Rigorous peer-review is the corner-stone of high-quality academic publishing. Asian Network for Scientific Information is sincerely grateful to its reviewers for their valuable time and peer-review of our submitted articles.

What will you earn as reviewer?

Peer review is an essential part of the publication process, ensuring that the journal maintains its high-quality standards of published papers. Reviewing is often an unseen and unrewarded task, and we are striving our very best to recognize the efforts of reviewers.

Some common benefits for peer-reviewers:

  • Reviewing unpublished papers gives you a preview of the most recent research, so it helps you keep up to date with the rapidly expanding scholarship in your field of expertise.
  • The task of reading and offering critical comments provides a valuable experience that can be applied to your writing and that of your students and colleagues to encourage improvements.
  • Doing a thorough and penetrating job as a reviewer means lending a helping hand to a busy journal editor, and there is no doubt that it will be appreciated and remembered.
  • Offering constructive and supportive criticism helps authors very much like you with their efforts to improve their research, their writing, and their chances of successfully sharing their work through publication. They may not know who you are, but most of them will be grateful for the assistance, even if it takes a while for them to feel that way.
  • By working to validate, question and improve the research published in your area of expertise, you perform a valuable service for readers of the journal and your scholarly community as a whole
  • By evaluating and recommending for publication papers reporting valid and significant research, you will be supporting and encouraging excellent research as well as promoting and inspiring the advancement of knowledge in your field.
  • Reviewing also enables you to catch and prevent instances of plagiarism, intellectual misconduct, and unethical publication and research practices.
  • Your reviews will enable the editor to make the best publishing choices, keeping poor scholarship to a minimum, and ensuring that important stages in the development of knowledge are published. The articles that result may even increase the number of readers and citations the journal earns.
  • Acting as a peer reviewer for a reputable scholarly journal is beneficial to your career. It can make a significant difference when it comes to employment, promotions, research and funding opportunities, and even your own publication plans.
  • By taking an active part in your scholarly community through peer-reviewing you make new connections. You become part of a research network that is likely to prove valuable and pleasurable throughout your career.
  • If you do an excellent job when reviewing papers for a journal, you may be rewarded with a position on an editorial or advisory board. You may even become an Associate or Chief Editor for the journal, where you will be able to contribute to knowledge in your field in new ways.

When reviewing for our journals:

  • The reviewer will receive a personalized reviewer certificate.
  • Will be included in the journal's annual acknowledgment of reviewers.
  • Will be considered for the journal's outstanding reviewer award.
  • Finally, Asian Network for Scientific Information will waive or reduce publication fees if authors are willing to review papers by other scholars, so reviewing just might save you a little money as well.

Invitation to Join Volunteer Reviewer Database

If you are interested in reviewing articles for the journals published by the Asian Network for Scientific Information, please send your detailed CV with a complete list of publications via email ([email protected]).

Invitation to Review

Manuscripts submitted to the journals published by the Asian Network for Scientific Information are being subjectedect to be reviewed by at least two experts to ensure the content quality. Reviewers are asked to evaluate the quality of the manuscript and to provide a recommendation to the external editor on whether a manuscript can be accepted, requires revisions, or should be rejected.

We ask invited reviewers to:

  • Accept or decline any invitations quickly, based on the manuscript title and abstract;
  • Suggest alternative reviewers who might be able to assist in the peer review process
  • Request an extension in case more time is required to compose a report.

As part of the assessment, reviewers will be asked to:

  • Rate the originality, significance, quality of the presentation, scientific soundness, interest to the readers, overall merit and English level of the manuscript;
  • Provide an overall recommendation for the publication of the manuscript;
  • Provide a detailed, constructive review report;

Potential Conflicts of Interests

We ask reviewers to inform us if they hold a conflict of interest that may prejudice the review report, either in a positive or negative way. The editorial office will check as far as possible before the invitation; however, we appreciate the cooperation of the reviewers in this matter. Reviewers who are invited to assess a manuscript they previously reviewed for another journal should not consider this as a conflict of interest in itself. In this case, reviewers should feel free to let us know if the manuscript has been improved or not compared to the previous version.

Confidentiality and Anonymity

Reviewers should keep the content of the manuscript, including the abstract, confidential. Reviewers must inform the Editorial Office if they would like a student or colleague to complete the review on their behalf.

Reviewers should be careful and not reveal their identity to the authors, either in their comments or in metadata for reports submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format.

