Here are some questions to consider when reading the manuscript:

  1. Is the submission original?
  2. Does the paper fit the scope of the journal?
  3. Would the paper be of interest to the readership of the journal?
  4. Does the paper help to expand or further research in this subject area?
  5. Does it significantly build on (the author’s) previous work?
  6. Do you feel that the significance and potential impact of a paper is high or low?
  7. Is the paper complete? Is there an abstract or summary of the work undertaken as well as a conclusion?
  8. Is the methodology and any analysis provided in the manuscript both accurate and properly conducted?
  9. Are all relevant accompanying data, citations, or references given by the author?
  10. Does it need shortening and changed to another form?
  11. Would you recommend that the author reconsider the paper for a different journal?

Please Provide detailed comments

  • These should be suitable for sending to the Editorial Board and HEC to make constructive suggestions, seek clarification on any unclear points, and ask for further elaboration.
  • Confirm whether you feel the subject of the paper is sufficiently interesting to justify its length. If you recommend shortening, show specific areas where you think it’s required.
  • It’s not the referees/reviewer’s job to edit the paper for English, but it is helpful if you correct the English where the technical meaning is unclear.
  • A referee may disagree with the author’s opinions, but should allow them to stand, provided their evidence supports it.
  • Remember that authors will welcome positive feedback as well as constructive criticism.
  • Being critical whilst remaining sensitive to the author isn’t always easy. Comments should be carefully worded so the Board understands what actions they need to take. Avoid generalized or vague statements as well as any negative comments which aren’t relevant or constructive.


Sample comments

  1. The manuscript is well written in an engaging and lively style.
  2. The level is appropriate to our readership.
  • The subject is very important. It’s currently something of a “hot topic” and is one to which the author has made significant contributions.
  1. This manuscript ticks all the boxes we have in mind for an X paper. I have no hesitation in recommending that it be accepted for publication after a few typos and other minor details have been attended to.
  2. Given the complexity involved, the author has produced many positive and welcome outcomes. The literature review offers a useful overview of current research and policy, and the resulting bibliography provides a very useful resource for current practitioners.
  3. This is a well-written article that identifies an important gap.


Constructive criticism


In the “Discussion” section I would have wished to see more information on…

  1. I don’t think that this article contains enough robust data to evidence the statement made on page X, lines Y–Z.
  2. I would strongly advise the author to rewrite their introduction, analysis, and discussion to produce a more contextualized introduction to…
  • There is an interesting finding in this research about…. However, there is insufficient discussion of exactly what this finding means and its implications.
  1. This discussion could be expanded to explain…
  2. The author could strengthen the paper by…
  3. The paper would be significantly improved with the addition of more details about…
  • The abstract is very lengthy and goes into detailed accounts that are best suited for the article’s main discussion sections. As such, I suggest the author reduces this section to keep only the most important elements.
  • To make this paper publishable, the author needs to respond to the following substantive points…etc.


Linguistic alterations


  1. This paper would benefit from some closer proofreading. It includes many linguistic errors (e.g. agreement of verbs) that at times make it difficult to follow. It may be useful to engage a professional English language editor following a restructure of the paper.
  2. The paper would benefit from stylistic changes to the way it has been written for a stronger, clearer, and more compelling argument.
  • There are a few sentences that need rephrasing for clarity.

Your recommendation

Please, share your recommendation to the editor about publication. For example:

  1. Accept. The paper is suitable for publication in its current form.
  2. Minor revision. The paper will be ready for publication after light revisions. Please list the revisions you would recommend the author makes.
  • Major revision. The paper needs substantial changes such as expanded data analysis, widening of the literature review, or rewriting sections of the text.
  1. Reject. The paper isn’t suitable for publication with this journal, or the revisions are too fundamental for the submission to continue being considered in its current form.
  2. Revisions
  3. When authors make revisions to their article, they’re asked to submit a list of changes and any comments for the reviewers. The revised version is usually returned to the original reviewer if possible. The reviewer is then asked to affirm whether the revisions are satisfactory.


All peer reviewers/Referees must follow these ethical guidelines:


  1. Reviewers must give unbiased consideration to each manuscript submitted. They should judge each on its merits, without regard to race, religion, nationality, sex, seniority, or institutional affiliation of the author(s).
  2. Reviewers must declare any conflict of interest before agreeing to review a manuscript. This includes any relationship with the author that may bias their review.
  • Reviewers must keep the peer review process confidential. They must not share information or correspondence about a manuscript with anyone outside of the peer review process.
  1. Reviewers should provide a constructive, comprehensive, evidenced, and appropriately substantial peer review report.
  2. Reviewers must avoid making statements in their report which might be construed as impugning any person’s reputation.
  3. Reviewers should make all reasonable effort to submit their report and recommendation on time. They should inform the editor if this is not possible.
  • Reviewers should call to the journal editor’s attention any significant similarity between the manuscript under consideration and any published paper or submitted manuscripts of which they are aware.