• Peer Review Guidelines

    ​Before Reviewing

    Reviewers should be well aware of the Aims and Scope of the journal and this 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. And we would appreciate it if reviewers could suggest alternative reviewers for the paper.

    Reviewers are required to submit review reports in a timely manner. It is acceptable to request an extension of the review deadline since reviewers may need more time to assess the paper. Please contact the editorial office promptly in that case. 

    Ethical Responsibilities of Reviewers

    Conflicts of Interest

    The editorial office strives to avoid inviting reviewers who have any conflicts of interest with the assessed paper (for example, experts who work at the same universities or institutions with any authors). To further avoid possible conflicts of interest, the editorial office requires reviewers to declare all conflicts of interest with the authors or the research/study projects if any. Reviewers are asked to recuse themselves from handling a paper if the conflict makes them unable to form an impartial scientific judgment. 

    A reviewer who has a conflict but believes that it does not preclude his or her making a proper judgment must disclose the conflict to the editorial office. The editorial office 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.  

    Confidentiality

    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 In addition, the unpublished content in a manuscript can not be used by reviewers for their own interests.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 inform the editorial office first to get permission. 

    Any individuals who helped with the review process will be associated with the manuscript in the journal’s records and will receive due recognition for their contributions. 

    Anonymity

    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, and the review reports should be sent to the editorial office instead of authors. If reviewers wish to reveal their identities, they should discuss with the editorial office first and this revelation should be done through the editorial office if necessary. 

    Unbiased

    It is necessary 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.

    Report Misconduct

    Reviewers should alert the editorial office when they come across any potential research or publication misconduct, such as duplicate publication, plagiarism, or breaches to research ethics. That would be much helpful to fight against academic misconduct and defend the impartiality and seriousness in academic publishing.

    Rating Standards of Peer Review

    Reviewers need to ask themselves these questions to assess how well a manuscript has achieved the following aspects.

    Novelty

    Does the manuscript report innovative practices, methods, techniques, and theories?

    Does it create any advance in the field?

    Significance

    Is the topic timely and relevant to the field?

    Does the manuscript make significant contributions to the field?

    Scientific Soundness

    Is the research correctly designed?

    Are the analyses performed with high technical standards?

    Are the data enough to support the conclusions?

    Is the information clear enough to allow other researchers to reproduce the results?

    Clarity of Presentation

    Is the manuscript written in a clear, professional structure without grammatical flaws or writing 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?

    Language

    Is the English language appropriate and understandable?

    Review Report

    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.