Instructions to Reviewers

Guidelines for Reviewers

 


 

The Responsibility of the Peer Reviewer

The peer reviewer is responsible for critically reading and evaluating a manuscript in their specialty field, and then providing respectful, constructive, and honest feedback to authors about their submission. It is appropriate for the Peer Reviewer to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the article, ways to improve the strength and quality of the work, and evaluate the relevance and originality of the manuscript.

Before Reviewing

Please consider the following:

  • Does the article you are being asked to review match your expertise?

  • If you receive a manuscript that covers a topic that does not sufficiently match your area of expertise, please notify the editor as soon as possible. Please feel free to recommend alternate reviewer.

  • Do you have time to review the paper?

  • Finished reviews of an article should be completed within two weeks. If you do not think you can complete the review within this time frame, please let the editor know and if possible, suggest an alternate reviewer. If you have agreed to review a paper but will no longer be able to finish the work before the deadline, please contact the editor as soon as possible.

  • Are there any potential conflicts of interests?

  • While conflicts of interest will not disqualify you from reviewing the manuscript, it is important to disclose all conflicts of interest to the editors before reviewing. If you have any questions about potential conflicts of interests, please do not hesitate to contact the receiving editorial office.

The Review

When reviewing the article, please keep the following in mind:

  • 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? In order to determine its originality and appropriateness for the journal, it might be helpful to think of the research in terms of what percentile it is in? Is it in the top 25% of papers in this field? You might wish to do a quick literature search using tools such as Scopus to see if there are any reviews of the area. If the research has been covered previously, pass on references of those works to the editor.

 

  • Organization and Clarity

  • Title: Does it clearly describe the article?

  • Abstract: Does it reflect the content of the article?

  • Introduction: Does it describe what the author hoped to achieve accurately, and clearly state the problem being investigated? Normally, the introduction should summarize relevant research to provide context, and explain what other authors' findings, if any, are being challenged or extended. It should describe the experiment, the hypothesis(es) and the general experimental design or method.

  • Method: Does the author accurately explain how the data was collected? Is the 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? Are these ordered in a meaningful way? 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; has the author been precise in describing measurements?

  • Results: This is where the author/s should explain in words what he/she discovered in the research. It should be clearly laid out and in a logical sequence. You will 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. Interpretation of results should not be included in this section.

  • Conclusion/Discussion: 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 interpret and understand?

  • Scope - Is the article in line with the aims and scope of the journal?

 

Article Types Considered

The Leading Edge (Perspectives)

  • Unique perspective that both describes the experience, and relates the situation to a public health issue, health policy issue, etc

Delivery Science (Original Research)

  • Original Data and Trials

  • - Submissions should present data that offers novel approaches to improving the systems, processes, and tools involved with delivering care.

  • Policy Research and Observational Analyses

  • - Submissions should describe the feasibility, cost-effectiveness, implementation of, or results of policy concerning the delivery of health care. This includes but is not limited to policy topics such as health care reform, health IT, delivery and payment regulation, quality improvement, and comparative delivery innovation.

 

Synthesis (Review Articles)

  • Submissions should be a critical, systematic review of literature concerning issues that are relevant to the delivery of health care. Reviews should be focused on one topic

Into Practice (case studies)

  • Submissions should describe situations where individuals were faced with a challenge in health care delivery. The article should describe the challenge faced, the options, the thought process behind the decision made, and the lessons learned.

 

Viewpoints

  • First Person (Interviews)

  • Book Reviews

  • Technology Insight(Product Reviews)

In the News

  • Submissions should be newsworthy pieces about topics including but not limited to medical innovation, policy, information technology, health care reform, delivery and payment innovation.

  • Additional commentary evaluating and assessing the implications of the news story on health care delivery will also be considered.

 

Final Comments

  • All submissions are confidential and please do not discuss any aspect of the submissions with a third party.

  • If you would like to discuss the article with a colleague, please ask the editor first.

  • Please do not contact the author directly.

  • 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 editor

  • - Other ethical concerns: For medical research, has confidentiality been maintained? 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

Next Steps

Please complete the “Reviewer’s Comments” form by the due date to the receiving editorial office. Your recommendation regarding an article will be strongly considered when the editors make the final decision, and your thorough, honest feedback will be much appreciated.

When writing comments, please indicate the section of comments intended for only the editors and the section of comments that can be returned to the author(s). Please never hesitate to contact the receiving editorial office with any questions or concerns you may have.

