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Guidelines for Reviewer

IS Journal sincerely thank the effort and expertise of numerous reviewers involved in the peer-review process. It would be impossible for us to maintain the high standards of peer-reviewed journals without their relentless support. Peer review is a critical element of scholarly publication, and one of the major challenges of the scientific process. Peer review itself serves two key functions as follows:

  • Acts as a filter, that is ensuring researches are properly verified before being published, and

  • Improves the quality of the research, that is providing rigorous review by other experts which helps articulate key points and corrects inadvertent errors

As a scientific publication, IS Journal involves competent reviewers from numerous fields. We guarantee that every manuscript accepted in our journal satisfies the principles of structured academic writing and have sufficient qualities to be published as a journal paper. In our peer reviewing process, after a manuscript has been received, the editor-in-chief and associate editors assign one or more reviewer(s) from the related field(s). The acceptance decision is then based on the reviewer’s input to the editors, which is highly credible and up to standards outlined below.


Conducting the Review

Reviewing needs to be conducted confidentially, that the article under review should not be disclosed to any third party. If a reviewer wishes to elicit an opinion from colleagues or students regarding the article, he/she should let the editor know beforehand. Most editors welcome additional comments, but everyone involved in the reviewing process will also need to keep the manuscript's confidentiality. As practiced by many others, IS Journal uses single-blinded review, which means that we do not share the identity of the reviewer with the author. We kindly ask the reviewers' discretion by not revealing their name within the text of the review. Reviewers also should not attempt to contact the author. Most importantly, reviewers must be aware that any recommendation they submit will contribute to the final decision made by the editor.

At IS Journal, every reviewer are expected to evaluate the manuscript according to the following criteria:

  - Originality

Reviewers should consider whether the article is sufficiently novel and interesting to warrant publication. Does it add to the canon of knowledge? Does the article adhere to IS Journal's standards? Is the research question important? In order to determine the manuscript's originality and appropriateness, it might be helpful to think of the research in terms of its respective percentile. Is it in the top 25% of papers in this field? The reviewers might wish to do a quick literature search using online tools, such as Scopus, to see whether there are any reviews of the area. If the research has been covered previously, pass on references of those works to the editor. Although IS Journal currently does not provide any official access, interested reviewers could ask the editors to access such online tools

  - Structure

Is the manuscript clearly laid out? Are all the key elements, e.g., abstract, introduction, methodology, results and conclusions, present? Consider each of these elements in turn:

  • Title: Does it clearly describe the manuscript?

  • Abstract: Does it reflect the content of the manuscript?

  • Introduction: Does it accurately describe what the author aims to achieve and clearly state the problem being investigated? Normally, the introduction should summarize relevant research to provide context, and explain what other authors' findings, if any, are being challenged or extended. It should describe the experiment, the hypothesis(es) and the general experimental design or method.

  • Method: Do(es) the author(s) accurately explain how the data was collected? Is the design suitable for answering the research question? Is there sufficient information present to replicate the research? Does the article identify the procedures followed? Are the information ordered in a meaningful way? If the methods are new, are they explained in detail? Was the sampling appropriate? Have the equipment and materials been adequately described? Does the article make it clear what type of data was recorded, that is, has the author been precise in describing measurements?

  • Results: This is where the author(s) should explain in words what is discovered in the research. The results should be clearly laid out and arranged in a logical order. The reviewers should consider whether the appropriate analysis has been conducted. Are the statistics correct? If the reviewers are not comfortable with statistics, they must advise the editor upon submitting the review report. Also, interpretation of results should not be included in this section.

  • Conclusion/discussion: Are the claims in this section supported by the results? Do they seem to be reasonable? Have the authors indicated how the results relate to expectations and to earlier research? Does the manuscript support or contradict previous theories? Does the conclusion explain how the research has moved the body of scientific knowledge forward?

  • Language: If an article is poorly written due to grammatical errors, while it may increase the difficulty in understanding the technical depths discussed, the reviewers are not required to correct the English. They should bring this to the attention of the editor, however.

Finally, on balance, when considering the whole article, do the figures and tables provide useful information to the reader? Are they an important part of the story? Do the figures describe the data accurately? Are they consistent, e.g., bars in charts are the same width, the scales on the axis are logical?

  - Previous Research

If the manuscript builds upon previous research, does it appropriately cite the existing work? Is there any important works that have been omitted? Are the references accurate?

  - Ethical Issues

  • Plagiarism: If the reviewer suspect that an article is a substantial copy of another work, please notify the editor immediately, citing the original work in as much detail as possible

  • Fraud: It is very difficult to detect the determined fraud. But, the reviewer should discuss with the editor, if they suspect that a manuscript contains falsified results. 

  • Other ethical concerns: For medical research, has confidentiality been maintained? Has there been a violation of the accepted norms in the ethical treatment of animal or human subjects? If so, then these should also be identified to the editor


Communicating Reviewer's Report to the Editor

Once the reviewers have completed their manuscript evaluation, the next step is to write up the report. As a courtesy, the reviewers should let the editor know in advance if there is a potential of missed deadline.

IS Journal mandates that every reviewer complete a manuscript review evaluation form upon submitting the reviewing result. It contains fields that assess the various aspects of the manuscipt. The form itself has the dual purpose of reminding the editor about the details of the report and also reassuring the author and editor that the reviewers have understood the content of the manuscript.

The report should contain the key elements of the review, addressing points outlined in the preceding section. Comments should be courteous and constructive, and should not include any personal remarks or personal details, including the reviewer's identity. Be advised that direct confrontation, such as the usage of "the author(s)" in the correspondence should be avoided. Instead, use "the paper" or "the work" to indirectly refer to the author.

Providing insight into any deficiencies is important. The reviewers should provide sound explanation about their judgment so that both editors and authors are able to fully understand the reasoning behind the comments. Reviewers should indicate whether their comments are based on personal opinion or are reflected by the data.

When the reviewers make a recommendation regarding a manuscript, they must exercise the usage of mutually-used decision categories in IS Journal as follows:

  • Acceptance without revision,

  • Conditional acceptance, upon minor or major revision, and

  • Rejection, which should be accompanied by a clear explanation in the report.

Additionally, if a conditional acceptance is given, the reviewer should clearly identify what revision is required, and indicate whether they are willing to review the revised manuscript.