Managing your review

If you accept an invitation to review, you must treat the materials you receive as confidential documents. This means you cannot share them with anyone without prior authorization from the corresponding editor. Since peer review is confidential, you also must not share information about the review with anyone without permission from the editors and authors. Do not forget that, even after finalizing your review, you must treat the article and any linked files or data as confidential documents.

Your report will be used as a basis for the editorial decision. It will also aid authors and allow them to improve their manuscript. So be polite, honest and clear. You should also try to be objective and constructive. You should explain and support your judgement so that both editors and authors are able to understand the reasoning behind your comments. You should indicate whether your comments are your own opinion or are reflected by the data and evidence. You should also:

  • Write clearly and so you can be understood by people whose first language is not English.
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  • Number your points and refer to page and line numbers in the manuscript when making specific comments.
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  • Treat the author's work the way you would like your own to be treated.

The review criteria to be taken into account for assessing the manuscripts are: originality, novelty, interest, quality and methodological rigor and relevance. Try to bear in mind the following questions:

  • What is the main question addressed by the research? Is it relevant and interesting?
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  • How original is the topic? What does it add to the subject area compared with other published material?
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  • Is the paper well written? Is the text clear and easy to read?
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  • Are the conclusions consistent with the evidence and arguments presented? Do they address the main question posed?
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  • If the author is disagreeing significantly with the current academic consensus, do they have a substantial case? If not, what would be required to make their case credible?
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  • If the paper includes tables or figures, what do they add to the paper? Do they aid understanding or are they superfluous?

In your report, you will be asked to indicate your recommendation:

Recommending Acceptance. Please give details outlining why, and if there are any areas that could be improved.

Recommending Revision. If recommending revision, state specific changes you feel need to be made. The author should then reply to each point in turn.

Recommending Rejection. If recommending rejection, state this clearly in your review and why.

In your recommendations for the author, you should give constructive feedback describing ways that they could improve the research. Remember to give constructive criticism even if recommending rejection. This helps developing researchers improve their work and explains to the editor why you felt the manuscript should not be published.

Bear in mind that there will be the opportunity to direct separate comments to both the editor and authors. Once you are ready to submit your report, follow the instructions or send an email to EJFB if you encounter any difficulties (ejfb@uma.es). Remember that we will be very pleased to support you.

The final decision

The Direction of EJFB ultimately decides whether to accept or reject the article. It will weigh all views, in particular, from the corresponding editor. They may call for another opinion or ask the authors for a revised paper before making a decision.

After your review

Once you have delivered your review, you might want a certificate for EJFB services. Please sent an email to EJFB (ejfb@uma.es).