For Reviewers

As valued contributors to the peer review process, we kindly ask you to consider the responsibility of providing comprehensive feedback to the authors of Synsint Research Group journals. Your feedback, aimed at enhancing the quality and clarity of the manuscript, is highly appreciated. Your dedication to this endeavor is truly valued and greatly appreciated.

As you commence your review process, we kindly ask you to consider the following points:

  1. What is the main question addressed by the article, and is it relevant and interesting to the field?
  2. Assess the originality of the work and its contribution to the subject area compared to existing published material.
  3. Evaluate the consistency of the conclusions with the evidence and arguments presented, ensuring they address the main question posed.
  4. If the author presents a significant departure from the current academic consensus, assess the strength of their case. If necessary, provide suggestions to enhance the credibility of their argument.
  5. Analyze any tables or figures included in the paper. Do they enhance understanding, or are they extraneous to the content?

Your thoughtful consideration of these points will greatly contribute to the quality and integrity of our journal publications. 

In your review process, it is essential to efficiently identify potential major flaws that may impact the integrity of the research. While thorough reading of the entire paper is encouraged, strategic selection of what to review first can optimize your time and help pinpoint significant issues early in the evaluation process.

Examples of potential major flaws:

  1. Drawing conclusions that contradict the author’s own statistical or qualitative evidence.
  2. Employment of discredited methodologies.
  3. Failure to address influential processes relevant to the area under study.

You should be equipped to determine whether the manuscript exhibits serious flaws warranting rejection or if it holds promise for publication after a detailed review.

Even when identifying serious flaws, it is imperative to read the entire paper. Doing so allows for a comprehensive assessment and may reveal positive aspects worth communicating to the author. Providing constructive feedback can assist authors in refining their work for future submissions. Additionally, a thorough read-through ensures that any initial concerns are validated fairly within the context of the entire manuscript.

Remember, maintaining integrity in the review process necessitates a holistic understanding of the manuscript before reaching a decision. Your diligence and attention to detail greatly contribute to upholding the standards of excellence in our journal publications.

During the Secondary Evaluation of the manuscript, it’s essential to focus on the coherence of the text, the clarity of language, and content comprehension. Specifically, please pay attention to:

  1. Identifying any instances of unclear or ambiguous meanings.
  2. Noting any factual inaccuracies.
  3. Evaluating the validity of the discussions presented.
  4. Does the title effectively represent the paper’s subject matter?
  5. Is the abstract a concise and comprehensible summary of the manuscript?
  6. Do the keywords accurately capture the content?
  7. Is the length of the manuscript appropriate?
  8. Are the key points succinct, precise, and easily understandable?
  1. Clarity of Meaning: Not every submission is well-written, but part of your role is to ensure the text’s meaning is clear. If the article is difficult to understand, it should have been rejected. However, if you understand the core message despite poor language, suggest improvements to enhance clarity.

  2. Enhancing Communication: Identify aspects that could be communicated better, such as parts of the discussion. Offer constructive feedback to help authors improve their writing’s clarity and effectiveness.

  3. Grammatical Errors: Your primary role is judging research content, not polishing grammar or spelling. However, if grammatical errors affect clarity, highlight them and suggest amendments.

  1. Setting out the Argument: A well-written introduction should set out the argument of the manuscript. Look for a concise statement that outlines the main purpose of the research.

  2. Summarizing Recent Research: The introduction should provide a brief summary of recent research related to the topic. Assess whether the author accurately captures the current state of knowledge in the field.

  3. Highlighting Gaps or Conflicts: Identify whether the introduction effectively highlights gaps in current understanding or conflicts in current knowledge. Evaluate how well the author demonstrates the need for further investigation in the topic area.

  4. Establishing Originality: Evaluate whether the introduction establishes the originality of the research aims. Determine if the author effectively demonstrates why investigations in the topic area are necessary and how the research contributes to existing knowledge.

  5. Clarifying Target Readership: Look for clarity regarding the target readership of the manuscript. Assess whether the introduction provides a clear idea of why the research was carried out and the novelty and topicality of the manuscript.

Academic research should adhere to principles of replicability, repeatability, and robustness, following best practices to ensure credibility and reliability.

