1. An unpublished manuscript is a privileged document. Please protect it from any form of exploitation. Don’t cite a manuscript or refer to the work it describes before it has been published and don’t use the information that it contains for the advancement of your own research or in discussions with colleagues.
2. Adopt a positive, impartial attitude toward the manuscript under review, with the aim of promoting effective and accurate scientific communication. If you believe that you cannot judge a given article impartially, please return it immediately to the editor.
3. Reviews must be completed by the date stipulated on the review form. If you know that you cannot finish the review within that time, immediately return the manuscript to the editor. If possible, provide the names and addresses of two reviewers who are competent to handle the subject matter.
4. In your review, consider the following aspects of the manuscript:-
a. Significance of research question or subject studied.
b. Originality of work.
c. Appropriateness of approach or experimental design.
d. Adequacy of experimental techniques.
e. Soundness of conclusions and interpretation.
f. Relevance of discussion
g. Soundness of organization.
h. Adherence to style as set forth in instructions to authors.
j. Adequacy of title and abstract.
k. Appropriateness of figures and tables.
l. Length of article.
m. Adherence to correct nomenclature (genetic, enzyme, drug, biochemical etc).
n. Appropriate literature citations.
5. Any help you can give in clarifying meaning will be appreciated. If you wish to mark the text of the manuscript, use a pencil or make a photocopy, mark it, and return it together with the original.
6. You can be particularly helpful in pointing out unnecessary illustrations and data that are presented in both tabular (and graphic) form and in detail in the text. Such redundancies are a waste of space and readers time.
7. A significant number of authors have not learnt how to organize data and will benefit from your guidance.
8. Do not discuss the paper with its authors.
9. In your comments intended for transmission to the author, don’t make any specific statement about the acceptability of a paper. Suggested revision should be stated as such and not expressed as conditions of acceptance. Present criticism dispassionately and avoid offensive remarks.
10. Organize your review so that an introductory paragraph summarizes the major findings of the article, gives your overall impression of the paper and highlights the major shortcomings. This paragraph should be followed by specific numbered comments which if appropriate may be subdivided into major and minor points.
11. Confidential remarks directed to the editor should be typed (or handwritten) on a separate sheet, not on the review form. You might want to distinguish between revisions considered essential and those judged merely desirable.
12. Your criticisms, arguments and suggestions concerning the paper will be most useful to the editor and to the author if they are carefully documented. Do not make dogmatic, dismissive statements, particularly about the novelty of work. Substantiate your statements.
13. Reviewer’s recommendations are gratefully received by the editor. However, since editorial decisions are usually based on evaluations derived from several sources, reviewers should not expect the editor to honor every recommendation.
14. Categories of recommendation: accept, reject, modify, or convert to some other form. Very few papers qualify for “accept” upon original submission for publication except for minor style changes.
15. Keep a copy of the review in your files. The manuscript may be returned to you for a second review. You might require this copy to evaluate the author’s responses to your criticisms.