Research area for a Reviewer
The Editor may not know your work intimately, and may only be aware of your work in a broader context. Reviewer can decline to any invitation of reviewing the paper, if he is not competent to review the article.
Duration to review the paper
Reviewing an article can be quite time consuming. The time taken to review can vary from field to field, but an article will take, on average, 3-5 hours to review properly. Will you have sufficient time before the deadline stipulated in the invitation to conduct a thorough review? If you cannot conduct the review let the editor know immediately, and if possible advise the editor of alternative reviewers.
Potential conflicts of interest
A conflict of interest will not necessarily eliminate you from reviewing an article, but full disclosure to the editor will allow them to make an informed decision. For example, if you work in the same department or institute as one of the authors worked on a paper previously with an author or have a professional or financial connection to the article. These should all be listed when responding to the editor’s invitation for review.
Conducting the Review
Reviewing needs to be conducted confidentially, the article you have been asked to review should not be disclosed to a third party. If you wish to elicit opinion from colleagues or students regarding the article you should let the editor know beforehand. You should not attempt to contact the author. Be aware when you submit your review that any recommendations you make will contribute to the final decision made by the editor.
RESEARCH PAPER EVALUATION CRITERIA:
Normally you would be expected to evaluate the article according to the following:
Is the article sufficiently novel and interesting to warrant publication? Does it add to the canon of knowledge? Does the article adhere to the journal’s standards? Is the research question an important one? In order to determine its originality and appropriateness for the journal it might be helpful to think of the research in terms of what percentile it is in? Is it in the top 25% of papers in this field?
o Plagiarism: If you suspect that an article is a substantial copy of another work, let the editor know, citing the previous work in as much detail as possible.
o Fraud: It is very difficult to detect the determined fraudster, but if you suspect the results in an article to be untrue, discuss it with the editor.
o Other Ethical Concerns: If the research is medical in nature, has confidentiality been maintained? If there has been violation of accepted norms of ethical treatment of animal or human subjects these should also be identified.
Communicating Report to Editor
Journals will request that you complete a form checking various points with remarks. It serves the dual purpose of reminding the editor of the details of the report and also reassuring the author and editor that you understood the article. When you make a recommendation regarding an article, it is worth considering the categories an editor will likely use for classifying the article:
In the latter case, clearly identify what revision is required, and indicate to the editor whether or not you would be happy to review the revised article.