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The Role of a Reviewer

Refereeing is an essential component in promoting excellence in research, authorship, and the dissemination of knowledge. Referees help the Editors to decide which papers to publish. In return they gain insight into current thinking, trends and the results of research before these come into the public domain.

Reviewers should spend the appropriate and necessary time to provide the Editors and the authors a thorough and unbiased review.

It is the reviewer’s responsibility to ensure that only high-quality papers are published, and that the author(s) are protected from putting poor work into print. From this perspective, the reviewer should not only read the papers thoroughly to find errors but should also make recommendations to the author(s) as to how the paper might be improved.

Please strive to maintain a positive, impartial attitude toward the manuscript under review. 

Conflict of interest
Before reviewing a paper, the reviewer should ensure that there is no conflict of interest in his/her reviewing the paper.

General Guidelines for Reviewers

  • An unpublished manuscript is a privileged document. Review and handle the manuscripts in the strictest confidence.
  • A double-blind review process is used in the interest of objectivity, in that the author is not identified to the reviewers and the reviewers are not identified to the author. If you suspect the article as the probable work of a particular person, please do not attempt to contact the author to discuss the manuscript.
  • The Editorial Board appreciates the value of a reviewer’s recommendations but may consider several reviewer recommendations.  Therefore, do not make specific comments about the acceptability of an article in your comments for transmission to the author. 
  • Please ensure that your review is comprehensive. The peer reviewer should focus on the substance of the article. Comments on grammar, punctuation and spelling are welcome, but not expected.
  • Read the draft more than once, looking for high-level matters such as interest level, general organization, and clarity of discussion
  • Avoid making comments or criticisms based on your own personal style. Refer to accepted guidelines, concepts and rules and present your suggestions fairly and clearly.
  • Fully explain the problems you find. Provide specific details from the draft to illustrate. Attempt to suggest ways to correct the problem. 
  • Find positive, encouraging things to say about the draft that you are reviewing. 
  • Should you have any questions regarding the peer-review process, your role as a peer-reviewer or these guidelines, do not hesitate to contact a member of the Editorial Team.

(Text adapted with permission from the Guidelines for Editorial Advisors for Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Journal.)

Peer Reviewer Guidelines

Here are the general guidelines for peer reviewers suggested by Committee on Publication Ethics, and following is a list of peer review guidelines practised by scholarly journals: