Reviewer Guidelines

This journal uses a double-blind peer review process, where the identities of both reviewers and authors are concealed from each other throughout the review.

The reviewer's role is to assist the editor in deciding whether or not to publish a submission. Therefore, it is crucial that the reviewer provides their overall opinion of the written piece, as well as their general observations. Comments must be constructive, respectful, and objective, refraining from any personal remarks or personal details, which could potentially reveal the reviewer's identity. The reviewer's judgements should be explained and supported, so both editors and authors are able to fully comprehend the rationale behind the reviewer's decisions.

What to look for:

  • Reviewers must follow COPE guidelines, and treat any manuscript they are asked to review as a confidential document. This means refraining from sharing the review or any information about the review without the agreement of the editors and authors involved. This applies both during and after the publication process.
  • If reviewers suspect plagiarism, fraud, or have other ethical concerns, they must raise their suspicions with the editor, providing as much detail as possible. Reviewers may visit COPE guidelines for more information on this.
  • Reviewers should give specific comments and suggestions, regarding layout and format, title, abstracts, introduction, graphical abstracts and/or highlights, methods, statistical errors, results, conclusion/discussion, language and references.

Reviewers must identify in a MAX 500 word report per manuscript:

  • The main impressions of the manuscript: whether it is original and interesting, as well as if it has a sufficient impact, adding to the current knowledge base on the article's subject.
  • whether author's arguments are iterative, and follow logically.
  • If at least 60% of a submission's citations are dated within the last three years.
  • Whether a wide range of readings on the author's topic are applied.
  • That a paper's introduction contains a strong problem identification and has specified a research question. 
  • That context (the background of information, as well as the environment surrounding topic) and parameters (the boundaries of the author's area of study) are defined in article's introduction.
  • If all relevant terms and key issues have been clearly defined.
  • That the submission does not contain jargon or abbreviations; these should be limited and explained.
  • Whether counterarguments are identified and sufficently mitigated/addressed.
  • That policy papers contain critical perspectives on existing policies, which are weighted based on evidence (proof of a wide range of readings around the issue).
  • Whether papers contain comprehensive conclusions that do not introduce new ideas, and are not merely summaries. Rather, they strictly address, and answer the problem identification, and research question introduced. Conclusions must also have a justification for the author's choice of evidence, and their position taken.

Reviewers must ultimately make a recommendation based on the three categories the editor uses for classifying the manuscript:

  • Reject (explain reason in report).
  • Accept without revision.
  • Revise – either major or minor (explain the revision that is required, and indicate to the editor whether or not you would be happy to review the revised article).

The final decision on whether or not to publish a submission is made by the editor. The editor will consider all views, and may ask the author for a revised submission before making a decision. The online editorial system will provide a notification to reviewers regarding the final decision.