About the Journal

Focus and scope

ABRA is an official academic research journal from Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica (UNA). It is indexed in several data bases that has been publishing since 1980. It is a means of information for the local and foreign scientific community that may be interested on producing and sharing social knowledge. ABRA´s content is only accepted and published if it is completely new and original, meaning that content previously published will be rejected. 

ABRA promotes academic production in Social Sciences and constant feedback on the new research.

Areas of interest: Economy, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Politics, Communication, History, Humanities, Social Improvement, International Affairs, among others.

 The journal is addressed to researchers, instructors, students, and the general public that might be interested on social sciences.


Peer review process

 General review

 The journal has an Editorial board, an International consulting committee, and a group of reviewers composed by experts on the subject from inside and outside the country. The evaluators have no connection to the authors or the institution the authors are affiliated to. The reviewers are sent an evaluation form used to organize and collect the required comments and observations.  

 Once the article is submitted to the journal for revision, the manuscript is sent to an editor who decides if the topic addressed is related to the areas of interest and whether the paper complies with the minimum requirements to continue the process. If the submission does not meet the minimum expectations, the authors are required to make improvements and submit a better version of the paper. Should the latter comply with what was requested by the editor, the process of selecting the evaluators for the paper begins.

 Peer review

 In this step, the editor sends the paper to the external evaluators. Each paper will have at least two reviewers who will have a total of three weeks to give the paper back with one of the following observations:

  • Accept (No changes required)
  • Changes required (The paper cannot be published as it is. The editor should report to the authors the necessary corrections.)
  • Submit for a new revision (The paper requires substantial changes. The editor must send the paper back to the author, and the author must correct what is required. The author must submit the paper and go through the review process again.)
  • Submit to a different journal (The scope of the paper does not match the scope of the journal.)
  • Reject (The submitted manuscript must be rejected as it is.)
  • See comments (A comments section will be included in certain rejection cases such as plagiarism of similar attempts of intellectual offense.)

The editor selects reviewers and evaluators considering their experience and academic knowledge of a specific topic, which should match that of the paper. Another aspect to consider is that reviewers should already have gone through the research path and have recognition on the area regarding their contribution and ethical principles. If the reviewers consider that they cannot review an article due to different reasons, they must report this issue back to the editor. Some reasons why a reviewer might not go through with the revision of a paper are related and not limited to family bonds with the authors, previous knowledge of the paper, and any other interest conflict they might encounter.

Double-blind peer review

 Double-blind peer review means the identity of both the author and reviewer is kept hidden. If the authors' identity is unknown to the reviewer, it will prevent the reviewer from forming any bias. Thus, objectivity in the review process is assured.

Once the evaluation is received, the author has two weeks to submit the corrected version of the manuscript. After that, the editor will have five weeks to make a final decision for the article to be accepted or rejected. In case there are disagreements among the editor and the evaluators, the editor will be the one in charge of making the final decision. An important aspect to highlight is that every person involved in the process (authors, editors, evaluators) will be able to check the status of the paper and will be notified of every step taken and every decision made. Should all the participants involved respect the given times and follow the process accordingly, the article will have undergone all the process in an estimated time of three months and two weeks, and it would be ready to be published.

The criteria followed to decide whether or not an article is accepted is available in the assessment tool. These criteria are the following:

  • The topic matches the areas of interest of the journal
  • The paper gives a significant contribution to the literature
  • The information included is useful and helps to solve and existing problem
  • The paper is new and has not been published before
  •  It is original or meta-analytical
  • The proposed methodological design of the paper is strong and fully relates to the approached problem
  •  Results are addressed objectively
  • Conclusions are coherent and show enough support
  • The paper as a whole is organized, coherent, and well written in terms of mechanics and language use.

Frequency of publication

 ABRA is a semi-annual publication journal. However, once the paper has undergone the process described before, it is approved for immediate publication. Considering the previous aspect, the article will be considered as part of the issue being developed at the moment of publication.

Open access

ABRA is open-access. This means that the readers will have full and costless access to all the information available online. This includes reading, downloading, saving, printing, searching, indexing, using data for software developing, and linking the full texts in external sources.

Furthermore, the journal allows people to use the pre-print, post-print, and official publication versions of the article to different ends, and without requesting the authorization of the author or editor. The only requisites to do this are avoid using the paper for commercial purposes and to credit the original source and authors (Revista ABRA by Universidad Nacional is licensed under a Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 4.0 Internacional License. Written based on the work available on http://www.revistas.una.ac.cr/index.php/abra)

Free publication

Review, publication and translation costs

Submission, review, publication and translation processes are free for authors, meaning that they do not have to pay for any of the steps of the publication process. All of the costs related to the process are covered by Universidad Nacional.

The subscription to the journal is free.

Plagiarism politics

ABRA requires that every participant of the publishing process such as authors, reviewers, and editors comply with international ethical regulations related to research studies. The journal also relies on plagiarism detection systems such as Google, Turnitin, and Duplichecker. 

ABRA complies with the international ethical regulations from the Committee on Publication Ethics-COPE.

 Some of the responsibilities assigned to the participants of the publication process in this regard are the ones listed below:

 Authors: They must assure that paper submission instructions are followed accordingly. Given this, research papers must be developed with original proposals, with all the necessary responsibility, and following all ethical considerations. Results must be presented as obtained, complete, and with no manipulation, so that other researchers are able to replicate the results. The paper cannot be submitted for publication to different journals simultaneously. Authors must credit all the sources and works consulted to write their own research, sponsors, and acknowledge any interest conflicts that might be involved. Finally, authors must assume responsibility on the published manuscript.

 Reviewers: They must guarantee the ethical use of the information obtained during the review of the paper as well as informing the editors of possible plagiarism cases in any given manuscript. Evaluators must also be objective and comply with the pre-established time limits. Lastly, they must support their final decision and the reasons why an article is rejected or suggest ways to improve the internal design of the document.

 Editors: they accept the commitment of the different tasks publishing politics of the journal to avoid prejudice for the different participants. They also must keep high standards when selecting reviewers and evaluation methodologies, meaning that submission can only be checked by experts of the are of interest of the paper. It is mandatory for the editors to inform which sections are not reviewed by the evaluators. When necessary, editors might as well instruct authors and evaluators about publication processes with purpose of improving the different behaviors and procedures during research.

 In cases of plagiarism or self-plagiarism, the next steps will be followed:

- Before the official publication of the article: the submission will be rejected immediately, and a formal notification will be addressed to the authors as well as their affiliations and related institutions. If premeditated plagiarism is proven, Universidad Nacional will follow its internal procedure to make the official legal complaint to the authorities.

After the official publication of the article: the article will be taken immediately from the official website, and an official notice will be posted on the same means of information. Also, a formal notification will be addressed to the authors as well as their affiliations and related institutions. If premeditated plagiarism is proven, Universidad Nacional will follow its internal procedure to make the official legal complaint to the authorities.

 Digital preservation politic

ABRA is incorporated to PKP Preservation Network which assures preservation for any OJS based journal.

Articles are also preserved in the UNA’s repository.

 Ethical considerations

 Access ABRA’s list of ethical considerations here


History of the journal

In 1979, UCID (Unidad Coordinadora de Investigación y Documentación, Spanish name), a subdivision from Social Sciences Faculty, UNA, presented a Project to create a social sciences-based journal. This journal would include different analyses on ways to improve the country, areas related to labor associations, cooperatives, public institutions’ workers, community leaders, companies, political groups, professionals, scholars, artists, and any other topic related to social sciences. The word ABRA, in Spanish, refers to an open field or place such as forests, or mountains with no trees.


Sources of Support