Social Sciences Directory Guidelines for Reviewers
If you have been invited to review a manuscript, please use our online peer review system.
- Criteria for Publication
- Writing the Review
- Other Questions for Consideration
- Timely Review
- Editing Reviewers' Reports
- Competing Interests
- Feedback to Reviewers
1. Editorial Criteria for Publication
To be accepted for publication in Social Sciences Directory, research articles must satisfy the following criteria:
- The study presents the results of original research.
- Results reported have not been published elsewhere.
- The research meets all applicable standards of ethics and research integrity.
- The article adheres to appropriate reporting guidelines and community standards for data availability.
To expand on each of these criteria:
1. Does the manuscript report on primary research?
Social Sciences Directory is designed specifically as a medium for original research. As such, it is not suitable for the publication of reviews, mini-reviews, opinion pieces, commentaries (unless invited for a specific purpose by Social Sciences Directory staff).
2. Have the results reported been published elsewhere?
Social Sciences Directory does not accept for publication work that has already been published elsewhere. However, studies that replicate results that are already in the literature may be considered for publication in Social Sciences Directory, as the independent confirmation of results can often be valuable, as can the presentation of a new dataset.
3. Does the research meet all applicable standards with regard to the ethics of experimentation and research integrity?
Research published in Social Sciences Directory must have been conducted to the highest ethical standards. A brief description of the most common of these is described in our Editorial and Publishing Policies. Please contact Social Sciences Directory staff (info [at] socialsciencesdirectory.com) if you have queries as to whether these standards have been met.
4. Does the article adhere to appropriate reporting guidelines and community standards for data availability?
Social Sciences Directory aims to promote openness in research and intends that all work published in Social Sciences Directory can be built on by future researchers. We therefore demand conformity to standards for the public deposition of data. Other similar standards that are applicable to specific communities should also be upheld. Failure to comply with community standards is a justifiable reason for rejection.
2. Writing the Review
The purpose of the review is to provide the editors with an expert opinion regarding the quality of the manuscript under consideration. The review should also supply authors with explicit feedback on how to improve their papers so that they are acceptable for publication in Social Sciences Directory. Although confidential comments to the editors are respected, any remarks that might help to strengthen the paper should be directed to the authors themselves. A good review would answer the following questions:
- What are the main claims of the paper?
- Are the claims properly placed in the context of the previous literature?
- Do the experimental data support the claims? If not, what other evidence is required?
- Who would find this paper of interest? And why?
- In what further directions would it be useful to take the current research?
3. Other Questions for Consideration
In the case of manuscripts deemed worthy of publication, we would appreciate additional advice from the reviewer on the following:
- Is the manuscript written clearly enough that it is understandable to non-specialists? If not, how could it be improved?
- Have the authors provided adequate proof for their claims without overselling them?
- Have the authors treated the previous literature fairly?
- Does the paper offer enough details of its methodology that its experiments could be reproduced?
- Social Sciences Directory encourages authors to publish detailed protocols as supporting information online. Do any particular methods used in the manuscript warrant such a protocol?
The review process is strictly confidential and should be treated as such by reviewers. As the author may have chosen to exclude some people from this process, no one who is not directly involved with the manuscript (including colleagues and other experts in the field) should be consulted by the reviewer unless such consultations have first been discussed with the Academic Editor. Reviewers must not take any confidential information they have gained in the review process and use it before the paper is published. Even after publication, unless they have the permission of the authors to use other information, reviewers may only use publicly published data (i.e. the contents of the published article) and not information from any earlier drafts.
5. Timely Review
Social Sciences Directory believes that an efficient editorial process that results in timely publication provides a valuable service both to authors and to the scientific community at large.
Although reviewers may remain anonymous during the review process, we strongly urge them to relinquish this anonymity to promote open and transparent decision-making.
7. Editing Reviewers' Reports
The editors and Social Sciences Directory staff do not edit any comments made by reviewers that have been intended to be read by the authors unless the language is deemed inappropriate for professional communication or the comments contain information considered confidential. Such remarks should be reserved for the confidential section of the review form, which is intended to be read by the editors only. In their comments to authors, reviewers are encouraged to be honest but not offensive in their language. On the other hand, authors should not confuse frank and perhaps even robust language with unfair criticism.
8. Competing Interests
As far as possible, we respect requests by authors to exclude reviewers whom they consider to be unsuitable. We also, as much as possible, try to rule out those reviewers who may have an obvious competing interest, such as those who may have been collaborators on other projects with the authors of this manuscript, those who may be direct competitors, those who may have a known history of antipathy with the author(s), or those who might profit financially from this work. Because it is not possible for all such competing interests to be known by a particular editor, we request that reviewers who recognize a potential competing interest inform the editors or journal staff and excuse themselves if they feel that are unable to offer an impartial review.
When submitting your review, you must indicate in the box provided whether or not you have any competing interests. On occasion, reviewers may be asked to offer their opinion on a manuscript that they may have reviewed for some other journal. This is not in itself a competing interest. That two journals have identified the same person as especially well qualified to judge the manuscript under consideration does not in any way decrease the validity of that opinion and may perhaps even enhance it.
9. Feedback to Reviewers
We send reviewers' comments along with the decision letter to reviewers of that manuscript. If reviewers have identified themselves, this information will be passed on to other reviewers. Reviewers who may have offered an opinion not in accordance with the final decision should not feel that their recommendation was not duly considered and their service not properly appreciated. Experts often disagree, and it is the job of the editorial team to make a decision.
These guidelines are adapted from the PLoS ONE website (http://www.plosone.org), published under the Creative Commons Attribution License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.