The Role of the Reviewer

The peer review process is an independent quality control procedure for articles submitted to journals. Because it is so difficult for authors to be objective about their own writing, they benefit greatly from having someone else read and comment upon their work. Peer review is vital for enhancing the quality, credibility and acceptability of published research and practice papers. Please observe carefully the following guidelines on the role of the reviewer.

1. Expertise: Papers are not always sent to a reviewer whose field is identical to the subject matter of that paper. You don’t have to be precisely qualified in a field to be a constructive reviewer. In fact, quite the contrary, an excellent paper will speak beyond its narrowly defined field. If, however, a paper is so distant from your field that you do not feel qualified to judge its merits, please return it to the publishing manager for the journal, who will locate another reviewer.

2. Confidentiality: Reviewers receive unpublished work, which must be treated as confidential until published. Reviewers must not disclose to others which papers they have reviewed; nor are they to share those papers with any other person.

3. Conflict of Interest: Reviewers must declare any conflict of interest or any other factor, which may affect their independence—in cases for instance, where they have received a paper of a colleague or an intellectual opponent. In cases of conflict of interest, please notify the editorial team of your inability to review a particular paper.

4. Intellectual Merit: A paper must be judged on its intellectual merits alone. Personal criticism or criticism based solely on the political or social views of the reviewer, is not acceptable.
5. Full Explanation: Critical or negative judgments must be fully supported by detailed reference to evidence from the paper under review or other relevant sources.

6. Plagiarism and Copyright: If a reviewer considers that a paper may contain plagiarism or that it might breach another party’s copyright, they should notify the editorial group for the journal, providing the relevant citations to support their claim.

7. Responsiveness: Reviewers are asked to return their reports within two weeks. This assists us to provide rapid feedback to the author.