Notes for Reviewers and Authors
Reviews must be conducted fairly and objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. If the research reported in the manuscript is flawed, criticize science, not scientists. Personal criticism tends to make writers ignore helpful comments, making your review less useful for your field. Criticism should be objective, not just dissent, and intended to help the author improve his/her paper.
You must refuse to review manuscripts in which you have a conflict of interest as a result of competition, collaboration, or any other relationship or connection with the author, company, or institution to which the paper is connected.
If your previous or current relationship with the author or author's agency might be construed as creating a conflict of interest, but not an actual conflict, please include this matter in your confidential comments to the editor. If in doubt, please contact the Editor requesting a review before accepting.
Respect the confidentiality of the manuscript, which is sent to you confidentially. You may not discuss unpublished manuscripts with colleagues or use the information in your work. If you feel that a colleague is more qualified than you to review a paper, do not pass the manuscript on to that person without first seeking permission to do so from the editor. Your reviews and recommendations should also be considered confidential.
If you choose to remain anonymous, make sure you avoid comments to authors that may serve as clues to your identity.
Comments for Author
Your comments to the Author will be submitted to the Handling Editor and Editor in Chief. They are also communicated to authors and other anonymous manuscript reviewers once the editor has decided.
Comments should be constructive and designed to improve the manuscript. You should think of yourself as a writer's mentor. Make your comments as complete and detailed as possible. Express your views clearly with the necessary supporting arguments and references. Include a clear opinion on the strengths, weaknesses, and relevance of the manuscript, its originality, and its importance to the field. Specific comments citing line numbers are most helpful. If you feel you are not qualified to handle certain aspects of the manuscript, please include a statement identifying these areas.
Begin by identifying the main contributions of this paper. What are its main strengths and weaknesses, and their suitability for publication? Please include general and specific comments that accompany these questions and emphasize your most important points.
Support your general comments, positive or negative, with specific evidence.
If you want to make comments directly on the pdf of the manuscript using the Notes tool, you can do that. However, we do not expect you to copy-edit the script. If you are annotating the pdf, please also include a summary of your general comments. You can also upload other documents (i.e. your review as a document, helpful reference). The journal's editorial assistant will remove your identity from the property of these documents to keep your name confidential.
Points to consider in your review include:
Is the topic of the manuscript appropriate for the Journal? Is the information very interesting for the readers of the Journal?
Do the title, abstract, keywords, introduction, and conclusion accurately and consistently reflect the main points of this paper?
Is the writing concise, easy to follow, and interesting, without repetition?
Are the objectives clearly stated?
Is the method appropriate, scientific, current, and explained clearly enough so that the work can be repeated by others?
Is the research ethical and has appropriate consent/consent been obtained?
Was appropriate statistical analysis used? Are they sufficiently justified and explained? Is the statement of significance justified?
When the results are stated in the text of the paper, are they supported by the data? Can you verify it easily by checking the tables and figures? Are there counterintuitive results?
Are all tables and figures required, clearly labeled, well designed, and easy to interpret? Is the information in tables and figures redundant? Is this repeated in the text?
Are the conclusions supported by the data presented?
Are the cited references most appropriate to support the manuscript? Are citations provided for all statements of fact that are not supported by the data in this paper? Are there key quotes missing?
Consider the length of the manuscript, relative to its content. Should there be a piece of paper that needs to be expanded, compacted, merged, or removed? (Please be specific in your suggestions, and don't just suggest shortening the whole by x%).
Does the manuscript meet the Instructions for Authors?
Provide comments about possible research or publication violations, such as:
Has this manuscript reported data or conclusions been published or in the press? If so, provide details.
Did the author plagiarize other publications?
Are there any indications that the data has been improperly created or manipulated?
Have the authors stated all relevant competing interests?