Guidelines for Reviewers
Potential Conflicts of Interests
Please inform the editor promptly if you believe there is conflict of interest between your work and the manuscript you are being asked to review.If there is a conflict of interest this does not exclude you entirely form reviewing a certain manuscript, but you should make sure to disclose any potential conflict to the Editor
Performing your review
You should always conduct your review objectively. Direct personal criticism is not appropriate and your views should always be supported by clear argumentations. Your comments should always be polite and constructive.
Upon being asked to review you should consider three basic points prior to accepting to review:
- does the topic fit in your personal area of expertise? Only accept an invitation to review if you are competent to review the topic presented
- can you dedicate time for reviewing the article within the set timeframe?
- Can you foresee conflict of interest between your work and that of the authors you should be reviewing?
Reviewing a manuscript must always be treated with confidentiality. You should not disclose or discuss the manuscript with colleagues. If you feel a paper is really unacceptable be brief, but offer a few constructive comments and criticisms.
When performing your review, consider the following points as a guidance:
- Does the title describe the article?
- Is the sample size adequate?
- Does the article support or contradict previous theories?
- Prospective is better than retrospective. Larger sample sizes are better than smaller. Longer follow up is better than shorter.
- For all papers, it is important to explain inclusion and exclusion criteria.
- Is there IRB approval? Are there other ethical or regulatory issues? Conflict of interest issues?
- Is the content in correct sections of the manuscript? So, are discussion comments in the results section or are methods and results comments mixed up?
- Are tables and figures as clear as they can be? Are they all needed? Material should not be duplicated. If the authors give data in a table, it need not be reiterated in the text or vice versa.
- References should include pertinent material and need not be encyclopedic. Did the authors select the appropriate material to cite?
Plagiarism: if you suspect that an article is a substantial copy of another work,please let the editor know, citing the previous work in as much details as possible.
Fraud: it is very difficult to detect the determined fraudster, but if you suspect the results in an article to be untrue, discuss it with the editor.
Be polite with the authors
Always remember that your comments will help authors to improve their skills and expertise: even if you think a paper should be rejected, your comments will help the authors to improve their next efforts. Spend some time to offer constructive criticisms and please be polite with your comments; consider how you would feel reading the criticism as an author.
Grammar and language issues
Many authors are writing in a second language. The writing must be excellent when the paper is finalized, but we can review papers with poor writing as long as the science is understandable. All accepted papers are subject to a thorough language editing.
Submitting your comments
Once you have completed your evaluation of the manuscript, you canproceed with submitting your commentsto the Editor. If you might be delayed, do let the Editor know and arrange for a deadline extension.The review form is structured inthree separate areas:
A) Text boxes to enter comments to the authors and confidential comments to the Editor.
B) The manuscript rating card, based on the following criteria:
80–100: Excellent. Decision is accept as is or with minor changes. Only few manuscripts can be included in this rating.
60–79: Above average manuscript. Decision is usually accept with minor changes with a really moderate revision
40–59: Average manuscript. Most of these manuscripts may be accepted or can be rejected depending on space
20–39: Below average manuscript. Most likely to be rejected, unless a high priority topic that can be improved after one or more revisions
1–19: Unacceptable manuscript — Most likely to be rejected, unless a high priority topic that can be improved after one or more revisions
C) An area where you can upload a file you maylike to share with authors
D) A drop down menu for your recommendation:
Resubmit for review