As scientists we know that reviewing papers is an important task in our scientific duty. It is an honour to be invited to review a paper for any scientific journal and the journal reputation depends on the quality of this peer review process.
In order to help you in the review process, we prepared a short list of 13 key points that should be checked for each paper and /or documented while writing the review
This checklist applies for both AE & reviewers
1– Check if your expertise matches well the content of the manuscript
2– Make sure that there is no conflict of interest between you and the authors of the manuscript
3– Check that you will be able to perform the review in time
4– Plagiarism & scientific misconduct: if any doubt, inform and discuss with the Editor
5– Title: needs to reflect the paper content and should be attractive for the readers; do not hesitate to suggest changes;
6– Abstract: check if the authors statements make logical sense and are substantiated by the results; check also the key message whether it is easy to understand and conveys the main message from the manuscript;
7– Originality: this is the first question to be asked: the authors need to clearly highlight where and how their work is original in comparison to earlier papers; such an originality is a prerequisite to publication;
8– Introduction: see #7 and make sure that the context is clearly presented for introducing the manuscript contribution including hypothesis to be tested or explicit research question;
9–Method: the easiest question to ask is: “is it possible to reproduce the experiment?” If no, additional information is probably needed. You need also to check if the methods are appropriate to test the hypothesis made above;
10–Results & figures: check if the analysis is appropriate (including statistics) and presented in a logical sequence. Check if the references to figures and tables are correctly numbered and if the captions of the figures are self informative;
11– Conclusion/discussion: check if these sections are supported by the results and if the contribution has moved beyond the current state of art presented in the introduction;
12– Check the list of references: are they all cited in the text: are they up to date? And internationally based? If possible suggest to remove citation to grey literature that can not be found easily
13– Language: if any doubt on the writing quality, clarity, grammatical errors, don’t correct the English, just inform the editor who will suggest a language editing.