 

COPE guidelines for peer reviewers

Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd provides membership of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) as an option for all of its journal editors. COPE serves more than 8,500 members around the world with practical tools, e-learning, seminars, and much more. COPE has developed Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers, to which Editors and their editorial boards can refer for guidance. Read the COPE guidelines below or visit their website to download the PDF.

 

COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers

 

Peer reviewers play a role in ensuring the integrity of the scholarly record. The peer review process depends to a large extent on the trust and willing participation of the scholarly community and requires that everyone involved behaves responsibly and ethically. Peer reviewers play a central and critical part in the peer review process, but may come to the role without any guidance and be unaware of their ethical obligations. Journals have an obligation to provide transparent policies for peer review, and reviewers have an obligation to conduct reviews in an ethical and accountable manner. Clear communication between the journal and the reviewers is essential to facilitate consistent, fair and timely review. COPE has heard cases from its members related to peer review issues and bases these guidelines, in part, on the collective experience and wisdom of the COPE Forum participants. It is hoped they will provide helpful guidance to researchers, be a reference for editors and publishers in guiding their reviewers, and act as an educational resource for institutions in training their students and researchers.

 

Peer review, for the purposes of these guidelines, refers to reviews provided on manuscript submissions to journals, but can also include reviews for other platforms and apply to public commenting that can occur pre- or post-publication. Reviews of other materials such as preprints, grants, books, conference proceeding submissions, registered reports (preregistered protocols), or data will have a similar underlying ethical framework, but the process will vary depending on the source material and the type of review requested. The model of peer review will also influence elements of the process.

 

Models of peer review

There are different types or models of peer review, all of which have various advantages and disadvantages. See the COPE document Who “owns” peer reviews?1 (section titled ‘models of peer review’) for an explanation of various peer review models. It is important to be aware of the model of peer review that the journal or platform uses before agreeing to undertake the peer review. The chart below, reproduced with permission from QUT, Australia, identifies key elements of the various models related to processes in peer review. Reviewers should understand their responsibilities related to confidentiality of the process and ownership of the review product based on the model of peer review being used.

 

There are many different models of peer review. A peer review process may operate to almost any combination in the following table by selecting one option from each row:

 

TIMING

PrePrints

Pre-publication

Post-Publication

IDENTIFIABILITY

Double blind

Single blind

Open

MEDIATION

Editors mediate all interactions between reviewers and authors

Reviewers interaction with on another openly

Reviewers and authors all interact with on another openly

PUBLICATION

Peer reviews are not published

Peer reviews are published but not signed

Peer reviews are published and signed

FACILITATION

Review facilitated by a journal

Review facilitated by a third-party

Review facilitated by authors

OWNERSHIP

Review owned by a journal or third party

Review owned by the authors of the reviews

Shared or mixed ownership of reviews

 

Using the chart above, a standard, blinded, peer review process for a journal could be: Pre-publication; Single blind; Editors mediate all interactions between reviewers and authors; Peer reviews are not published; Review is facilitated by a journal; Reviews owned by the authors of the reviews.



Being a reviewer

Professional responsibility: Authors who have benefited from the peer review process should consider becoming peer reviewers as a part of their professional responsibilities. Some journals require a formal process of appointment to the review panel, and some require specific expertise; anyone interested in becoming a reviewer should look for the journal guidelines on peer review and follow any requirements posted. In order to assign appropriate reviewers, editors must match reviewers with the scope of the content in a manuscript to get the best reviews possible. Potential reviewers should provide journals with personal and professional information that is accurate and a fair representation of their expertise, including verifiable and accurate contact information. It is important to recognize that impersonation of another individual during the review process is considered serious misconduct (e.g. see COPE Case 12-12: Compromised peer review in published papers). When approached to review, agree to review only if you have the necessary expertise to assess the manuscript and can be unbiased in your assessment. It is better to identify clearly any gaps in your expertise when asked to review.

 

Competing interests: Ensure you declare all potential competing, or conflicting, interests. If you are unsure about a potential competing interest that may prevent you from reviewing, do raise this. Competing interests may be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political or religious in nature. If you are currently employed at the same institution as any of the authors or have been recent (e.g., within the past 3 years) mentors, mentees, close collaborators or joint grant holders, you should not agree to review. In addition, you should not agree to review a manuscript just to gain sight of it with no intention of submitting a review, or agree to review a manuscript that is very similar to one you have in preparation or under consideration at another journal.

