Guide for EJER reviewers
This guide for reviewers contains information about basic considerations that should be applied when reviewing a manuscript that has been submitted to EJER, and about the editorial standards of the journal.
Submitted manuscripts are usually reviewed by two experts.
The reviewer serves two major functions. The first function is to judge whether the manuscript merits publication (usually after revisions) by providing a global rating — that is, “Accept,” “Accept Pending Revisions,” “Reconsider After Major Revisions,” or “Reject.”
The second role is to provide constructive criticisms for the authors, regardless of whether the manuscript is deemed acceptable for eventual publication. Peer reviewers should also alert the editors of any issues relating to author misconduct such as plagiarism and unethical behavior.
EJER operates using a closed peer review system.
Publication of research articles by EJER is dependent primarily on their validity and coherence, as judged by peer reviewers and editors. The reviewers may also be asked whether the writing is comprehensible and how interesting they consider the article to be.
Submitted manuscripts will be sent for reviewing, unless they are out of scope or below the interest threshold of EJER, or if the presentation or written English is of an unacceptably low standard.
Points to consider
The written response of the reviewer to the author can be divided into two main sections. The first section contains general comments about the manuscript as a whole. Such comments about the study may focus on its: 1) relevance and importance to the field, 2) interest to the readership and multiple disciplines, and 3) originality of topic, data and methods. Additional comments can be offered about the: 1) length of the manuscript, e.g., is it too long and wordy, 2) the organization of the material, and 3) the grammar and style.
The second section of the review should offer specific comments, which can be organized by section, taking the same format as the manuscript. Here, manuscript page and paragraph numbers can be given to identify phrases, tables or figures that are in question.
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 learnt something new and if there is a clear conclusion from the study. Are the data sound and well controlled?
Please comment on any improvements that could be made to the study design to enhance the quality of the results. If you feel that inappropriate controls have been used please say so, 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.
Are the methods appropriate and well described, and are sufficient details provided 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. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the methods? If any additional experiments are required, please give details. If novel experimental techniques were used please pay special attention to their reliability and validity.
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? Do the figures appear to be genuine, i.e. without evidence of manipulation, and of a high enough quality to be published in their present form? Can the writing, organization, tables and figures be improved?
Although the editorial team may also assess the quality of the written English, please do comment if you consider the standard is below that expected for a scientific publication.
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?
If the manuscript is organized in such a manner that it is illogical or not easily accessible to the reader please suggest improvements.
When revisions are 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.
Are there any ethical or competing interests 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.
Any manuscript sent for peer review is a confidential document and should remain so until it is formally published. Are the included additional files (supplementary materials) appropriate?
Reviewers are asked to bear the editorial standards of EJER in mind and alert the editors if authors have not fully adhered to them. The reviewers should complete the reviewer's guide available at the journal site.