Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers

Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers


1)      The manuscript must be related to your area of expertise. Only accept if you can provide a high quality review. 

2)      If you have a potential conflict of interest, you must inform the editor when you respond. 

3)      Make sure you can allocate enough time since reviewing process can be a lot of work. 

4)      Before you commit, make sure you will be able to meet the deadline. 

5)      Invitations must be replied as soon as possible. Late invitation responses decelerate the review process.

6)      If you decline the invitation, suggest for alternative reviewers. 


When You Agree to Review


1)      The material you receive is confidential, which means that it is not to be shared with other parties without getting authorization from the editor.

2)      Any information regarding your review also cannot be shared with anyone without informing the editor and the author(s) as peer review is confidential.


Before you start


1)      Read the article to get an overall idea

2)      Take a break from it

3)      Give yourself some time to think

4)      Reread the article again in detail

5)      Consider the article from your perspective

6)      What the journal is looking for must be regarded when you start writing your review

7)      Have a copy of  a reviewing criteria that you need to use


Your review report


1)      Your review article is highly important as it helps the editor decide whether or not to publish the article

2)      It is necessary to give your opinions and observations on the article.

3)      Highlighting any deficiencies is a must

4)      Explain and support your judgment

5)      Editor(s) and author(s) should be able to understand the reasoning behind your comments

6)      Indicate whether your comments are your opinions or reflected by data

7)      Providing constructive feedback and  commenting in a courteous manner is essential

8)      Do not include any personal remarks and/or  personal details

9)      Do not add  your name in your comments




1)      Write a brief summary showing the editor(s) that you have read and fully understand the material

2)      Give your overall opinion of the research and include whether:


·         It is novel and/or interesting

·         It has an impact

·         Contributes to the knowledge base



3)      In your commentary include your opinions on layout and format, title, abstract, introduction, graphical abstracts and/or highlights, method, statistical errors, results, conclusion/discussion, language and references.


4)      Mention any journal specific points. If it happens to adhere to the journal’s standards, write it in your review

5)      If there is an issue of plagiarism, fraud or have other ethical concerns, share your suspicions with the editor in detail.



Your recommendation


Considering the categories the editor most likely uses for classifying the article:


Accept without revision

Accept with minor/major revision (explain the revision required, and indicate to the editor whether or not you would be happy to review the revised article)

Reject (explain reason in report in detail)



The final decision


It is editor’s decision whether to accept or reject the article. The editor takes all views and may call for a third opinion or ask the author for a revised paper .The online editorial system provides reviewers with a notification of the final decision, if the journal has opted in to this function. If this is not the case, you can contact the editor to find out if the article was accepted or rejected.