Peer review is a fundamental component of scholarly publishing and a process that ensures the validity and quality of scientific literature. It involves the evaluation of research work by experts (peers) in the relevant field, aiming to assess its rigor, coherence, and contribution to existing knowledge.
Key aspects of peer review:
Peer review serves as an effective tool for assessing research, facilitating the selection of top-quality articles for publication.
Through the process of review and suggested revisions, peer review enhances the overall quality of the published article, providing the author with valuable insights into their research.
Peer review supports integrity in research through the rigor of the process itself. If the article is being peer reviewed, it’s being scrutinized in detail, so that readers can trust in the validity and accuracy of the research they're reading.
The peer review system also fosters a sense of community, enabling fruitful interactions and networking within the research community.
At SciencePG, we consider the peer review process crucial for maintaining the credibility and validity of the research we publish. Despite challenges, peer review remains the widely accepted method for validating research, and we are committed to upholding the highest standards of scholarship. By engaging expert reviewers, we ensure the rigor and trustworthiness of the published work, fostering confidence within the scientific community and beyond.
The primary peer review models include single-anonymized, double-anonymized, and open peer review. With time, variations such as transparent, collaborative, and post-publication peer reviews have evolved. Suitable new models will be integrated into our process as they emerge. Our goal is to remain at the cutting edge of scholarly publishing by embracing both traditional and innovative peer review models.
Here is a simplified guide to the different models of peer review:
Single Anonymized Review
Commonly referred to as "single-blind review", this is where reviewers are aware of the author's identity, but the author does not know the reviewers.
Double Anonymized Review
Also known as "double-blind review", the identities of both authors and reviewers are kept secret.
Open Peer Review
The identities of the author and the reviewer are disclosed to all parties, either during or after the review process.
Transparent Peer Review
The review report is published along with the final article. The reviewer has the option to disclose their identity.
Multiple reviewers collaborate to produce a unified report or the author improves the manuscript under the guidance of one or more reviewers.
Post Publication Review
This involves the review of a published paper, which can be either solicited or unsolicited. It does not exclude other forms of peer review.
SciencePG is committed to publishing high-quality scientific research. Each manuscript submitted to us undergoes a thorough review process conducted by at least two expert reviewers, who may be volunteer reviewers, members of our reviewer board, or suggested by the authors during the submission. These reviewers are integral in evaluating the manuscript's quality and offering recommendations on its suitability for publication.
To ensure an efficient and effective review process, we request reviewers to:
||Respond promptly to review invitations, based on their understanding and interest in the manuscript title and abstract.|
||Suggest alternative reviewers should they need to decline the invitation, ensuring that the manuscript still gets an expert perspective.|
||Request an extension, if necessary, to ensure a thorough and comprehensive review report.|
Before starting a review, there are several factors to consider:
||Timing: Reviews are expected to be completed with 7-10 days. Please communicate immediately with the editor if this deadline cannot be met.|
||Suitability: If there is any conflict of interest or other reasons that might impede an objective review, please inform the journal's editor.|
||Confidentiality: The content of the manuscript should not be shared without the editor's permission. If you suspect misconduct, only discuss it with the editor.|
||Co-reviewing: If you plan to collaborate on a review with a colleague or student, please inform the journal editor beforehand.|
The Elements of Review Reports:
Review reports for SciencePG are expected to offer a comprehensive evaluation of the submission, going beyond providing only short or concise remarks. Although SciencePG doesn't prescribe a strict report structure, we recommend the following format:
Include a short paragraph outlining the aim of the paper, its main contributions, and strengths.
General Concept Comments
||For Research Articles: Highlight any areas of weakness, such as testability of the hypothesis, methodological inaccuracies, missing controls, etc.|
||For Review Articles: Comment on the completeness and relevance of the review topic covered, the identified gap in knowledge, and the appropriateness of references.|
Remember, these comments should focus on the scientific content of the manuscript and be specific enough for the authors to respond.
Provide specific comments referring to line numbers, tables, or figures that point out inaccuracies within the text or unclear sentences.
