Submitted manuscripts are usually reviewed by two or more experts. Peer reviewers will be asked to recommend whether a manuscript should be accepted outright, accepted with minor revisions or rejected. They should also alert the editors of any issues relating to author misconduct such as plagiarism and unethical behavior. Scitech operates using a closed peer review system. Peer review reports should be written in English only.
Reviewers are asked to provide detailed, constructive comments that will help the editors make a decision on publication and the author(s) improve their manuscript. Acceptable revision suggestions should involve work and data that is already provided. Scitech editors will never ask authors to provide additional data or complete more research which expands on the content of the submission. If additional experiments or data are required to better support the conclusions already drawn then the reviewer must only suggest rejection. Where possible, reviewers should provide references to substantiate their comments. Reviewers should address the points below and indicate whether they consider any suggested revisions to be classed as ‘minor essential revisions’ or ‘discretionary revisions’.
- Is the question posed original and well defined? The research question posed by the authors should be easily identifiable and understood. It is useful to both the editors and authors if reviewers comment on the originality of the study within the context of its field. If the research question is unoriginal because related work has been published previously, please give references.
- Are the data sound and well controlled? If you feel that inappropriate controls have been used please say so, indicating the reasons for your concerns, and suggesting alternative controls where appropriate. If you feel that further experimental/clinical evidence is required to substantiate the results, please provide details.
- Is the interpretation (discussion and conclusion) well balanced and supported by the data? The interpretation should discuss the relevance of all the results in an unbiased manner. Are the interpretations overly positive or negative? Conclusions drawn from the study should be valid and result directly from the data shown, with reference to other relevant work as applicable. Have the authors provided references wherever necessary?
- Are the methods appropriate and well described, and are sufficient details provided to allow others to evaluate and/or replicate the work? Please remark on the suitability of the methods for the study, which should be clearly described and reproducible by peers in the field. If statistical analyses have been carried out, specify whether or not they need to be assessed specifically by an additional reviewer with statistical expertise.
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the methods? Please comment on any improvements that could be made to the study design to enhance the quality of the results. If any additional experiments are required, please give details. If novel experimental techniques were used please pay special attention to their reliability and validity.
- Can the writing, organization, tables and figures be improved? Although the editorial team may also assess the quality of the written English, please do comment if you consider the standard is below that expected for a scientific publication. If the manuscript is organized in such a manner that it is illogical or not easily accessible to the reader please suggest minor improvements.
- When revisions are requested. Reviewers may recommend revisions only if the clarity and/or coherence of the paper needs to be improved. Please see the ‘Scitech Peer Review Policy’ section below for more details.
- Are there any ethical or competing interests issues you would like to raise? The study should adhere to ethical standards of scientific research and the authors should declare that they have received ethics approval and or subject consent for the study, where appropriate. Whilst we do not expect reviewers to delve into authors’ competing interests, if you are aware of any issues that you do not think have been adequately addressed, please inform the editorial office.
- Reviewers are reminded of the importance of timely reviews. If reviewers encounter or foresee any problems meeting the deadline for a report, they should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Confidentiality Any manuscript sent for peer review is a confidential document and should remain so until it is formally published.
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