Ethical Policy for Reviewers

Duties for reviewers

Regional formation and development studies relies on diligent, unbiased and confidential reviews to ensure the quality of the papers they publish. Our reviewers play a crucial role, not only by providing authors with a fair assessment of their manuscript, but also by helping to maintain the integrity and quality of the journal.

By accepting the invitation to review a manuscript, reviewers agree to become consultants to the journal and to follow its specific scope and policies.

Reviewers responsibilities include the following issues:

  • Contribute to editorial decisions. Peer review assists the editor in making editorial decisions and, through the editorial communication with the author, may also assist the author in improving the manuscript. Reviewers need to consider whether they have the expertise the editors are looking for to carry out a proper assessment before agreeing to review a manuscript.
  • Consider the amount of time to complete the review in accordance with the journal’s deadline and respond to an invitation to peer review within a reasonable time-frame and without intentional delay.
  • Confidentiality should be assured. Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except if authorized by the editor.
  • Reviews should be conducted objectively. Personal criticism of the author is unacceptable. Referees should express their views clearly with appropriate supporting arguments.
  • Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. A reviewer should also call to the editor's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published data of which they have personal knowledge.
  • Privileged information or ideas obtained through peer review must be kept confidential and not used for personal advantage. Reviewers should not consider evaluating manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the submission.
  • Reviewers should avoid passing the manuscript on to someone else to review, and remain strictly confidential about the manuscript when seeking advice from any other person.
  • Reviewers should avoid using information about the manuscript or review to anyone’s advantage or disadvantage, including their own.
  • Reviewers should avoid offering editorial assistance.
  • Reviewers should remain confidential about their role in the peer-review process, when the paper is published.

If, despite the double-blind character of the review process, the reviewer suspects the identity of the author anyway, he/she is asked to remain strictly confidential, to not contact the suspected authors about their paper, to not discuss it with the suspected authors, to not mention their suspicions in the review, and to remain blind to the suspected authors to reduce bias.