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Peer Review Guidelines

The following guidelines are intended to make experts aware of their responsibilities as well as benefits of being reviewers for OAE journals and help them complete the assigned review work correctly and efficiently.

Benefits of Reviewers

  • Reviewers play an important role in a high-quality peer-review and help authors improve their papers by providing their professional expertise; reviewers' awareness of the current research can also be expanded in turn;
  • An official reviewer certificate is provided at request;
  • Reviewers are included in the journal's Annual Acknowledgment of Reviewers;
  • Reviewers can add their review comments to Publons for the journals they reviewed and get recognition for the review work.

Peer Review Model

All manuscripts accepted by the journal would undergo rigorous and thorough single-blind peer review, which means that the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author(s). For more details about review process, please refer to Editorial Process.

Ethics of Peer Review

Reviewers must comply with the ethical regulations as below; any misconduct in peer review will be investigated seriously.

Potential Conflicts of Interest

Reviewers must declare all potential conflicts of interest, which may prejudice the review report either in a positive or negative way. Reviewers should not agree to review a manuscript with any conflicts of interest with their own research. Conflicts of interest may be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political or religious in nature. Reviewers are not allowed either to review a manuscript just to gain sight of it with no intention of submitting a review report, or agree to review a manuscript that is very similar to the one that the reviewer has in preparation or consideration at another journal.

Confidentiality

Reviewers must keep all contents of the manuscript confidential and refrain from using information obtained during the peer review process for the advantage of their own or other individuals. They should not reveal their identity to the authors, either in their comments or in metadata for reports submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format.  

Report Misconduct

Reviewers should report to the journal editor in case they come across any potential research or publication misconduct, like plagiarism or breaches to research ethics, etc. It is appropriate to cooperate with the journal in confidence, but not to personally investigate further unless the journal asks for additional information or advice.

Unbiased Comments

It is important for reviewers to remain unbiased regardless of the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, origins of a manuscript or other commercial considerations.

Timeliness

We strive to provide seamless high-quality publishing services to the academic community. Reviewers are expected to respond and submit review reports in a timely manner. Reviewers should contact the editors promptly if they require an extension to the review deadline. Similarly, reviewers are required to inform the editors as soon as possible if they find they do not have the adequate level of expertise to assess a manuscript to avoid any delay in the review process.

Rating Standards of Peer-Review

Reviewers are expected to assess the following aspects of a manuscript:

Overall Merit

Is there an overall benefit to publishing this work? Does the work provide an advance towards the current knowledge?

Novelty

Reviewers assess whether the manuscript reports novel research, uses innovative approaches, practices, methods, techniques, and theories, and whether it creates an advance in current knowledge. However, work that reproduces or refute major discoveries or concepts should also be considered important.

Originality and Importance

If the conclusions are not original, please provide relevant references. On a more subjective note, do you feel that the results presented are of immediate interest to many people in your discipline, and/or to people from several disciplines? Are the results interpreted appropriately? Are all conclusions justified and supported by the results? Are hypotheses and speculations carefully identified as such?

Clarity and Context

Is the abstract clear, accessible? Are abstract, introduction and conclusions appropriate?

Key Results

Please what you consider to be the outstanding features of the work. Are the results or data that support any conclusions shown directly or otherwise publicly available according to the standards of the field?

Data & Methodology

Please comment on the validity of the approach, quality of the data and quality of presentation. Please note that we expect our reviewers to review all data, including any extended data and supplementary information. Is the reporting of data and methodology sufficiently detailed and transparent to enable reproducing the results? Are the methods described in sufficient detail to understand the approach used and are appropriate statistical tests applied? Please list additional experiments or data that could help to strengthening the work in a revision.

Data Sharing

Authors should provide a statement about data sharing, where all raw data can be accessed or provided upon request.

Appropriate use of statistics and treatment of uncertainties

All error bars should be defined in the corresponding figure legends; please comment if that’s not the case. Please include in your report a specific comment on the appropriateness of any statistical tests, and the accuracy of the description of any error bars and probability values.

Conclusions

Do you find that the conclusions and data interpretation are robust, valid and reliable? Are the conclusions a reasonable extension of the results?

Quality of Presentation

Is the article written in an appropriate way? Are the data and analyses presented appropriately? Are the highest standards for the presentation of the results used?

Validity

Does the manuscript have flaws that should prohibit its publication? If so, please provide details.

Ethics

Does the study's design, data presentation, citations and writing style comply with standard COPE ethical guidelines and has proper consent been acquired as outlined in our Editorial Policies? All animal use should be approved by the institutional use and care committee and human subject studies have IRB approvals.

English Level

Is the English language appropriate and understandable?

Please indicate any particular part of the manuscript, data, or analyses that you feel is outside the scope of your expertise, or that you were unable to assess fully. If reviewers become aware of some scientific misconduct or fraud, plagiarism or any other unethical behavior related to the manuscript, they should raise these concerns with the in-house editor immediately.

All statements should be justified and argued in detail, naming facts and citing supporting references, commenting on all aspects that are relevant to the manuscript and that the referees feel qualified commenting on. Not all of the above aspects will necessarily apply to every paper, due to discipline-specific standards. When in doubt about discipline-specific refereeing standards, reviewer can contact the editor for guidance.

Review reports should contain:

A brief summary (one short paragraph) outlining the aim of the paper and its main contributions.
Broad comments highlighting areas of strength and weakness. Comments regarding deficiencies in the submitted work should be constructive and their judgment explained specifically enough so authors are able to respond and improve their article. The comments should be listed one by one clearly (preferably numbered).
Concluding comments summarizing reviewers’ final recommendation and explain the reason to editor only, but not to author.

Overall Recommendation

Please provide an overall recommendation for the publication of the manuscript as follows (do not include this recommendation in the comments to the authors):

  • Accept in Present Form: The paper is accepted without any further changes.
  • Accept after Minor Revisions: The manuscript is in principle accepted after a slight revision based on the reviewer’s comments.
  • Reconsider after Major Revisions: The acceptance of the manuscript would depend on the revisions. The manuscript would benefit from substantial changes such as expanded data analysis, or rewriting sections, or widening of the literature review, etc. The author needs to provide a point by point response or provide a rebuttal if some of the reviewer’s comments cannot be revised.
  • Rejection: The manuscript has serious flaws in data or experimental design or makes no original contribution, etc. The manuscript is rejected with no offer of resubmission to the journal.

Note that your recommendation is visible only to journal editors, not to the authors.