Guide for Reviewers
Peer review substantially improves the quality of scientific works. Some instructions regarding peer review are as follows:
An invitation letter will be sent to the reviewer that contains the title and abstract of the manuscript and the time limit for review. Upon the reviewer’s agreement with the review, the manuscript will be accessible to him/her on his/her page.
Reviewers are asked to provide detailed, constructive comments that will help the editors make a decision on publication, and the authors should accordingly improve their manuscripts. A key issue is whether the work has serious flaws that should preclude its publication, or whether there are additional experiments or data required to support the conclusions drawn. Wherever possible, reviewers should provide references to substantiate their comments.
Reviewers should take into account the following points and indicate whether they consider any required revisions to be 'major compulsory revisions', 'minor essential revisions', or 'discretionary revisions'. In general, major compulsory revisions require additional controls to support the claims or if the interpretations are not supported by the data, if further analysis is required that may change the conclusions, or if the methods used are inadequate or statistical errors have been made.
1. Is the research question original, important, and well raised?
The research question posed by the authors should be easily identifiable and understood. It is useful to both the editors and authors if reviewers comment on the originality and importance of the study within the context of its field. If the research question is unoriginal because related work has been published previously, please give references. Reviewers should ask themselves after reading the manuscript if they have learned something new and if there is a clear conclusion from the study.
2. Is the data sound and well-controlled?
If you feel that inappropriate controls have been used, please say so, along with indicating the reasons for your concerns and suggesting alternative controls where appropriate. If you feel that further experimental/clinical evidence is required to substantiate the results, please provide details.
3. Is the interpretation (discussion and conclusion) well balanced and supported by the data?
The interpretation should discuss the relevance of all the results in an unbiased manner. Are the interpretations overly positive or negative? Conclusions drawn from the study should be valid and result directly from the data shown, with reference to other relevant work as applicable. Have the authors provided references wherever necessary?
4. Are the methods appropriate and well described, and do details suffice to allow others to evaluate and/or replicate the work?
Please remark on the suitability of the methods for the study, which should be clearly described and reproducible by peers in the field. If statistical analyses have been carried out, specify whether or not they need to be assessed specifically by an additional reviewer with statistical expertise.
5. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the methods?
Please comment on any improvements that could be made to the study design to enhance the quality of the results. If any additional experiments are required, please give details. If novel experimental techniques were used, please pay special attention to their reliability and validity.
6. Can the writing, organization, tables, and figures be improved?
Although the editorial team may also assess the quality of written English, please do comment if you consider the standard to be below that expected for a scientific publication. If the manuscript is organized in such a manner that it is illogical or not easily comprehensible to the reader, please suggest improvements. Please provide feedback on whether the data are presented in the most appropriate manner; for example, is a table being used where a graph would give increased clarity? Are the figures of a quality high enough to be published in their present form?
7. When are revisions requested?
Reviewers may recommend revisions for any or all of the following reasons: data need to be added to support the authors' conclusions; better justification is needed for the arguments based on existing data, or the clarity and/or coherence of the paper needs to be improved.
8. Are there any ethical or competing interest issues you would like to raise?
The study should adhere to ethical standards of scientific/medical research and the authors should declare that they have received ethics approval and/or patient consent for the study, where appropriate. Whilst we do not expect reviewers to delve into authors' competing interests if you are aware of any issues that you do not think have been adequately addressed, please inform the editorial office.
9. Are reviewers reminded of the importance of timely reviews?
If reviewers encounter or foresee any problems meeting the deadline for a report, they should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Any manuscript sent for peer review is a confidential document and should remain so until it is formally published.
Please also consider the following ethical guidelines provided by COPE for editors and reviewers:
Redundant (duplicate) submission and/or publication;
Suspected plagiarism in submitted manuscript and published article; and
Suspected fabricated data in submitted manuscript and published article.
The entire process of the manuscript submission and review is done online. Following the agreement to review the manuscript, the reviewer will register on the website through http://ijer.skums.ac.ir as Author and then will be allowed access to the manuscript by the Journal as Reviewer through Create Account/Login/Reviewer center. After completion of reviewing, he/she may put his/her comments again on the website. After submitting his/her comments, he/she will have access to other reviewers’ comments.