 

Timeliness: It is courteous to respond to an invitation to peer review within a reasonable time-frame, even if you cannot undertake the review. If you feel qualified to judge a particular manuscript, you should agree to review only if you are able to return a review within the proposed or mutually agreed time-frame. Always inform the journal promptly if your circumstances change and you cannot fulfil your original agreement or if you require an extension. If you cannot review, it is helpful to make suggestions for alternative reviewers if relevant, based on their expertise and without any influence of personal considerations or any intention of the manuscript receiving a specific outcome (either positive or negative).

 

Conducting a review

Initial steps: Read the manuscript, supplementary data files and ancillary material thoroughly (e.g., reviewer instructions, required ethics and policy statements), getting back to the journal if anything is not clear and requesting any missing or incomplete items you need. Do not contact the authors directly without the permission of the journal. It is important to understand the scope of the review before commencing (i.e., is a review of raw data expected?).

 

Confidentiality: Respect the confidentiality of the peer review process and refrain from using information obtained during the peer review process for your own or another’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others (e.g. see COPE Case 14-06: Possible breach of reviewer confidentiality). Do not involve anyone else in the review of a manuscript (including early career researchers you are mentoring), without first obtaining permission from the journal (e.g. see COPE Case 11-29: Reviewer asks trainee to review manuscript). The names of any individuals who have helped with the review should be included so that they are associated with the manuscript in the journal’s records and can also receive due recognition for their efforts.

 

Bias and competing interests:It is important to remain unbiased by considerations related to the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, origins of a manuscript or by commercial considerations. If you discover a competing interest that might prevent you from providing a fair and unbiased review, notify the journal and seek advice (e.g. see COPE Case 15-05: Reviewer requests to be added as an author after publication). While waiting for a response, refrain from looking at the manuscript and associated material in case the request to review is rescinded. Similarly, notify the journal as soon as possible if you find you do not have the necessary expertise to assess the relevant aspects of a manuscript so as not to unduly delay the review process. In the case of doubleblind review, if you suspect the identity of the author(s) notify the journal if this knowledge raises any potential competing or conflict of interest.

 

Suspicion of ethics violations: If you come across any irregularities with respect to research and publication ethics do let the journal know (e.g. see COPE Case 02-11: Contacting research ethics committees with concerns over studies). For example, you may have concerns that misconduct occurred during either the research or the writing and submission of the manuscript, or you may notice substantial similarity between the manuscript and a concurrent submission to another journal or a published article. In the case of these or any other ethical concerns, contact the editor directly and do not attempt to investigate on your own. It is appropriate to cooperate, in confidence, with the journal, but not to personally investigate further unless the journal asks for additional information or advice.

 

Transferability of peer review: Publishers may have policies related to transferring peer reviews to other journals in the publisher’s portfolio (sometimes referred to as portable or cascading peer review). Reviewers may be asked to give permission for the transfer of their reviews if that is journal policy. If a manuscript is rejected from one journal and submitted to another, and you are asked to review that same manuscript, you should be prepared to review the manuscript afresh as it may have changed between the two submissions and the journal’s criteria for evaluation and acceptance may be different. In the interests of transparency and efficiency it may be appropriate to provide your original review for the new journal (with permission to do so from the original journal), explaining that you had reviewed the submission previously and noting any changes. (See discussion2 with Pete Binfield and Elizabeth Moylan highlighting some of the issues surrounding portable peer review).

 

Preparing a report

Format: Follow journals’ instructions for writing and posting the review. If a particular format or scoring rubric is required, use the tools supplied by the journal. Be objective and constructive in your review, providing feedback that will help the authors to improve their manuscript. For example, be specific in your critique, and provide supporting evidence with appropriate references to substantiate general statements, to help editors in their evaluation. Be professional and refrain from being hostile or inflammatory and from making libellous or derogatory personal comments or unfounded accusations (e.g. see COPE Case 08-13: Personal remarks within a post-publication literature forum).

 

Appropriate feedback: Bear in mind that the editor requires a fair, honest, and unbiased assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript. Most journals allow reviewers to provide confidential comments to the editor as well as comments to be read by the authors. The journal may also ask for a recommendation to accept/revise/reject; any recommendation should be congruent with the comments provided in the review. If you have not reviewed the whole manuscript, do indicate which aspects of the manuscript you have assessed. Ensure your comments and recommendations for the editor are consistent with your report for the authors; most feedback should be put in the report that the authors will see. Confidential comments to the editor should not be a place for denigration or false accusation, done in the knowledge that the authors will not see your comments.

