Peer Review Guidelines

The following guidelines are intended to make experts aware of their responsibilities as well as benefits as being reviewers for OAE journals and help them complete the assigned review work correctly and efficiently.

1. Benefits of Reviewers
  • Reviewers play an important role in a high-quality peer-review and help authors improve their papers by providing their professional expertise, reviewers’ awareness of the current research can also be expanded in turn;
  • An official reviewer certificate is provided at request;
  • Reviewers are included in the journal's Annual Acknowledgment of Reviewers;
  • Reviewers can add their review comments to Publons for the participating journals and get recognition for the review works.
2. Peer Review Model

All submissions of OAE journals undergo single-blind peer review, which means that the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author. For more details about review process, please refer to Editorial Process.

3. Ethics of Peer Review

Reviewers must comply with the ethical regulations as below; any misconduct in peer review will be investigated seriously.

3.1 Potential Conflicts of Interest
Reviewers must declare all potential conflicts of interest, which may prejudice the review report either in a positive or negative way. Reviewers should not agree to review a manuscript with substantial conflicts of interest with themselves. Conflicts of interest may be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political or religious in nature. Reviewers are not allowed either to review a manuscript just to gain sight of it with no intention of submitting a review, or agree to review a manuscript that is very similar to one the reviewer has in preparation or under consideration at another journal.

3.2 Confidentiality
Reviewers must keep all content of the manuscript confidential and refrain from using information obtained during the peer review process for the advantage of their own or another person. They should not reveal their identity to the authors, either in their comments or in metadata for reports submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format. 

3.3 Report Misconduct
Reviewers should report to the journal editor in case they come across any potential research or publication misconduct, like plagiarism or breaches to research ethics, etc. It is appropriate to cooperate with the journal in confidence, but not to personally investigate further unless the journal asks for additional information or advice.

3.4 Unbiased Comments
It is important for reviewers to remain unbiased regardless of the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, origins of a manuscript or other commercial considerations.

4. Timeliness

We strive to provide seamless high-quality publishing services to the academic community. Reviewers are expected to respond to and submit review reports in a timely manner. Reviewers should contact the editor promptly if they require an extension to the review deadline. Similarly, reviewers are required to inform the editors as soon as possible if they find they do not have the adequate level of expertise to assess a manuscript to avoid any delay in review process.

5. Rating Standards of Peer-Review

Reviewers are expected to assess the following aspects of a manuscript:

5.1 Novelty
Whether the manuscript reports innovative practices, methods, techniques, and theories, and whether it creates an advance in current knowledge.

5.2 Significance
Whether the topic is timely and relevant to the field, and whether the manuscript makes significant contributions to the field.

5.3 Scientific Soundness
Whether the studies are correctly designed, whether the analyses are performed with high technical standards, whether the data are enough to support the conclusions, and whether information is clear enough to allow other researchers to reproduce the results.

5.4 Clarity of Presentation
Whether the manuscript is written in a clear, professional structure without grammatical flaws or writing errors, whether the information presented is clear and cohesive, and whether there are organizational or stylistic barriers that would prevent effective communication of the work.

5.5 Language
Whether the English language is appropriate and understandable. 

6. Overall Recommendation

Reviewers' recommendations are very important for the editors to make decisions on manuscripts. Reviewers are asked to provide an overall recommendation for the publication of the manuscript as follows:

Accept: The manuscript is suitable for publication in its current form. 
Minor Revision: The manuscript will be acceptable after slight revisions.
Major Revision: The manuscript would benefit from substantial changes such as expanded data analysis, or rewriting sections, or widening of the literature review, etc
Reject: The manuscript has serious flaws in data or experimental design, or makes no original contribution, etc.

Reviewers should list the reasons for any decision they make. For Minor/Major Revision recommendations, they should specify revisions they would recommend.

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