Note that reviewers are given access to all review reports for manuscripts they review via the online submission system after the final decision has been made.

Timely Review Reports

At the Asian Network for Scientific Information, we aim to provide an efficient and high-quality publishing service to authors and the scientific community. We ask reviewers to assist by providing review reports in a timely manner. Please contact the editorial office if you require an extension to the review deadline.

Peer-Review and Editorial Procedure

All manuscripts sent for publication in our journals are strictly and thoroughly peer-reviewed by experts (this includes research and review articles, , automatic submissions, and invited papers). The Managing Editor of the journal will perform an initial check of the manuscript's suitability upon receipt. The Editorial Office will then organize the peer-review process performed by independent experts and collect at least two review reports per manuscript. We ask our authors for adequate revisions (with the second round of peer-review if necessary) before a final decision is made. The final decision is made by the academic editor (usually the Editor-in-Chief of a journal or the Guest Editor of a Special Issue). Accepted articles are copy-edited and English-edited.

Note that your recommendation is visible only to journal editors, not to the authors.

Rating the Manuscript

Please evaluate manuscripts according to the following aspects:

  • Originality/Novelty: Is the question original and well defined? Do the results provide an advance in current knowledge?
  • Significance: Are the results interpreted appropriately? Are they significant? Are all conclusions justified and supported by the results? Are hypotheses and speculations carefully identified as such?
  • Quality of Presentation: Is the article written in an appropriate way? Are the data and analyses presented appropriately? Are the highest standards for the presentation of the results used?
  • Scientific Soundness: is the study correctly designed and technically sound? Are the analyses performed with the highest technical standards? Are the data robust enough to draw the conclusions? Are the methods, tools, software, and reagents described with sufficient details to allow another researcher to reproduce the results?
  • Interest to the Readers: Are the conclusions interesting for the readership of the journal? Will the paper attract a wide readership, or be of interest only to a limited number of people?
  • Overall Merit: Is there an overall benefit to publishing this work? Does the work provide an advance towards the current knowledge? Are the authors addressed an important long-standing question with smart experiments?
  • English Level: Is the English language appropriate and understandable?

Manuscripts submitted to the journals published by the Asian Network for Scientific Information should meet the highest standards of publication ethics:

  • Manuscripts should only report results that have not been submitted or published before, even in part.
  • Manuscripts must be original and should not reuse text from another source without appropriate citation.
  • For biological studies, the studies reported should have been carried out in accordance with generally accepted ethical research standards.

If reviewers become aware of such scientific misconduct or fraud, plagiarism, or any other unethical behavior related to the manuscript, they should raise these concerns with the in-house editor immediately.

Overall Recommendation

Please provide an overall recommendation for the publication of the manuscript as follows:

  • Accept in Present Form: The paper is accepted without any further changes.
  • Accept after Minor Revisions: The paper is in principle accepted after revision based on the reviewer's comments. The authors are given five days for minor changes.
  • Reconsider after Major Revisions: The acceptance of the manuscript would depend on the revisions. The author needs to provide a point by point response or provide a rebuttal if some of the reviewer's comments cannot be revised. Usually, only one round of major revisions is allowed. The authors will be asked to resubmit the revised paper within ten days, and the revised version will be returned to the reviewer for further comments.
  • Reject: The article has serious flaws, makes no original contribution, and the paper is rejected with no offer of resubmission.

Note that your recommendation will be visible only to journal editors, not to the authors.

Review Report

Review reports should contain:

  • A brief summary (one short paragraph) outlining the aim of the paper and its main contributions.
  • Broad comments highlighting areas of strength and weakness. These comments should be specific enough for authors to be able to respond.
  • Specific comments are referring to line numbers, tables, or figures. Reviewers need notto comment on formatting issues that do not obscure the meaning of the paper, as the editors will address these issues.

Note: Journals published by the Asian Network for Scientific Information follow several standards and guidelines, including those from the ICMJE (medical journals), CONSORT (trial reporting), TOP (data transparency and openness), PRISMA (systematic reviews and meta-analyses) and ARRIVE (reporting of in vivo experiments). Reviewers familiar with the guidelines should report any concerns they have about their implementation.

Your comments should not include an indication of whether you think the article should be accepted for publication. For further guidance on writing a critical review, please refer to the following documents:

  • COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Committee on Publication Ethics. Available online.
  • Hames, I. Peer Review and Manuscript Management in Scientific Journals: Guidelines for Good Practice. Wiley-Blackwell: Oxford, UK, 2007.
  • Writing a journal article review. Australian National University: Canberra, Australia, 2010. Available online.
  • Golash-Boza, T. How to write a peer review for an academic journal: Six steps from start to finish. Available online.

