Join us as a Peer Reviewer

At Insight Knowledge, we appreciate the efforts of our peer reviewers, who help us maintain the integrity and quality of submitted manuscripts for publication. In order to sustain peer-review integrity, we equip our reviewers with the right resources to carry out their work efficiently and more effectively. The peer-review process varies from journal to journal; however, our guide to reviewers provides complete information on how to join us as a reviewer and get involved in the peer-review process. 

Reviewer’s Benefits

Peer review is a collective effort of experts to improve research papers and helps propel them forward. We acknowledge the productive contribution of our reviewers, without whom it would not be possible to maintain the quality standards of our peer-reviewed journals.

Some benefits of reviewers are:

  • Personalized Reviewer Certificate
  • Inclusion of name in annual journal acknowledgment of reviewers
  • Eligible to apply for the journal’s outstanding reviewer award
  • Discounts and waivers on Article processing fees
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest research by reviewing new manuscripts
  • Become a better writer by reviewing articles and analyzing what makes an article good (or bad).
  • Boost your career and resume with the journal’s acknowledgment of authentic and recognized reviews.
  • Get involved with the community of experts and build new connections and future collaboration.

Step-by-Step Guide to Reviewing a Manuscript

Invitation to Review

As soon as you get an invitation to peer-review, you'll be given a copy of the paper's abstract to help you decide;

  • If the article you are being asked to review match your expertise? If it doesn't, please notify the editor as soon as possible and feel free to recommend an alternate reviewer.
  • Do you have time to review the paper within two weeks? Please let the editor know if you can't meet the time frame.
  • Are there any potential conflicts of interest? While conflicts of interest will not disqualify you from reviewing the manuscript, disclosing all conflicts of interest to the editor before accepting to review is vital.
  • Have you reviewed the same manuscript for another journal? It should not be considered a conflict of interest in itself. In this case, reviewers should let us know if the manuscript has been improved or not compared to the previous version.

All Insight Knowledge journals follow a formal review report format that consists of specific questions and a rating of the manuscript on various attributes using a score sheet. So, if you accept to review a manuscript, please log-in to your account and check the evaluation report that will direct the structure of your review.

Step 01: Quick Skimming

The quick overview of the manuscript is a skim-read of the abstract that aids you in understanding the objective, methodology, and conclusions of the research work by building an initial impression and, accordingly, a recommendation about the manuscript to either accept or reject.

Step 02: Pointing the Major Flaws

Before going to read the whole paper, we advise reviewers to consider the below points and save time by flagging the major problems:

  • Insufficient and unclear data or sampling size
  • Non-significant variations or contradictory data
  • Contradicting conclusion in comparison to the results
  • Ambiguous presentation of data in figures, tables & graphs
  • Possibility of data fabrication or falsification
  • Sufficient use of control experiments
  • Precision and accuracy of process data
  • The validity of questions, detailed methodology, and well-presented results
  • Sampling regularity in analytical papers
  • Ignoring methods or procedures that are known to have a strong influence on the area under study

Please note the specific reason and supporting evidence to add to the evaluation report if you find any major problems.

Step 03: Data Scanning

Once you agree that the manuscript sounds logical and worthy to be reviewed, start scanning the manuscript section by section while keeping the below questions in your mind:

  1. Originality/Novelty
    • Is the question original and well-defined?
    • Do the results provide advancement to existing knowledge?
  2. 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?
  3. Ethical Research Standards
    • Is the study carried out under generally accepted ethical research standards?
    • Is there any sign of scientific misconduct, fraud, plagiarism, or any other unethical behaviors - that should be reported immediately?
  4. Quality of Presentation
    • Is the article written properly?
    • Are the data and analyses presented appropriately?
    • Did the author follow the highest standards for presenting the results used?
  5. 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 conclude?
    • Are the methods, tools, software, and reagents described with sufficient details to allow another researcher to reproduce the results?
    • Are the material and methods provided in the study replicable and repeatable according to the 'best practice guideline'?
    • The health and safety of all participants in the study were not compromised, and all ethical standards were maintained
  6. 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? (Please see the Aims and Scope of the journal)
  7. Overall Merit
    • Is there an overall benefit to publishing this work?
    • Does the work provide an advancement toward the current knowledge?
    • Is the author addressing an important long-standing question with smart experiments?
  8. English Level
    • Is the English language appropriate and understandable?

Step 04: A Second Read - Through

When reading the manuscript a second time, keep the below arguments in mind along with the clarity of language and content:

  • Relevancy between the title and subject of the paper
  • Well-written abstract as an accessible summary of the paper
  • Originality and topicality should be established in light of recent authoritative research, with the latest article referencing
  • Results and discussion should be stated coherently
  • The manuscript should be designed for Search Engine Optimization by having unique keywords that may help the article discoverability in search engines
  • Length of the manuscript
  • Content, language, grammar, relevancy, and logic of the paper
  • References must be relevant, recent, adequate, and readily retrievable

Please provide the source link and highlight the segment in the manuscript if you suspect or find direct plagiarism.

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;

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 modifications.
  • Reconsider after Major Revisions: The acceptance of the manuscript depends on the revisions. Therefore, the author needs to provide a point-by-point response or rebuttal if some of the reviewer's comments cannot be revised. Usually, only one round of major revisions is allowed. After that, 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 to the journal.

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

Timely Review Reports

We ask reviewers to assist by providing review reports on time. Please contact the editorial office if you require an extension to the review deadline.

  • Manuscripts submitted to the IK Journals should meet the highest standards of publication ethics:
  • Manuscripts should only report results that have yet to be submitted or published, even in part.
  • Manuscripts must be original and should not reuse text from another source without appropriate citation.

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.

Insight Knowledge journals operate single or double-blind peer review. Therefore, reviewers should be careful not to reveal their identity to the authors in their comments or 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 making the final decision.

Insight Knowledge journals 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 about their implementation.

Your comments should not include an indication of whether the article should be accepted for publication. For further guidance on peer-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 .