Instruction to reviewers

Reviewer’s guide:

The proofreaders guarantee the scientific quality of the proposal submitted to them, its conformity with the editorial policy of the journal, as well as its consistency with the style sheet of the journal (see section “guide for authors”).

The members of the editorial committee designate, within the reading committee, the proofreaders of the submissions made to them. The proofreaders double-blind evaluate the proposals anonymized by the editorial director. Requests are sent to them three months before the publication date of the article. The proofreaders have four weeks to carry out the annotated proofreading of the proposals and their evaluation.

They transcribe their evaluations, on the one hand on a summary sheet (see link below) and on the other hand, as much as necessary and in a strictly anonymous way, directly on the author file. Reviewers pay particular attention to the clarity of their annotations and their visibility in the text.

They send both documents in electronic form to the editorial director within four weeks. The two summary sheets are then anonymized by the editorial director and sent to the author with any anonymously commented files.

When both evaluations are favourable, any comments and requests for corrections are sent to the author, who in turn has four weeks to incorporate them. The editorial director ensures compliance with the requests made by the proofreaders.

If the two evaluations are discordant, a third evaluation is then requested and submitted to the editorial committee.

  • Start the proofreading procedure:

The acceptance or not of an invitation to proofread an article and this in order to appraise an article cannot be done without the following conditions:

It is imperative that the article must correspond to the field of expertise of the reviewer in order to be able to establish a complete opinion on the question addressed.

It is necessary to indicate to the editor any conflict of interest.

The proofreader will have to judge the free time that he can devote to the revision of the article. It is important to respect the revision deadline.

The reviewer should respond to the invitation as soon as possible (even if it should be refused) – a delay in the decision will slow down the review process and mean more waiting for the author.

  • Expertise:

Confidential material:

The proofreader must treat the submitted articles as confidential documents. This implies that the reviewer cannot share them with anyone without the publisher’s prior permission. Since the peer review is confidential, you should also not share any information about the review with anyone without permission from the editors and authors.

Submission of the reviewer’s opinion:

The reviewer’s opinion will be managed via a submission system by completing the form sent by email.

Article and journal specific instructions:

The reviewer should familiarize himself with the journal’s guidelines in order to give his opinion in an objective and complete manner.

The reviewer should pay attention to:

Full research article:

Evaluation of the importance and relevance of the question addressed in the manuscript. Originality will also be assessed.

Carry out an identification of the strengths and weaknesses of the method described in the manuscript.

Make useful specific comments on the writing of the manuscript (eg, writing, organization, figures, etc.).

Offer specific comments on the author’s interpretation of the results and conclusions drawn from the results.

If applicable, comment on the statistics.

Review the article:

Discuss the importance of the subject/scope of the review.

Assess the originality of the review.

Comment on the author’s representation of the most relevant recent advances in the field. Specifically, consider whether the references are relevant to the topic and cover both historical literature and more recent developments.

Submit comments on the writing, organization, tables and figures of the manuscript.

Comment on the author’s interpretation of the results.

In any case, your first task is to read the article. You may want to consider checking for major issues once in a while, choosing which section to read first. Below we offer some tips on handling specific parts of the paper.

Methodology :

The proofreader should examine the methodology applied and attempt to criticize it. The following cases are considered major defects and must be reported:

Weak methodology:

Discredited method:

Missing processes known to influence reported search domain.

A conclusion drawn at odds with the statistical or qualitative evidence reported in the manuscript.

For analytical papers, the reviewer will review the sampling report, which is mandatory in time-dependent studies. For qualitative research, ensure that a systematic analysis of the data is presented and that sufficient descriptive material with relevant quotes from interviews is listed in addition to the author’s account.

Research data and visualizations:

As soon as the reviewer is sure of the robustness of the methodology, he will examine all the data in the form of figures, tables or images. Authors can add research data, including data visualizations, to their submission to allow readers to interact and engage more closely with their research after publication. It should be noted that links to data may therefore be present in the submission files. These elements should also hold the reviewer’s attention during the peer review process. Manuscripts may also contain database identifiers or accession numbers (eg, genes) related to our database linking program.

Critical research data issues, which are considered major flaws, can be related to insufficient data points, statistically insignificant variations, and unclear data tables.

Ethical Considerations:

Experiments that include patient or animal data should be properly documented. Most journals require ethics approval from the author’s host organization. Please consult the journal-specific guidelines for such cases (available on the journal’s homepage, accessible via the journal’s catalog.

  •  Structure the reviewer’s expertise:

The reviewer’s opinion will help the editor decide whether or not to publish the article. It will also help the author and allow him to improve his manuscript. The overall opinion and general comments on the article is essential. Comments should be courteous and constructive, and should not include ad hominem remarks or personal details; including your name (unless the journal you are being asked to review employs open peer review).

It is important to provide an overview of any gaps. Judgment should be explained and substantiated so that editors and authors are able to fully understand the reasoning behind the comments. It is important to indicate whether the comments are one’s own opinion or whether they are reflected in the data and evidence.

Control List :

The journal you are reviewing for may have a specific format (e.g., quiz) or other instructions on how to structure your reviews. Below are some general tips on what to include/consider if no other guidelines apply. Check out the checklist here.

Your recommendation:

The recommendation should be specific and unambiguous, it is worth considering the categories the editor is likely to use to classify the article:

– Reject (explain your reasoning in your report)

– Accept without revision

– Revise – major or minor (explanation of required revision and indication to the editor if you would be happy to revise the revised article). If a revision will be recommended, it is imperative to provide the author with a clear and solid explanation of why this is necessary.

Once the reviewer is ready to submit their report, simply follow the instructions in the email.

The final decision:

The editor finally decides whether to accept or reject the article. The editor will evaluate all views and may seek further advice or request a revised article from the author before making a decision. The submission system provides reviewers with notification of the final decision, if the journal has opted in to this feature.

  • After your review:

Once you have submitted your opinion, it is also necessary to duly complete the form provided by email, being as explicit and clear as possible.

The reviewer should consider the manuscript as a confidential document. This means that he should not share them or information about the review with anyone without the prior permission of the publisher.