Guideline for Reviewers
Rigorous peer-review is the cornerstone of high-quality academic publishing. Rovedar is sincerely grateful to its reviewers for their valuable time and peer review of our submitted articles.
What will a reviewer earn at Rovedar?
Peer review is an essential part of the publication process, ensuring that the journal maintains its high-quality standards of published papers. Reviewing is often an unseen and unrewarded task, and we are striving our very best to recognize the efforts of reviewers.
Some common benefits for peer-reviewers:
- Reviewing unpublished papers provides insight into the latest research, aiding in staying current with the expanding scholarship within one’s expertise
- Engaging in this task provides a valuable experience that can be applied to a reviewer’s own writing and that of students and colleagues, fostering improvements.
- performing a meticulous and insightful review not only assists busy journal editors but is also sure to be appreciated and remembered
- Providing constructive criticism supports authors in their endeavors to enhance their research, writing, and chances of successful publication, even if the authors are initially unaware of the reviewer’s identity
- By validating, questioning, and enhancing research in the reviewer’s area of expertise, a valuable service is rendered to journal readers and the scholarly community as a whole.
- Evaluating and endorsing papers featuring valid and significant research contributes to the reviewers’ support and encouragement of excellent research, fostering the advancement of knowledge in the field.
- Reviewing also serves as a means to identify and prevent instances of plagiarism, intellectual misconduct, and unethical publication and research practices.
- Reviews empower editors to make informed publishing decisions, minimizing subpar scholarship and ensuring important stages in knowledge development are published. Consequently, resulting articles may enhance the journal’s readership and citations.
- Acting as a peer reviewer for a reputable scholarly journal is advantageous for reviewers’ career, influencing employment, promotions, research opportunities, and personal publication plans.
- Participating actively in the scholarly community through peer-reviewing establishes new connections and facilitates involvement in a valuable research network, enriching one’s professional journey.
- Exceptional performance in reviewing papers may lead to recognition in the form of positions on editorial or advisory boards, including roles as Associate or Chief Editor, allowing the opportunity to contribute to field knowledge in innovative ways.
When reviewing for our journals:
- The reviewer will receive a personalized reviewer certificate.
- Will be included in the journal’s annual acknowledgment of reviewers.
- Finally, Rovedar will waive or reduce publication fees if authors are willing to review papers by other scholars, so reviewing just might save reviewers a little money as well.
Invitation to Join Volunteer Reviewer Database
If you are interested in reviewing articles for the journals published by Rovedar, please complete this form.
Invitation to Review
Manuscripts submitted to the journals published by Rovedar are being subjected to be reviewed by at least three experts to ensure content quality. Reviewers are asked to evaluate the quality of the manuscript and to provide a recommendation to the external editor on whether a manuscript can be accepted, requires revisions, or should be rejected.
We ask invited reviewers to:
- Accept or decline any invitations quickly, based on the manuscript title and abstract,
- Suggest alternative reviewers who might be able to assist in the peer review process,
- Request an extension in case more time is required to compose a report.
As part of the assessment, reviewers will be asked to:
- Rate the originality, significance, quality of the presentation, scientific soundness, interest to the readers, overall merit, and English level of the manuscript,
- Provide an overall recommendation for the publication of the manuscript,
- Provide a detailed, constructive review report.
Potential Conflicts of Interests
We ask reviewers to inform us if they hold a conflict of interest that may prejudice the review report, either in a positive or negative way. The editorial office will check as far as possible before the invitation; however, we appreciate the cooperation of the reviewers in this matter.
Reviewers are required to consult the Editor if they have potential conflicts of interest due to competitive, collaborative, or other relationships with the authors, companies, or institutions associated with the paper. Reviewers must not use the content of the work they are reviewing before its publication to further their own interests.
Additionally, if a reviewer recommends citations to their own work or that of their associates, it should be based on genuine scientific reasons and not with the aim of boosting their citation count or increasing the visibility of their work or their associates. Reviewers must complete the conflict of interest disclosure form.
Confidentiality and Anonymity
Reviewers must exercise caution to avoid disclosing their identity to the authors, both in their comments and in the metadata of reports submitted in Microsoft Word.
It is important to mention that reviewers can access all review reports for the manuscripts they review through the online submission system after the final decision has been reached.
Timely Review Reports
At Rovedar, we aim to provide an efficient and high-quality publishing service to authors and the scientific community. We ask reviewers to assist by providing review reports in a timely manner. They are asked to contact the Editorial Office if they require an extension to the review deadline.