 

Language and style: Remember it is the authors’ paper, so do not attempt to rewrite it to your own preferred style if it is basically sound and clear; suggestions for changes that improve clarity are, however, important. In addition, be aware of the sensitivities surrounding language issues that are due to the authors writing in a language that is not their first or most proficient language, and phrase the feedback appropriately and with due respect.

 

Suggestions for further work: It is the job of the peer reviewer to comment on the quality and rigour of the work they receive. If the work is not clear because of missing analyses, the reviewer should comment and explain what additional analyses would clarify the work submitted. It is not the job of the reviewer to extend the work beyond its current scope. Be clear which (if any) suggested additional investigations are essential to support claims made in the manuscript under consideration and which will just strengthen or extend the work.

 

Accountability: Prepare the report by yourself, unless you have permission from the journal to involve another person. Refrain from making unfair negative comments or including unjustified criticisms of any competitors’ work that is mentioned in the manuscript. Refrain from suggesting that authors include citations to your (or an associate’s) work merely to increase citation counts or to enhance the visibility of your or your associate’s work; suggestions must be based on valid academic or technological reasons. Do not intentionally prolong the review process, either by delaying the submission of your review or by requesting unnecessary additional information from the journal or author.

 

If you are the editor handling a manuscript and decide to provide a review of that manuscript yourself (perhaps if another reviewer could not return a report), do this transparently and not under the guise of an anonymous additional reviewer.

 

What to consider after peer review

If possible, try to accommodate requests from journals to review revisions or resubmissions of manuscripts you have reviewed previously. It is helpful to respond promptly if contacted by a journal about matters related to your review and to provide the information required. Similarly, contact the journal if anything relevant comes to light after you have submitted your review that might affect your original feedback and recommendations. Continue to respect the confidential nature of the review process and do not reveal details of the manuscript after peer review unless you have permission from the author and the journal (e.g. see COPE Case 13- 05: Online posting of confidential draft by peer reviewer). See the COPE discussion document Who “owns” peer reviews?2 for a fuller discussion of the issues.

 

Peer review training and mentoring

Take advantage of opportunities to enrol in mentorship or training programmes to improve your peer review skills. Offer to mentor early career researchers as they learn the peer review process. Supervisors who wish to involve their students or junior researchers in peer review must request permission from the editor and abide by the editor’s decision. In cases where a student performs the review under the guidance of the supervisor, that should be noted and the student should be acknowledged as the reviewer of record. It may also be helpful to read the reviews from the other reviewers, if these are provided by the journal, to improve your own understanding of the topic and the reason for the editorial decision. Sense about Science have a helpful guide for peer review written for early career researchers3 . There are also training courses available for those starting out in peer review, for example, Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd provide a free online training course4 .

 

Author Contributions

Tara Hoke, Trevor Lane, Charon Pierson and Elizabeth Moylan revised the 2013 guidelines that were originally conceptualised and written by Irene Hames on behalf of COPE Council. All authors are listed in alphabetical order. We describe contributions to this project as follows

2013 Version: Conceptualisation – IH, Writing – IH.

2017 Version: Conceptualisation: EM & CP; Writing – original draft preparation: EM & CP. Writing – review and editing: TH, TL, EM, CP. Supervision: CP. Visualisation: EM & CP.

 

Acknowledgements

We are grateful for the feedback and advice received from Kelly Cobey, John Hilton, Mark Hooper and Irene Hames which shaped the 2017 revision.



Rules for Confidential Communication

The manuscripts to be reviewed are considered confidential communication. Once an unpublished manuscripts is set in a fixed, tangible form (e.g., typed on a page), it is entitled to copyright protection. The author of an unpublished manuscript owns the copyright and is entitled to the same rights as an author of a published work.

As such, reviewers may not engage in the circulation, quotation, citation, or reference of the unpublished manuscript, nor may they use the information contained within the unpublished manuscript to further their own work without explicit permission from the author.

Prior to sharing the unpublished manuscript with any other person, such as a colleague or student, reviewers must receive permission from the Action Editor. It is not acceptable to share the manuscript with students for educational purposes.

Reviewers are expected to delete/destroy copies of the manuscript upon completion of the review. An exception to this rule allows reviewers to retain one copy of the manuscript until the reviewer has received a copy of the decision letter and other reviews of the manuscript from the Action Editor. Once these materials are reviewed, the reviewer must delete/destroy any remaining copies of the manuscript.

Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd uses a masked review process. The Action Editor must be immediately informed if a reviewer determines there may be a potential conflict of interest between the manuscript’s authors and the reviewer.

Examples of conflicts of interest include: recent collaborations, faculty colleagues, students, financial gain stemming from the acceptation or rejection of the manuscript, etc.

If a conflict of interest appears to exist, the manuscript will be reassigned and the reviewer should immediately delete/destroy all copies of the manuscript.

Roles of the Reviewer

Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd reviewers fulfill two integral roles within the scientific peer review process: gatekeeper and consultant.

As a gatekeeper, reviewers are tasked with submitting a recommendation to the Action Editor regarding the acceptance, rejection, or revision and resubmission of the manuscript to the authors. The importance of this role should not be underestimated, as published articles within Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd become permanent works within the scientific literature and ultimately influence the work of future readers. Reviewers are encouraged to exercise conscientiousness with their responsibility in maintaining the integrity of the posterity of published works within the scientific literature.

As a consultant, reviewers are tasked with submitting a constructive and sufficiently detailed narrative appraisal to the Action Editor, who is responsible for providing this information to the authors. Despite the inability of Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd to publish every article submitted, reviewers are tasked with providing thorough feedback to authors regardless of a manuscript’s acceptance status. This feedback should encourage authors of rejected manuscripts to revise and resubmit their best works, as well as provide authors of accepted manuscripts with direction for future manuscripts.

Some reviewers may find it difficult to simultaneously perform the roles gatekeeper and consultant; instead focusing on one role at a time. Reviewers are encouraged to utilize tactful candor when pointing out errors within a manuscript, maintaining collegial respect for the authors. A common technique consists of two revision processes, with one focusing on publication recommendation and the other focusing on the narrative evaluation. Regardless of the approach of the reviewer, he or she must remain mindful of fulfilling both integral roles within the scientific peer review process.

Publication Recommendation

When communicating your publication recommendation, please use Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd’s internal standardized evaluation form. This form helps ensure the separation of gatekeeper and consultant roles, as well as helps ensure authors do not received a reviewer’s explicit recommendation within the narrative evaluation they receive.

When making their publication recommendation, reviewers should consider these APA Publication and Communication Board guidelines:

To merit publication each manuscript must make an original, valid, and significant contribution to an area of psychology appropriate for the journal to which it is submitted. That is:

  • A manuscript cannot have been published, in whole or in part, in another journal or readily available work (see APA Publication Manual, 5th ed., p. 347, for more information on primary, or original, publication).

  • A manuscript must be accurate, and the conclusions and generalizations must follow from the data.

  • A manuscript must be more than free of major fault—it must be an important contribution to the literature.

  • A manuscript must be appropriate for the journal to which it is submitted.

For a manuscript not meeting all those criteria, you will usually recommend rejection, with detailed reasons for your recommendation.

As you consider your publication recommendation to the Action Editor, it may be helpful to answer three sequential questions:

1. Is the manuscript topic appropriate for Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd?

In the event an Editor is confident the manuscript is outside the scope of Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd, it shall be rejected without being subjected to peer review. However, reviewers may still be asked to review manuscripts when the Editor is uncertain regarding the manuscripts fit with Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd. Information regarding the fit of the manuscript is productive and helpful feedback to both the Editor and the authors, and should be included in either the publication recommendation or the narrative evaluation.

The instructions to authors describes Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd’s scope this way: Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd primarily publishes original peer-reviewed papers consistent with four major pathways associated with psychotherapy integration:

  • common factors (core elements to effective psychotherapy that transcend a specific orientation),

  • technical eclecticism (application of the best treatment for a specific population and problem),

  • theoretical integration (combining two or more theories and their associated techniques), or

  • assimilative integration (theoretical grounding in a single orientation with value added techniques drawn from other orientations).

Empirical studies of integrative psychotherapies targeting specific populations, clinical presentations/disorders, settings (e.g., integrated primary care), or developments in the broader fields of psychology and psychiatry (e.g., psychobiology) are also strongly encouraged. Meta-analytic studies of any of the above are well suited to Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd, as are review papers of exceptionally high quality. The overarching goal is to significantly advance knowledge and application of psychotherapy integration.

