Reviewers should familiarize themselves with the Aims and Scope of the journal and these peer review guidelines.
Reviewers are required to inform the editorial office as soon as possible if they realize that they can not review the assigned manuscript since its topic is outside their research scope. In this case, we would appreciate it if reviewers could suggest alternative reviewers for manuscript.
Reviewers are required to submit review reports in a timely manner. It is acceptable to request an extension of the review deadline if more time is needed to assess the manuscript. Please contact the editorial office promptly in that case.
Ethical Responsibilities of Reviewers
Conflicts of Interest
The journal strives to avoid inviting reviewers who have any conflicts of interest with the assessed manuscript (for example, experts who work at the same universities or institutions, or previous significant interactions, with any authors). However, the journal requires reviewers to declare any conflicts of interest with the authors or the research/study and reviewers are asked to recuse themselves from handling a manuscript in these cases.
A reviewer who has a potential conflict but believes that it does not preclude his or her making a proper judgment must disclose the conflict to the editorial office. The journal will assess such conflicts and decide whether another reviewer is needed. Reviewers may decline to review manuscripts where the conflicts of interest exist, which would be much helpful to avoid any bias in a good or bad way.
Reviewers must keep the whole manuscript content confidential. In addition, the unpublished content in a manuscript can not be used by reviewers for their own interests. If reviewers wish to discuss with anyone outside the review process for assistance, they must approach the editorial office.
Any individuals who participated with the review process will be recorded with the manuscript in the journal’s records and will receive due recognition for their contributions.
The journal adopts a single-blind peer review model, which means that the identities of reviewers are kept concealed from authors. The editorial office does not release reviewers’ identities to authors or other reviewers. We ask reviewers not to disclose personal information (name, organization, etc.) in their review reports. Review reports must be submitted via Ares system and not sent directly to authors. If reviewers wish to reveal their identities, they should discuss this with the editorial office and any “un-blinding” will be performed by the editorial office.
It is essential that reviewers provide an objective and unbiased evaluation regardless of nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, origins of a manuscript or other commercial considerations.
Reviewers should alert the editorial office if they come across any potential research or publication misconduct, such as duplicate publication, plagiarism, or breaches of research ethics. This is essential to counter academic misconduct and maintain integrity of academic publishing.
Rating Standards of Peer Review
Reviewers should address the following questions in their evaluation.
Does the manuscript report novel findings, methods, techniques, or ideas?
Does it advance the field?
Is the topic timely and relevant to the field?
Does the manuscript make a substantial contribution to the field?
Is the research correctly designed?
Are analyses performed to a high technical standard?
Do the data adequately support the conclusions?
Is the information described sufficiently clearly to allow other researchers to reproduce the results?
Clarity of Presentation
Is the manuscript written in a clear, professional structure without grammatical flaws or errors?
Are there any organizational or stylistic barriers that would prevent effective communication of the work?
Are the figures and tables correct and informative?
Does the conclusion summarize what has been learned?
Is the English language appropriate and understandable?
Reviewers’ comments are very important for the Academic Editor to make publication decisions and for authors to improve their manuscripts. A review report includes two parts.
★ Comments on novelty, significance, scientific soundness, clarity of presentation and language of a manuscript, especially specific points which will be attractive to readers. Besides identifying strengths, reviewers should also give authors insights into deficiencies and indicate improvements needed.
★ An overall recommendation for publication of a manuscript as:
Acceptance: The manuscript is suitable for publication in its current form with no further modifications.
Minor Revision: The manuscript will be acceptable after slight revisions.
Major Revision: The manuscript needs substantial changes such as expanded data analysis, or rewriting sections, or widening of the literature review.
Rejection: The manuscript has serious flaws in data or experimental design, or makes no original contribution, etc.
If reviewers think it is necessary for them to review the revised version, please point that out in their review reports.
Recognition for Reviewers
The journal gratefully acknowledges the reviewers who dedicated their considerable time and expertise to the peer review process. And we seek to recognize the efforts of reviewers.
★ The journal releases the annual reviewer acknowledgement to appreciate their contribution to the high quality scientific content;
★ A Reviewer Recognition Certificate will be awarded after the review;
★ The journal encourages reviewers to register in Publons and add their review records there. Review records will be verified by the editorial office;
★ The journal encourages reviewers to register for an ORDID iD and link it to their Publons account. Publons will automatically export the review history to the ORCID file.
For more information about the peer review and whole editorial process, please refer to Peer Review Guidelines.