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Reviewers’ guideline

Basic principles to which peer reviewers should adhere are the followings

Peer reviewers should:

  1. only agree to review manuscripts for which they have the subject expertise required to carry out a proper assessment and which they can assess in a timely manner
  2. Finish the review within short period (at most 2 weeks). If you do not think you can complete the review within this time frame, please let the editor know and/or if possible, suggest an alternate reviewer.
  3. Respect the confidentiality of peer review & not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer-review process, beyond those that are released by the journal. In short, the article you have been asked to review should not be disclosed to a third party. If you would like to discuss the article with a colleague, please ask the editor first.
  4. not use information obtained during the peer-review process for their own or any other person’s or organization’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others
  5. declare all potential conflicting of interests, seeking advice from the journal if they are unsure whether something constitutes a relevant interest
  6. not allow their reviews to be influenced by the origins of a manuscript, by the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, or by commercial considerations
  7. review the manuscript fairly and objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. If the research reported in the manuscript is flawed, criticize the science, not the scientist. Refrain from being hostile or inflammatory and from making libelous or derogatory personal comments.
  8. acknowledge that peer review is largely a reciprocal endeavor and undertake to carry out their fair share of reviewing and in a timely manner
  9. provide journals with personal and professional information that is accurate and a true representation of their expertise
  10. recognize that impersonation of another individual during the review process is considered serious misconduct

During review, please consider the following points

Content Quality and Originality:-

  • Is the article sufficiently novel and interesting to warrant publication?
  • Does it add to the canon of knowledge?
  • Does the article adhere to the journal's standards?
  • Is the research question an important one?

Organization and Clarity:-

  • Title: Does it clearly describe the article?
  • Abstract: Does the abstract provide an accessible summary of the paper?
  • Introduction:
  • Does it describe what the author hoped to achieve accurately, and clearly state the problem being investigated?
  • It should describe the experiment, the hypothesis & the general experimental design or method.
  • Research methodology:
    • Does the author accurately explain how the data was collected?
    • Is the research design suitable for answering the question posed?
    • Is there sufficient information present for you to replicate the research?
    • Does the article identify the procedures followed?
    • If the methods are new, are they explained in detail?
    • Was the sampling appropriate?
    • Have the equipment and materials been adequately described?
    • Does the article make it clear what type of data was recorded;
    • Does the author been precise in describing measurements?
  • Results:
    • It should be clearly laid out and in a logical sequence.
    • Do the results properly presented with the correct form (table, graph, illustration etc.)
    • You need to consider if the appropriate analysis has been conducted.
    • Are the statistics correct?
    • If you are not comfortable with statistics, please advise the editor when you submit your report.
  • Discussion/Conclusion:
    • Are the claims in this section supported by the results, do they seem reasonable?
    • Have the authors indicated how the results relate to expectations and to earlier research?
    • Does the article support or contradict previous theories?
    • Does the conclusion explain how the research has moved the body of scientific knowledge forward?
  • Tables, Figures, Images: Are they appropriate? Do they properly show the data? Are they easy to understand and interpret?
  • References: do all citations and references are prepared as per the guideline?
  • Ethical Issues
    • 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 detail 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 editors
    • Has there been a violation of the accepted norms in the ethical treatment of animal or human subjects? If so, then these should also be identified to the editor.
  • Note that your recommendation is visible only to journal editors, not to the authors.

 

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