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Instructions for Reviewers

Deciding Whether to Review a Manuscript - Conflict of Interest

Conflict of Interest. Reviewers should not accept to review a manuscript if a personal or financial conflict of interest exists.
  1. The reviewer is currently collaborating with the author or has collaborated with the author within the past 3 years.
  2. The reviewer feels he or she cannot give an impartial and objective review, free from professional or personal bias.
  3. Note: If you realize that a conflict of interest exists after the review process begins, please notify the Associate Editor immediately, so another reviewer can be solicited to review the manuscript.
If you have questions regarding a potential conflict of interest, please contact the Associate Editor, and s/he will decide whether it is appropriate for you to review the manuscript.

If a conflict of interest does not exist, please consider whether you can complete the review within 30 days.

Note: There are occasions where a reviewer may be unable to complete the review within the allotted time because of unforeseen circumstances. In this case, please contact the Associate Editor immediately so that arrangements can be made for the review to be completed in a timely fashion.

Peer Review Process

Ethical Responsibilities During the Review Process

  1. Confidentiality - The reviewer should maintain confidentiality about the existence and substance of the manuscript. It is inappropriate to share the manuscript or to discuss it in detail with others before publication. There are some exceptions, however they must be approved by the editor. One example is that the reviewer may ask a colleague to collaborate on a review. However, your collaborator on the review should also agree to maintain confidentiality, and the editor should be informed of the participation of this additional person in the review process.
  2. Reviewer Conduct -. "Reviewers must not use knowledge of the work, before its publication, to further their own interests." Knowledge of the content of confidential manuscripts should not be used for any other purpose unrelated to the reviewing of the manuscript.
  3. Reporting Concerns - The reviewer has the responsibility of reporting any ethical concerns, including but not limited to: suspected duplicate publication, fraud, plagiarism, or concerns about the use of animal or human subjects in the research being reported.

Constructing a Review

  1. Rating a manuscript - In this section of the review form, the reviewer ranks the 1) Novelty/Originality, 2) Scientific Importance/Impact, 3) Adequacy of Methods/Experimental Design, 4) Quality of Data/Presentation Results, and 5) Overall Scientific Priority. Indicate whether you have any concerns regarding the statistical analysis used or if there are any ethical concerns/considerations.
  2. In confidential comments to the Editor - Summarize your reasons for your rating and recommendations. Provide specific comments regarding the original aspects of the work and its importance. It is here that you can suggest the final outcome of the manuscript that includes: Accept with no revisions, Accept with minor revisions, Accept with major revisions, Revise and Resubmit, or Reject.
  3. In comments to the Author - The comments to the author should not include any statements that indicate to the author your judgment as to the acceptability of the paper for publication. These comments should be stated in a constructive and helpful way. You may use the editor version on your word processor to insert comments or to suggest revisions to text. You may also make small changes to text to correct typos or incorrect wording.
    The reviewer should discuss the shortcomings and/or strengths of the study. Include in your critique your judgment of originality and scientific importance, 2) adequacy and length of the title, 3) adequacy of the abstract, 4) introduction, rationale and clarity of hypothesis, 5) adequacy of experimental design and methods, 6) quality of data and presentation of results, including figures, 7) appropriateness of the author's (or authors') interpretation of their data, 8) length and appropriateness of the discussion, and 9) inclusion of recent and appropriate references. If possible, make specific recommendations for revisions.