Guidelines for Reviewers

Reviewers bear the responsibility for objectivity, professionalism, impartiality, and confidentiality in the assessment of content quality.

iRASD Journal of Agricultural Sciences (iRASD - JOAS) follows a double-blind peer-review process. Where the identities of authors and reviewers are hidden from each other. Its purpose is to improve the quality of content and of the scientific material under review that is ultimately published. Conscientious review is a time-consuming effort but is essential to assure the quality of scientific journals. The iRASD - JOAS is very grateful for the time and effort reviewers invest in this process. iRASD - JOAS adheres to the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines and strives to ensure that the review process is fair, unbiased, and timely. Decisions to accept a manuscript for publication depending on the importance of investigated issue, originality, clarity, validity, and relevance of the work to the scope of the iRASD - JOAS. Therefore, reviewers have a major role decision on whether to accept an article for publication.

General Notes

  • Reviews should be conducted fairly and objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. If the research reported in the manuscript is flawed, criticize the science, not the scientist. Personal criticism is likely to lead an author to ignore useful comments, making your review less useful to your field. Criticisms should be objective, not merely differences of opinion, and intended to help the author improve his or her paper.
  • You should decline to review manuscripts in which you have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers.
  • If your previous or present connection with the author(s) or an author's institution might be construed as creating a conflict of interest, but no actual conflict exists, please include this issue in your confidential comments to the editor. If in doubt, please contact the Editor who requested the review before accepting.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the manuscript, which is sent to you in confidence. You should not discuss unpublished manuscripts with colleagues or use the information in your own work. If you feel a colleague is more qualified than you to review the paper, do not pass the manuscript on to that person without first requesting permission to do so from the editor. Your review and your recommendation should also be considered confidential.
  • If you choose to remain anonymous, ensure that you avoid comments to the authors that might serve as clues to your identity.

Comments to Editor

Your Comments to the Editor will be submitted to the Managing Editor and the Editor-in-Chief only. These should include any possible conflicts of interest. Comments and constructive criticism of the manuscript should be placed in the Comments to the Author.

Comments to the Author (s)

Your Comments to the Author (s) will be submitted to the Managing Editor and the Editor-in-Chief. They are also communicated to the author (s) and to the other anonymous reviewers of the manuscript once the editor has made a decision.

Comments should be constructive and designed to enhance the manuscript. You should consider yourself the author’s mentor. Make your comments as complete and detailed as possible. Express your views clearly with supporting arguments and references as necessary. Include clear opinions about the strengths, weaknesses, and relevance of the manuscript, its originality, and its importance to the field. Specific comments that cite line numbers are most helpful. If you feel unqualified to address certain aspects of the manuscript, please include a statement to identify these areas.

Begin by identifying the major contributions of the paper. What are its major strengths and weaknesses, and its suitability for publication? Please include both general and specific comments bearing on these questions and emphasize your most significant points.

Support your general comments, positive or negative, with specific evidence.

If you wish to make comments directly on the manuscript pdf using the Note tool, you may do so. However, we do not expect you to copy-edit the manuscript. If you do annotate the pdf, please also include a summary of your general comments. You may also upload other documents (e.g. your review as a document, useful references). The journal editorial assistant will remove your identity from the properties of these documents to maintain your anonymity.

Points to consider in your review include:

  • Is the topic of the manuscript appropriate for the iRASD - JOAS? Is the information of significant interest to the broad readership of the iRASD - JOAS?
  • Do the title, abstract, keywords, introduction, and conclusions accurately and consistently reflect the major point(s) of the paper?
  • Is the writing concise, easy to follow, and interesting, without repetition?
  • Is the aim clearly stated?
  • Are the methods appropriate, scientifically sound, current, and described clearly enough that the work could be repeated by someone else?
  • Is the research ethical and have the appropriate approvals/consent been obtained?
  • Are appropriate statistical/econometric analyses used? Are they sufficiently justified and explained? Are statements of significance justified?
  • When results are stated in the text of the paper, are they supported by data? Can you verify them easily by examining tables and figures? Are any of the results counterintuitive?
  • Are all tables and figures necessary, clearly labeled, well designed, and readily interpretable? Is the information in the tables and figures redundant? Is it repeated in the text?
  • Are the conclusions supported by the data presented?
  • Are the references cited the most appropriate to support the manuscript? Are citations provided for all assertions of fact not supported by the data in this paper? Are any key citations missing?
  • Consider the length of the manuscript, relative to the content. Should any portions of the paper be expanded, condensed, combined, or deleted? (Please be specific in your advice, and don't simply advise overall shortening by x%).
  • Does the manuscript comply with the Instructions for Authors?

Please also comment on any possible research or publication misconduct, such as:

  • Does this manuscript report data or conclusions already publish or in the press? If so, please provide details.
  • Has the author plagiarised another publication?
  • Is there any indication that the data have been fabricated or inappropriately manipulated?
  • Have the authors declared all relevant competing interests?