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Reviewer Guidelines

Peer review is the principal mechanism by which the quality of research is judged. Most funding decisions in science and the academic advancement of scientists are based on peer-reviewed publications. Because the number of scientific articles published each year continues to grow, the quality of the peer-review process and the quality of the editorial board are cited as primary influences on a journal´s reputation, impact factor, and standing in the field.

Scientific journals publishing peer-reviewed articles depend heavily on the scientific referees or reviewers who typically volunteer their time and expertise. In most circumstances, at least 2 reviewers are solicited to evaluate a manuscript. In cases of controversy or strong disagreement regarding the merits of the work, an additional review may also be solicited or one of the journal´s editors might give an evaluation. More than 3 reviewers are sometimes used if reviewers from several fields are needed to obtain a thorough evaluation of a paper. In addition to fairness in judgment and expertise in the field, peer reviewers have significant responsibilities toward authors, editors, and readers.

Reviewer Responsibilities

Peer-reviewer responsibilities toward authors

  • Providing written, dispassionate feedback in a timely manner on the scholarly merits and the scientific value of the work, together with the documented basis for the reviewer´s opinion.
  • Indicating whether the writing is clear, concise, and relevant and rating the work´s composition, scientific accuracy, originality, and interest to the journal's readers.
  • Maintaining the confidentiality of the review process: not sharing, discussing with third parties, or disclosing information from the reviewed paper.

Responsibilities toward editors

  • Complying with the editor´s written instructions on the journal´s expectations for the scope, content, and quality of the review.
  • Providing a thoughtful, fair, constructive, and informative critique of the submitted work, which may include supplementary material provided to the journal by the author.
  • Determining scientific merit, originality, and scope of the work; indicating ways to improve it; and recommending acceptance or rejection using whatever rating scale the editor deems most useful.
  • Noting any ethical concerns, such as any violation of accepted norms of ethical treatment of animal or human subjects or substantial similarity between the reviewed manuscript and any published paper or any manuscript concurrently submitted to another journal which may be known to the reviewer.

Responsibilities toward readers

  • Ensuring that the methods are adequately detailed to allow the reader to judge the scientific merit of the study design and be able to replicate the study, if desired.
  • Ensuring that the article cites all relevant work by other scientists.

These guidelines provide the information to reviewers about basic considerations that should be applied when reviewing a manuscript that has been submitted to that particular journal, and about the editorial standards of the journal.

Submitted manuscripts are usually reviewed by at least two experts and editor. The acceptance or rejection of the article depends upon the recommendation from peer reviewers as well as editor.

Points to be considered for manuscript reviewing

Editor can easily take the decision on publication of that article when reviewers are asked to provide detailed, constructive comments that will help the author(s) improve their manuscript. A key issue is whether the work has serious flaws that should preclude its publication, or whether there are additional experiments or data required to support the conclusions drawn. Where possible, reviewers should provide references to substantiate their comments.

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