Reviewer Guidelines

Note: These guidelines are under final review and slight modifications can be applied in the following days.

External reviewers are an essential part of the AUDITIO journal. Peer evaluation (or arbitration) of scientific articles is essential to ensure the excellence of scientific publication. For this reason, reviewers receive public recognition by appearing on the first page of published articles. Evaluations are performed by two types of reviewers. Academic reviewers; who are recognized scientists’ experts in the main topic of the article, and non-academic reviewers; who are clinical health care professionals (i.e. hearing care professionals, speech pathologists, otolaryngologists) whose main occupation is not research. In research articles, the authors receive two academic reviews and one clinic, while in scientific communications the authors receive at least one review of each type.

Contents

1. Pre-acceptance steps of the invitation to review a manuscript

2. What is the role of reviewers in academics and clinicians?

3. How do you assess a manuscript?

3.a)    Scope

3.b)   Writing

3.c)    Originality

3.d)   Reproducibility

3.e)    Manuscript structure

4. Ethical issues

5. Types of evaluation

5.a)    Quantitative assessment

5.b)   Qualitative evaluation

5.c)    Reviewer's Final Recommendation

 

 

AUDITIO ensures the independence and anonymity of authors and reviewers throughout the evaluator process unless the article has been sent to one of the Open  Contributions sections where the review is transparent and up-to-date. Reviewers of rejected articles are made public once a year on the journal's official website.

1. Pre-acceptance steps of the invitation to review a manuscript

   Upon receipt of a manuscript, and before moving on to the arbitration process,  auditio's editorial team ensures that the manuscript complies with the journal's focus and interest,  as well as the specifications indicated in the authors' guidelines. The editor then makes a review invitation to the reviewers that it considers most qualified for the topic of the article to be evaluated. The author(s) provides a list of six potential reviewers who serve as a starting point for the editor. In the  AUDITIO  sections  | Open  Contributions, editors will only contact reviewers suggested by the authors. Once the  invitation is sent, the reviewers receive the summary   of the manuscript in question and must accept or reject the  invitation  based on the following criteria:

  • Availability: Reviewing a manuscript critically and constructively takes time. The reviewer should weigh whether they have the time to complete the review within the timeframe indicated by the editor which will usually be two weeks.
  • Knowledge and academic experience about the contents of the manuscript. The reviewer should assess whether he has the necessary competence to critically and constructively evaluate the subject matter of the manuscript.
  • Conflict of interest. In case the reviewer suspects before or during the review process that there is a relationship of academic closeness  (collaboration, same institution, etc), commercial or family with the authors of the manuscript,  the manuscript must reject the invitation. For example, co-authoring articles at a time of fewer than four years is considered a conflict of interest.  Reviewers may state that potential authors may have conflicts of interest in advance, to avoid being invited to review manuscripts for which they are not eligible as reviewers.  
  • Confidentiality commitment. AUDITIO journal requires its reviewers to make an express commitment to confidentiality during the evaluation process. Under no circumstances shall the information contained in the manuscript be disclosed or made public. If you want to consult with colleagues or collaborators on aspects related to the review, you should consult with the editor for approval. This restricted broadcast must be explicitly approved by the editor (as recommended by  COPE).
  • Supervised review. At AUDITIO we encourage "novel reviews"  by PhD and postdoctoral students. If the reviewer wants to work collaboratively with a student on the review,  you must notify the publisher for approval. Also, the student must adopt the same commitment of confidentiality, reveal conflicts of interest and be recognized for his work in the review.

The decision to accept or reject the invitation should be notified to the editor as soon as possible through the Open Journal System form.  If you reject the invitation, it is recommended that you specify the reasons for the decision. If the editor does not get a response from the reviewer within three business days, the review will be considered as not accepted.

2.  What is the role of reviewers in academics and clinicians?

The academic reviewer's job is to critically and constructively analyze the contents of the manuscript, the author thus helping the author improve the manuscript and the publisher to make a decision on acceptance. The academic reviewer should focus on assessing whether the work presented answers a question(s) of interest to the discipline of audiology, is based on previous literature, is rigorous in its methodology and the interpretation of the results is appropriate. The clinical reviewer should focus on aspects such as content clarity, impact to the audiological community,  and accessibility of language and content to specialized but non-expert audiences.

3.           How do you assess a manuscript?

3.a)           Scope

The topic of the article should be relevant to readers of the journal AUDITIO. Also, the article should be specific within the topics of interest to the journal and provide relevant and meaningful information for the international audiological community.

3.b)           Writing

The writing of the manuscript should be clear and concise. The content must be backed by prior scientific literature, providing citations and references of interest to support its argumentation. The reviewer's job is not to correct the language and grammar of the text. However, specific comments on these aspects of the text are accepted.

3.c)            Originality

Reviewers should assess the originality of the manuscript. Some criteria of originality include: 1) If the manuscript is novel enough concerning the previously existing literature*, 2) if you expand current scientific knowledge regarding the subject covered, 3)the research question(s) is clinically or theoretically relevant. If the reviewer suspects that the contents of the manuscript have been copied from another source,  the reviewer must inform the publisher as soon as possible. Plagiarism is unacceptable.

