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Guidelines for Reviewers
HomeGuidelines for Reviewers

HOW TO ACCESS A MANUSCRIPT

Manuscripts can be accessed only after login:

1.  Login is possible after registration. Our Editorial Office will register and provide login details to all first-time editors and reviewers. Reviewers receive an email with their login details usually prior to the first invitation to review a paper.

Note: Authors should register themselves at the journal’s website to be able to submit a manuscript to a particular journal. During the registration process authors can also indicate their wish to become reviewers. Authors can use their registration details to login in all three (Book, E-Book and the respective Journal) platforms of www.pensoft.net.

2.  The login credentials consist of:

a.  Username: <your email address>

b.  Password: <text string>

Note: Please remember that you may have registered with two or more different email addresses, that is why you may have more than one valid account at www.pensoft.net. We advise using only one email address, hence one password associated to it, for all yours operations at www.pensoft.net

3.  Login details will be provided in an email after the first registration. Thereafter, the user may at any time change the password and correct personal details using the My Profile menu.

4.  We advise to keep your login active through ticking the “Remember my password” checkbox during logging in.

5.  In case you have forgotten your password, please write to request it from journals@pensoft.net. Alternatively, you may use the function:

“Forgot your password? Please send me a new one by email”.

This is available in the Register/Login menu top right to obtain a new password. After requesting a new password, a message of the following kind will be sent to your email:

Hello <FirstName> <LastName>,

You received this message, because you wanted to change your forgotten password.

Please click on the following link to change your forgotten password: http://www.pensoft.net/fgu.php?fg=wSYAXV2mTqWCnvp

This link will be valid for 2 hours only since 2011-08-25 17:12:47

Your Verification ID:wSYAXV2mTqWCnvp

After clicking on the link, a form will appear on your screen where you have to enter the same email to which you have requested the new password and also the new password.


There are two ways to access a manuscript:

1.  After login (or in case your login is kept active through the “Remember my password” function), please go to the respective journal’s web page and  click on the red-coloured Your Tasks link in the upper horizontal menu bar. In this way you will be able to see all manuscripts you are responsible for as author or reviewer or editor.

Note: The manuscripts are grouped in several categories, e.g., In Review (no.), In Edit (no.), Published (no.), and Archived (no.). The number in brackets after each category shows the number of manuscripts that were assigned to you.

2.  After login (or in case your login is kept active through the “Remember my password” function), click on the active manuscript link provided in the email notification you have received from the online editorial system. The link will lead you direct to the respective manuscript.



GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF REVIEWERS
The peer-review and editorial process is facilitated through the online editorial system and a set of email notifications. The online editorial system sends the Reviewer a review request, initiated by the Subject Editor or the Editorial Office. The online system will inform you also on delays in reviewing and will confirm a successful review submission. The email notifications contain the stepwise instructions as to what action is needed at each stage, as well as the link to the respective manuscript (accessible only after login – see section How to access a manuscript).

The reviewers are not expected to provide a thorough linguistic editing or copyediting of a manuscript, but to focus on its scientific quality, as well as for the overall style, which should correspond to the good practices in clear and concise academic writing. If Reviewers recognize that a manuscript requires linguistic edits, please inform both author and editor about this in the report. It is the author’s responsibility to submit the manuscript in linguistically and grammatically correct English.

It often happens that even carefully written manuscripts may contain small errors in orthography or stylistics. We shall be thankful if Reviewers spot such errors during the reading process and correct them.

The manuscripts will generally be reviewed by two or three experts with the aim of reaching a first decision as soon as possible. Reviewers do not need to sign their reports but are welcome to do so. They are also asked to declare any conflicts of interests.

Reviewers are asked whether the manuscript is scientifically sound and coherent, how interesting it is and whether the quality of the writing is acceptable. Where possible, the final decision is made on the basis of the peer reviews. In cases of strong disagreement between the reports or between the authors and peer reviewers, the editor can judge these according to his/her expertise or seek advice from a member of the journal's Editorial Board.

The journal allows a maximum of two rounds of revisions of a   manuscript. The ultimate responsibility for editorial decisions lies with the respective Subject Editor and in some cases with the Editor-in-Chief. All appeals should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief, who may decide to seek advice among the Subject Editors.

Reviewers are also asked to indicate which articles they consider to be especially interesting or significant. These articles may be given greater prominence and greater external publicity, including press releases addressed to science journalists and mass media.

