Special Issues

Guidelines For Reviewers

Introduction to peer reviewer

Peer review

Peer review is an evaluation system used to assess the quality of a manuscript publish to decide to whether to publish the manuscript in the journal.

Submitted manuscripts from the authors are sent to independent researchers in relevant fields to evaluate the originality, validity, scientific soundness and significance of the manuscript. The journal editors determine whether a manuscript should be published in their journal based on the reviewer’s comments.

Types of peer review

When a manuscript is submitted to a journal, the editorial team will assess if it meets the basic criteria of the journal. After primary evaluation, the eligible manuscript will be sent to potential peer reviewers within the field of research to peer-review the manuscript and make comments.

There are four main types of peer review used by scientific publishing house:

Single-blind: the reviewers know the names of the authors, but the authors do not know who reviewed their manuscript unless the reviewer chooses to sign their report.

Double-blind: the reviewers do not know the names of the authors, and the authors do not know who reviewed their manuscript.

Open peer: authors know who the reviewers are, and the reviewers know who the authors are. If the manuscript is accepted, the named reviewer reports are published alongside the article.

Transparent peer: the reviewers know the names of the authors, but the authors do not know who reviewed their manuscript unless the reviewer chooses to sign their report. If the manuscript is accepted, the anonymous reviewer reports are published alongside the article.

Overview of the Signa Vitae review system

Signa Vitae operates a double-blind peer-review system to assess a manuscript, where the identities of both the reviewer and the author are kept unknown to each other throughout the review process.

Submitted manuscripts will generally be reviewed by two or more experts who will be asked to evaluate whether the manuscript is scientifically sound and coherent, whether it duplicates published work, and whether or not the manuscript is sufficiently readable for publication. The Editors will reach a decision based on these reports and, where necessary, they will consult with members of the Editorial Board.

The role of the reviewers

We will send an invitation to you via email, if we need your help to assess a manuscript and ask you to accept or decline the invitation through our submission system.

We ask reviewers to help us to ensure that any studies published in our journal were conducted properly, are scientifically credible and ethical, and are reported in accordance with the appropriate guidelines. The editorial team will discuss the reports and the editor makes the final decision to accept or reject a manuscript, based on the reviewers' comments.

Benefits of our volunteer reviewer

There are several benefits to becoming a reviewer. You can:

Establish your expertise in the field and expand your knowledge

Improve your reputation and increase your exposure to key figures in the field

Stay up to date with the latest literature and have advanced access to research results

Develop critical thinking skills essential to research

Help to advance in your career – peer review is an essential role for researchers

Do you want to be our reviewer? Please click here.

Guidelines for reviewers

Conflict of interest

Reviewers should inform the journal editor if they have a conflict of interests that may prejudice the review, either in a positive or negative way. The editorial office will check for potential conflicts  before the invitation is sent, however we appreciate the cooperation of reviewers in this matter. Reviewers who are invited to review a manuscript they previously reviewed for another journal should not consider this as a conflict of interest . In this case, reviewers should feel free to let us know if the manuscript has been improved or not compared to the previous version.

Confidentiality and anonymity

If you accept our invitation  to be a reviewer, you should know that all unpublished manuscripts are confidential documents, including the abstract, pictures, table, or any kind of contents in the manuscript. The  manuscript under review cannot be revealed to anyone other than the peer reviewers and the editorial staff. Peer reviewers cannot share any information about the manuscript with anyone without prior authorization from the journal editors. During the review process, if you want to discuss the manuscript with a colleague, please remind them of the confidential nature of the paper and acknowledge their input in your review. You are welcome to encourage your colleagues to register as our peer reviewers.

Reviewers must inform the Editorial Office if they would like a student or colleague to complete the review on their behalf. If you have encountered any problem, please contact the editorial office.

Signa Vitae operates a double-blind peer review. Reviewers should be careful not to reveal their identity to the authors, either in their comments or in metadata for reports submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format.

Timely review report

Reviewers should complete their recommendations to the  authors on time, so that we can publish the author’s paper as quickly as possible.

We are dedicated to provide service to authors and to the scientific community with efficiency and high quality. We ask the reviewer’s assistance to provide their reviews in a timely manner. Please contact the editorial office if you require an extension to the review deadline.

Instructions for your review

Before you begin

Before you accept or decline an invitation to review, consider the following questions:

Does the article match your area of expertise? Only accept if you feel you can provide a high-quality review.

Do you have a potential conflict of interest? Disclose this to the editor when you respond.

Do you have time? Reviewing can be a lot of work – before you commit, make sure you can meet the deadline.

Do you need to find out more about reviewing and the peer review process? If so, please consult the editorial office.

Respond to the invitation as soon as you can (even if it is to decline) – a delay in your decision slows down the review process and means more waiting for the author. If you do decline the invitation, it would be helpful if you could provide suggestions for alternative reviewers.

Managing your review

How to log in and access your review

Your review will be managed via an online submission system. To access the paper and deliver your review, click on the link in the invitation email you received which will bring you to the submission/reviewing system. If you experience difficulties accessing the paper, you should consult the editorial office.

Journal-specific instructions

When you are ready to write the review, make sure you familiarize yourself with the journal guidelines (these will be noted in the journal’s instructions for authors available on the journal’s homepage). First read the article. You might consider spot checking major issues by choosing which section to read first. Below we offer some tips about handling specific parts of the paper.

