Instruction for Reviewers
The entire editorial process is performed via an online manuscript tracking system. Once a submitted manuscript is checked by the editorial office for its appropriateness to undergo a normal peer review process, the editor-in-chief may directly appoint the reviewers or may appoint an editor to handle the overall review process. However, the editor-in-chief (or appointed editor) may decide to reject the manuscript without undergoing a peer review process if the submitted manuscript is not up to the standards or is beyond the scope of the journal.
Peer review policy and reviewer selection
The editor-in-chief or appointed editor may assign a minimum of 3 reviewers for the peer review process. The journal adheres to a double-blind review process, meaning that the authors' identities are not opened to the reviewers, and the reviewers' identities are kept confidential.
Selection of reviewers is based on many factors, including expertise, reputation, specific recommendations and our previous experience with reviewers. Reviewers who are chronically late, unprofessional, too harsh or too lenient are avoided. Reviewers with known conflicts of interest with any of the authors from a submitted manuscript are also avoided, although it is not possible for the editorial board to be aware of all the potential conflicts of interest that may exist between participating reviewers and submitting authors. Therefore assigned reviewers are also encouraged to notify immediately to the editor about any potential conflicts of interest, with subsequent decline for review.
Reviewer ethics and responsibilities
All assigned reviewers are expected to follow the following ethics and responsibilities during the review process:
The review process is strictly confidential and all reviewers are expected to maintain confidentiality about the manuscript they are reviewing. This not only includes the contents of the manuscript, but also the disclosure of their identities to the authors or to other colleagues. It is therefore inappropriate to share or discuss the contents of a manuscript with others before publication, unless permission is obtained from the editors. The editor may approve the consultation of a third person if he/she has the necessary expertise to significantly improve the quality of review, is ready to maintain confidentiality and has not been excluded by the editor for review previously. Reviewers should not use the knowledge or idea obtained from the manuscript for any purpose (scientific, personal or financial) unrelated to the review process before the manuscript is published.
Reviewer's comments and conclusions should be objective, free from any personal or professional biases. The contents should be considered based on the facts that are being presented and comments should be based solely on the paper's originality, quality and scientific merits. Reviewers should report for ethical concerns regarding plagiarism, fraud, duplicate publication or unethical study execution to the editor, with specific supporting evidence for their concerns.
Conflicts of Interest
Conflicts of interest that may arise for reviewers may include one of the following:
- Have recent or ongoing collaborations with any of the authors
- Have commented on drafts of the manuscript
- Are in direct competition with any of the authors
- Have a history of dispute with any of the authors
- Have a financial interest in the outcome
Reviewers are responsible for providing a review in a timely fashion, based on the journal's policy for review. This includes 1) deciding to review the manuscript and 2) completing the review within the requested time frame. Every effort should be made for the timely publication of submitted manuscripts.
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