Reviewer Guideline

Reviewers Guideline
Peer review is the system for evaluating the quality, validity, and relevance of scholarly research. The process aims to provide authors with constructive feedback from relevant experts, which they can use to make improvements to their work, thus ensuring it is of the highest standard possible. Authors expect reviews to contain an honest and constructive appraisal, that is completed in a timely manner and provides feedback that is both clear and concise.

Reviewers' responsibilities

    • Reviewers should keep all information regarding papers confidential and treat it as privileged information.
    • Reviews should be conducted objectively, with no personal criticism of the author.
    • Reviewers should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.
    • Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors.
    • Reviewers should also bring to the Editor in Chief's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.
    • Reviewers should not review manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.

What to consider before saying 'yes' to reviewing
Before agreeing to review for a journal, you should take note of the following:

    • Let the editor know if your expertise and/or fields of interest cover the topic of the manuscript.
    • Decline an invitation to review if there is a conflict of interest with one of the authors. Conflicts of interest may include relationships with academic advisors and/ or advisees, anyone at your current institution, members of your family, or people with whom you have collaborated during the last ten years.
    • When declining a review, feel free to provide the contact information of a person who would be qualified to review the manuscript.
    • Upon accepting an invitation, you will be provided two weeks to complete your review.  

Questions to keep in mind while reading the manuscript:

    • Is the submission original? Does the paper make a significant contribution?
    • Does it help to expand or further research in this subject area?
    • Does it significantly build on (the author’s) previous work?
    • Would the paper be of interest to the readership of the journal?
    • Is there an abstract or brief summary of the work undertaken, as well as a concluding section? Is the paper complete?
    • Is the submission in Standard English to aid the understanding of the reader? For non-native speakers, an English editing service may be useful (see our Author Services website for advice).
    • Are the methods, analysis, and conclusions robust and to a high standard?
    • Is the paper well integrated and up-to-date with the existing body of literature?
    • Is the methodology presented in the manuscript and any analysis provided both accurate and properly conducted?
    • Do you feel that the significance and potential impact of a paper is high or low?
    • Are all relevant accompanying data, citations, or references given by the author?

Other aspects to consider
Abstract – Has this been provided (if required)? Does it adequately summarize the key findings/approach of the paper?
Length – Reviewers are asked to consider whether the content of a paper is of sufficient interest to justify its length. Each paper should be of the shortest length required to contain all useful and relevant information, and no longer.
Originality – Is the work relevant and novel? Does it contain significant additional material to that already published?
Presentation – Is the writing style clear and appropriate to the readership? Are any tables or graphics clear to read and labeled appropriately?
References – Does the paper contain the appropriate referencing to provide adequate context for the present work?

Make a recommendation or decision
Once the reviewer read the paper and assessed its quality, the reviewer needs to make a recommendation to the editor regarding publication. The specific decision types used by a journal may vary, but the key decisions are:

    • Accept – if the paper is suitable for publication in its current form.
    • Minor revision – if the paper will be ready for publication after light revisions. Please list the revisions you would recommend the author makes.
    • Major revision – if the paper would benefit from substantial changes such as expanded data analysis, widening of the literature review, or rewriting sections of the text.
    • Reject – if the paper is not suitable for publication with this journal or if the revisions that would need to be undertaken are too fundamental for the submission to continue being considered in its current form.

Provide detailed comments

    • To ensure quality and consistency in reviews, reviewers must read the reviewer guidelines and use Word's track changes to embed their comments into the manuscript.
    • These should be suitable for transmission to the authors; use the comment to the author as an opportunity to seek clarification on any unclear points and for further elaboration.
    • If you have time, make suggestions as to how the author can improve clarity, succinctness, and the overall quality of the presentation.
    • Confirm whether you feel the subject of the paper is sufficiently interesting to justify its length; if you recommend shortening, it is useful to the author(s) if you can indicate specific areas where you think that shortening is required.
    • It is not the job of the reviewer to edit the paper for English, but it is helpful if you correct the English where the technical meaning is unclear.

What if you are unable to review?
Sometimes you will be asked to review a paper when you do not have sufficient time available. In this situation, you should make the editorial office aware that you are unavailable as soon as possible. It is very helpful if you are able to recommend an alternative expert or someone whose opinion you trust. If you are unable to complete your report on a paper in the agreed-upon timeframe required by the journal, please inform the editorial office as soon as possible so that the refereeing procedure is not delayed.