Reviewers play a central role in scholarly publishing. Peer review helps validate research, establish a method by which it can be evaluated, and increase networking possibilities within research communities. Despite criticisms, peer review is still the only widely accepted method for research validation.
Double-blind peer review guidelines
For this journal that uses double-blind peer review, the identities of both reviewers and authors are concealed from each other throughout the review. To facilitate this, authors must ensure that their manuscripts are prepared in such a way that they do not reveal their identities to reviewers, either directly or indirectly.
Please therefore ensure that the following items are present in your submission and are provided as separate files:
The title page will remain separate from the manuscript throughout the peer review process and will not be sent to the reviewers. It should include:
- The manuscript title
- All authors’ names and affiliations
- A complete address for the corresponding author, including an e-mail address
- Conflict of interest statement
Please remove any identifying information, such as authors’ names or affiliations, from your manuscript before submission.
As well as removing names and affiliations under the title within the manuscript, other steps need to be taken to ensure the manuscript is correctly prepared for double-blind peer review. The key points to consider are:
- Use the third person to refer to work the authors have previously published. For example, write ‘Jha and Subedi (2015) have demonstrated’ rather than ‘we/the authors have previously demonstrated.
- Make sure that figures and tables do not contain any reference to author affiliations
- Exclude acknowledgements and any references to funding sources. Use the title page, which is not sent to reviewers, to detail these and to declare any potential conflicts of interest to the Editor.
Conducting the Review
The Journal of Maize Research and Development (JMRD) is peer review journal. Peer review is the collaborative process that allows manuscripts submitted to a journal to be evaluated and commented upon by independent experts within the same field of research. Upon receipt, manuscripts are assessed for their suitability for publication by the editorial staff. Only the manuscripts meeting the journal’s general criteria for consideration are sent out for review. Reviewing needs to be conducted confidentially, the articles should not be disclosed to a third party.
All contributions submitted to this journal that are selected for peer review are sent to at least one, but usually two or more, independent reviewers, selected by the editors. Authors are welcome to suggest suitable independent reviewers and may also request that the journal excludes one or two individuals or laboratories. The journal sympathetically considers such requests and usually honours them, but the editor’s decision on the choice of referees is final.
Editors, authors and reviewers are required to keep confidential all details of the editorial and peer review process on submitted manuscripts. Unless otherwise declared as a part of open peer review, the peer review process is confidential and conducted anonymously; identities of reviewers are not released. Reviewers must maintain confidentiality of manuscripts. If a reviewer wishes to seek advice from colleagues while assessing a manuscript, the reviewer must consult with the editor and should ensure that confidentiality is maintained and that the names of any such colleagues are provided to the journal with the final report. Regardless of whether a submitted manuscript is eventually published, correspondence with the journal, referees’ reports and other confidential material must not be published, disclosed or otherwise publicised without prior written consent. Reviewers should be aware that it is our policy to keep their names confidential and that we do our utmost to ensure this confidentiality. We cannot, however, guarantee to maintain this confidentiality in the face of a successful legal action to disclose identity.
The publisher reserves the right to contact funders, regulatory bodies, journals and the authors’ institutions in cases of suspected research or publishing misconduct.
Peer review process for JMRD journal
Normally review process takes one month. Immediately after getting reviewer comments/suggestions manuscripts are sent to authors for improvement of their article. Reviewer are invited by editor-in-chief or editors through request made via email. Reviewers come from national or international territory. Reviewers are assigned to review articles in their own particular field of expertise. The general process of review is as below;
- Authors submit an article (referred as manuscript).
- The editor-in-chief (EiC) verifies relevance of the manuscript to the journal’s scope, format, quality and its authorship.
- EiC assign manuscript to editors who evaluate the technical aspects of the paper fairly and fully.
- The editors invite three referees to evaluate the technical quality of the paper.
- When reviews are received from referees editors evaluate the reviews and submit the final decision for acceptance/rejection of the manuscript.
- All rejected manuscripts are permanently closed and authors are informed about the decision.
- For accepted papers, authors are asked to revise manuscript according to reviewers comments and submit the final version within the given time period.
- All final revised papers are returned to EiC who give final shape of the papers. Finally papers are published on journal website as soon as they become ready after typesetting and proof reading.