During a second review round, the Reviewer may be asked by the Subject Editor to evaluate the revised version of the manuscript with regards to Reviewer’s recommendations submitted during the first review round.

Reviewers are kindly asked to be polite and constructive in their reports. Reports that may be insulting or uninformative will be rescinded.

The reviewers are asked to start their report with a very brief summary of the reviewed paper. This will help the editor and authors see whether the reviewer correctly understood the paper or whether a report might be based on a misunderstanding.

Further, the Reviewers are asked to comment on originality, structure and previous research:

Originality: Is the paper sufficiently novel and contributes to a better understanding of the topic under scrutiny, or is the work rather confirmatory and repetitive.

Structure: Is the introduction clear and concise? Does it place the work into the context that is necessary for a reader to comprehend aims, hypotheses tested, experimental design or methods? Are Material and Methods clearly described and sufficiently explained? Are reasons given when choosing one method over another one from a set of comparable methods? Are the results clearly but concisely described? Do they relate to the topic outlined in the introduction? Do they follow a logical sequence? Does the discussion place the paper in scientific context and go a step beyond the current scientific knowledge on the basis of the results? Are competing hypotheses or theories reasonably related to each other and properly discussed? Do conclusions seem reasonable?

Previous research: Is previous research adequately incorporated into the paper? Are references complete, necessary and accurate? Is there any sign that substantial parts of the paper were copies of other works?



STEPWISE DESCRIPTION OF THE PEER-REVIEW PROCESS

1.  The Reviewer receives a review request generated by the Subject Editor or the Editorial Office and is expected to either agree to provide a review or decline, through pressing the Will do the review or Unable to do the review link in the online editorial system. In case the Reviewer agrees to review the manuscript, he/she should submit the review within a certain period, which may vary in the different Pensoft journals.

Note: The link to the respective manuscript is available in the review request email and all consequent reminder emails. The manuscript is accessible after login. Please look at the section How to access a manuscript above in case you meet any difficulties.

2.  The review should be submitted through the “Proceed” button in the Editorial Decision menu. The review may consists of (1) a simple online questionnaire to be answered by clicking on either “Yes”, “No”, or “N/A” options, (2) comments addressed to the Author and the Editor, (3) comments addressed to the Editor only, and (3) associated files (corrected/commented manuscript file, review submitted in a separate text file, etc.).

Note1: The Reviewer can insert corrections and comments in the manuscript review version (PDF) and/or in the manuscript text file (usually Microsoft WORD, rarely Open Office file). When working in the PDF, please use either the Text Edits or Sticky Notes tools, available through the menu Tools -> Comments & Markup of the Acrobat Reader. When editing in Microsoft WORD please use the Track Changes tool.

Note2: Associated files should be submitted at the end of the review process by clicking on the “Browse” button, then selecting the respective file on your computer, and then by pressing the “Upload” button. A reviewer may upload as many files to support his/her review as needed.

3.  The Reviewer may decide to stay anonymous or to open his/her identity through clicking on “Disclose my name to author(s)” box at the bottom of the reviewer’s form. Please be aware that your identity might be revealed in the comments or in Track Changes corrections of the Microsoft WORD or PDF you correct. Therefore please make sure that you delete your name and initials in the options section of your word processor or PDF writer if you want to remain anonymous.

4.  The review process is completed by selecting a recommendation from the set of 5 options (Reject, Reject & Resubmission Encouraged, Major Revision, Minor Revision, Accept) and then pressing the “Finish” button. The Online System will ask the Reviewer for one more confirmation of the selected recommendation before submission. The submitted review cannot be changed after submission.

Note1: Reasons for rejection can be a low scientific quality, non-conformance to the journal’s style/policies, and/or grammatically poor English language.

Note2: It is also possible for review and associated files (e.g., a corrected manuscript file) to be sent as attached files to the email of the Editorial Office (see comments on privacy above).

5.  The Reviewer will be informed about a publication of the manuscript he/she has reviewed through an automated email acknowledgement sent by the journal on the day of publication of the article. The email contains the link for download of the published paper.

6.  The Reviewer may always access information on the manuscripts that are or have been reviewed by him/her through the menu “Your Tasks – Reviewer” on the journal’s web page – In Review (no.), In Edit (no.), Published (no.), and Archived (no.). The number in brackets after each category shows the number of manuscripts that were assigned.

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