*Originality should not be evaluated if the manuscript is a replication study.

3.d)  Reproducibility

The accuracy and thoroughness of the methods used to answer the questions and hypotheses raised should n  be evaluated in detail. If the study is a replication study, the reviewer should ensure and comment on the extent to which the methods proposed to reproduce the methods of the original study.

3.e)            Manuscript structure

Although each type of article has a different structure  (see  Guidelines for authors and templates), all of the studies must contain at least the following sections: title,  abbreviated title,  summary,  keywords,  introduction, discussion,  conclusions and conflict of interests. Research articles should incorporate a section of clinical implications and scientific communications a summary table  (see  Authors' Guidelines). Also, the reviewer may indicate whether it deems it necessary to add any sections or subsections not originally included in the manuscript.

The reviewer also values the quality and justification of figures and tables in their context. Any visual element must be referenced in the main text. If these elements are unclear, unnecessary or incomplete, the reviewer shall indicate this in its review.

Finally, the reviewer has to evaluate the bibliographic references provided. References must be accurate, and relevant to support the information provided. If any relevant references are omitted, the reviewer must reflect them in their review. It is considered a bad praxis the over-representation of the previous work of authors that is not justified. Also,  it is not acceptable for the reviewer to suggest including citations to his work if it is not relevant to improve the scientific quality of the article.

4. Ethical issues

In case the reviewer detects any type of fraudulent behaviour (redundant publication, plagiarism, invented data etc. ) must inform the editor immediately, who shall take appropriate measures following AUDITIO's editorial policies.

5. Types of evaluation

The reviewer must provide a  quantitative assessment of the manuscript based on the criteria set out in Table 1. Quantitative evaluation allows a score to be established to help the editor establish a criterion in the evaluation of the manuscript (see Table 2). Also,  the reviewer must provide a qualitative evaluation of the manuscripts based on the criteria described above. En the qualitative assessment, the reviewer must indicate in a clear and justified written form his evaluation      (see section 5b, for more information on qualitative evaluation), which should be in line with the observations drafted in the qualitative section.

5.a)           Quantitative assessment

Table 1:Guide to QuantitativeValuation

Total score (Max 20 possible points)

recommendation

0-10 (50%) points

rejection

11-13 (66%) points

Major review

14-17 points (86%) points

Minor review

≥ 18 points

acceptance

For each aspect to be evaluated provide your assessment on a scale of 0 to 4 points

 

 

 

Table 2: Evaluation table for original articles

 

Totally disagree

Disagree

undecisive

agree

Totally agree

 

 

0

1

2

3

4

 

Introduction (relevant) and approach to the problem are appropriate

 

 

 

 

 

 

The proposed methodology is appropriate to answer the research question

 

 

 

 

 

 

Results are presented clearly and concisely

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion adequately addresses the results

 

 

 

 

 

 

The conclusions are directly related to the results obtained

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.b)           Qualitative evaluation

Reviewers' comments should be respectful and above all constructive. Unnecessary comments or personal details should not be included. Comments should guide the author on how to make changes that improve the quality of the article in possible subsequent versions of the manuscript. Clear and concise information on any aspect that might improve the manuscript should be provided. The reviewer should also indicate whether the comments expressed are personal opinions, questions or inaccuracies to be fixed that are supported by evidence in previous literature.

The qualitative evaluation will be sent to the authors as they have been prepared by the reviewer. Because of this, it is important to be rigorous with the organization, clarity of arguments and spelling of the text. The assessments provided by the reviewer should avoid, as far as possible, any misinterpretation. The editor may ask the reviewer for rectification if it finds comments that may be interpreted as offensive.  Some expressions to avoid would be "It is not serious that...", "This analysis denotes complete ignorance on the part of the authors", etc.

The evaluation will be introduced in the Open Journal System  in  three text boxes:

  1. Summary of the article: The reviewer should give his vision of the article in a paragraph that includes the main objective, the reportable findings and the conclusion. This summary will serve the publisher and authors of the manuscript to detect if there has been any misunderstanding in the essential elements of the manuscript. The summary is particularly important for clinical reviewers.
  2. General considerations/comments: The reviewer must formulate his or her reluctance, point by point in this section. The reviewer may suggest clarifications on fundamental content by asking questions about aspects not covered in the text. These considerations will be reviewed point by point by the authors even if the article is accepted. The objective of this section is to highlight possible aspects of the study that may invalidate the analysis,  interpretations or conclusions expressed by the authors.
  3. Specific/Minor Comments: The reviewer can ask specific questions or suggest changes in the style and language used in the text. You don't have to report all the errata, but if any were detected you will communicate here. The objective of this section is to improve the clarity of the manuscript.

5.c)           Reviewer's Final Recommendation

Based on the qualitative and quantitative assessment, the reviewer shall issue a recommendation on the acceptance of the manuscript. This will be considered by the publisher, who has ultimate responsibility for the decision of publication or not of the manors written. The categories  of this recommendation are as  follows:  

 

  1. acceptance
  2. Major revision, in this case, the reviewer should indicate whether he is willing to participate in the second round of evaluation.
  3. Minor revision
  4. rejection

Also,  the reviewer will be able to type in a text box confidential comments for the editor that will not be visible to the author.