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Domů Projekty AD ALTA Peer-review policy

Peer-review policy

Peer-review is the system used to assess the quality of a manuscript before it is published. Independent researchers in the relevant research area assess submitted manuscripts for originality, validity and significance to help editors determine whether the manuscript should be published in their journal. You can read more about the peer-review process below.

AD ALTA operates a double-blind peer-review system, where the reviewers do not know the names or affiliations of the authors and the reviewer reports provided to the authors are anonymous.


Submitted manuscripts will generally be reviewed by two to three experts who will be asked to evaluate whether the manuscript is scientifically sound and coherent, whether it duplicates already published work, and whether or not the manuscript is sufficiently clear for publication. Reviewers will also be asked to indicate how interesting and significant the research is. The Editors will reach a decision based on these reports and, where necessary, they will consult with members of the Editorial Board.

The Peer Reviewer

After receiving a request to peer review it is essential that peer reviewers respond in a timely fashion, particularly if they cannot do the review, to avoid unnecessarily delaying the process. Peer reviewers should declare any conflicts of interest (seeking advice from the publisher if they are unsure), and possess sufficient knowledge in the field to perform a thorough assessment of the manuscript. You can find further information on competing interests here. Peer reviewers must keep any information regarding the identity of the authors and the content of the manuscript confidential. Peer review comments should be objective and constructive without being of a hostile or derogatory nature.

Writing the Report

Peer reviewers should assess the major strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript as well as look at the statistical power of the study if relevant. In the first part of their report, peer reviewers should answer the questions assessing the quality and content of the manuscript and scientific methods. These will guide the peer reviewer to reflect on points which might need to be addressed by the author(s). Peer reviewers must ensure that they answer the following questions in their report:

  • In general, is the paper easy to follow and does it have a logical flow?
  • Do the title and abstract cover the main aspects of the work?
  • Are the results novel? Does the study provide an advance in the field?
  • Did the study gain ethical approval appropriate to the country in which the research was performed if human or animal subjects were involved and is it stated in the manuscript?
  • Does the paper raise any ethical concerns?
  • Are the methods clear and replicable?
  • Do all the results presented match the methods described?
  • Is the statistical analysis appropriate to the study design?
  • Are the controls appropriate for the study design?
  • Is the data clearly and appropriately presented using clear language?
  • Did the authors make the underlying data available to the readers?
  • Do the conclusions correlate to the results found?
  • Are the figures and tables clear and legible?
  • Are images appropriate for the article? If there are any concerns about duplication or manipulation in images, please raise potential issues by email or in your report. Please refer to our image manipulation policy.
  • Does the paper use appropriate references in the correct style to promote understanding of the content?
  • Does the English grammar, punctuation or spelling need to be corrected?

Peer reviewers should then provide the Editor-in-Chief with a recommendation regarding the suitability of the manuscript for publication.
 

Introduction to peer review

Peer review exists to ensure that journals publish good science. This benefits the entire scientific community.

Sometimes scientists find the peer review process intimidating because it can lead to the rejection of their manuscript. Keep in mind that revisions and improvement are part of the publication process and actually help raise the quality of your manuscript.

Peer review is a positive process

Peer review is an integral part of scientific publishing that confirms the validity of the science reported. Peer reviewers are experts who volunteer their time to help improve the journal manuscripts they review-they offer authors free advice.

Through the peer review process, manuscripts should become:

  • More robust: Peer reviewers may point out gaps in your paper that require more explanation or additional experiments.
  • Easier to read: If parts of your paper are difficult to understand, reviewers can tell you so that you can fix them.
  • More useful: Peer reviewers also consider the importance of your paper to others in your field.

Of course, in addition to offering authors advice, another important purpose of peer review is to make sure that the manuscripts the journal eventually publishes are of high quality. If a journal publishes too many low-quality manuscripts, its reputation and number of readers will decline.

Editorial rejection

Your journal manuscript can be rejected if it:

  • Lacks proper structure
  • Lacks the necessary detail for readers to fully understand the authors' analysis
  • Has no new science
  • Does not clearly explain which parts of the findings are new science, versus what was already known
  • Lacks up-to-date references
  • Contains theories, concepts, or conclusions that are not fully supported by its data, arguments, and information
  • Does not provide enough details about materials and methods to allow other scientists to repeat the experiment
  • Lacks clear descriptions or explanations of:
  • Hypotheses tested
  • The experimental design
  • Sample characteristics and descriptive statistics
  • Describes poor experimental design, or faulty or insufficient statistical analysis
  • Has poor language quality

Publication is a difficult process, and you must be prepared to defend your submission against rejection from both editors and peer reviewers. However, do not be too persistent. Generally, only one letter defending your submission will be accepted for each of the review stages (editorial review and peer review). If you are unsuccessful after sending a response letter, then you should strongly consider selecting another journal.

Revising

When revising your manuscript and responding to peer review comments:

  • Address all points raised by the editor and reviewers
  • Describe the revisions to your manuscript in your response letter
  • Perform any additional experiments or analyses the reviewers recommend (unless you feel that they would not make your paper better; if this is the case, explain why in your response letter)
  • Provide a polite and scientific rebuttal to any points or comments you disagree with
  • Differentiate between reviewer comments and your responses in your letter
  • Clearly show the major revisions in the text, either with a different color text, by highlighting the changes, or with Microsoft Word's Track Changes feature
  • Return the revised manuscript and response letter within the time period the editor tells you

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