Guidelines for Reviewers

Reviewers play a critical role in the peer review process for human biology journals. Their expertise and feedback help ensure the quality and integrity of the research being considered for publication. Here are some general guidelines for reviewers in the field of human biology:

  1. Maintain Confidentiality:

    • Reviewers should treat the manuscript and its content as confidential and should not discuss it with anyone who is not involved in the review process.
  2. Ethical Conduct:

    • Reviewers should evaluate the manuscript's ethical standards, including informed consent, privacy, and proper handling of human biological samples. Any ethical concerns should be raised with the editor.
  3. Expertise and Competence:

    • Reviewers should have expertise in the subject matter of the manuscript. If a reviewer feels that they lack the necessary expertise, they should inform the editor.
  4. Timely Response:

    • Reviewers are expected to complete their reviews within the specified timeframe, typically within a few weeks to a few months, as per the journal's policies.
  5. Constructive and Detailed Feedback:

    • Provide constructive, specific, and well-documented feedback to authors. Clearly articulate the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript, offering suggestions for improvement.
  6. Clarity and Objectivity:

    • Ensure that the review is written in a clear, objective, and unbiased manner. Avoid making personal or derogatory comments about the authors.
  7. Originality and Significance:

    • Assess the originality and significance of the research. Comment on whether the study advances the field and contributes new knowledge.
  8. Methods and Data:

    • Evaluate the rigor and appropriateness of the methods used. Check for sufficient detail in methods and ensure that the data supports the conclusions.
  9. References and Citations:

    • Check the quality and relevance of references. Ensure that all sources are properly cited and that any potentially missing citations are identified.
  10. Clarity and Organization:

    • Evaluate the clarity of the manuscript's structure, organization, and language. Comment on whether the manuscript is well-written and easy to understand.
  11. Conflicts of Interest:

    • Reviewers should disclose any conflicts of interest that may influence their assessment of the manuscript. If such conflicts exist, the reviewer should recuse themselves from the review.
  12. Recommendations:

    • Make clear and justified recommendations to the editor, such as "Accept," "Minor Revision," "Major Revision," or "Reject." Provide a detailed rationale for your recommendation.
  13. Suggest Corrections:

    • When recommending revisions, specify the changes required for the manuscript to meet the journal's standards.
  14. Follow Journal Policies:

    • Familiarize yourself with the specific peer review policies and guidelines of the journal you are reviewing for, as these may vary between journals.
  15. Reviewer Identification:

    • Some journals offer the option for reviewers to be identified in the published report, while others maintain reviewer anonymity. Reviewers should follow the journal's policy.
  16. Continued Support:

    • Be prepared to provide additional feedback or revisions if requested during the revision process, and be open to further communication with the authors or the editorial team.

Remember that your role as a reviewer is essential in maintaining the quality and integrity of the scientific literature in human biology. Constructive and objective feedback helps authors improve their work, and your expertise contributes to the advancement of the field.