The peer review of an article involves an anonymous reviewer taking responsibility for reading and critically evaluating the author’s work with the purpose of providing him/her with honest and constructive feedback, i.e. highlighting all the weaknesses and strengths, as well as providing necessary suggestions to enhance its overall quality. It is a highly important part of the article’s publication process, since a thorough review can help the author a great deal in polishing the manuscript before the final version is published.
The peer reviewer should make sure that the topic covered in the article matches with the his/her area of expertise, and that his/her expertise is sufficient enough to critically evaluate the work.
The usual timeframe allocated for an article review is 30 days. The peer reviewer should make sure that he/she has enough time to conduct a critical review within the allocated timeframe before taking this responsibility.
The peer reviewer should note that his/her critical evaluation of the work provided should be as objective as possible, honest, and under no influence of external or internal factors, such as religious and political views, cultural background, gender, race, ethnicity or citizenry stereotypes and opinions of any kind.
The peer reviewer should pay attention to a few factors when reviewing the article/material provided:
The key question the peer reviewer should ask himself/herself once reviewing the work is whether this work is good enough to be published? Does it tick all the checkboxes of the journal’s standards? How novel its content is in comparison to similar researches of the field?
The peer reviewer should pay attention to the structure of the work completed - does it have all the necessary elements, such as abstract, introduction, methodology, results, conclusion/discussion, references, and impact? Each of the elements should be reviewed separately as per below:
Title: Does it clearly convey the idea of the research/article?
Abstract: The abstract is basically a summarized version of the article, which should clearly state the problem, the findings, and supporting data, so the question is whether the abstract clearly does that?
Introduction: Does it clearly state the author’s role, the purpose of the research, and provides any context to the findings, which are being challenged? The Introduction might also describe the design and the techniques used for the research to give the reader a better understanding of the work completed.
Methodology: Is it clear from the material reviewed what procedure was followed in order to achieve the results? Does the author clearly state how was the data collected and what type of data was it? Is it clearly described what technology and materials were utilized during the research?
Results: Has the author presented all the findings/results of the research in a logical and coherent way? The peer reviewer should pay attention to any statistics provided, their clarity, correctness, and overall relevance to the article. Any interpretation of the numbers should be completed in the most user-friendly way possible, so that any reader could understand the meaning of the findings.
Conclusion/Discussion: Has the author provided a summary of his/her findings and has clearly stated what exactly has been achieved? The author should clearly state whether his/her findings support existing research in the field or oppose it. The author should also clearly indicate his/her findings’ relevance and contribution to the field.
References: The reviewer should check if the author’s work is free of self-citations and whether the range of citations is wide enough. The attention should also be paid to the accuracy, adequacy, and balance of the references.
Impact: The last and the most important question the reviewer should ask himself/herself - whether the author’s work makes any impact on the field? Is this paper good enough to attract the attention and citations from the International Engineering Community?
1. Please remember that the whole process of peer-reviewing is strictly confidential so it should not be discussed with any third parties.
2. Please remember to be as objective as possible, hence do not evaluate the work through the lenses of your personal experience, cultural background, or religious, political, and sociological views.
3. Please remember to pay attention to plagiarism. If while peer-reviewing you have come across the material, which seems to be plagiarized, please do not hesitate to let the editor know, including the reference to the work being copied.