The purpose of peer review
Peer review is a critical element of scholarly publication, and one of the major cornerstones of the scientific process. It ensures that published research is sound and properly verified and improves the quality of the research.
Reviewers for SSRG journals are selected by the handling editors on the basis of their knowledge of the field. Reviewer names are anonymised so authors will not be informed of the identity of the reviewers. You must therefore take care not to identify yourself or your institution in your comments. Note also that the material you will be reviewing is confidential and must not be used for your own work.
Before agreeing to review
- We usually ask our reviewers to submit their comments within four weeks of agreeing to review a paper, although extensions can be granted. If you do not have time to review the article, please let the editor/ editorial office know. Suggestions for alternative reviewers are always welcome.
- Conflict of interest: As a reviewer, your task is to critically and constructively judge the content of a manuscript. A conflict of interest could be:
- your PhD student or PhD advisor;
- family relations;
- people at your current institution;
- people whose research you fund or who fund you;
- Collaborators in the past two years.
Reviewing a paper
As a reviewer, it is important that you remain objective in your critical appraisal. You should not allow your personal prejudice about research topics or researchers to influence your judgment. Your comments should be professional and courteous, and should help the author to improve their paper and present their research as clearly and concisely as possible.
If you have reasons to believe that the material is not original or has been plagiarised, please alert the handling editor or the editorial office.
When reviewing a paper, you should take into consideration the following:
- Originality and quality: Is the paper of sufficient interest for publication in the journal? Does it contribute significantly to the current state of the research field? Is the topic handled substantively and accurately in appropriate detail and scope?
- Structure: abstract, introduction, method, results, conclusion.
- Engagement with previous research and results (e.g. does the author engage with current/ relevant research in the field).
- Language: You do not need to correct the English, however, if a paper is difficult to understand due to grammatical errors, please mention this in your report.
Submitting your report
Please submit your report [i.e. the filled score card] through the mail we send you the article.
If you need any assistance, please contact the editorial office.
Scoring and submitting your review
Reviewer Scorecard particulars:
- Originality: Does the paper contain new and significant information adequate to justify publication?
- Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored?
- Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts or other ideas? Has the research or equivalent intellectual work on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate?
- Results: Are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?
- Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?
- Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the field and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.
You also have the ability to attach files to your review. If you attach any files, please ensure that they are anonymous maintaining the blind review process.
Please ensure you complete all required sections of your review report. These fields will be marked with a red "req" symbol. Try to avoid straight yes or no answers when completing the scorecard. In some cases the journal may also require you to complete a further questionnaire and this will be sent to you when you accept the invitation to review a manuscript.
After you have completed the written fields on the Scorecard, you are required to make a recommendation to the Editor as to the next step for the journal. The Recommendation criteria may vary from journal to journal. The Editor will take your overall recommendation into account.
- Minor Revisions
- Major Revisions
What's the difference between "minor" and "major" revisions?
This varies from journal to journal. However, minor revisions may more often require the author to make relatively small adjustments to the paper, the type of which that would not take too much more time. These may be to bring the paper more in line with author guidelines with a slightly reduced word count, formatting changes or the labelling of tables or figures; further evidence of an understanding of the extant research literature; or to elaborate a little more on the research findings.
Major revisions might require the author to make more significant improvements, the type of which that may take weeks or even months rather than days. Authors may be asked to address flaws in the methodology; collect more data; conduct a more thorough analysis; or even adjust the research question to ensure the paper contributes something truly original to the body of work.
The exact motivations behind an Editor's decision are always unique. Importantly, constructive feedback should be provided by the reviewers so that authors are clear on how to improve their papers.
Content & Technical issues
Any questions relating to the content of the paper or any other issues should be addressed to the journal Editor or editorial office.