Guidelines for Reviewers

Peer review, though often critical, is a process that reviewers and authors equally share and discuss scientific opinions, which promotes the research capabilities of both. The position of reviewer and author exchanges time to time.

Peer review is one of the core procedure in scholarly publishing. Review comments from independent reviewers call authors’ attention to missed zone, assist editors to judge a paper comprehensively and make an unbiased decision. A high standard peer review benefits both authors and journals.

Manuscripts submitted to Ant journals for publications are reviewed by at least two independent reviewers. Single-blinded peer review is adopted in our editorial process, so that the identity of reviewers are not disclosed to authors.

To maintain an efficient and effective peer review as well as a fluent editorial service, we would appreciate reviewers taking a few minutes to read the following guidelines.

Benefits of Reviewers


Reviewers play an important role in a high-quality peer-review and help authors improve their papers by providing their professional expertise; reviewers' awareness of the current research can also be expanded in turn;

  1. An official reviewer certificate is provided at request;
  2. Reviewers are included in the journal's Annual Acknowledgment of Reviewers;
  3. Reviewers can add their review comments to Publons for the journals they reviewed and get recognition for the review work.

Ethical Guidelines for Reviewers


We strictly adhere to the criteria specified by COPE, OASPA, WAME and DOAJ for an ethical scholarly publishing with maximum transparency. Therefore, we hope that reviewers who take review commitment would also follow the ethical requirements:

  1. Declare conflicts of interest before starting to review;
  2. If not available, decline an invitation in a timely fashion, and if possible, recommend alternative reviewers at the same time;
  3. If having accepted an invitation, finish the review and submit the report within the expected timeframe;
  4. Prepare review report in depth, detailing both their overall impression of the manuscript and specific comments about certain parts of the manuscript;
  5. Report any suspected misconduct to the editors for further investigation;
  6. Keep the assigned manuscripts in confidential;
  7. Sign both names if a colleague was invited to complete the review together.

We recommend reviewers to refer to COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers when reviewing manuscripts that submitted to Ant journals.

Evaluation Guidelines for Reviewers


For a systematical peer review, reviewers are asked to fill in an online review report form, which covers the following important points that need to be evaluated while reviewing a manuscript:

Originality and Novelty. The results reported in the manuscript must be original work of the authors without any plagiarism or fabrication. Any part of the manuscript should not be published before elsewhere. The novelty of the manuscript should also be considered. Manuscripts indicating new insight, method or findings are preferred.

Interests and Significance. The work should be of interest to a certain readership of the journal, benefit some research communities and provide an advance in current knowledge.

Scientific Soundness. The study should be designed correctly. Experiments and analysis should follow the recognized technical standards. The conclusion of the study must be supported by faithful, logical and reasonable evidence and data. The methods, tools, software, and reagents used in the manuscripts should be described in details so that the result of the study can be reproduced. Anecdotal articles should not be accepted.

Research Ethics. The research involving human, animal, cell lines or plant subjects should be designed and conducted in an ethically acceptable manner. 

Quality of Language. The manuscript should be written in English clearly and precisely, free from spelling and grammatical errors and other linguistic inconsistencies. If needed, authors would be advised to use professional English editing service before acceptance.

After evaluating a manuscript in details, reviewers are asked to provide an overall recommendation to editors:


Accept Submission: If the manuscript is presented clearly and accurately; the method is described sufficiently in details; the conclusion is supported strongly by the data; the research makes significant contribution to the field; and there is few grammatical mistakes or inaccurate expression.

Revisions Required: If the manuscript is scientifically sound and acceptable but needs a number of simple corrections on expression, supplement on details, which does not influence the method and conclusion logic compared to current form. Reviewers should provide specific comments and suggestions item by item.

Resubmit for Review: If the theme of the study could be important and constructive to the field but it needs to be re-evaluated and justified after missed details or explanations are provided. Reviewers are encouraged to separately provide specific comments on the key revisions besides other minor ones. Usually a manuscript after major revisions will be sent back to the reviewers for a second review, unless the reviewer is not available for another review.

Decline Submission: If the manuscript contains any confirmed misconducts, methodological flow, or has no original contribution. If there is any suspected misconducts, we would appreciate that reviewers raise the issue directly to the handling editor for a sooner investigation.

Reviewers are welcome to provide feedback after review. Please note, editors make decisions on manuscripts after careful consideration of all reviewers’ comments. Editors can make a decision that conflicts with reviewers’ suggestions. In this case, editors will provide justification to reviewers and authors.

Recognition on Review Work


Once a paper is published, reviewers will be informed of the publication through an acknowledgement email. Simply forward that email to reviews@publons.com, reviewers can get recognition on the review work from Publons. We strongly encourage our reviewers to create a Publons profile and add their review work on Publons. 



Subscribe to receive issue release notifications
and newsletters from journals