Peer-Review and Editorial Procedure
All manuscripts sent for publication in Rovedar journals are strictly and thoroughly peer-reviewed by experts (this includes research and review articles, automatic submissions, and invited papers). The Managing Editor of the journal will perform an initial check of the manuscript’s suitability upon receipt. The Editorial Office will then organize the peer-review process performed by independent experts and collect at least three review reports per manuscript. We ask our authors for adequate revisions (with the second round of peer-review if necessary) before a final decision is made. The final decision is made by the academic editor (usually the Editor-in-Chief of a journal). Accepted articles are copy-edited and English-edited.
Rating the Manuscript
Reviewers are requested to evaluate manuscripts according to the following aspects:
- Originality/Novelty: Is the question original and well defined? Do the results provide an advance in current knowledge?
- Significance: Are the results interpreted appropriately? Are they significant? Are all conclusions justified and supported by the results? Are hypotheses and speculations carefully identified as such?
- 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?
- Scientific Soundness: is the study correctly designed and technically sound? Are the analyses performed with the highest technical standards? Are the data robust enough to draw the conclusions? Are the methods, tools, software, and reagents described with sufficient details to allow another researcher to reproduce the results?
- Interest to the Readers: Are the conclusions interesting for the readership of the journal? Will the paper attract a wide readership, or be of interest only to a limited number of people?
- Overall Merit: Is there an overall benefit to publishing this work? Does the work provide an advance towards the current knowledge? Are the authors addressed an important long-standing question with smart experiments?
- English Level: Is the English language appropriate and understandable?
Manuscripts submitted to the journals published by Rovedar should meet the highest standards of publication ethics:
- Manuscripts should only report results that have not been submitted or published before, even in part.
- Manuscripts must be original and should not reuse text from another source without appropriate citation.
- For biological studies, the studies reported should have been carried out in accordance with generally accepted ethical research standards.
If reviewers discover instances of scientific misconduct, fraud, plagiarism, or any other unethical behavior related to the manuscript, it is imperative for them to promptly report these concerns to the in-house editor.
Reviewers are requested to provide an overall recommendation for the publication of the manuscript as follows:
- Accept in Present Form: The paper is accepted without any further changes.
- Accept after Minor Revisions: The paper is in principle accepted after revision based on the reviewer’s comments. The authors are given 14 days for minor changes.
- Reconsider after Major Revisions: The acceptance of the manuscript would depend on the revisions. The author needs to provide a point by point response or provide a rebuttal if some of the reviewer’s comments cannot be revised. The authors will be asked to resubmit the revised paper within 28 days, and the revised version will be returned to the reviewer for further comments.
- Reject: The article has serious flaws, makes no original contribution, and the paper is rejected with no offer of resubmission.
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. These comments should be specific enough for authors to be able to respond.
- Specific comments refer to line numbers, tables, or figures. Reviewers need not comment on formatting issues that do not obscure the meaning of the paper, as the editors will address these issues.
Note: Journals published by Rovedar follow several standards and guidelines, including those from the ICMJE (medical and veterinary journals), CONSORT (trial reporting), TOP (data transparency and openness), PRISMA (systematic reviews and meta-analyses), SAMPL, and ARRIVE (reporting of in vivo experiments). Reviewers familiar with the guidelines should report any concerns about their implementation.
Reviewers’ comments should not include an indication of whether you think the article should be accepted for publication. For further guidance on writing a critical review, please refer to the following documents:
- COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Committee on Publication Ethics. Available online.
- Hames, I. Peer Review and Manuscript Management in Scientific Journals: Guidelines for Good Practice. Wiley-Blackwell: Oxford, UK, 2007.
- Writing a journal article review. Australian National University: Canberra, Australia, 2010. Available online.
- Golash-Boza, T. How to write a peer review for an academic journal: Six steps from start to finish. Available online.
Guideline for Editors
The Editorial Board consists of a group of experts within the journal’s field. Members of the Editorial Board have various responsibilities, including reviewing submitted manuscripts, offering guidance on journal policies and scope, proposing topics for special issues that they might also guest edit, attracting new authors, and promoting the journal to their peers. They also assist editors in decision-making processes, especially in cases involving plagiarism claims or disagreements among reviewers.
The selection of Editorial Board members is a careful process undertaken by the journal’s editor(s) with input from the publisher. All board members are kindly asked to respond to the following question. Their input will assist the journal’s editors in determining their involvement.
-Will the editor handle or review manuscripts for more than one journal? If so, will the total expected number of manuscripts to be handled or reviewed be so high as to overburden the editor and reduce their ability to evaluate manuscripts in a timely and thorough manner?
