Guide For Reviewers
GUIDE FOR REVIEWERS
Peer review is a critical gatekeeper for academic publishing. Usually, an author believes that their manuscript is flawless until another expert (peer) in the same field or discipline begins to piece it apart in order to give the author another chance to re-assemble a much better manuscript. All manuscripts submitted to NIJOTECH undergo a rigorous but constructive peer review which then enables the Editorial Team to make an informed decision regarding the manuscript. We usually do not ask authors to propose reviewers during manuscript submission. Rather, we select from a vast pool of reviewers from our database. This database of reviewers is constantly being updated. As a matter of policy, the Editorial Team is usually bound by the recommendations of the reviewers.
All manuscripts submitted to NIJOTECH are automatically assigned a manuscript number and a notification is delivered to the email in-box of the Editor in Chief who then assigns an Editor to the manuscript. The Editor first screens the manuscript to ensure that it is within scope and that it adheres to the Author’s Guide. Afterwards, the manuscript is subjected to plagiarism check to ensure that the paper was not plagiarised. Once the manuscript passes the initial checks, it is sent out to three or more reviewers who then reviews the manuscript and advised the Editor on whether to accept or decline the manuscript. NIJOTECH adopts a double-blind review mechanism in which both authors and reviewers are unknown to each other.
We understand that peer review for academic publication purposes can be quite tasking. In fact, it requires a high level of commitment. Hence, we do not take for granted the efforts and time invested by our numerous reviewers in reviewing manuscripts assigned to them.
On the other hand, it is important for reviewers to know that a good paper should not be rejected because it was badly written, neither should an empty manuscript be accepted because it was beautifully written. It is therefore the obligation of the reviewer to distinguish between the two. This therefore implies that while we encourage constructive review, we do not subscribe to trivial peer review. Hence the following guide will help reviewers perform their task effectively:
- First read the entire manuscript beginning from the title. It will be helpful to make notes either on the manuscript or on paper as you read
- Suggest an appropriate title if you are convinced that the title chosen by the authors is not appropriate.
- Read the abstract carefully and match it against the methodology as well as results and discussion.
- As you read, note grammatical errors/mistakes, contradictory statements, disjointed paragraphs, false claims, unreferenced statements and shoddiness in presentation.
- Check the introduction to see if it is (i) coherent, (ii) appropriate for the work being presented, (iii) properly and adequately referenced
- Examine the methodology to see if (i) it is appropriate for the objective selected, (ii) it is complete - addresses all the specific objectives, (iii) it makes reference to standard methods where necessary, (iv) it is reproducible - the methodology must be clear enough for someone else to reproduce and even improved upon, (v) it specifies and defines all the parameters used in the study.
- Look at the results to determine if the results claimed would naturally emanate from the methodology used and that results presented are complete when benchmarked against the methodology and specific objectives.
- Read the discussion carefully to ascertain that results were adequately discussed with relevant references cited either to support or differ with results obtained. Authors must be able to make scientific inferences from their findings and state such succinctly.
- Check the titles of figures and tables to ensure that they are appropriate and concise.
- All graphs and figures must be legible and must have (a) axes titles with units of plotted parameters clearly indicated and (b) legends (where more than two dependent variables are plotted)
- Check the references for currency and completeness. An original research manuscript should have between 25 and 40 references, while review manuscripts should have not less than 50 references.
- After reading the manuscript and jotting down comments, these comments should be used to develop a comprehensive review report. It is recommended that reviewers structure their reports as follows:
- Results and Discussion
- NIJOTECH review-ready manuscripts are usually assigned page numbers and line numbers for ease of reference. Reviewers are urged to make reference to specific portions of the manuscript by page and line numbers. For instance, Page 4, lines 5 & 6 would be clearly referring to the sentence on lines 5 and 6 of Page 4.
- Do not just highlight errors, make your review as constructive as possible to enable authors revise their manuscripts accordingly.
- After writing your peer review report, then log into your NIJOTECH dashboard and fill the review form based on your report.
- Make a recommendation to the Editor regarding the manuscript. NIJOTECH uses a 5-tier recommendation as follows:
- Accept without change and publish in the present form
- Accept with minor revision in which there is no need for re-review
- Major changes as contained in my comments to authors
- Reject and re-submit a substantially revised article
- Reject this manuscript outright to save editorial resources.
The reviewer must choose a recommendation option that most truly reflects the quality of the paper and that aligns with the review report.
- After completing the review form, attach your review report using the upload button to submit the review. Once this is done, you will not be able to change or modify the review.
Rules To Observe During Peer Review
Reviewers are expected to abide by the highest ethical standard of publishing. Hence, they MUST:
- They must avoid conflict of interest. A reviewer should not review a manuscript. which they took part in even if they are not listed as authors.
- Reviewers must not distribute the manuscript under review.
- Reviewers must not copy or plagiarise manuscripts sent to them for review.
- Reviewers must not contact any of the authors of the manuscript under review.
- They must not make attempt to ascertain the identity of any of the authors.
- Reviewers should not submit blank or scanty reviews.