At Asian Network for Scientific Information, the editorial process operates with the combination of Internal (In-House) and External Editors. Internal Editors, mainly responsible to organize, maintain, and improve systematic publishing procedures. Both external and internal editors follow an ethical manner and professional courtesy in the publishing activities.

Ethical Guidelines for Editors

Asian Network for Scientific Information is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and strictly adheres to the criteria specified by COPE, OASPA, WAME, and DOAJ for ethical scholarly publishing practices with maximum transparency.

Responsibilities of Internal Editors

Internal Editors (In-House Editors) are responsible for the timely movement of manuscripts through the editorial process; technical assistance and time-sensitive guidance to authors, reviewers, and Editors to assure seamless communication; present to the Managing Editor regular reports; support the Editor in Chief and Managing Editor; establish and maintain effective and friendly working relationships with Editors, authors, and reviewers.

As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), Asian Network for Scientific Information asks all journal editors to adhere to the following ethical guidelines as described in COPE Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors.

Good Editors should:

General duties and responsibilities

  • Actively seek the views of authors, readers, reviewers and editorial board members about ways of improving their journal's processes
  • Encourage and be aware of research into peer review and 'journalology' and reassess journal processes in the light of new findings
  • Work to persuade their publishers to provide them with appropriate resources, guidance from experts (e.g., designers, lawyers) and adequate training to perform their role in a professional manner and raise the quality of their journal
  • Support initiatives designed to reduce academic misconduct
  • Support initiatives to educate researchers about publication ethics
  • Assess the effects of their journal policies on author and reviewer behavior and revise policies, as required, to encourage responsible behavior and discourage misconduct
  • Ensure that any press releases issued by the journal reflect the message of the reported article and put it into context

Relations with readers

  • Ensure that suitably qualified reviewers have reviewed all published reports of research (e.g., including statistical review where appropriate)
  • Ensure that non-peer-reviewed sections of their journal are identified
  • Adopt processes that encourage accuracy, completeness and clarity of research reporting (e.g., technical editing, use of the CONSORT checklist for randomized trials1,2)
  • Consider developing a transparency policy to encourage maximum disclosure about the provenance of non- research articles3
  • Adopt authorship or contributorship systems that promote good practice (i.e., so that listings accurately reflect who did the work4) and discourage misconduct (e.g., ghost and guest authors)
  • Inform readers about steps taken to ensure that submissions from members of the journal's staff or editorial board receive an objective and unbiased evaluation

Relations with authors

  • Publish clear instructions in their journals about submission and what they expect from authors
  • Provide guidance about the criteria for authorship and/or who should be listed as a contributor
  • Review author instructions regularly and provides links to relevant guidelines (e.g., ICMJE, COPE)
  • Require all contributors to disclose related competing interests and publish corrections if competing interests are revealed after publication
  • Ensure that appropriate reviewers are selected for submissions (i.e., individuals who can judge the work and are free from disqualifying competing interests)
  • Respect requests from authors that an individual should not review their submission, if these are well-reasoned.
  • Be guided by the COPE flowcharts in cases of suspected misconduct or disputed authorship
  • Publish details of how they handle cases of suspected misconduct (e.g., with links to the COPE flowcharts)

Relations with reviewers

  • Provide clear advice to reviewers (which should be straightforward and regularly updated)
  • Require reviewers to disclose any potential competing interests before agreeing to review a submission
  • Encourage reviewers to comment on ethical questions and possible research misconduct raised by submissions, (e.g., unethical research design, insufficient detail on patient consent or protection of research subjects, including animals)
  • Encourage reviewers to ensure the originality of submissions and be alert to redundant publication and plagiarism
  • Consider providing reviewers with tools to detect related publications (e.g., links to cited references and bibliographic searches)
  • Seek to acknowledge the contribution of reviewers to the journal
  • Encourage academic institutions to recognize peer-review activities as part of the scholarly process
  • Monitor the performance of peer reviewers and take steps to ensure this is of high quality
  • Develop and maintain a database of suitable reviewers, and update this on the basis of reviewer performance
  • Remove from the journal's database any reviewers who consistently produce discourteous, poor quality or late reviews
  • Seek to add new reviewers to the database to replace those who have been removed (because of poor performance or other reasons)
  • Ensure that the reviewer database reflects the academic community for their journal (e.g., by auditing the database in terms of reviewer age, gender, location, etc.)
  • Use a wide range of sources (not just personal contacts) to identify potential new reviewers (e.g., author suggestions, bibliographic databases)
  • Follow the COPE flowchart in cases of suspected reviewer misconduct

