Reviewers’ Guide

Before starting, please check the “Processing overview” within the Authors section here.


General principles

All submitted manuscripts are peer-reviewed by experts under the assumptions that

- Manuscripts should only report results that have not been submitted or published before, totally or even partially; 

- Manuscripts must be original and should avoid any risk of plagiarism; 

- All studies reported, specially those involving human data or experimental animals for specific science purposes, should have been carried out in accordance with appropriate ethical research standards.

Reviewers are independent experts selected by editors or volunteered to provide this service;

The reviewer:

  1. - Should be an expert with relevant experience and publication track record in the field in the field, independently of his/her academic degree 
  2. - Should not hold conflicts of interest with any of the authors; this includes not have published together with any of the authors in the last three years
  3. - Should not be part of / affiliated to the same institution as any of the authors;
  4. - Hold an official affiliation.
  5. - Provides quality review reports and remain responsive throughout the peer review process

Reviewers are recommended to read the relevant descriptions in the Ethical Guidelines For Peer Reviewers by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Committee on Publication Ethics. Available online).



Reviewing is unrewarded, which means that editors receive no material compensation, monetary or otherwise, for all tasks here implied unrewarded task. Nevertheless, to recognize all  the effort end generosity involved, the reviewer:

- is annually awarded with a personalized reviewer certificate.

- is included in the journal’s annual acknowledgment of reviewers.

- specially dedicated, competent reviewers may be invited to the Editorial Office by proposal of the Editor-in-Chief.

- Reviewers may create a profile on Web of Science Reviewer Recognition Service (formerly Publons) and have their reviewing activity automatically added for participating journals. Profiles on Web of Science Reviewer Recognition Service can also be integrated with ORCID.


Standard Procedures

- Reviewers should accept or decline our invitation as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary delays; the reviewer may request a deadline extension if needed, to present the final report.

- Reviewers will be ask to declare any potential conflicts of interest. Conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to:

  1. belonging to the same institute as one of the authors;
  2. being a co-author, collaborator, joint grant holder, or having any other academic link, with any of the authors within the past three years;
  3. close personal relationship (positive or negative) to any of the authors;
  4. any other non-financial conflicts of interest no matter its nature, to any of the authors. 
  5. reviewers should keep the content of the manuscript confidential, including the Abstract, until the article is published.


Review Reporting Guidelines

Reviewers’ must be sure to read all the submitted material (also supplementary) before starting the report.  

- the report should critically analyze the complete document having special attention to the key concepts presented as such.

- any comments must be clear and detailed so that the authors may correctly understand and address each point/issue raised.

- regarding citation recommendations, reviewers must avoid to recommend other works and specially their own work (self-citation) specially if it does not affect the global quality of the manuscript under review.

- our recommendation for an objective  review reporting includes the following:

  1. one short paragraph outlining the aim of the paper, its main contributions and strengths.
  2. general concept comments (adapted to the material natures - protocols, reviews, articles) 
  3. specific comments referring to line numbers, tables or figures that point out inaccuracies within the text or sentences that are unclear.  

The content of your review report will be rated by the Executive Editor from a scientific point of view as well as practical contribution to the improvement of the manuscript.  

The reviewer is obliged to contact the Executive Editor immediately in case of any suspicion of any misconduct, fraud, or any unethical behavior related to the manuscript.


Overall Recommendation

An overall recommendation will be provided for the next processing stage of the manuscript as follows:

• Accept outright: The paper can be accepted without any further changes.

• Accept after Minor Revisions: The paper can in principle be accepted after revision based on the reviewer’s comments. 

• Reconsider after Major Revision: The acceptance of the manuscript would depend on the revisions. The author needs to provide a point-by-point response or adequate rebuttal if some of the reviewer’s comments cannot be revised. A maximum of two rounds of major revision per manuscript is normally provided.  

• Reject outright:  The material has serious flaws, makes no original contribution, and the paper may be rejected with no offer of resubmission to the journal.

Note that your recommendation is visible only to journal editors, not to the authors. 

Decisions on revisions, acceptance, or rejections must always be well justified.

Editorial decisions will not be based on the importance or novelty of the results but rather on the soundness and coherence of the study regarding the science questios proposed, identified objectives and experimental design and rigorous analysis and deductions. 


Depositing Review Activities into ORCID

Reviewers are allowed to deposit their review activities into an ORCID iD.