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Guidelines for Reviewers

Reviewing a manuscript written by a fellow scientist is a privilege. It is also an exciting and enjoyable educational experience. However, it is also a time-consuming responsibility. SMJ and its editors, authors, and readers therefore appreciate your willingness to accept this responsibility and your dedication. We hope that these guidelines will help make your job easier.

On some occasions, it may not be necessary to dwell in detail in framing a report. These are generally cases where the paper is so badly prepared as to be virtually incomprehensible. There may also be cases where the experimental design is irretrievably flawed. Where a contribution is too slight for acceptance but does hold some interest, it may be worth gently encouraging the author to do further work towards a more substantial paper. Alternatively it may be useful to report some material in a short paper.

Probably all manuscripts will be improved by some revision before publication. Even when you wish to recommend acceptance there will probably be various specific proposals that you can make towards improving the paper.

Please make sure that your critical comments and your recommendation about publication agree: authors are sometimes puzzled to receive largely friendly comments or apparently mild criticism associated with a recommendation to reject. If you recommend rejection, please try to indicate sufficient grounds. Rejection of a paper is bound to disappoint the authors and no purpose is served by added offence or personal abuse from an anonymous referee. Rejection is most tolerable when it is clear that the reviewers have considered the paper with a thoroughness compatible with the authors’ investment of time in their work.

It is not necessary for referees to give their attention to the conformity of a paper with the Journal’s conventions on style. Nevertheless, minor alterations may be suggested by penciled annotation of the manuscript.

Please, download the Reviewers Form [download] and fill it out section by section. The first section contains General information about the manuscript and it is going to be filled by Editorial Board. All other segments should be filled by the referee and it contains following parts: comments per each section of the manuscript, evaluation, recommandation, and additional comments.

We are very aware that referees perform a vital service without extrinsic reward: the least we can do is provide them with feedback of the other Referees’ reports. Clearly this material is provided in strict confidence.

Please consider the following questions before framing your written report.
1. Does the paper sufficiently advance knowledge to merit publication?
2. Is the content of the paper within the scope of this journal?
3. Is the presentation sufficiently clear and precise?
4. Could the experiment(s) be repeated from the descriptions and references given?
5. Are the illustrations necessary and adequate?
6. Are the aims clearly defined and followed?
7. Are the statistical analyses appropriate and clear?
8. Are the conclusions justified by the experimental evidence?
9. Are the references adequate? (Use the Guidelines for Authors)
10. Does the abstract accurately describe the work performed and the conclusions drawn?