Relations with editorial board members

  • Identify suitably qualified editorial board members who can actively contribute to the development and good management of the journal
  • Appoint editorial board members for a fixed term of office (e.g., three years)
  • Provide clear guidance to the editorial board members about their expected functions and duties; these might include:

    • Acting as ambassadors for the journal
    • Supporting and promoting the journal
    • Seeking out the best authors and best work (e.g., from meeting abstracts) and actively encouraging submissions
    • Reviewing submissions to the journal
    • Accepting commissions to write editorials, reviews, and commentaries on papers in their specialist area
    • Attending and contributing to editorial board meetings

  • Consult editorial board members regularly (at least once a year) to gauge their opinions about the running of the journal, inform them of any changes to journal policies, and identify future challenges

Relations with journal owners and publishers

  • Establish mechanisms to handle disagreements between themselves and the journal owner/publisher with due process5
  • Have a written contract(s) setting out their relationship with the journal's owner and/or publisher (the terms of this contract should be in line with the COPE Code of Conduct)
  • Communicate regularly with their journal's owners and publishers

Editorial and peer-review processes

  • Ensure that people involved with the editorial process (including themselves) receive adequate training and keep abreast of the latest guidelines, recommendations, and evidence about peer review and journal management
  • Keep informed about research into peer review and technological advances
  • Adopt peer-review methods best suited for their journal and the research community it serves
  • Review peer-review practices periodically to see if the improvement is possible
  • Refer troubling cases to COPE, especially when questions arise that are not addressed by the COPE flowcharts, or new types of publication misconduct are suspected
  • Consider appointing an ombudsperson to adjudicate in complaints that cannot be resolved internally

Quality assurance

  • Have systems in place to detect falsified data, e.g., manipulated photographic images or plagiarized text (either for routine use or when suspicions are raised)
  • Base decisions about journal house style on relevant evidence of factors that increase the quality of reporting (e.g., adopting structured abstracts, applying guidance such as CONSORT2) rather than simply on aesthetic grounds or personal preference

Protecting individual data

  • Publish their policy on publishing individual data (e.g., identifiable patient details or images) and explain this clearly to authors

Encouraging academic integrity

  • Request evidence of ethical research approval for all relevant submissions and be prepared to question authors about aspects such as how patient consent was obtained or what methods were employed to minimize animal suffering
  • Ensure that reports of clinical trials cite compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki6, Good Clinical Practice7 and other relevant guidelines to safeguard participants
  • Ensure that reports of experiments on, or studies of, animals cite compliance with the US Department of Health and Human Services Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals8 or other relevant guidelines
  • Consider appointing a journal ethics panel to advise on specific cases and review journal policies periodically

Ensuring the integrity of the academic record

  • Take steps to reduce covert redundant publication, e.g., by requiring all clinical trials be registered9
  • Ensure that published material is securely archived (e.g., via permanent online repositories, such as PubMed Central)10
  • Have systems in place to allow authors to make original research articles freely available

Intellectual property

  • Use software for detecting plagiarism (e.g., software, searching for similar titles) in submitted items (either routinely or when suspicions are raised)
  • Support authors whose copyright has been breached or who have been the victims of plagiarism
  • Be prepared to defend authors' rights and pursue offenders (e.g., by requesting retractions or removal of material from websites) irrespective of whether their journal holds the copyright

Commercial considerations

  • Have policies and systems in place to ensure that commercial considerations do not affect editorial decisions (e.g., advertising departments should operate independently from editorial departments)
  • Publish a description of their journal's income sources (e.g., the proportions received from display advertising, reprint sales, special supplements, page charges, etc.)
  • Ensure that the peer-review process for sponsored supplements is the same as that used for the leading journal
  • Ensure that items in sponsored supplements are accepted solely on the basis of academic merit and interest to readers and is not influenced by commercial considerations

Conflicts of interest

  • Publish lists of relevant interests (financial, academic and other kinds) of all editorial staff and members of editorial boards (which should be updated at least annually)
  • Adopt suitable policies for handling submissions from themselves, employees or members of the editorial board to ensure an unbiased review (and have these set out in writing)

References / further reading