Reviewers should check the following parameters;
- Articles are of outstanding scientific importance
- Adherence to the Instructions to Authors
- complete organization of articles
- Appropriateness of title and abstract
- Appropriateness and adequacy of methodology
- Appropriateness of figures and tables
- Relevance of discussion
- Soundness of conclusions and interpretation
- Appropriateness of referencing
Is the article clearly laid out? Are all the key elements (where relevant) present: abstract, introduction, methodology, results, conclusions? Consider each element in turn:
- Title: Does it clearly describe the article?
- Abstract: Does it reflect the content of the article?
- Introduction: Does it describe what the author hoped to achieve accurately, and clearly state the problem being investigated? Normally, the introduction should summarize relevant research to provide context, and explain what other authors’ findings, if any, are being challenged or extended. It should describe the experiment, the hypothesis(es) and the general experimental design or method.
- Method: Does the author accurately explain how the data was collected? Is the design suitable for answering the question posed? Is there sufficient information present for you to replicate the research? Does the article identify the procedures followed? Are these ordered in a meaningful way? If the methods are new, are they explained in detail? Was the sampling appropriate? Have the equipment and materials been adequately described? Does the article make it clear what type of data was recorded; has the author been precise in describing measurements?
- Results: This is where the author/s should explain in words what he/she discovered in the research. It should be clearly laid out and in a logical sequence. You will need to consider if the appropriate analysis has been conducted. Are the statistics correct? If you are not comfortable with statistics, please advise the editor when you submit your report. Interpretation of results should not be included in this section.
- Conclusion/Discussion: Are the claims in this section supported by the results, do they seem reasonable? Have the authors indicated how the results relate to expectations and to earlier research? Does the article support or contradict previous theories? Does the conclusion explain how the research has moved the body of scientific knowledge forward?
- Language: If an article is poorly written due to grammatical errors, while it may make it more difficult to understand the science, you do not need to correct the English. You should bring this to the attention of the editor, however.
Finally, on balance, when considering the whole article, do the figures and tables inform the reader, are they an important part of the story? Do the figures describe the data accurately? Are they consistent, e.g. bars in charts are the same width, the scales on the axis are logical.
If the article builds upon previous research does it reference that work appropriately? Are there any important works that have been omitted? Are the references accurate?
- Plagiarism: If you suspect that an article is a substantial copy of another work, please let the editor know, citing the previous work in as much detail as possible
- Fraud: It is very difficult to detect the determined fraudster, but if you suspect the results in an article to be untrue, discuss it with the editor. Whether it contains ideas and language without properly crediting the sources?
- Other ethical concerns: Do you have any financial conflict with the authors of the manuscript?. Are the author accept the conditions to keep the used data at least for 3 years safe after the publication of the data ?
The reviewers should reject the manuscripts if they observed below faults;
Mismatch with the journal
- The manuscript does not make a contribution to new knowledge in the discipline or the application of knowledge
- Manuscripts that lie outside the stated aims and scope of the journal
- Topics that are not of interest to the journal’s readership
- Manuscripts that do not follow the format specified by the journal
Flaws in study design
- Poorly formulated research question
- Choice of a weak or unreliable method
- Choice of an incorrect method or model
- Inappropriate statistical analysis
- Unreliable or incomplete data
- Inappropriate or suboptimal instrumentation
- Small or inappropriately chosen sample
Poor writing and organization
- Introduction that does not establish the background of the problem studied
- Inadequate description of methods
- Discussion that only repeats the results but does not interpret them
- Insufficient explanation of the rationale for the study
- Insufficient literature review
- Conclusions that do not appear to be supported by the study data
Inadequate preparation of the manuscript
- Failure to follow the journal’s Instructions for Authors
- Sentences that are not clear and concise
- Title, abstract are not persuasive
- Wordiness and excessive use of jargon
- Poor grammar or spelling mistakes
- Poorly designed tables or figures
After reviewing the manuscripts carefully the reviewers should make their recommendations as below;
a) Rejected due to poor quality, or out of scope
b) Accept without revision
c) Accept but needs revision (either major, moderate or minor)
In the latter case, clearly identify what revision is required, and indicate to the editor whether or not you would be happy to review the revised articles.
During the manuscripts evaluation process, the reviewers should follow and fulfill the “Review Form” and it should be sent to editorial office along with revised manuscripts.
- Click below to download form:
⇓ Review Form