Peer review is used to assess the quality and accuracy of manuscripts prior to publication. It is also used to improve manuscripts.
Manuscripts are blind peer-reviewed by two (and sometimes three) reviewers.
When submitting a manuscript, authors are asked to put author(s) names, affiliations, acknowledgements, and any identifying information on a separate cover sheet (or in a separate file), which the editors will remove prior to the script going to reviewers. Editors will also check that any identifying detail has been removed before accepting the manuscript into the peer-review process.
Authors are provided with a copy (or summary) of the reviewers’ feedback. This is regarded as a formative process to assist authors to improve the quality of their manuscript.
Should a manuscript be declined, the author needs to show how they have responded to the feedback when re-submitting. Re-submitted manuscripts will be blind peer-reviewed by one of the original reviewers and a second reviewer who has not seen the manuscript before.
Should a manuscript be accepted pending minor changes or improvements, changes will be checked by editors prior to final acceptance for publication.
Where the opinions of the reviewers differ on the quality of a manuscript, the editors will carefully assess the evaluations and make a decision. In this case the editor may decide to seek evaluation of the manuscript from a third reviewer. Authors will be advised when a further review is needed.
All reviewers are suitably qualified experts.
No reviewer will be asked to review a manuscript of an author/s who he/she works with or belongs to the same institution or organisation.
Reviewers are asked not to share, copy, or any way breach the strict confidentiality of the manuscript under review.
Reviewers have the right to decline doing an evaluation of a manuscript, even after reading it. Reasons may include that they feel they do not have sufficient expertise in the subject matter or method, and that they feel they may not be able to do an objective review.
If a reviewer has any interest that may impair their objectivity, the reviewer is asked to notify and discuss this with an editor. If the conflict of interest is able to be managed, declaration of this may be sufficient.
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