Review Guide for Research Articles:
||Evaluate the clarity, relevance, and structure of the manuscript.|
||Assess the recency and relevance of the cited references, and look for an excessive number of self-citations.|
||Review the scientific soundness and the appropriateness of the experimental design.|
||Evaluate the reproducibility of the results based on the methods section.|
||Assess the figures/tables for appropriateness and interpretability. Comment on the statistical analysis or specific data.|
||Ensure the conclusions are consistent with the evidence and arguments presented.|
||Evaluate the ethics and data availability statements.|
Review Guide for Review Articles:
||Evaluate the clarity, comprehensiveness, and relevance of the review. Identify any gaps in knowledge.|
||Check for similar reviews published recently, and assess the current review's relevance and interest to the scientific community.|
||Review the recency and relevance of the cited references, look for omitted relevant citations, and check for an excessive number of self-citations.|
||Ensure the statements and conclusions are coherent and supported by the listed citations.|
||Assess the figures/tables for appropriateness and interpretability.|
In addition to review comments, the reviwer will likely be expected to select an overall recommendation to the editor. SciencePG’s most common recommendation types are:
Accept without any changes
This decision is reserved for exceptional manuscripts that demonstrate exemplary scholarship. The paper will be published in its original form.
Accept with minor revisions
Most accepted papers fall under this category. The manuscript shows promise, but requires minor amendments to enhance clarity, context or polish. Authors are encouraged to address these revisions diligently, using reviewer comments as guidance.
Consider after major revisions
This decision indicates that while the paper's central argument or findings are sound, significant revisions are necessary for publication. The author is required to address all the reviewer's comments carefully and provide a detailed response point by point.
Revise and resubmit
In cases where a manuscript shows potential but requires substantial changes, this decision will be given. Once the authors have made the requisite changes, the manuscript will be reassessed in another round of review.
Reject the paper
For manuscripts with considerable flaws or lack of original contribution, an outright rejection will be advised. Under such circumstances, the manuscript will not be reconsidered for publication, regardless of the revisions made.
Ethical considerations are vital when conducting a review, and it is crucial to be aware of potential issues. Should you encounter any of the following situations, we advise contacting the journal editor immediately.
At SciencePG, we urge reviewers to disclose any potential conflicts of interest and communicate with the journal editorial office if there's uncertainty about what may constitute a conflict. Conflicts of interest might include but are not limited to:
||Affiliation: Reviewers working at the same institution as any of the authors.|
||Academic Connection: Any academic interaction with the authors in the past three years, including co-authoring, collaboration, or joint grant holding.|
||Personal Relationship: Any close personal relationship, rivalry, or antipathy with any of the authors.|
||Financial Interest: Potential financial gain or loss from the publication of the manuscript.|
||Non-financial Conflicts: Other non-financial conflicts of interest (political, personal, religious, ideological, academic, intellectual, commercial or any other) with any of the authors.|
Reviewers should openly disclose any conflicts that could be perceived as bias for or against the manuscript or the authors.
Please note that having previously reviewed a manuscript for another journal is not considered a conflict of interest. In such a case, reviewers should inform the editorial office about any improvements compared to the previous version of the manuscript.
Also, reviewers are encouraged to comment on authors' disclosed conflicts of interest. If there are concerns that authors may not have fully disclosed financial, institutional, commercial, personal, ideological, or academic interests, these should be indicated in the reviewer report.
SciencePG operates a rigorous peer review process that requires reviewers to uphold strict confidentiality. Until the manuscript is published, the content, including the abstract, should remain confidential. Reviewers should avoid revealing their identities to the authors, either through their comments or metadata in reports submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format.
Reviewers may consult with colleagues from their research group given the confidentiality of the manuscript is upheld. If a reviewer wishes to involve a colleague in the review process, they must first inform the SciencePG editorial office.
If reviewers wish to disclose their identities, they can choose to do so by signing the review report. However, in all other instances, review reports are deemed confidential and will only be disclosed with the explicit permission of the reviewer.
We urge all our reviewers to respect the confidentiality of the review process and treat manuscripts as confidential documents. It is against our policy to disclose any aspect of the review process or the manuscript to anyone who is not directly involved.
If you suspect the manuscript has been previously published or concurrently submitted to another journal, please report this. Authors are obligated to disclose any prior publication or submission of their work for the editor's consideration, and proper attribution should be given if applicable.
SciencePG takes instances of copyright infringement, plagiarism, or any other breaches of publication best practices very seriously. We strive to protect our authors' rights and always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published works. Furthermore, we seek to maintain the reputation of our journals against any form of malpractice.
If you have concerns about the ethics of the research conducted, please raise them. Authors are responsible for declaring any potential conflicts of interest and acknowledging funding bodies that facilitated their research. It's also their responsibility to ensure that they have the necessary permissions for the use of any data or results sourced from others.