Introduction: The review process is an important aspect of the publication process of a research article. It results in the final decision of an editor in the publication or otherwise of the research article. It also helps the author to improve the quality of the manuscript.
All research articles will undergo a blind peer review system.
Appointed reviewers should before accepting to review a manuscript make sure that:
- they have expertise in the area of the manuscript
- dedicate the needed time to undertake the review of the manuscript
- Undertake critical scientific review of the manuscript.
Conflict of Interest: Conflict of interest exists when there is one’s interest in the manuscript under review by the reviewer or divergence between an individual’s private interests or possibly competing interests and the reviewers’ responsibilities to scientific and publishing activities such that a reasonable individual might wonder if the individual’s actions, behaviour or decision is influenced as a result of these competing interests.
It is mandatory for reviewers to declare any “conflict of interest” in relation to manuscript under their review and as well recuse themselves from the review process of the manuscript if such conflict of interest do exists.
“Reviewers should declare their conflicts of interest and recuse themselves from the peer-review process if a conflict exists”.
Review Confidentiality: Reviewers are to review manuscripts under high level of confidentiality and details of the manuscript content as well as the review process should remain confidential in the review process and after review. Manuscripts are to be considered as confidential materials entrusted in the journal and its reviewers and should therefore be solely considered for scientific critical evaluation.
Plagiarism: The definition of plagiarism ‘The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own’ should guide the work of the reviewer.
Openness and Fairness: Reviewers should be open in the review process and present a very honest and objective decision at the end of the review process. It is advised that manuscript reviewers under no circumstances allow themselves to be influenced based on:
- Origin of the manuscript
- Religious, political or cultural viewpoint of the author
- Race, ethnicity, gender or citizenry of the author
Preparation of Review Reports
In evaluating a manuscript, reviewers should focus on the following:
- Knowledge contribution to the field or area of research
- Scientific and technical quality of the manuscript
- Clarity or unambiguous presentation of the research results
- Depth of research
- Ensure authors instructions/guidelines are followed
- Editorial policies and research publication ethics are followed
An accurate, objective, constructive, concise and unambiguous report from the reviewer is expected. Comments should be backed by facts and constructive arguments with regards to the content of the manuscript. The nonuse of abusive language is advised in reviewers report.
Timeliness: A thorough review process is expected and therefore reviewers should only accept manuscript that they dedicate quality time in reviewing. Timely submission of review reports is recommended and advised.
Recommendations: Reviewers’ recommendation should be either:
- Accept without corrections
- Accept but requires minor corrections
- Accept but requires moderate revision
- Accept but requires major revision
- Not suitable for the journal. Submit to another publication such as (suggest a journal):
Recommendation should be backed with constructive arguments and facts based on the content of the manuscript.