The task of running an academic journal typically falls to the journal's editor and/or editorial board. They include notifying authors of the receipt of their submission, reviewing each submission for general suitability, selecting appropriate reviewers for each submission, asking potential reviewers if available to review, sending manuscripts to reviewers, nagging reviewers to return comments, collating reviewers' recommendations, making final decisions about acceptance or rejection, writing a cover letter to authors notifying them of this decision and making recommendations for revision, and reviewing revisions when they are returned.
We believe among all complicated stages mentioned above, ‘peer review’ is the single most important basis of any good academic journal: the process during which peers evaluate submissions. This process is often a time-consuming and difficult task. Therefore, your contribution will help us publish high-quality research in the shortest time possible, which promotes the widest readership and impact.
This guide, developed by Chemical Review and Letters, is intended to make your experience as a Reviewer using review system as simple and straightforward as possible. What follows are some suggestions for simplifying your duties as a Reviewer while using the online submission and review system.
This guide is designed to boil down the reviewer responsibilities into three main skill sets:
Before you accept or decline an invitation to review, consider the following questions:
If you agree to review a manuscript for the journal, you will automatically be sent an email that includes a due date by which the review should be completed online and instructions for submitting your review.
Your review will help the editor decide whether or not to publish the article. Giving your overall opinion and general observations of the article is essential. Your comments should be courteous and constructive, and should not include any personal remarks or personal details including your name.
Providing insight into any deficiencies is important. You should explain and support your judgment so that both editors and authors are able to fully understand the reasoning behind your comments. You should indicate whether your comments are your own opinion or are reflected by the data.
The following checklist will be useful during the final checking of an article prior to sending the opinion to the journal for editor’s decision.
Here's a checklist that can help you through the reviewing process.
When you are ready to submit your review, log in as a reviewer at http://chemrevlett.com and find the manuscript in your Pending Assignments. Click on "Submit Recommendation" and the review form will open.
If, while entering your review, you wish to exit and come back later, the "Save and Submit Later" button will save whatever you have done in your Pending Assignments.
The Editorial System has three categories (Recommendation, Reviewer Blind Comments to Author, and Reviewer Confidential Comments to Editor). Confidential Comments to the Editor are greatly appreciated but not mandatory. Details about the three categories are as follows:
1. Comments for Authors - Please type in or “cut and paste” your comments that are to be conveyed (anonymously) to authors. Please do not opine here about whether the manuscript should be accepted or rejected – such remarks should be confined to the “Confidential Comments to the Editor” window, to be discussed next.
It would be greatly appreciated if you answer the following Yes/No questions and copy them at the end of your comments for authors:
2. Confidential Comments to the Editor/Editor-in-Chief- These comments are seen only by the Editor and Editorial Office and are not shared with authors or other reviewers. Please write your comments to the Editor at the top of the text box.
If you suggest a revision, please indicate so in the form next to “I would like to review the revised manuscript” if you would like to see the revised article. If you do not check this in the form or do not indicate you wish to see the revision elsewhere, you will not be sent the revised article (unless the editorial office is otherwise instructed by the editor).
3. Upload Reviewer Attachments (optional) – If you have used track changes in Microsoft Word or included comments in the submission PDF for the authors to address or for the editors to see, you can upload files using the “Upload Reviewer Attachments” button. By following the steps in the pop-up window, you can upload attachments from your computer and select whether you want the authors to have access to your files.
4. Recommendation - At the bottom please provide your recommendation with the following choices available in a drop down menu: Accept, Minor revision, Major revision, or Reject.
If a manuscript will require a complete re-write or if the methodology is critically flawed, please reject.
Please be sure to remove any identification of yourself from the file before uploading it if you wish for the authors to view your attachments. Any comments in your file should be from “reviewer” or “anonymous.”
When you are ready to submit your review, click "Send to Editor" This will give you a final look at your review and let you either edit further if needed or submit the review to the editorial office.
After you sent the review, you will automatically be sent an email which acknowledges the successful submission of your review and expresses our appreciation of your scholarly insights.
Thank you for taking the time to write a review!
Editorial Office of Chemical Review and Letters