– Will the editor make the final decision for manuscript acceptance in a specific subject for more than one major journal in the same field?
-Will doing so give that individual an unfair advantage as a main gatekeeper of published scholarly material in that subject, thereby limiting the diversity of opinion and thought in that area?
Typically, Editorial Boards are reviewed every two years, during which new members might be added, existing members might continue for another term, or some members might step down. Changes can also happen during this period, for instance, if a member resigns.
The Editorial Board significantly influences a journal’s quality. Editors should consider several factors, including the geographical representation of Board members to reflect the journal’s reach, ensuring that members’ expertise aligns with the journal’s scope, appointing representatives/ well-known professors from prominent universities/research institutes, considering individuals who have served as guest editors for special issues, authored key reviews, or excelled as top reviewers. Existing Board members can also provide valuable recommendations for potential new members.
At Rovedar, the editorial process operates with a combination of Internal (In-House) and External Editors. Internal Editors are mainly responsible for organizing, maintaining, and improving systematic publishing procedures. Both external and internal editors follow an ethical manner and professional courtesy in publishing activities.
Ethical Guidelines for Editors
Responsibilities of Internal Editors
Internal Editors (In-House Editors) are responsible for the timely movement of manuscripts through the editorial process. They provide technical support and timely guidance to authors, reviewers, and other Editors to facilitate smooth communication. Internal Editors present regular reports to the Managing Editor, assist the Editor in Chief and Managing Editor, and cultivate positive working relationships with Editors, authors, and reviewers.
Rovedar asks all journal editors to adhere to the ethical guidelines described in COPE Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.
General duties and responsibilities
- Actively seek the views of authors, readers, reviewers, and editorial board members about ways of improving their journal’s processes
- Encourage and be aware of research into peer review and reassess journal processes in the light of new findings
- Work to persuade their publishers to provide them with appropriate resources, guidance from experts and adequate training to perform their role in a professional manner and raise the quality of their journal
- Support initiatives designed to reduce academic misconduct
- Support initiatives to educate researchers about publication ethics
- Assess the effects of their journal policies on author and reviewer behavior and revise policies, as required, to encourage responsible behavior and discourage misconduct
- Ensure that any press releases issued by the journal reflect the message of the reported article and put it into context
Relations with readers
- Ensure that suitably qualified reviewers have reviewed all published reports of research (e.g., including statistical review where appropriate)
- Ensure that non-peer-reviewed sections of their journal are identified
- Adopt processes that encourage accuracy, completeness and clarity of research reporting (e.g., technical editing, use of the CONSORT checklist for randomized trials)
- Consider developing a transparency policy to encourage maximum disclosure about the provenance of non-research articles
- Adopt authorship or contributorship systems that promote good practice (i.e., so that listings accurately reflect who did the work) and discourage misconduct (e.g., ghost and guest authors)
- Inform readers about steps taken to ensure that submissions from members of the journal’s staff or editorial board receive an objective and unbiased evaluation
Relations with authors
- Publish clear instructions in their journals about submission and what they expect from authors
- Provide guidance about the criteria for authorship and/or who should be listed as a contributor
- Review author instructions regularly and provide links to relevant guidelines (e.g., ICMJE, COPE)
- Require all contributors to disclose related competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication
- Ensure that appropriate reviewers are selected for submissions (i.e., individuals who can judge the work and are free from disqualifying competing interests)
- Respect requests from authors that an individual should not review their submission, if these are well-reasoned.
- Be guided by the COPE flowcharts in cases of suspected misconduct or disputed authorship
- Publish details of how they handle cases of suspected misconduct (e.g., with links to the COPE flowcharts)
Relations with reviewers
- Provide clear advice to reviewers (which should be straightforward and regularly updated)
- Require reviewers to disclose any potential competing interests before agreeing to review a submission
- Encourage reviewers to comment on ethical questions and possible research misconduct raised by submissions, (e.g., unethical research design, insufficient detail on patient consent, or protection of research subjects, including animals)
- Encourage reviewers to ensure the originality of submissions and be alert to redundant publication and plagiarism
- Consider providing reviewers with tools to detect related publications (e.g., links to cited references and bibliographic searches)
- Seek to acknowledge the contribution of reviewers to the journal
- Encourage academic institutions to recognize peer-review activities as part of the scholarly process
- Monitor the performance of peer reviewers and take steps to ensure this is of high quality
- Develop and maintain a database of suitable reviewers, and update this on the basis of reviewer performance
- Remove from the journal’s database any reviewers who consistently produce discourteous, poor-quality or late reviews
- Seek to add new reviewers to the database to replace those who have been removed (because of poor performance or other reasons)
- Ensure that the reviewer database reflects the academic community for their journal (e.g., by auditing the database in terms of reviewer age, gender, location, etc.)
