The quality of a scientific journal depends on the quality of its content and the reviewers have a critical role in this regard. Journals should not overload their reviewers; furthermore, they should not forget to appreciate the reviewers’ efforts. Besides, the article manuscripts should be initially reviewed before they are sent to the main reviewers.
The purpose of the initial review is to determine if the manuscript is in line with the goals and purposes of the journal, whether it has the essential features of a scientific article, adheres to the guidelines of the journal, and is comprehensible.
Manuscripts should not be rejected only because of their poor scientific writing, since they should be judged based on their content. The editorial board is responsible for the initial review of the manuscripts. The first step in establishing a peer review system is to determine a set of rules. There are three various reviewing methods which are listed below:
Double-blind peer review means that the reviewers don’t know the identity of the authors, and the authors don’t know the identity of the reviewers. Single-blind peer review means that the reviewers know the authors but the authors don’t know the identity of the reviewers. Open peer review means that both the reviewers and writers know each other.
Most journals choose the first or the second method. Whether a blind review improves the quality of the judgment and reduces the possibility of bias is open for discussion. However, it seems that some factors, such as the relationship between the editorial board and the authors, and in particular open peer review could affect the quality of a review.
One of the most important and fundamental choices of any scientific journal, is choosing a reviewing method for the manuscripts which would be in line with the goals and objectives of the journal. This method should certainly be specified in the guidelines written for the authors and reviewers. Different journals make use of different reviewing methods. For example, they may mention the names of the reviewers and their comments at the end of the article manuscript.