  • Ensure the use of control experiments, repeated analyses, repeated experiments, and proper sampling techniques.
  • Verify that statistical analyses rely on replicable methods. 
  • Assess whether the methods are described with sufficient detail for other researchers to replicate the study. The equipment used and sampling methods should be clearly explained.
  • Evaluate the quantity and quality of data points to ensure the reliability of the findings. Insufficient data may require revision.
  • Ensure the health and safety of all study participants and adherence to ethical standards.

The Results and discussion of a manuscript should present a coherent narrative of the research findings, providing insight into what happened and what was discovered or confirmed.

  1. Authors should begin by describing the data in simple terms, ensuring clarity for readers.

  2. Authors should reference statistical analyses, such as significance or goodness of fit, to provide quantitative support for their findings.

  3. Following the data description, authors should evaluate observed trends and explain the significance of the results. This should be supported by references to relevant published research.

  4. Authors should critically analyze the collected data, offering insights into the implications and significance of the findings.

  5. The discussion should integrate all the information into a cohesive narrative. Authors should describe and discuss the overall story formed by the results.

  6. Authors should address any gaps or inconsistencies in the narrative and suggest ways future research could confirm the findings or advance the research further.

The Conclusions of a manuscript serve to summarize the main findings of the study and reflect upon whether the aims were achieved. 

  1. The section should typically be concise, consisting of only a few paragraphs.

  2. Assess whether the conclusions adequately reflect the aims of the study. 

  3. Ensure that the conclusions are consistent with the aims of the study. 

  4. Verify that the conclusions are evidence-based and supported by the findings presented in the manuscript.

Reviewing figures is an important part of assessing the integrity and accuracy of a manuscript. 

  1. Accuracy and Clarity: Ensure that figures accurately represent the data presented in the manuscript and are clear and easy to interpret.

  2. Data Integrity: Verify that the data depicted in the figures align with the results reported in the text. Check for consistency between figure legends and the content of the figures.

  3. Manipulation Disclosure: Evaluate whether images have been edited or manipulated to emphasize the story they tell. While some editing may be appropriate, authors should transparently report any modifications made to the images. 

  4. Permission for Reused Figures: Check if figures from previous publications or sources have been reused in the manuscript. Authors should obtain proper permission for the reuse of figures and provide appropriate attribution in the figure legends or acknowledgments.

  5. Compliance with Journal Policies: Ensure that figure editing, manipulation, and reuse comply with the journal’s policies and guidelines. 

Reviewing the list of references is crucial for assessing the accuracy, adequacy, and balance of the manuscript’s citation sources. 

  1. While it’s the editor’s role to check the reference section for accuracy and format, reviewers should still flag any inaccuracies in central references.
  2. Evaluate if the referencing adequately supports the key points of the discussions.
  3. Ensure that the manuscript provides a comprehensive overview of relevant literature.
  4. Don’t solely focus on the quantity of citations. While a low number of citations may indicate inadequate referencing, the quality and relevance of citations are more important.
  5. Ensure that references are relevant, recent, and readily retrievable. 
  6. Ensure fairness to competing authors by avoiding over-reliance on self-citation.

As a reviewer, you play a critical role in upholding ethical standards and ensuring the originality of scholarly work. Here’s a guide focusing on COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) guidelines for peer reviewers:

  1. Reviewing Similar Papers: If you come across a paper that appears very similar to another, consider whether the similarity is due to oversight in the author’s literature search or if it’s a result of recent, related research.

  2. Advising Authors: If you believe the similarities are due to oversight, advise the author on how to emphasize the novel aspects of their study. Recommend discussing aims, results, or modifying conclusions in light of the similar article. However, if the similarities render the work unoriginal, recommending rejection may be necessary.

  3. Plagiarism Suspicions: If you suspect plagiarism, including self-plagiarism, but cannot pinpoint the source, notify the editor of your concerns and seek guidance.

  4. Editorial Support: Editors have access to plagiarism detection software and can investigate suspected cases. Addressing plagiarism during peer review allows for proper resolution before publication, minimizing the impact on both authors and readers. Post-publication discovery of plagiarism may necessitate retraction, leading to greater consequences.

For comprehensive guidelines, refer to COPE’s Ethical Guidelines for Reviewers, which provide detailed instructions on handling plagiarism concerns ethically and effectively.