Guide for Reviewers
Articles that are submitted to the journal are initially viewed by co-editor in chief, who in turn redirects the submission to the specialized editorial board member who then forwarded the submission to highly qualified reviewers. The nomination of reviewers for each article is usually done by one of the editors who is specialized in submission topic after checking some general issues.
Peer review is a process of evaluating the quality, validity, and relevance of scholarly research. The process aims to provide authors with constructive feedback from relevant experts which they can use to make improvements to the work. Thus, ensuring the highest standard possible. Authors expect reviews to contain an honest and constructive judgment, which is completed in a timely manner and provides feedback that is both clear and concise.
If you have been asked to review a paper, the following frequently asked questions may be helpful.
How long time do I have for making the review?
Three weeks from the date of receipt of the article, unless otherwise agreed. Of course, it is an advantage, particularly for the authors if you can do it at once.
Is there a reviewing form to be filled in?
A form is available. The reviewing form will automatically be sent to all reviewers. Notice, however, that the use of the form is obligatory, and free-text reviews are also welcome.
If the paper is really weak, do you want me to make a full review anyway?
An explanation of what the author(s) have to do in order to do better next time is, of course, a service to them. However, if the answer is going to be no, then it's also in the authors' interest to get to know that quickly. Therefore we prefer speed over detail in such cases. In all other cases, a detailed review is expected.
What if You are Unable to Review?
Sometimes you will be asked to review a paper when you do not have sufficient time available. In this situation, you should make the editorial office aware that you are unavailable as soon as possible. It is beneficial if you can recommend an alternative expert or someone whose opinion you trust.
If you are unable to complete your report on a paper in the agreed time-frame required by the journal, please inform the editorial office as soon as possible so that the refereeing procedure is not delayed.
A quality review can not, in general, be reduced to answering questions in a standard form, and many reviewers feel that they can best express their assessment of the submitted article by writing a free-text memorandum. At the same time, there are a few questions that we like to get answered for each article and where a structured form is preferable. This reviewing form will automatically be sent to all reviewers.
Confidentiality and Anonymity
Strict adherence to the following principles is important in order to guarantee the integrity of the reviewing process.
Confidentiality of the Submitted Article
The contents and the very existence of a submitted manuscript must be considered as confidential until the article is published. If the article is not accepted for the journal, then all aspects of its review in this journal are to be considered as confidential without time limit. Reviewers are requested to adhere to this important principle.
Anonymity of Reviewers
Authors will not know the identity of the reviewers unless the reviewer herself chooses to divulge her identity. Reviewers know the identity of the authors. Reviewers normally get to see the other reviews of the same article after they have returned their own review, but will normally not know the identity of the other reviewers. Exceptions to the last rule are sometimes made in case of strongly conflicting reviews, where the reviewers may be invited to interact in order to find out whether this leads one of them to adopt the other one's position on the paper.
Reviewers are of course free to divulge their identity to the authors if they should desire so.
Reviews that are returned as PDF or Word documents may be labeled with the identity of the author of that document in their data field. It is the responsibility of the reviewer to remove such information from the review document before it is returned to the editors.
Confidentiality of Reviews
Reviewers are requested to consider all reviews as confidential. This applies both to the reviews they write themselves, and to those made by the other reviewers.
Definition of Confidentiality
The term 'confidential' as used above, implies (1) that the reviewer shall keep confidential material in a safe place where it can’t be accessed by others, (2) that he/she shall not divulge the confidential material to any other person except if approved by an Editor or (Co)Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, and (3) that any other person that obtains access to the material, after approval, shall also be informed about and accept the same rule.
COPE has developed Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers, which can view as guidance.
Reviewers Guidelines (In Arabic), الخطوات الواجب اتباعها من قبل المقوم عند تلقيه دعوة لتقويم ورقة بحثية: PDF
Download COPE Flowchart of "What to consider when asked to peer review a manuscript" (PDF)
Reviewers’ responsibilities are:
- Reporting possible research misconducts.
- Making recommendations to the editor regarding the suitability of the manuscript for publication in the journal.
- Declaring to the editor any potential conflicts of interest with respect to the authors or the content of a manuscript they are asked to review.
- Not making any use of the work described in the manuscript.
- Not communicating directly with authors, if somehow they identify the authors.
- Not identifying themselves to authors.
- Not passing on the assigned manuscript to another reviewer.
- Informing the editor if he/she finds the assigned manuscript is under consideration in any other publication to his/her knowledge.