Reviewers Guidelines

Aim of the peer review

The Journal of Ecoacoustics aims to publish all technically and ethically sound articles it receives, regardless of novelty, significance or potential impact. Therefore, the primary role of reviewers is to assess thoroughly the rationality of the thesis and approach taken as well as the validity of the findings and conclusions. They should also check that appropriate research ethics and best practice are adhered to, and flag up any suspicion of misconduct. Lastly, reviewers should ensure that the manuscript is well presented and written.

The reviews should be constructive and as far as possible help authors improve their paper.

Editorial process

Submissions first go through a plagiarism check and an in-house editorial check to ensure they are original and meet our requirements for style and language. Only after a manuscript has passed this stage does the Editor-in-Chief assign an editor and invite reviewers. The Editor in Chief may ask an editor to handle the peer review process. Once all the reviews have been received, they are passed on to the editor and shared between reviewers. The editor then makes one of the following initial decisions: accept, request minor or major revisions, or reject. Manuscripts can be revised only once. During revision, authors can contact the editorial office to clarify some comments or ensure they are going in the right direction. Revised manuscripts are evaluated by the editor-in-chief (with or without the reviewers’ assistance, at his/her discretion), with acceptance or rejection the only possible outcomes at this stage. Authors will be given an opportunity to make very minor corrections in production so typos and small edits can be brought to their attention at this stage.

Reviewers are expected to provide clarifications and/or evaluate a revised manuscript if requested by the editor.

Deadlines

We aim to offer cost-efficient and fast publication to authors. As such, we ask that reviewers submit their report within 20 days of accepting a review. Reviewers should decline requests if they cannot commit to completing the review on time (they can always change their mind later if the manuscript is still available). In case of delay, the editorial staff must be informed as soon as possible.

Editorial criteria

The Journal of Ecoacoustics welcomes all valid and robust scholarly articles. Our review process is designed to ensure submissions are technically sound, not to gauge a manuscript’s potential impact. We ask our reviewers to use exclusively the following evaluation criteria:

Quality and soundness of the research

Is the introduction adequate? Are the statement of purpose and thesis clear and reasonable? If relevant, is the study design appropriate and is it described in sufficient detail? Are the findings robust? Is the analysis valid and the conclusions supported by the findings? Are references relevant and up to date?

Language and presentation

All submissions first go through an editorial check. This means that only manuscripts that are presented and written well enough should be sent to reviewers. However, do not hesitate to flag up language and presentation issues. This is important because we will not copyedit articles before publication. Please also comment on the manuscript structure, if unusual or incomplete, and the presentation of data and findings.

Research ethics

Authors must adhere to ethical standards in their field of research, as dictated by institutional, national or international regulations and guidelines. Reviewers should ensure that, where applicable, an appropriate ethics statement detailing the approval process is included in the methods section. This is required in particular for research involving human subjects or animals. If in doubt regarding the ethical acceptability of an experiment, reviewers should raise the issue in their comments. Further information can be found on our policies page.

Research integrity and publication ethics

The Journal of Ecoacoustics upholds the highest standards in publication ethics and research integrity. Reviewers should report confidentially suspicions of data or figure manipulation, plagiarism and redundant publications, inaccurate or incomplete declarations of interest and other irregularities. See further details on our policies page.

Data and materials deposition

The Journal of Ecoacoustics requests that, where appropriate, authors make the data, method or materials underlying their research available to readers in accordance with best practice in their discipline (e.g. through deposition in public repositories). Reviewers should check that authors have adhered to this policy and provided relevant accession or reference numbers. See our policies page for details.

Recommendations

Reviewers are asked to make one of the following recommendations:

  • Acceptance: for academically sound papers which are well written and presented. The manuscript can be published as it is with no need for any amendment or correction (other than typos).
  • Minor revision: the manuscript is on the whole acceptable, but some small improvements or additions are desirable before publication.
  • Major revision: some significant issues have been raised, but the authors should be able to address them within a reasonable timeframe. Reasons can include the need for more data, language improvement, considering alternative interpretations etc.
  • Rejection: a manuscript must be rejected in particular if it is unsound (for example its rationale, experimental design, data or interpretation are flawed, vague or lack rigour); if the amount of revision required would be such that most of the manuscript would have to be rewritten; if it describes unethical research; if it is too difficult to understand or nonsensical.

All recommendations must be justified by clear reasons.

Reviewer conduct

The review process helps filter out unsuitable submissions, but it should also help authors improve their manuscript. In that spirit, we ask that reviewers provide clear, detailed and constructive comments as well as practical guidance to the authors. Opinions and recommendations should be explained and objectively grounded. Insensitive or offensive wording must be avoided.

Reviewers should be impartial and rigorous. If reviewers cannot evaluate a manuscript with impartiality for whatever reason, we ask that they decline the review. For further details please see the Committee on Publication Ethics’ ethical guidelines for peer reviewers.

Conflict of interest

Reviewers should decline to review manuscripts if they have been involved with the study or with writing the manuscript, have collaborated with any of the authors in the last three years, are based in the same department as the authors, have a financial interest in the publication of the manuscript, have a close personal relationship with the authors, are a direct competitor, or if their impartiality is compromised in any other way.

They may review papers if they have potential conflicts of interest in the field of research, but must disclose them in their report.

Confidentiality of manuscript

Manuscripts under review must be treated in strict confidence. Reviewers must not share manuscripts or information pertaining to submissions with anyone, nor make use of the manuscript content without express permission from the journal.

Double-blind reviews

The Journal of Ecoacoustics operates a double-blind review. Authors and reviewers are anonymous to each other during the review process. Reviewers can remain anonymous after publication of an accepted article, but, in a spirit of transparency, they can voluntarily sign their review.

Reviewer selection

Reviewers are selected by editors on the basis of their expertise.

Quality control of reviews and rating of reviewers

The quality of reviews is evaluated by the editor or associate editor. Reviews which are poor, insufficient or don’t adhere to our guidelines may be withdrawn or sent back to the reviewers for improvement. If a review is withdrawn, the reviewer will not receive any compensation for it and may be banned from reviewing for a period of time.

Reviewers may also be banned temporarily from reviewing if they are late, don’t submit their review, or don’t evaluate revised manuscripts upon request.

Notifications and submitting reviews

Notifications and manuscript details are found in the reviewer’s centre on our Editorial System peer review platform. We will also send important notifications by email. Notifications will usually contain a link to access the relevant page on our website. Invitations to review a manuscript contain links to automatically register a response in our system.

Reviews must be submitted on our system. The review form contains mandatory and optional fields. In addition, reviewers can upload an annotated manuscript.

Reviewers can track the status (including decisions) of any manuscript they have evaluated in their reviewer centre.

Help

Please contact the editorial office by email (see link in the reviewer centre) if you have any questions or concerns, or need help. If it relates to a specific manuscript, please be sure to quote its reference number.

Journal of Ecoacoustics E-ISSN: 2516-1466