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Peer Reviewer Guideline

  • Peer review is the system for evaluating the quality, validity, and relevance of scholarly research. The process aims to provide authors with constructive feedback from relevant experts which they can use to make improvements to their work, thus ensuring it is of the highest standard possible. Authors expect reviews to contain an honest and constructive appraisal, which is completed in a timely manner and provides feedback that is both clear and concise.
    Invitation to Review
    Editors in JTCM match the topics covered in an article submission with potential peer reviewers who are experts in those topics. After identifying reviewers, we will send out invitations. Most invitations will include information about the article, such as the title and abstract, to help the reviewer decide if they should accept the invitation.
    Before agreeing to review for a journal, you should take note of the following:
     Let the editor know if your expertise and/or fields of interest cover the topic of the manuscript.
     Decline an invitation to review if there is a conflict of interest with one of the authors. Conflicts of interest may include relationships with academic advisors and/ or advisees, anyone at your current institution, members of your family, or people with whom you have collaborated during the last ten years.
     When declining a review, feel free to provide the contact information of a person who would be qualified to review the manuscript.
     Upon accepting an invitation you will be provided four weeks to complete your review. Reviewers that doesn't reply on time will be excluded from the Database of Reviewers.
    Rating the Manuscript
    Please rate the following aspects of the manuscript:
     Originality/Novelty: Is the question original and well defined? Is the work relevant and novel? Does it contain significant additional material to that already published? 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 presentation of the results used? Are any tables or graphics clear to read and labeled appropriately?
     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? Do the authors have addressed an important long-standing question with smart experiments?
     Appropriate References: Does the paper contain the appropriate referencing to provide adequate context for the present work?
     English Level: Is the submission in Academic English to aid the understanding of the reader? For non-native speakers, an English editing service may be useful.
    Overall 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 may 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.
    Note that your recommendation is visible only to journal editors, not to the authors.
    Review Report
    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 referring to line numbers, tables or figures. Reviewers need not comment on formatting issues that do not obscure the meaning of the paper, as these will be addressed by editors.
    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.

    Timely Review Reports 
    Sometimes you will be asked to review a paper when you do not have sufficient time available. In this situation, you should make the editorial office aware that you are unavailable as soon as possible. It is very helpful if you are able to recommend an alternative expert or someone whose opinion you trust.
    If you are unable to complete your report on a paper in the agreed time-frame required by the journal, please inform the editorial office as soon as possible so that the refereeing procedure is not delayed.
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