Setting up the review process

Each journal should list their full Reviewer Guidelines on a separate page that can be accessed from the journal home page (example: Reviewer Guidelines in Nammco). The Review Guidelines should focus on the ethical aspects of the peer review process. COPE's ethical Guidelines for peer reviewers is a good place to start. 

Recommended settings under Workflow > Review

  • Review forms: using review forms is a way to have reviewers address the issues that you want them to address. It also standardizes the review process, making it easier to compare reviews. If you use review forms, remember to add a free text box that is not sent to the author, only to the editor 
  • Check the box for “Present a link to Ensuring a Blind Review during upload”.
  • Add the journal’s Competing Interest statement, e.g.:
    • As stated in COPE's ethical Guidelines for peer reviewers: "It is important to remain unbiased by considerations related to the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, origins of a manuscript or by commercial considerations". Please disclose any possible competing interests that might prevent you from providing a fair and unbiased review in the box below. 
  • Check the box for “Request a Competing Interest statement during the peer review”.
  • Add an abbreviated form of your Review Guidelines, e.g.:
    • Reviewers for [journal name] are expected to comply with the Committee on Publication Ethics' Ethical guidelines for peer-reviewers. This includes:
      • Respect the confidentiality of the peer review process, refrain from using information obtained during the process and do not involve anyone else without prior consent from the editor.
      • Notify the editor if you discover any competing interests that might prevent you from providing a fair and unbiased review.
      • Be objective and constructive in your review, providing feedback that will help the author(s) improve the manuscript.
      • Give a fairhonest and unbiased assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript.
      • Suggestions to improve clarity are welcome, however, do not otherwise comment on language or writing style.
      • When conducting the review, you will be required to fill out a review form. The questions this form is based on can be found here [link to full guidelines], along with the complete reviewer guidelines. 
  • Select the Review Option your journal uses (open, blind or double-blind), and make sure to tell (guest) editors not to change the default option when sending submissions out for review.
  • Check the box for “Reviewers will have access to the submission file only after agreeing to review it” .

Checklist for editors

  • Check that the documents and forms sent from reviewer to author do not contain any information that identifies the reviewer (blind and double-blind review).
  • Check that the documents and other files sent from author to reviewer do not contain any information that identifies the author (double-blind review).
  • How to ensure a blind review