The review process is an important aspect of the publication process of an article. It helps an editor in making decision on an article and also enables the author to improve the manuscript.
Before accepting to review a manuscript, reviewers should ensure that:
“Conflict of interest (COI) exists when there is a divergence between an individual’s private interests (competing interests) and his or her responsibilities to scientific and publishing activities such that a reasonable observer might wonder if the individual’s behavior or judgment was motivated by considerations of his or her competing interests”. WAME
“Reviewers should declare their relationships and activities that might bias their evaluation of a manuscript and recuse themselves from the peer-review process if a conflict exists”. ICMJE
Manuscripts are confidential materials given to a reviewer in trust for the sole purpose of critical evaluation. Reviewers should ensure that the review process is confidential. Details of the manuscript and the review process should remain confidential during and after the review process.
“Respect the confidentiality of the peer review process and refrain from using information obtained during the peer review process for your own or another’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others”. COPE
Reviews should be honest and objective and not be influenced by:
In evaluating a manuscript, reviewers should focus on the following:
Reviewers should also observe that the author(s) have followed the instruction for authors, editorial policies and publication ethics.
The report should be accurate, objective, constructive and unambiguous. Comments should be backed by facts and constructive arguments with regards to the content of the manuscript.
Reviewers should not rewrite the manuscript; however necessary corrections and suggestions for improvements should be made.
Reviewers should only accept a manuscript when they are confident that they can dedicate appropriate time in reviewing. Thus, reviewers should review and return manuscripts in a timely manner.
Reviewers’ recommendation should be either:
Recommendation should be backed with constructive arguments and facts based on the content of the manuscript.
You can also find basic training for reviewer tasks and step by step guide to reviewing a manuscript in the journal’s website through this link.