Reviewers are the authors and editors’ guide in improving the quality of the articles. They identify the scientific and methodological issues and inform the authors to resolve them. A reviewer’s job is to comment on the manuscript and help the editor decide whether the manuscript is publishable or not. They also help improve the manuscript’s content before publication. Scientific journals should have a polite and honest communication with the reviewers. It is also important to provide the reviewers with the information they need. For example, when reviewers want to know if an article they have reviewed, is accepted or not, this information should be provided for them.
A reviewer’s job is to comment on the manuscript and help the editor decide whether the manuscript is publishable or not. They also help improve the manuscript’s content before publication. Scientific journals should have a polite and honest communication with the reviewers. It is also important to provide the reviewers with the information they need. For example, when reviewers want to know if an article they have reviewed, is accepted or not, this information should be provided for them.
Scientific journals must develop clear and precise guidelines for reviewing articles and submitting them to the manuscript reviewers. There should be guidelines for the reviewers on how to review the title, abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, discussion, conclusions, and references. The deputy editor then collects the opinions of the reviewers and sends the results to the authors. Scientific journals can even publish the reviewers’ opinions on an article after it is accepted. Journals should publish the reviewing guidelines they have developed throughout the year, on their website or on the first issue of the year for the use of reviewers and authors.
The deputy or assistant editor is the one who selects a qualified and expert reviewer for each manuscript. First, each reviewer should be instructed to consider ethical issues. This means that they should not submit the article’s manuscript to a third party or contact its authors.
A scientific journal should support the reviewers and authors, similarly. Because a journal’s reviewers are the best potential authors or editors of the journal, and the chief editor can use them for these positions. The reviewers should value the instructions and opinions of the editorial board.
In addition, the scientific journals should not only thank the reviewers in private but also show their gratitude in conferences and seminars. They can also publish a list of reviewers in the last issue of the year or give the active reviewers a free subscription. Another way to thank the reviewers is to send them several copies of the issue that contains their reviewed articles. Some scientific journals publish the name of each article’s reviewers at the end of the article.
For improving the articles’ quality, the journal can provide the authors with the reviewers’ comments without mentioning their names. But the assistant editor should scrutinize these comments to make sure that they are professional. Also, the reviewers should make sure that the authors receive their comments. The scientific journals should conduct educational workshops or at least develop guidelines to teach reviewers the proper ways of reviewing an article and the appropriate communication methods with the authors. For instance, the reviewers should keep their reviews professional and honest, provide logical reasons for the problems of an article, and focus on the details.
The reviewers should respect the efforts of an article’s author. This means that they should not publish the content of the manuscript or give it to a third party for consultation (unless they have the chief editor’s permission). Also, they should not make references to a manuscript.
Peer review is also a very useful method. It allows making sure that that the writers’ experience is tested by people with the same level of experience in the same scientific context. Besides, peer review helps to identify the potential problems and drawbacks of the article. It also provides scientific and methodological suggestions for improvement of the article’s quality.