The Responsibility of the Peer Reviewer
The peer reviewer is responsible for critically reading and evaluating a manuscript in their specialty field, and then providing respectful, constructive, and honest feedback to authors about their submission. It is appropriate for the Peer Reviewer to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the article, ways to improve the strength and quality of the work and evaluate the relevance and originality of the manuscript allows the editor to assess the paper’s suitability for publication in the journal.
Why the review is important?
By acting as a reviewer, you can:
- Help authors improve their papers by providing your professional expertise. Gain a sense of prestige in being consulted as an expert!
- Play an important role in maintaining a good, rigorous peer-review process.
- Expand your awareness of the current research emerging within your field.
- Build relationships and improve your academic and professional profile. Although often anonymous, the review process can enable a discussion (between author, reviewer, and editor) around a research field or topic.
- Improve your own writing skills. Reviewing others work can make it easier to spot commons errors in your own.
Please consider the following:
- Visit the Indonesian Journal of Chemical Science homepage (to get a sense of the journal’s published content and house style. This will help you in deciding whether the paper being reviewed is suitable for the journal or not.
- Does the article you are being asked to review match your expertise? If you receive a manuscript that covers a topic that does not sufficiently match your area of expertise, please notify the editor as soon as possible. Please feel free to recommend alternate reviewer.
- Do you have time to review the paper? Finished reviews of an article should be completed within one months. If you do not think you can complete the review within this time frame, please let the editor know and if possible, suggest an alternate reviewer. If you have agreed to review a paper but will no longer be able to finish the work before the deadline, please contact the editor as soon as possible.
- Are there any potential conflicts of interests? While conflicts of interest will not disqualify you from reviewing the manuscript, it is important to disclose all conflicts of interest to the editors before reviewing. If you have any questions about potential conflicts of interests, please do not hesitate to contact the receiving editorial office.
When reviewing the article, please keep the following in mind:
- Refer to the Instructions for Authors to check if the paper meets the submission criteria of the journal (e.g. length, scope, and presentation).
- Content Quality and Originality,
- Organization and Clarity
- Title: Does it clearly describe the article?
- Abstract: Does it reflect the content of the article?
- Introduction: Does it describe what the author hoped to achieve accurately, and clearly state the problem being investigated? Normally, the introduction should summarize relevant research to provide context, and explain what other authors' findings, if any, are being challenged or extended. It should describe the experiment, the hypothesis(es) and the general experimental design or method.
- Method: Does the author accurately explain how the data was collected? Is the design suitable for answering the question posed? Is there sufficient information present for you to replicate the research? Does the article identify the procedures followed? Are these ordered in a meaningful way? If the methods are new, are they explained in detail? Was the sampling appropriate? Have the equipment and materials been adequately described? Does the article make it clear what type of data was recorded; has the author been precise in describing measurements?
- Results: This is where the author/s should explain in words what he/she discovered in the research. It should be clearly laid out and in a logical sequence. You will need to consider if the appropriate analysis has been conducted. Are the statistics correct? If you are not comfortable with statistics, please advise the editor when you submit your report. Interpretation of results should not be included in this section.
- Conclusion/Discussion: Are the claims in this section supported by the results, do they seem reasonable? Have the authors indicated how the results relate to expectations and to earlier research? Does the article support or contradict previous theories? Does the conclusion explain how the research has moved the body of scientific knowledge forward?
- Tables, Figures, Images: Are they appropriate? Do they properly show the data? Are they easy to interpret and understand?
- Scope - Is the article in line with the aims and scope of the journal?
Questions to consider
The main factors you should provide advice on as a reviewer are the originality, presentation, relevance, and significance of the manuscript’s subject matter to the readership of the journal.
Questions to have in mind when reading the manuscript (in no particular order):
- Is the submission original?
- Does the paper fit the scope of the journal?
- Would the paper be of interest to the readership of the journal?
- Does the paper help to expand or further research in this subject area?
- Does it significantly build on (the author’s) previous work?
- Do you feel that the significance and potential impact of a paper is high or low?
- Is the paper complete? Is there an abstract or summary of the work undertaken as well as a concluding section?
- Is the methodology presented in the manuscript and any analysis provided both accurate and properly conducted?
- Are all relevant accompanying data, citations, or references given by the author?
- Should it be shortened and reconsidered in another form?
- Would you recommend that the author reconsider the paper for a related or alternative journal?
- Is the submission in Standard English to aid the understanding of the reader?
Provide detailed comments
- These should be suitable for transmission to the authors: use the comment to the author as an opportunity to seek clarification on any unclear points and for further elaboration.
- If you have time, make suggestions as to how the author can improve clarity, succinctness, and the overall quality of presentation.
- Confirm whether you feel the subject of the paper is sufficiently interesting to justify its length; if you recommend shortening, it is useful to the author(s) if you can indicate specific areas where you think that shortening is required.
- It is not the job of the reviewer to edit the paper for English, but it is helpful if you correct the English where the technical meaning is unclear.
- A referee may disagree with the author’s opinions, but should allow them to stand, provided they are consistent with the available evidence.
- Remember that authors will welcome positive feedback as well as constructive criticism from you.
- Being critical whilst remaining sensitive to the author isn’t always easy and comments should be carefully constructed so that the author fully understands what actions they need to take to improve their paper. For example, generalized or vague statements should be avoided along with any negative comments which aren’t relevant or constructive.
- All submissions are confidential and please do not discuss any aspect of the submissions with a third party.
- If you would like to discuss the article with a colleague, please ask the editor first.
- Please do not contact the author directly.
- Plagiarism: If you suspect that an article is a substantial copy of another work, please let the editor know, citing the previous work in as much detail as possible
- Fraud: It is very difficult to detect the determined fraudster, but if you suspect the results in an article to be untrue, discuss it with the editor
- Other ethical concerns: For medical research, has confidentiality been maintained? Has there been a violation of the accepted norms in the ethical treatment of animal or human subjects? If so, then these should also be identified to the editor
Make a recommendation
Once you’ve read the paper and have assessed its quality, you need to make a recommendation to the editor regarding publication. The specific decision types used by a journal will vary but the key decisions are:
- Accept – if the paper is suitable for publication in its current form.
- Minor revision – if the paper will be ready for publication after light revisions. Please list the revisions you would recommend the author makes.
- Major revision – if the paper would benefit from substantial changes such as expanded data analysis, widening of the literature review, or rewriting sections of the text.
- Reject – if the paper is not suitable for publication with this journal or if the revisions that would need to be undertaken are too fundamental for the submission to continue being considered in its current form.