- Use a wide range of sources (not just personal contacts) to identify potential new reviewers (e.g., author suggestions, bibliographic databases)
- Follow the COPE flowchart in cases of suspected reviewer misconduct
Relations with editorial board members
- Identify suitably qualified editorial board members who can actively contribute to the development and good management of the journal
- Appoint editorial board members for a fixed term of office (e.g., three years)
- Provide clear guidance to the editorial board members about their expected functions and duties; these might include:
- Acting as ambassadors for the journal
- Supporting and promoting the journal
- Seeking out the best authors and best work (e.g., from meeting abstracts) and actively encouraging submissions
- Reviewing submissions to the journal
- Accepting commissions to write editorials, reviews, and commentaries on papers in their specialist area
- Attending and contributing to editorial board meetings
- Consult editorial board members regularly (at least once a year) to gauge their opinions about the running of the journal, inform them of any changes to journal policies, and identify future challenges
Relations with journal owners and publishers
- Establish mechanisms to handle disagreements between themselves and the journal owner/publisher with due process (https://www.wame.org/resources/policies)
- Have a written contract(s) setting out their relationship with the journal’s owner and/or publisher (the terms of this contract should be in line with the COPE Code of Conduct)
- Communicate regularly with their journal’s owners and publishers
Editorial and peer-review processes
- Ensure that people involved with the editorial process (including themselves) receive adequate training and keep abreast of the latest guidelines, recommendations, and evidence about peer review and journal management
- Keep informed about research into peer review and technological advances
- Adopt peer-review methods best suited for their journal and the research community it serves
- Review peer-review practices periodically to see if the improvement is possible
- Refer troubling cases to COPE, especially when questions arise that are not addressed by the COPE flowcharts, or new types of publication misconduct are suspected
- Consider appointing an ombudsperson to adjudicate in complaints that cannot be resolved internally
- Have systems in place to detect falsified data, e.g., manipulated photographic images or plagiarized text (either for routine use or when suspicions are raised)
- Base decisions about journal house style on relevant evidence of factors that increase the quality of reporting (e.g., adopting structured abstracts, applying guidance such as CONSORT) rather than simply on aesthetic grounds or personal preference
Protecting individual data
- Publish their policy on publishing individual data (e.g., identifiable patient details or images) and explain this clearly to authors
Encouraging academic integrity
- Request evidence of ethical research approval for all relevant submissions and be prepared to question authors about aspects such as how patient consent was obtained or what methods were employed to minimize animal suffering
- Ensure that reports of clinical trials cite compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki, Good Clinical Practice, and other relevant guidelines to safeguard participants
- Ensure that reports of experiments on, or studies of, animals consider animal welfare (see IAVE-Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics and Welfare) and pay attention to “Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching, 4th edition, 2020”.
- Consider appointing a journal ethics panel to advise on specific cases and review journal policies periodically
Ensuring the integrity of the academic record
- Take steps to reduce covert redundant publication, e.g., by requiring all clinical trials to be registered
- Ensure that published material is securely archived (e.g., via permanent online repositories, such as Portico)
- Have systems in place to allow authors to make original research articles freely available
- Use software for detecting plagiarism (e.g., software, searching for similar titles) in submitted items (either routinely or when suspicions are raised)
- Support authors whose copyright has been breached or who have been the victims of plagiarism
- Be prepared to defend authors’ rights and pursue offenders (e.g., by requesting retractions or removal of material from websites) irrespective of whether their journal holds the copyright
- Have policies and systems in place to ensure that commercial considerations do not affect editorial decisions
- Publish a description of their journal’s income sources (e.g., the proportions received from display advertising, reprint sales, special supplements, page charges, etc.)
- Ensure that the peer-review process for sponsored supplements is the same as that used for the leading journal
- Ensure that items in sponsored supplements are accepted solely on the basis of academic merit and interest to readers and is not influenced by commercial considerations
Conflicts of interest
- Publish lists of relevant interests (financial, academic, and other kinds) of all editorial staff and members of editorial boards (which should be updated at least annually)
- Adopt suitable policies for handling submissions from themselves, employees, or members of the editorial board to ensure an unbiased review (and have these set out in writing). For more details see here.
*Note. All editors are required to assist the journal by providing reports in a timely manner.
Editors should notify the journal editor-in-chief of any changes in their email address.