Serving as a reviewer is part of our joint responsibility as members of the field. Submitting a paper is in effect a request for other busy professionals to donate their time and attention to your work. So it is only fair that we should be willing to do the same for the work of others. Please be sure to treat the review process as strictly confidential. Do not share the manuscript with anyone, including your students. However, we do understand that advanced students do need to be trained in the art of reviewing. If you wish to propose a student as a referee, please contact the editor.
The feedback report should address the following aspects:
- Importance and novelty of the study
- In your comments for the author, start with an opening paragraph that summarizes what you think the paper is about. This is your way of conveying that what you extracted from the paper was what the author intended to say.
- The report should cover specific feedback and comments for each major section, including comments on:
- Adequacy of the literature review,
- Clarity of the presentation of methodological details,
- Clarity of the presentation of results (including Tables and Figures),
- Appropriateness of the discussion
- The report should be civil and clear. Offensive or insulting language is not acceptable. Please explain to the authors the weaknesses of their manuscript, so that they can understand the basis for rejection.
Try to make the comments for the given paper as specific as possible. For example, rather than saying “The introduction is unclear”, it would be more helpful to say that “in the introduction, the relationship between constructs A and B is discussed, but that relationship is not explored within the paper”. One criticism you should generally avoid making is to reject a paper purely because the author didn’t write it the way you would have. You are entitled to ask for a standard kind of analysis, or for an explanation of why a particular model, experiment, or theoretical approach does not make sense in the context of the authors’ work. The report to the author should not include a recommendation regarding publication, as that decision rests with the editor.
Confidential evaluation for the Editor:
The manuscript should be rated using the form on the website. Additional confidential comments to the editor might include:
- A definite recommendation regarding publication
- An assessment of how much any suggested additional experiments would improve the manuscript, and of how difficult it would be for the authors to complete within a reasonable timeframe (1-2 months)
- In cases where the manuscript is unacceptable in its present form, an opinion about whether the study is sufficiently promising enough to encourage resubmission in the future.
- Concerns about violations of policy, such as plagiarism or dual publication. Referees should alert the editors to any potential problems in this regard.