WikiJournal User Group/Peer reviewers
Peer review in the WikiJournal User Group is intended to both help authors to improve articles, as well the editorial board in deciding whether to include it in the journal. The process of finding and inviting appropriate peer reviewers for article submissions is a responsibility of the editorial board and associate editors. Articles undergoing peer review can be found at: Potential upcoming articles. All peer reviews are included with the article for transparency and can be found linked on the right hand side of the article as "Reviewer Comments".
Journal-specific peer reviewer guidelines
Peer review instruction summary
- 1. Invited peer reviewers should be given a url link to the work to be reviewed. If not, please find it here (link to list of publications in review).
- 2. Peer reviewers can submit their comments via the this form
WikiJournals prefer to display reviewer names along with the review, as believe this builds trust in the review process (~60% of reviewers choose to do so). However, reviewers may remain anonymous upon request.
Peer reviews should include: A disclosure of conflicts of interests, or state "Conflicts of interest: none declared".
Peer review guidelines
Initial peer reviews should preferably be written within 3 weeks. Comments should be constructive, include both strengths and areas for improvement, and be referenced whenever possible. Otherwise, WikiJournal User Group has no strict rules regarding the structure and length of a peer review, since it appreciates every comment and suggestion for both potential and already included works. For example, length of peer reviews have varied from 65 words to approximately 700 words. Still, following are some guidelines.
Comments may be added in-line in the article. Alternatively, reviewers may directly edit the article in order to correct typos, improve the grammar, or make the text clearer, so long the meaning is not changed. Reviewers should summarize their substantial edits and declare any conflicts of interests on the Discuss page or by email. All online entries should be signed by spelling out your name (or username if you have created an account).
Reviewer comments (whether directly added to the review page or emailed) will be made available online under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Unported License. Any reviewer that wants to pass a review request onto a colleague must get the editor’s permission beforehand.
It is recommended that reviewers publicly disclose their names, for the following reasons:
- Non-anonymous reviewers directly get recognition and credit for their work, without resorting to expedients such as Publons.
- Non-anonymous reviewers lend credibility to the reviewed article, which can boost its impact.
- Non-anonymous reviewers tend to write better reviews, and their recommendations tend to be taken more seriously by authors.
Still, a reviewer may remain anonymous upon request. In this case, the reviewer's identity is available only to a designated peer review coordinator and to the editorial board.
Most article submissions to the WikiJournal are open-access from the beginning, however authors may request their submission to be kept confidential. In such chases, the reviewer will be clearly informed, and are required to respect this confidentiality as per the publication ethics statement.
Ideally, a peer review of any article should critique any flaws, as well as provide constructive recommendations on how to improve it. Some general suggestions for considerations are listed below.
- Content: e.g. Does it reflect the current thinking in the field, is there anything important missing, is anything incorrectly stated?
- Referencing: e.g. Do the references support the statements being made? Are there any important recent papers that are missed? Are any of the references used out of date or considered obsolete?
- Style: e.g. Are any statements unclear? Are any diagrams misleading or incomplete?
- Ethical standards: e.g. Has informed consent been obtained if needed? May the author(s) have relevant conflicts of interest that have not been declared?
For research articles, the following additional additional questions may be answered:
- Will the article add to existing knowledge?
- Does it summarize what we knew before?
- Is it up do date?
- Does the introduction provide a rationale why the research at hand is needed?
- Does it provide a clear research question?
- Is it described in sufficient detail?
- Is the study approach adequate in aiming to answer the research question?
- Were the participants adequately described?
- Were their conditions defined?
- Were inclusion and exclusion criteria described? Were these criteria adequate in selecting a proper group for the purpose of the research
- Was the research properly executed?
- Were there clear outcome measures?
- Are the results credible?
- Are the results well presented?
- Was the approach to data analysis appropriate?
- Does it help in answering the research question?
- Interpretation and conclusion:
- Is it adequately substantiated by the given data?
- Was the sample size adequate?
- Have possible confounding factors and/or biases been considered?
- Was the study up to ethical standards?
- Is patient consent commented?
- Have risks of harm for participants been minimized?
- Is there appropriate protection of research subjects, including animals?
- Was there approval by an ethics committee or institutional review board?
- If not, is there an adequate explanation whether this was done or not?
- Limitations: Any omission?
- Abstract: Does it reflect the work in general?
- Supplemental files:
- Are these sufficient in including necessary information?
- Does information therein properly match what is in the manuscript?
- Should any information therein be reported in the manuscript?
External peer reviewers must fulfil the following criteria:
- Have expertise in the relevant field, and be willing to provide relevant credentials if requested. If necessary, identity may be verified via a faculty contact address, and copies of certifications may be requested (all information will be kept confidential).
- Be willing to state any conflicts of interests
- Not be editorial board members of this journal
Individuals not fulfilling these criteria are still welcome to informally comment on works in need of peer review, such as checking how well the references support their associated article entries. Such comments facilitate and supplement the formal scholarly peer review of articles.
Duties of peer reviewers
Potential peer reviewers should provide the peer review coordinator or corresponding editorial board member with personal and professional information that is accurate and a true representation of their expertise. Peer reviewers should only agree to review submissions for which they have the subject expertise required to make a proper assessment, and for which they can review in a timely manner. Peer reviewers should not use information obtained during the peer review process for their own or any other person's or organization’s advantage, nor should they use it to disadvantage or discredit others. Peer reviewers should declare all potential conflicting interests, and should seek advice from the peer review coordinator or the editorial board if they are unsure whether something constitutes a relevant conflict of interest. Peer reviewers should not allow their reviews to be influenced by the origins of a submission, by the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, or by commercial considerations.
The reviews should be objective and constructive, with avoidance of hostile, libellous or derogatory personal comments.
A peer reviewer who suspects research misconduct should notify the peer review coordinator or the editorial board about this issue, and present all given evidence. Subsequently, the peer reviewer should not personally perform an investigation unless the journal asks for additional information or advice.
Editors and peer reviewers must keep the confidentiality of works and author identities unless permission has been granted to disclose such material or information. Editors and peer reviewers must not retain confidential works for their personal use.
Public peer review
WikiJournal User Group uses a public peer review process. Peer reviewers' comments and author responses are published alongside the work under an open access license. The version of the work at the time of review is also indicated. Optionally, if the reviewer explicitly chooses to waive their confidentiality, their name is included on the peer review reports (open peer review).
- Further reading
- Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers, by COPE
- Guidance for Editors: Research, Audit and Service Evaluations, by COPE
- Reviewer Roles and Responsibilities, by CSE
- Full ethics statement, by the WikiJournal User Group