Reviewers should evaluate the papers based on the manuscript’s merits. Age, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and institutional affiliation must not influence the review. The reviewers must complete their work within the timeframe set by the editor (see Reviewers Deadline). Reviewers must also refuse to review any manuscript for which they have a conflict of interest.
Although a critical evaluation of the manuscript is appropriate, the reviewers should formulate their comments in a positive tone. The reviewer’s comments should be clear and recommend a particular course of action. The reviewers should pay particular attention to good practice in science and citation. In addition to their remarks, reviewers should make a general recommendation for rejection, revision and resubmission or acceptance. Information in manuscripts is confidential until the manuscript appears in print. Reviewers must refrain from seizing information in unpublished or rejected manuscripts for their own purposes.
The editors have full and final authority to decide whether a manuscript is accepted or rejected. Editors manage the communication of manuscript information with reviewers and authors as needed. The identity of the reviewer is not disclosed. Manuscripts and their content are otherwise confidential. Editors use software tools to identify unoriginal text and combine their own comments with those of the reviewers. The editor can accept the paper without changes, ask the authors to revise and resubmit the document, or reject the paper. The editors communicate the results of the review in a timely manner. The editors reserve the right to edit, refine or shorten the manuscript as necessary.