Guide for Reviewers

Rigorous peer-review of all papers that appear in transactions is required by Journal of Biosafety (JBS) and papers are selected for publication only on the basis of merit and appropriateness. As a reviewer, you are playing a key role in ensuring the quality, consistency, and impact of JBS in the research community. We normally require all reviewers to complete the review in three weeks when you agreed with the invitation to review.

We fully appreciate and are very grateful to the fact that you are contributing to JBS on a voluntary basis in addition to your busy academic and research duties. Please keep the Editor-in-Chief informed if the review is delayed or if your circumstance has changed and no longer can return the review within the original timeframe. It is important to advise the Editor-in-Chief of an approximate date that you can complete review.

Reminders of deadlines will be sent automatically from Manuscript Central. Any questions you may have about this manuscript or the review process should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief.

The primary objective is to obtain a high quality, fair review of the manuscript. Please submit your completed review via the Reviewer Login of Manuscript Central.

Your completed review should include the following:

·         Your recommendation:

o    Accept without changes – this applies to outstanding papers that can be published as it is or revised papers that have successfully addressed all concerns raised during previous reviews.

o    Accept pending minor revision – this applies to high-quality papers that require minor improvement on methodology, clarification and improvement on presentation details, which can be realistically addressed in 3 weeks; a detailed rebuttal will be required from the authors on how the reviewers’ comments have been addressed during re-submission; papers with minor revision may or may not go to external review as determined by the Editor-in-Chief in charge.

o    Reject/Resubmit (major revision and new external review required) – this applies to papers with good quality but require substantial changes to rectify technical problems, introduce additional results, and improve paper structure and presentations; the authors will be given up to 10 weeks (except for papers submitted to special issues/sections, for which the revision period is determined by the corresponding guest editors) to resolve these issues and prepare a detailed rebuttal on how the reviewers’ comments have been addressed during revision; all papers with major revision will always go to another round of external review.

o    Reject – this applies to papers that should be rejected without further consideration or should be directed to an alternative journal that maybe more suited to the contents of the paper.

·         Comments to be sent to the author(s):

o    General Comments – to provide detailed comments about the overall quality (e.g., novelty, technical contribution, significance of results, soundness of conclusion and if there are major methodological drawbacks, problems in experimental settings/data analysis, as well as issues related to general presentation, clarity, and other potential pitfalls associated with the technique).

o    Mandatory Changes – to state clearly what are the mandatory changes you would like to see during the next iteration of the paper. Please be specific, realistic and consistent with your final recommendation. For example, minor revision should only be applied to papers that require minor improvement on methodology, clarification and improvement on presentation details, which can be realistically addressed in 3 weeks. Beyond these, you should recommend either Reject/Resubmit with major modification or rejection without further consideration. Please be polite and constructive, bearing in mind one of the main purposes of the review process is to help the authors in improving their work.

o    Suggested Changes – to state optional changes for authors to consider while revising the manuscript. The authors need to take these into account by considering the time given for the revision, as well as the overall length of the paper by noting the page limit of JBS.

Please include comments to the author to support your ratings and recommendation, without identifying yourself. Please also note that one important aspect of the review process is to help the authors to improve their work, so please be objective, constructive, and helpful, making sure your critiques are substantiated with facts or with suggestions on possible improvements.

Be assured that your comments will remain anonymous. If you are recommending mandatory changes, please be clear as to what should be done to make the paper acceptable. If the author chooses to revise the paper, you may be asked to re-review the manuscript at a future time to see if your concerns have been addressed. You may also include separate comments about the paper for consideration by the Editor-in-Chief.

Reviews of manuscripts submitted to the transactions are “blind” reviews, and the identity of every reviewer is carefully protected. By accepting the invitation to serve as a reviewer, you shall protect the copyright and confidentiality of the manuscript and shall not disclose the manuscript or any concerned material to anyone.

Once again, thank you for serving as a reviewer for the JBS. Your participation adds value to the peer review process.