Peer Review and Editorial Procedure
SMLA aims to maintain the highest quality standards for the published articles. This is ensured by a strict and thorough peer-review process carried out by experts for all submitted manuscripts.
The review process compromising of initial check of the submitted manuscript by the journal’s Managing Editor, and a review of the submitted manuscript if meets the scope of the journal and if it can proceed for the further peer-review process. If the manuscript meets the scope of the SMLA journal, the Managing Editor will invite reviewers to check the manuscript. The review is carried out by independent experts, and a minimum of two review reports per manuscript are required. The authors will be asked to perform the required revisors before the final decision is made. The decision will be carried out by the Editor-In-Chief or Co-Editors in Chief of a journal or the Guest Editor of a Special Issue.
Reviewers’ Profile and Responsibilities
The role of the reviewer is important to ensure the highest quality of the manuscript. Every reviewer is expected to perform the manuscript evaluation in a timely, transparent, and ethical manner.
To become the SMLA Journal Reviewer, you should meet the following criteria:
- Hold a Ph.D. (or MD for medical fields), preferably with postdoctoral experience and be an active researcher
- Possess official and recognized affiliation (University or Research Institute) relevant experience and have a proven publication record in the field of the submitted paper (Scopus, ORCID)
- Not hold any conflicts of interest with the authors
- SMLA promotes a rigorous peer review to ensure a thorough evaluation of each manuscript
Reviewers, before accepting the invitation to review the manuscript, should check if they have the necessary expertise to judge the scientific quality of the submitted manuscript and provide quality review reports maintaining the standards of professionalism and ethics.
General Guidelines for Reviewers
Potential Conflicts of Interest
SMLA asks reviewers to declare any potential conflicts of interest and email the journal Editorial Team at firstname.lastname@example.org if they are unsure if something constitutes a potential conflict of interest. Possible conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to):
- Reviewer works in the same institute as one of the authors.
- Reviewer is a co-author, collaborator, joint grant holder, or has any other academic link with any of the authors within the past five years
- Reviewer has a close personal relationship, rivalry or antipathy toward any of the authors
- Reviewer may in any way gain or lose financially from the publication of the paper
- Reviewer has any other non-financial conflicts of interests (political, personal, religious, ideological, academic, intellectual, commercial or any other) with any of the authors.
Reviewers should disclose any conflicts of interest that may be perceived as a bias for or against the paper or authors.
Declaration of Confidentiality
SMLA journals operate double-blind peer review. Until the article is published, reviewers should keep the content of the manuscript, including the Abstract, confidential. Reviewers should also be careful not to reveal their identity to the authors, either in their comments or in metadata for reports submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format.
Review of Manuscript
During the review of the manuscript, the reviewer should:
- Read the whole article, including the supplementary material and pay close attention to the figures, tables, data, and methods.
- Your report should critically analyse the article, but also specific sections and the key concepts presented in the article.
- Please ensure your comments are detailed so that the authors may correctly address the points you raise.
- Reviewers must not recommend citation of work by themselves, close colleagues, another author, or the journal when it is not clearly necessary to improve the quality of the manuscript under review.
- Please maintain a neutral tone and focus on providing constructive criticism that will help the authors improve their work. Inappropriate comments will not be tolerated.
General questions to help guide your review report for submitted manuscripts:
- Is the manuscript clear, relevant for the field and presented in a well-structured manner?
- Are the cited references mostly recent publications (within the last five years) and relevant? Does it include an excessive number of self-citations?
- Is the manuscript scientifically sound, and is the experimental plan appropriate to test the hypothesis?
- Are the manuscript’s results reproducible based on the details given in the methods section?
- Are the figures/tables/images/schemes of the appropriate quality clearly demonstrating the data? Are they easy to interpret and understand?
- Is the data interpreted appropriately and consistently throughout the manuscript?
- Are the conclusions consistent with the evidence presented?
Please evaluate the ethics statements and data availability statements to ensure they are adequate.
Rating the Manuscript
During the manuscript evaluation, please rate the following aspects:
- Scope: Does the work fit the journal scope?
- Novelty: Is the question original and well-defined?
- Significance: Are the results significant and interpreted appropriately? Are all conclusions justified and supported by the results?
- Quality: Is the article written in a logical way? Are the data and analyses presented clearly?
- Scientific Soundness: Is the study correctly designed and technically sound? Are the analyses performed with the highest technical standards? Is the data robust enough to draw conclusions?
- Are the methods, tools, software, and reagents described with sufficient details to allow another researcher to reproduce the results?
English Level: Is the English language appropriate and understandable?
Manuscripts should only report results that have not been submitted or published before. Manuscripts must be original and should not reuse text from another source without appropriate citation. The studies reported should have been carried out in accordance with generally accepted ethical research standards.
If the reviewer becomes aware of any scientific misconduct or fraud, plagiarism or any other unethical behaviour related to the manuscript, they should raise these concerns with the Editorial team immediately.
Please provide an overall recommendation for the next processing stage of the manuscript using the below statements:
- Accept in Present Form: The paper can be accepted without any further changes.
- Accept after Minor Revisions: The paper can, in principle, be accepted after revision based on the reviewer’s comments. Authors are given seven days for minor revisions.
- Reconsider after Major Revisions: The acceptance of the manuscript would depend on the revisions. The author needs to provide a point-by-point response to the reviewers’ comments. Authors will be asked to resubmit the revised paper within 30 days, and the revised version will be returned to the reviewer for further comments.
- Reject: The article has serious flaws, makes no original contribution, and the paper may be rejected with no offer of resubmission to the journal.
The reviewers’ recommendations are only visible to journal editors. Decisions on revisions, acceptance, or rejections must always be well justified.