Reviewer guide

Guide for reviewers

The peer review system is essential in the valid academic world. Reviewers help to
improve the quality of published research, while they increase their networking
possibilities within research communities. Moreover, writing reviews is one of the best
ways of improving research technique and writing capacity. Please go through the questions below. Use this guideline for the review process to keep it as brief and accurate as possible.

Before the process

Prior deciding to contribute as a reviewer, please consider these questions:
• Does the article match your area of expertise? Only accept if you feel you can provide a
high-quality review.
• Do you have a potential conflict of interest? Disclose this to the editor when you
respond.
• Do you have time? Reviewing can be a lot of work – before you commit, make sure you
can meet the deadline.

If you consider that the article or the deadline does not meet your priorities, please
communicate it openly to the editor. It’s better to decline an invitation than keeping the
process and the author waiting. Please, respond to the invitation as soon as you can. If it is
necessary to decline, it would be helpful if you could provide suggestions for alternative
reviewers.

Preparing the review

Confidential material

If you accept, you must treat the materials you receive as confidential documents. This
means you can’t share them with anyone without prior authorization from the editor. Peer
review is confidential, so you also must not share information about the review with anyone
without permission from the editors and authors.

First reading

While reading the article for the first time, you can already check some basic filter points:

The proportion of theory, methodology, and data interpretation.

CEJER aims to present reliably designed and brightly presented researches. If you find a lack
in any main part or the proportion is not satisfying, you can suggest an improvement.

Theory and hypotheses

• Is the presented theoretical background relevant?
• Are the referred authors reliable and the articles up-to-date?
• Is the interpretation of the referred articles balanced and analytical?
• Is the forming and phrasing of the hypotheses comprehensive and clear? Is it well-
supported by the enumerated theory?

Methodology

If the manuscript you are reviewing is reporting a research, check the methods section first.
The following cases are considered major flaws and should be flagged:

• Unsound methodology
• Discredited method
• Missing processes known to be influential on the area of reported research
• A conclusion drawn in contradiction to the statistical or qualitative evidence reported in
the manuscript

For analytical papers examine the sampling report, which is mandated in time-dependent
studies. For qualitative research make sure that systematic data analysis is presented and
sufficient descriptive elements with relevant quotes from interviews are listed in addition to
the author’s narrative.

Research data and visualizations

Once you are satisfied that the methodology is sufficiently robust, examine any data in the
form of figures, tables, or images. Please check whether the presented data are relevant and
precise. Data presentation is to support the reader to understand the research and the
conclusions more widely.

Ethical standards

Please check CEJER’s ethical standards peculiarly before the first draft reading. Flag any
divergences to help the authors improving their manuscript.

Overview

If you don’t spot any major flaws, take a break from the manuscript, giving you time to think.
Consider the article from your own perspective. When you sit down to write the review,
again make sure you familiarize yourself with any journal-specific guidelines (these will be
noted in the journal’s guide for authors).

Structuring your review

Your review will help the editor decide whether or not to publish the article. It will also aid
the author and allow them to improve their manuscript. Giving your overall opinion and
general observations of the article is essential:

• how the topic, the theory, and the research questions are connected to the wider
perspective of educational research
• how the hypotheses is constructed and the research process operationalized
• how are the data presented and the results interpreted

Your comments should be courteous and constructive, and should not include any ad
hominem remarks or personal details including your name. (Here you can find an example
for a peer review.)

Providing insight into any deficiencies is important. You should explain and support your
judgment so that both editors and authors are able to fully understand the reasoning behind
your comments. You should indicate whether your comments are your own opinion or are
reflected by the data and evidence.

Your recommendation

When you make a recommendation, please use these categories below for classifying the
article:

• Accept without revision
• Revise – either major or minor (explain the revision that is required, and indicate to the
editor whether you would be happy to review the revised article). If you are recommending
a revision, you must furnish the author with a clear, sound explanation of why this is
necessary.
• Reject (explain your reasoning in your report)
Bear in mind that there will be the opportunity to direct separate comments to both the
editor and the author. Your review reaches the editor and will be forwarded to the author
without the inside comments tot he editorial team. Please if you write such comments, form
these separately from the review itself.

The final decision

The editor ultimately decides whether to accept or reject the article. Elsevier plays no part in
this decision. The editor will weigh all views and may call for another opinion or ask the
author for a revised paper before making a decision. The submission system provides
reviewers with a notification of the final decision.

After your review

Mendeley, Academia.edu or any other science network profiles are useful to present your
reviewer activity. Your profile will display your reviewing history and thus demonstrate your
input to the peer review process as well as detailing your own articles, positions and
editorial work.

Do not forget that, even after finalizing your review, you must treat the article and any
linked files or data as confidential documents. This means you must not share them or
information about the review with anyone without prior authorization from the editor.

Finally, we take the opportunity to thank you sincerely on behalf of our
journal, editors, and author(s) for the time you have taken to give your
valuable input to the article.