Information for Reviewers

     Peer review is a critical factor in promoting the rigor and high quality of scientific research. The entire scientific community benefits when the peer-review process is timely, thorough, and balanced. The editors of POWER greatly appreciate the tremendous collective contribution that reviewers make to our journals and the articles they publish. We hope that the guidelines described below will help facilitate peer review as a conversation between authors and reviewers, and as an essential element of the publication process. Reviewer invitations for journal of POWER sent out by email from the Editorial Manager (EM) system. The invitation includes information about the title and abstract of the manuscript and an indication of the time frame in which we would like to receive the review. After agreeing to review the paper, the reviewer has access to the entire manuscript. Once referees submit their reviews, they will have access to the comments provided by the other reviewers as well. We encourage reviewers to contact the editorial office at any time if they require additional information or assistance.

     The Content of the Review

     The core of any review is an objective assessment of both the technical rigor and the novelty of the presented work. Key features of a review include:

     • an outline of the conceptual advance over previously published work

     • a specific recommendation

     • the reasons for that recommendation

     • a summary of the specific strengths and weaknesses of the paper. In this regard, we encourage referees to comment on the quality and presentation of the figures as well as the validity of the statistical methods used to interpret them. (If necessary, the editors can obtain primary data from the authors for referees’ use in these more detailed evaluations.)

     Some other issues that are often useful to discuss include:

     • alternative hypotheses that are consistent with the available data

     • the paper’s potential audience (i.e., the relevant fields within the readership of the journal)

     • Balanced referencing of the pre-existing literature. In particular, when previously published work has undercut the novelty of the present findings, it is extremely helpful to include in the body of the review detailed citation of the relevant articles and data.

     Cover Comments to the Editors

     If some specific aspects of the report seem inappropriate for presentation to the authors, they can be sent as comments for the editors’ eyes only. However, all general concerns that impact the reviewer’s overall recommendation should be indicated clearly in the comments to the author as well, not just in the comments to the editor. This includes but is not limited to concerns about the level of conceptual advance or significance. In general, the tone of the comments to the authors should be consistent with the tone of the comments to the editors. From the authors’ point of view, the final editorial decision should be a direct reflection of the reviewer comments that they receive.

     A more general context in which comments to the editor can aid the editorial process is as an executive summary of the comments to the authors. In addition, this is an appropriate place to discuss any suspicions of ethical violations—either in the research itself or in the manner in which it is presented. Such issues might include suspected data manipulation or fraud, plagiarism, duplicate publications, or unethical treatment of animals or research subjects. Reviews can and should be critical, but we ask reviewers to keep in mind that dismissive language and personalized criticisms may be viewed as reflecting bias or ulterior motives on the part of the referee.

     A timely and efficient review process benefits the entire scientific community and is therefore a key editorial goal of the POWER. In most cases, POWER consider 45 days to be sufficient time to review a manuscript. However, we do appreciate that reviewers juggle a number of priorities. If a referee is willing to review the paper but would require more than 45 days to do so, we ask that s/he contact the editorial office. It is important to inform the editor when a review is likely to be late; a revised estimate of the time until submission of the review and an explanation for the unexpected delay are invariably helpful.

     The Peer Review Process
    Journal of POWER
     Types of peer review
     Single Blind Review

     The names of the reviewers are hidden from the author. This is the traditional method of reviewing and is the most common type by far:

     • Reviewer anonymity allows for impartial decisions – the reviewers will not be influenced by the authors

     • Authors may be concerned that reviewers in their field could delay publication, giving the reviewers a chance to publish first

     • Reviewers may use their anonymity as justification for being unnecessarily critical or harsh when commenting on the authors’ work

     Double Blind Review

     Both the reviewer and the author are anonymous:

     • Author anonymity prevents any reviewer bias, for example based on an author's country of origin or previous controversial work.

     • Articles written by prestigious or renowned authors are considered on the basis of the content of their papers, rather than their reputation.

     • Reviewers can often identify the author through their writing style, subject matter or self-citation.

     Open Review

     Reviewer and author are known to each other:

     • Some believe this is the best way to prevent malicious comments, stop plagiarism, prevent reviewers from following their own agenda, and encourage open, honest reviewing.

     • Others see open review as a less honest process, in which politeness or fear of retribution may cause a reviewer to withhold or tone down criticism.