Invitation to Review
Manuscripts submitted to AJES journals are reviewed by at least two experts, who can be volunteer reviewers, members of the Reviewer Board or reviewers suggested by the academic editor during the preliminary check. Reviewers are asked to evaluate the quality of the manuscript and to provide a recommendation to the external editor on whether a manuscript should be accepted, requires revisions, or should be rejected.
We ask invited reviewers to:
- accept or decline any invitations as soon as possible (based on the manuscript title and abstract);
- suggest alternative reviewers if an invitation must be declined;
- request a deadline extension as soon as possible in case more time is required to provide a comprehensive report.
Before you accept or decline an invitation to review, consider the following questions:
Q1) Does the article match your area of expertise?
Only accept if you feel you can provide a high-quality review.
Q2) Do you have a potential conflict of interest?
Disclose this to the editor when you respond.
Q3) Do you have time?
Reviewing can be a lot of work – before you commit, make sure you can meet the deadline.
How to peer review for AJES?
The reviewer report should comprehensively critique the submission and consist of much more than a few brief sentences. AJES does not require a specific structure for reports, however, a suggested format is:
- Major issues
- Minor issues
We encourage reviewers to help authors improve their manuscript. The report should give constructive analysis to authors, particularly where revisions are recommended. Where reviewers do not wish authors to see certain comments, these can be added to the confidential comments to the editor in chief. While expectations vary by discipline, some core aspects that should be critiqued by reviewers may include:
- Are the research questions valid?
- Is the sample size sufficient?
- Is there necessary ethical approval and/or consent and was the research ethical?
- Are the methods and study design appropriate for answering the research question?
- Do the experiments have appropriate controls?
- Is the reporting of the methods, including any equipment and materials, sufficiently detailed that the research might be reproduced?
- Are any statistical tests used appropriate and correctly reported?
- Are the figures and tables clear and do they accurately represent the results?
- Has previous research by the authors and others been discussed and have those results been compared to the current results?
- Are there any inappropriate citations, for example, not supporting the claim being made or too many citations to the authors own articles?
- Do the results support the conclusions?
- Are limitations of the research acknowledged?
- Is the abstract an accurate summary of the research and results, without spin?
- Is the language clear and understandable?
To help authors receive timely reviews, reviewer reports should be submitted via the manuscript tracking system on or before the agreed deadline. Reviewers should contact AJES if they are unable to meet the deadline so an alternative date can be arranged.
We encourage reviewers to focus their reports on objectively critiquing the scientific aspects of the submission, including the soundness of the methodology and whether the conclusions can be supported by the results. Comments may also be given on novelty and the potential impact of the work. At the end of their review, we ask reviewers to recommend one of the following actions:
- Minor Revision
- Major Revision
- Unable to Review
We have listed some general instructions regarding the review report for your consideration below.
To begin with, please consider the following guidelines:
- Read the whole article as well as the supplementary material, if there is any, paying close attention to the figures, tables, data, and methods.
- Your report should critically analyze the article as a whole but also specific sections and the key concepts presented in the article.
- Please ensure your comments are detailed so that the authors may correctly understand and address the points you raise.
- Reviewers must not recommend citation of work by themselves, close colleagues, another author, or the journal when it is not clearly necessary to improve the quality of the manuscript under review.
- Reviewers must not recommend excessive citation of their work (self-citations), another author’s work (honorary citations) or articles from the journal where the manuscript was submitted as a means of increasing the citations of the reviewer/authors/journal. You can provide references as needed, but they must clearly improve the quality of the manuscript under review.
- Please maintain a neutral tone and focus on providing constructive criticism that will help the authors improve their work. Derogatory comments will not be tolerated.
Review reports should contain the following:
- A brief summary (one short paragraph) outlining the aim of the paper, its main contributions and strengths.
- General concept comments
Article: highlighting areas of weakness, the testability of the hypothesis, methodological inaccuracies, missing controls, etc.
Review: commenting on the completeness of the review topic covered, the relevance of the review topic, the gap in knowledge identified, the appropriateness of references, etc.
These comments are focused on the scientific content of the manuscript and should be specific enough for the authors to be able to respond.
- Specific comments: referring to line numbers, tables or figures that point out inaccuracies within the text or sentences that are unclear. These comments should also focus on the scientific content and not on spelling, formatting or English language problems, as these can be addressed at a later stage by our internal staff.
General questions to help guide your review report for research articles:
- Is the manuscript clear, relevant for the field and presented in a well-structured manner?
- Are the cited references mostly recent publications (within the last 5 years) and relevant? Does it include an excessive number of self-citations?
- Is the manuscript scientifically sound and is the experimental design appropriate to test the hypothesis?
- Are the manuscript’s results reproducible based on the details given in the methods section?
- Are the figures/tables/images/schemes appropriate? Do they properly show the data? Are they easy to interpret and understand? Is the data interpreted appropriately and consistently throughout the manuscript? Please include details regarding the statistical analysis or data acquired from specific databases.
- Are the conclusions consistent with the evidence and arguments presented?
- Please evaluate the ethics statements and data availability statements to ensure they are adequate.
General questions to help guide your review report for review articles:
- Is the review clear, comprehensive and of relevance to the field? Is a gap in knowledge identified?
- Was a similar review published recently and, if yes, is this current review still relevant and of interest to the scientific community?
- Are the cited references mostly recent publications (within the last 5 years) and relevant? Are any relevant citations omitted? Does it include an excessive number of self-citations?
- Are the statements and conclusions drawn coherent and supported by the listed citations?
- Are the figures/tables/images/schemes appropriate? Do they properly show the data? Are they easy to interpret and understand?
The content of your review report will be rated by an Academic Editor from a scientific point of view as well as general usefulness to the improvement of the manuscript. The overall grading results will be used as a reference for potential promotion of Reviewer Board Members, Volunteer Reviewer Board members and regular Reviewers.
Manuscripts under peer review should be strictly confidential. Reviewers must not share manuscripts or discuss their content with anyone outside the peer review process.
Reviewers may, on request, consult with colleagues from their research group trusting that the confidentiality of the manuscript is maintained. Reviewers should first contact AJES or the Editor in Chief and note the name of the colleague(s) in the ‘Comments to the editor’ section of their report.
Conflicts of interest
Reviewers should decline to review a submission when they:
- Have a financial interest in the subject of the work.
- Have previously discussed the manuscript with the authors.
- Feel unable to be objective.
Applications to review
We appreciate applications to join our community of peer reviewers. Our Editorial Board select reviewers on a manuscript-by-manuscript basis. In each case, they invite the most appropriate scientists from their own specialty and/or publication list. To ensure we have your up-to-date contact details, interested reviewers should register for a user account.