on to ScholarOne: If the status of the manuscript is shown as "With Editor", the manuscript is either awaiting in- house evaluation or is awaiting the assignment of reviewers. When the status changes to "Under Review", the manuscript is with reviewers

Note that the review process at BLC is single-anonymous. There is no need for anonymising the manuscript upon submission. This also applies to Registered Reports.

In-house evaluation process

During the in-house evaluation process, submitted manuscripts’ suitability for BLC is assessed based on the novelty of the research as well as methodological and formal aspects of the submission. We particularly consider the following criteria:

Novelty. Articles should report novel, unpublished results (i.e., the overlap with already published data sets should be kept minimal and be appropriately acknowledged) that contribute to our understanding of the nature of bilingualism in an individual’s mind/brain.

Design and Methodology. The presentation of empirical data and the claims made should be accompanied by appropriate statistical analyses and – if necessary – by appropriate control groups. If, for example, claims are made about cross-linguistic influence from a particular language X, evidence from monolingual and/or bilingual language-control groups (i.e., bilinguals with a language that does not allow for said influence) may be required to make such claims. Further methodological considerations are the following:

  • ANOVAs should be reported both by participants (F1) and by items (F2) and linear mixed effects models (LMEs) should contain intercepts by both.
  • Data consisting of proportions or counts (e.g., accuracy rates) generally violate the assumptions of conventional analysis techniques. They should be analysed with statistical models that are appropriate for categorical data, such as generalized linear models.
  • Statistical analyses should be made explicit (e.g., factor levels for IVs, contrast types in LMEs).

Formal aspects.
Papers should adhere to indicated length restrictions for different article types (e.g., 9,000 words for Research Articles) and should not have more than five tables and figures each. Additional tables and figures may be provided as Supplementary Material, which will be available online. Papers must be written in correct and academically appropriate English.

External review process

If a paper is sent out for evaluation, we normally select 3 external reviewers including (if appropriate) one reviewer suggested by the authors.

  • If the evaluations are negative, the paper is normally rejected.
  • If the evaluations require major revisions and the paper has been submitted as a Research Note, it is likely to be rejected but authors are given the opportunity to resubmit the manuscript as a Research Article.
  • If a paper that requires ‘major revisions’ has been submitted as a Research Article, we ask authors to thoroughly ‘revise and resubmit’ their paper. In these cases, the revision is sent out for a second round of reviews, asking at least one of the previous reviewers to comment on the revised version.
  • If the revised version still receives negative evaluations, it will most likely be rejected. 
  • Otherwise, we will usually accept the paper if the final revisions have properly addressed the reviewers’ comments.


To appeal an editorial decision, please contact the Editors in Chief and specify the reason for your appeal. 

Your appeal will be reviewed by the Editors in Chief and/or an Editor who did not review the manuscript. The final decision regarding your appeal will rest with the BLC Editors in Chief and Editorial Board.