As a peer reviewer for a Science Partner Journal, you are part of a valued community. Scientific progress depends on the communication of information that can be trusted, and the peer review process is a vital part of that system.
Only some of the papers submitted to Science Partner Journals are reviewed in depth. Reviewers may be selected to evaluate separate components of a manuscript. We greatly appreciate the time spent in preparing a review and will consult reviewers on a revision of a manuscript only if we believe the paper has been significantly improved but still requires input. The final responsibility for decisions of acceptance or rejection of a submitted manuscript lies with the editor.
Guidelines for Reviewers
- Be objective. If a reviewer cannot judge a paper impartially, they should not accept the invitation to review it. If a reviewer has any professional, personal, or financial affiliations that are or even may be perceived as a conflict of interest in reviewing the manuscript, they should not accept the invitation to review, or, if this conflict of interest is uncovered after seeing the full manuscript materials, they should recuse themselves immediately and fully inform the journal editors. If there is an aspect of a manuscript that a reviewer feels they are not qualified to evaluate, they should inform the editor.
- Provide considerate and useful comments. Reviews should be constructive and courteous, and the reviewer should respect the intellectual independence of the author. The reviewer should avoid personal comments; The Science Partner Journal editors reserve the right to edit out comments that will hinder constructive discussion of manuscripts. If something is unclear due to the language please address this in the review, however reviewers are not expected to edit/correct the grammar or language in the manuscript. Please restrict review comments directed to the authors to the scientific content. If you feel that English language editing is recommended, please note this in your confidential comments to the editor.
- Work promptly. Just as a reviewer may wish prompt evaluations of their own research, we request they return reviews within the time period specified when asked to review the paper. If events will prevent a timely review, it is the reviewer’s responsibility to inform the editor at the time of the request.
- Maintain anonymity. The review process is conducted anonymously. The Science Partner Journals never reveal the identity of reviewers to authors. The privacy and anonymity provisions of this process extend to the reviewer, who should not reveal his or her identity to outsiders or members of the press. The review itself will be shared only with the author, editor, and possibly with other reviewers (anonymously).
- Maintain confidentiality. The submitted manuscript is a privileged communication and must be treated as a confidential document. Reviewers should destroy all copies of the manuscript after review and not share the manuscript with any colleagues without the explicit permission of the editor. Reviewers should not make personal or professional use of the data or interpretations before publication without the authors’ specific permission (unless they are invited to write an editorial or commentary to accompany the article).
- Know our Editorial Policies. Reviewers should be aware of the Science Partner Journal policies regarding conflict of interest, data availability, and materials sharing. To review these guidelines, please visit the Publication Ethics page.
Criteria for Evaluation
- Scope: The manuscript should fall within the scope of the journal.
- Novelty: The information should not already exist in the literature. It should be innovative and answer an important question within the field. Ideally, it should also have the potential for implications outside of the field.
- Methods: The approach should be clear, appropriate, rigorous, and current.
- Conclusions: The evidence provided should justify the conclusions and the conclusions should be compelling enough to deserve rapid publication.