PEER-REVIEW PUBLICATION POLICIES
Contributions submitted to the journal that are selected for peer-review are typically sent to three reviewers chosen by the editor or associate editors, but considerations of timeliness may require the editor to act on the basis of less than three reviews. Authors are welcome to suggest potential reviewers; however, it is the editor’s decision whether or not to honor such requests.
Selection of Reviewers
Reviewers are selected on the basis of many factors, including expertise, prior publications in the same topic area, and prior performance as a reviewer (including quality and timeliness). Invitations to review may contain confidential information, which should be treated as such.
Because we are committed to provide timely editorial decisions, potential reviewers are requested to respond promptly and those who accept invitations to review are requested to provide their comments within the agreed timeframe. If reviewers anticipate that they will not be able to meet the deadline, they are requested to inform the assigning editor so that alternative arrangements can be made.
Potential Conflicts of Interest
If a reviewer perceives that there may be a significant conflict of interest (financial or otherwise) for a particular manuscript that they are invited to review, they should either seek clarification with the assigning editor or decline the invitation.
Editing Referees’ Reports
As a matter of policy, comments that were intended for the authors are transmitted; however, we reserve the right to edit a report in order to remove offensive language or to remove comments that reveal confidential information.
Requests to Re-review
We may return to reviewers for further advice, particularly in cases where there is disagreement among reviewers or where authors believe that reviewers have misunderstood points of fact. However, editors will not send a resubmitted paper back to the reviewers if the quality of the revisions can be adequately evaluated by the assigned editor without additional input.
Manuscripts are reviewed with due respect for authors’ and reviewers’ confidentiality. As a condition of agreeing to assess the manuscript, all reviewers undertake to keep submitted manuscripts and associated data confidential. If a reviewer seeks advice from colleagues while assessing a manuscript, he or she ensures that confidentiality is maintained and that the names of any such colleagues are provided to the journal with the final report.
We do not release reviewers’ identities to authors. We strongly discourage reviewers from revealing their identities as they may be asked to comment on the criticisms of other reviewers and on further revisions of the manuscript; identified reviewers may find it more difficult to be objective in such circumstances. We also strongly discourage authors from attempting to determine reviewer identities or to confront their reviewers directly. Our policy is to neither confirm nor deny speculation about reviewers’ identities and we encourage reviewers to adopt a similar policy.