Before you accept
The following questions should help you decide whether to accept an invitation to review for an International Journal of Ethics and Society:
Do you understand the role and responsibilities of a reviewer?
Are you technically qualified to review (aspects of) the article?
Are you able to provide the report in a timely fashion?
Do you have any competing interests?
What are the benefits for you in reviewing a manuscript?
Our editorial policies
Confidentiality is very important to us. We ask all reviewers to abide by our confidentiality policy: all correspondence, information and material exchanged during manuscript review must be kept in the strictest confidence, both before and after publication. If you wish to seek advice from a colleague while reviewing a manuscript, you must receive explicit permission from the editor in advance of sharing a copy of the manuscript. In these instances, please be sure to also note the names of these colleagues in your comments to the editor when you submit your report.
Reviewing manuscripts will give you an exciting preview of work in progress, but to avoid breaching confidentiality, please wait until the paper you have reviewed has been published before citing its results in your own manuscript. If the authors have posted a preprint to an established preprint server, you may cite the preprint in advance of publication. Importantly, you should not use the results of the work you have reviewed in your own research before the work is published.
We keep reviewer identities confidential throughout the review process. However, reviewers who choose to do so can sign their report. This will reveal their identity to the authors and also to the other reviewers after each round of review, when all the reports are shared after the editorial decision is made (or prior to the decision if we are seeking reviewer input on their peers’ comments). There are pros and cons in revealing your identity: identified reviewers may find it more challenging to review subsequent versions of the manuscript, when reviewers are sometimes asked to comment on each other’s points; on the other hand, signing reports improves the transparency and accountability of the process.
We ask that you refrain from identifying yourself to authors by any means other than signing your review. We are firmly opposed to attempts by authors to determine reviewer identities, and it is our policy to neither confirm nor deny any such speculation; we encourage our reviewers to do likewise.
Double-blind peer review
International Journal of Ethics and Society offers the option of double-blind peer review. Authors who choose this option remain anonymous to reviewers throughout the peer review process. In these cases, you will only become aware of the authors’ identities at the point of publication.
Criteria for publication
Your report is vital in helping our editors decide if the manuscript meets the journal’s criteria for publication, and we ask you to keep the following factors in mind when you write your report:
The quality of the data — whether they are technically sound, obtained with appropriate techniques, analyzed and interpreted carefully, and presented in sufficient detail.
The level of support for the conclusions — whether sufficiently strong evidence is provided for the authors’ claims and all appropriate controls have been included.
The potential significance of the results — whether these results will be important to the field and advance understanding in a way that will move the field forward. (Note that posting of preprints and/or conference proceedings does not compromise novelty.)
Please also consult the instructions provided directly by the editor, which may provide more detail or specific instructions for the manuscript under consideration.
Depending on the manuscript’s research area, in addition to the files containing the manuscript and any supplementary information, you might also have access to reporting summaries and editorial policy checklists. These documents contain additional information to help you in the assessment of the work.
The primary purpose of your review is to provide feedback on the soundness of the research reported. This will help authors to improve their manuscript and editors to reach a decision. We do not ask that you make a recommendation regarding publication, but you can set out the arguments for and against publication if you so wish.