Reviews should be conducted 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. Personal criticism is likely to lead an author to ignore useful comments, making your review less useful to your field. Criticisms should be objective, not merely differences of opinion, and intended to help the author improve his or her paper.
You should decline to review manuscripts in which you have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.
If your previous or present connection with the author(s) or an author's institution might be construed as creating a conflict of interest, but no actual conflict exists, please include this issue in your confidential comments to the editor. If in doubt, please contact the Editor who requested the review before accepting.
Respect the confidentiality of the manuscript, which is sent to you in confidence. You should not discuss unpublished manuscripts with colleagues or use the information in your own work.
If you choose to remain anonymous, ensure that you avoid comments to the authors that might serve as clues to your identity.
Your Comments to the Author will be submitted to the Handling Editor and the Editor-in-Chief. They are also communicated to the authors and to the other anonymous reviewers of the manuscript once the editor has made a decision.
Comments should be constructive and designed to enhance the manuscript. You should consider yourself the authors’ mentor. Make your comments as complete and detailed as possible. Express your views clearly with supporting arguments and references as necessary. Include clear opinions about the strengths, weaknesses, and relevance of the manuscript, its originality, and its importance to the field. Specific comments that cite line numbers are most helpful. If you feel unqualified to address certain aspects of the manuscript, please include a statement to identify these areas.
Support your general comments, positive or negative, with specific evidence.
If you wish to make comments directly on the manuscript (word) using the review comment tool, you may do so. However, we do not expect you to copy-edit the manuscript. You may also upload other documents (e.g. your review as a document, useful references). The journal editorial assistant will remove your identity from the properties of these documents to maintain your anonymity.