2. Does the manuscript significantly contribute to the scientific literature?

One of the most important variables in determining whether a manuscript should be accepted is manuscript importance. Although importance can be difficult to define, reviewers may benefit from asking themselves if the manuscript adds to the scientific literature in a meaningful way, stimulates new theory and research, and/or can be consistently cited in future works.

Unfortunately, many manuscripts which present solid work and which implement appropriate methodologies and research designs, fail to meet acceptance criteria by not significantly advancing the field.

3. Can the weaknesses of the manuscript be resolved through the revision process?

Two criteria must be met to receive an invitation to revise and resubmit. First, the authors must be potentially able to appropriately address all serious issues within the manuscript. Any serious issue that is unable to be successfully resolved is considered a "fatal flaw" by reviewers. Second, the manuscript must also contribute significantly to the scientific literature.

Narrative Evaluation

Below are general guidelines for preparing the narrative evaluation. Please note these guidelines do not constitute an exhaustive list, but merely a list of common recommendations for less experienced reviewers.

When writing the narrative evaluation, reviewers should be clear with regards to which critiques they feel are more important and less important, as well as with regards to which critiques reflect needed change and which reflect the preferences of the reviewer. In general, the most helpful narrative reviews are 1-2 pages, single-spaced.

General Style

The narrative evaluation should be presented as communication from the reviewer to the Action Editor. Reference to the authors should be sparse and formal (i.e., third person). It is generally more acceptable for readers to accept critiques when the feedback references the manuscript, as opposed to the authors directly.

Organization

Most narrative evaluations begin with a summary paragraph of the manuscript. Such a paragraph helps inform the authors of the reviewer’s general understanding of the study, as well as provides the reviewers a helpful reminder of the study’s content when they receive copies of the other reviews and editorial decision letter.

Following the summary paragraph, narrative evaluations typically include a paragraph containing general comments about the manuscript. Strengths and outstanding aspects of the manuscript should be discussed, as both validation and encouragement in the face of more critical feedback.

To ease the experience of both the Action Editors and the authors, please clearly delineate between major and minor critiques. It is generally most helpful to organize major critiques into numbered points, which can be individually elaborated upon and referenced, followed by a separate section for minor critiques.

Guidelines for reviewers

Peer-review is the cornerstone of the academic publication process and we appreciate the service the reviewers provide to the journal and authors. Every article submitted to Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd is read by at least two reviewers expert in the language and/or subdiscipline on which it is written. Reviews are used by the editors and associate editors to make decisions on publication, and help the author improve the manuscript and advance their research by offering constructive criticism.

Reviewers for Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd are asked to read the papers assigned to them carefully and write a detailed review, evaluating the paper on the following criteria:

  1. originality: does the paper make a contribution to knowledge?

  2. argumentation: are the arguments sound, clear, and logical?

  3. accuracy: are the data accurate, is the theoretical framework properly characterized, are citations correct, are quotes used appropriately, are references appropriate?

  4. presentation: is the writing clear, is the article accessible to a non-specialist in the field, is it appropriately organized, is the length appropriate?

  5. suitability: is this submission appropriate for Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd?

Reviewers are reminded to evaluate the article on the grounds given above, and not to base their recommendations on whether they agree or disagree with the findings. Not every referee is able to comment on all aspects of an article, but reviewers are asked to comment on whatever they can.

As part of the review process, reviewers are asked to make one of the following recommendations:

  1. accept as is

  2. accept with minor revisions (paper subject to subsequent editorial scrutiny)

  3. revise and resubmit (paper subject to subsequent peer review)

  4. reject (paper unsuitable and/or would require major reconceptualization)

All reviews will be read by an associate editor who will write a report based on the reviews and their own reading of the paper, and will make a recommendation. The Editors use the review and the associate editor’s recommendation to make a final decision about the article. Regardless of the decision, the reviews and the associate editor’s report will be sent to the author.

Reviewers should keep in mind that the tone of a review can have an impact on the author. The tone should be critical but constructive. It is a good policy to delay a negative review and reread it carefully before submission to ensure that the tone is not unduly harsh.

Submission and distribution of reviews

Reviews are distributed and submitted through the on-line Editorial Manager system. Articles for review are downloadable from this site as PDF files. Reviewers can upload their reviews as documents in PDF, Word, or RTF, and can optionally return a marked-up version of the article itself along with their review. Reviewers can optionally type in or cut-and-paste reviews directly to the Editorial Manager, but this practice is discouraged as it runs the risk of loss of data should the reviewer’s Editorial Manager session be interrupted or improperly closed.

