General Information and Instruction to Reviewer

Manuscript Evaluation Form

1.  Before you begin

Before you accept or decline an invitation to review, consider the following questions:

  1. Does the article match your area of expertise? Only accept if you feel you can provide a high-quality review.
  2. Do you have a potential conflict of interest? Disclose this to the editor when you respond.
  3. Do you have time? Reviewing can be a lot of work – before you commit, make sure you can meet the deadline

If you do decline the invitation, it would be helpful if you could provide suggestions for alternative reviewers.

2.  Managing your review

2.1 How to log in and access your review

Your review will be managed through our Online Journal Management System. To access the article and deliver your review, click on the link in the invitation email that will be sent to you. This will take you to the submission/reviewing system.

2.2 Confidential material

If you accept the manuscript for review,

  1. you must treat it as a confidential document. You must not share the review or information about the article with anyone or contact the authors directly without permission from the editor-in-chief.
  2. You must not use the unpublished materials disclosed in a submitted manuscript in your own research without the written consent of the author. 
  3. You must keep the privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review confidential and must not use for personal advantage.

2.3 Ethical Consideration

As a reviewer, you must

  1. be alert to potential ethical issues in the article and must bring these to the attention of the editor-in-chief.
  2. consider any substantial similarity or overlap between the article under review and any other published article as a violation of ethics unless these are accompanied by the relevant citation. 

2.4 Specific instructions to the reviewer

First, read the article. You might consider spot-checking major issues by choosing which section to read first. Below we offer some tips about handling specific parts of the article under review:

    If the manuscript being reviewed reports an experiment, check the methods section first. The following cases are considered major flaws and should be flagged:

    • Unsound methodology,
    • Discredited method,
    • Missing processes known to be influential on the area of reported research, and
    • A conclusion drawn in contradiction to the statistical or qualitative evidence reported in the manuscript.
      For analytical papers, examine the sampling report, which is mandated in time-dependent studies.
      For qualitative research make sure that systematic data analysis is presented and sufficient descriptive elements with relevant quotes from interviews are listed in addition to the author’s narrative.

      Once you are satisfied that the methodology is sufficiently robust, examine any data in the form of figures, tables, or images. Critical issues in research outcomes, which are considered to be major flaws can be related to insufficient data points, statistically non-significant variations, and unclear data tables and figures, and so on.

      If you don’t spot any major flaws, take a break from the manuscript, giving you time to think. Consider the article from your own perspective. 

      3.  Structuring your review

      Your review will help us decide whether or not to publish the article. It will also help the author and allow them to improve their manuscript. Hence, it is critical to provide

      • your overall opinion and general observations of the article. Your comments must be constructive, and must not include any personal details including your name.
      • your insight into any deficiencies is important. You must explain and support your judgment so that both editors and authors are able to fully understand the reasoning behind your comments. 

      4. Your recommendation
      When you make a recommendation, it is worth considering the categories the editor-in-chief will likely use for classifying the article:
      Reject (explain your reasoning in your report)
      Accept without revision
      Revise: either major or minor (explain the revisions that are required). If you are recommending a revision, you must furnish the author with a clear, sound explanation of why this is necessary.

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