Methodology

If the manuscript you are reviewing is reporting an experiment, check the methods section first. The following cases are considered major flaws and should be flagged:

Unsound methodology

Discredited methods

Missing processes known to be essential in the area of reported research

A conclusion drawn in contradiction to the statistical or qualitative evidence reported in the manuscript

For analytical papers examine the sampling report, which is mandated in time-dependent studies. For qualitative research make sure that a systematic data analysis is presented and sufficient descriptive elements with relevant quotes from interviews are listed in addition to the author’s narrative.

Research data and visualizations

Once you are satisfied that the methodology is sufficiently robust, examine any data in the form of figures, tables, or images. Authors may add research data, including data visualizations, to their submission to enable readers to interact and engage more closely with their research after publication. Please be aware that links to data might therefore be present in the submission files. These items should also receive your attention during the peer review process.

Critical issues in research data, which are considered to be major flaws can be related to insufficient data points, statistically non-significant variations and unclear data tables.

Ethical considerations

Experiments including patient or animal data should be properly documented. Most journals require ethical approval by the author’s host organization. For more information about Editorial policies.

Overview

If you don’t see any major flaws, take a break from the manuscript, giving yourself time to think. Consider the article from your own perspective. When you sit down to write the review, again make sure you familiarize yourself with journal guidelines (these will be noted in the journal’s guide for authors

Structuring your review

Your review will help the editor decide whether or not to publish the article. It will also aid the author and allow them to improve their manuscript. Giving your overall opinion and general observations of the article is essential. Your comments should be courteous and constructive, and should not include any remarks or personal details including your name. Providing insight into any deficiencies is important. You should explain and support your judgement so that both editors and authors are able to fully understand the reasoning behind your comments. You should indicate whether your comments are your own opinion or are reflected by the data and evidence. If you need to use a large number of mathematical symbols or formulas in the comments, you can upload the attachment (Word or PDF) to submit your comments.

Your recommendation

When you make a recommendation, use the categories the editor will use for classifying the article:

Reject (explain your reasoning in your report)

Accept without revision

Revise – either major or minor (explain the revision that is required, and indicate to the editor whether you would be happy to review the revised article). If you are recommending a revision, you must furnish the author with a clear, sound explanation of why this is necessary.

Manuscripts with the following characteristics may be accepted: (1) Important and novel topic; (2) Interesting results; (3) Innovative original manuscripts or forward-looking and instructive review; (4) Major scientific advances; (5) In-depth analysis and scientific connotation.

Reason for rejection: (1) Not suitable for "SV"; (2) Methods and results are not credible, or have basic errors; (3) Not sufficient explaination of the results; (4) Minor research progress; (5) Low academic value; (6) Poor writing; (7) Other reasons.

You need to submit a review report with your recommendations included about the manuscript before the deadline. Bear in mind that there will be the opportunity to direct separate comments to both the editor and author. Once you are ready to submit your report, consult the editorial office if you encounter any difficulties.

The final decision

The editor ultimately decides whether to accept or reject the article. The editor will weigh all views and may call for another opinion or ask the author for a revised paper before making a decision. The submission system provides reviewers with a notification of the final decision, if the journal has opted in to this function.

After your review

Once you have delivered your review, your reviewing activities will be automatically captured. Your profile will display your reviewing history and demonstrate your input to the peer review process as well as detailing your own articles, positions and editorial work. Do not forget that, even after finalizing your review, you must treat the article and any linked files or data as confidential documents. This means you must not share them or information about the review with anyone without prior authorization from the editor.


Abstracted / indexed in

Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch) The Science Citation Index (SCI) is a citation index originally produced by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) and created by Eugene Garfield. It (Science Citation Index Expanded) covers more than 8,500 notable and significant journals, across 150 disciplines in science and technology, from 1900 to the present.

Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition aims to evaluate a journal’s value from multiple perspectives including the journal impact factor, descriptive data about a journal’s open access content as well as contributing authors, and provide readers a transparent and publisher-neutral data & statistics information about the journal.

Chemical Abstracts Service Source Index The CAS Source Index (CASSI) Search Tool is an online resource that can quickly identify or confirm journal titles and abbreviations for publications indexed by CAS since 1907, including serial and non-serial scientific and technical publications.

IndexCopernicus The Index Copernicus International (ICI) Journals database’s is an international indexation database of scientific journals. It covered international scientific journals which divided into general information, contents of individual issues, detailed bibliography (references) sections for every publication, as well as full texts of publications in the form of attached files (optional). For now, there are more than 58,000 scientific journals registered at ICI.

Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research The Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research (GFMER) is a non-profit organization established in 2002 and it works in close collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). The overall objectives of the Foundation are to promote and develop health education and research programs.

Scopus Scopus is Elsevier's abstract and citation database launched in 2004. Scopus covers nearly 36,377 titles (22,794 active titles and 13,583 Inactive titles) from approximately 11,678 publishers, of which 34,346 are peer-reviewed journals in top-level subject fields: life sciences, social sciences, physical sciences and health sciences.

Embase Embase (often styled EMBASE for Excerpta Medica dataBASE), produced by Elsevier, is a biomedical and pharmacological database of published literature designed to support information managers and pharmacovigilance in complying with the regulatory requirements of a licensed drug.

Submission Turnaround Time

Conferences

    Top