Anonymity and confidentiality

Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd is committed to the process of double-blind peer review, so under normal circumstances the identity of the reviewer will not be made known to the author and the author’s name will not be released to the reviewer. We recognize that, in a small field, anonymity can be somewhat of an illusion, but we do request that reviewers not identify themselves in a review without first consulting with the associate editor in charge of the article. Under no circumstances should the author of an article contact or share their reviews with the author outside of the editorial process. The identity of reviewers will be known to the editors and the associate editor working on the paper.

Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd policy is to share reviews and the associate editor’s report with the other reviewer(s) working on the paper once the review process is over, whatever the final outcome, unless otherwise requested by the reviewer.

All articles submitted for review are the property of the author, and as such are confidential documents. Reviewers may not quote from or distribute copies of an article under review.

 

Benefits of Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd Volunteer Reviewers

Peer review is an essential part in the publication process, ensuring that Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd maintains high quality standards for its published papers. Reviewing is often an unseen and unrewarded task. We are striving to recognize the efforts of reviewers.

When reviewing for Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd journals you:

  • Receive a discount voucher code entitling you to a reduction in the article processing charge (APC) of a future submission to any Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd journal. Vouchers issued to specific individuals are not transferable and must be mentioned during the submission procedure. Please note reviewer vouchers must be applied before acceptance. Vouchers can no longer be applied once an APC invoice has been issued.

  • Receive a personalized reviewer certificate.

  • Are included in the journal’s annual acknowledgment of reviewers.

  • Are considered for the journal’s outstanding reviewer award.

  • Can build your profile on Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd and have your reviewing activity automatically added for participating journals. Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd profiles can also be integrated with ORCID.

Invitation to Join Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd Volunteer Reviewer Database

If you are interested in reviewing articles for one or more of our journals, please register your contact details, including your ORCID identifier, institutional affiliation, a short CV, and 5-6 keywords in line with your expertise at the following page.

The managing editors of the selected journals will send you a notification once approved.

Prospective reviewers may also be interested in the Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd, which provides training in how to conduct peer review.

Invitation to Review

Manuscripts submitted to Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd journals are reviewed by at least two experts. Reviewers are asked to evaluate the quality of the manuscript and to provide a recommendation to the external editor on whether a manuscript can be accepted, requires revisions or should be rejected.

We ask invited reviewers to:

  • accept or decline any invitations quickly, based on the manuscript title and abstract;

  • suggest alternative reviewers if an invitation must be declined;

  • request an extension in case more time is required to compose a report.

As part of the assessment, reviewers will be asked:

  • to rate the originality, significance, quality of the presentation, scientific soundness, interest to the readers, overall merit and English level of the manuscript;

  • to provide an overall recommendation for the publication of the manuscript;

  • to provide a detailed, constructive review report;

Potential Conflicts of Interests

We ask reviewers to inform the journal editor if they hold a conflict of interests that may prejudice the review report, either in a positive or negative way. The editorial office will check as far as possible before invitation, however we appreciate the cooperation of reviewers in this matter. Reviewers who are invited to assess a manuscript they previously reviewed for another journal should not consider this as a conflict of interest in itself. In this case, reviewers should feel free to let us know if the manuscript has been improved or not compared to the previous version.

Confidentiality and Anonymity

Reviewers should keep the content of the manuscript, including the abstract, confidential. Reviewers must inform the Editorial Office if they would like a student or colleague to complete the review on their behalf.

Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd journals operate single or double blind peer review. Reviewers should be careful not to reveal their identity to the authors, either in their comments or in metadata for reports submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format.

 

Some journals offer authors the possibility to publish review reports with their paper and for reviewers to sign their open review reports, however this will only be done at publication with your express permission. If this is the case, it will be noted in the message inviting you to review. In all other cases, review reports are considered confidential and will only be disclosed with the explicit permission of the reviewer.

Note that reviewers are given access to all review reports for manuscripts they review via the online submission system after the final decision has been made.

Timely Review Reports

Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd aims to provide an efficient and high quality publishing service to authors and to the scientific community. We ask reviewers to assist by providing review reports in a timely manner. Please contact the editorial office if you require an extension to the review deadline.

Peer-Review and Editorial Procedure

All manuscripts sent for publication in our journals are strictly and thoroughly peer-reviewed by experts (this includes research and review articles, spontaneous submissions, and invited papers). The Managing Editor of the journal will perform an initial check of the manuscript’s suitability upon receipt. The Editorial Office will then organize the peer-review process performed by independent experts and collect at least two review reports per manuscript. We ask our authors for adequate revisions (with a second round of peer-review if necessary) before a final decision is made. The final decision is made by the academic editor (usually the Editor-in-Chief of a journal or the Guest Editor of a Special Issue). Accepted articles are copy-edited and English-edited.

Note that your recommendation is visible only to journal editors, not to the authors.

Rating the Manuscript

Please rate the following aspects of the manuscript:

  • Originality/Novelty: Is the question original and well defined? Do the results provide an advance in current knowledge?

  • Significance: Are the results interpreted appropriately? Are they significant? Are all conclusions justified and supported by the results? Are hypotheses and speculations carefully identified as such?

  • Quality of Presentation: Is the article written in an appropriate way? Are the data and analyses presented appropriately? Are the highest standards for presentation of the results used?

  • Scientific Soundness: is the study correctly designed and technically sound? Are the analyses performed with the highest technical standards? Are the data robust enough to draw the conclusions? Are the methods, tools, software, and reagents described with sufficient details to allow another researcher to reproduce the results?

  • Interest to the Readers: Are the conclusions interesting for the readership of the Journal? Will the paper attract a wide readership, or be of interest only to a limited number of people? (please see the Aims and Scope of the journal)

  • Overall Merit: Is there an overall benefit to publishing this work? Does the work provide an advance towards the current knowledge? Do the authors have addressed an important long-standing question with smart experiments?

  • English Level: Is the English language appropriate and understandable?

Manuscripts submitted to Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd journals should meet the highest standards of publication ethics:

  • Manuscripts should only report results that have not been submitted or published before, even in part.

  • Manuscripts must be original and should not reuse text from another source without appropriate citation.

  • For biological studies, the studies reported should have been carried out in accordance with generally accepted ethical research standards.

 

If reviewers become aware of such scientific misconduct or fraud, plagiarism or any other unethical behavior related to the manuscript, they should raise these concerns with the in-house editor immediately.

Overall Recommendation

Please provide an overall recommendation for the publication of the manuscript as follows:

  • Accept in Present Form: The paper is accepted without any further changes.

  • Accept after Minor Revisions: The paper is in principle accepted after revision based on the reviewer’s comments. Authors are given five days for minor revisions.

  • Reconsider after Major Revisions: The acceptance of the manuscript would depend on the revisions. The author needs to provide a point by point response or provide a rebuttal if some of the reviewer’s comments cannot be revised. Usually, only one round of major revisions is allowed. Authors will be asked to resubmit the revised paper within ten days and the revised version will be returned to the reviewer for further comments.

  • Reject: The article has serious flaws, makes no original contribution, and the paper is rejected with no offer of resubmission to the journal.

Note that your recommendation is visible only to journal editors, not to the authors.

Review Report

Review reports should contain:

  • A brief summary (one short paragraph) outlining the aim of the paper and its main contributions.

  • Broad comments highlighting areas of strength and weakness. These comments should be specific enough for authors to be able to respond.

  • Specific comments referring to line numbers, tables or figures. Reviewers need not comment on formatting issues that do not obscure the meaning of the paper, as these will be addressed by editors.

Note that Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd journals follow several standards and guidelines, including those from the ICMJE (medical journals), CONSORT (trial reporting), TOP (data transparency and openness), PRISMA (systematic reviews and meta-analyses) and ARRIVE (reporting of in vivo experiments). See the Publishing Standards and Guidelines page or contact the editorial office for more details. Reviewers familiar with the guidelines should report any concerns they have about their implementation.

Your comments should not include an indication of whether you think the article should be accepted for publication. For further guidance about writing a critical review, please refer to the following documents:

  1. COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Committee on Publication Ethics.

  2. Hames, I. Peer Review and Manuscript Management in Scientific Journals: Guidelines for Good Practice. Wiley-Blackwell: Oxford, UK, 2007.

  3. Writing a journal article review. Australian National University: Canberra, Australia, 2010.

  4. Golash-Boza, T. How to write a peer review for an academic journal: Six steps from start to finish.

Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd Review Reports Sharing

Reviewers may suggest that a manuscript may be more appropriate for publication in another Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd journal. To save time and effort, authors would have the possibility to request the transfer of review reports to another Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd journal. The full list of journals published by Edupedia Publications Pvt Ltd can be found here.