Identifiability: ITR adheres to a double-blind peer-review process, with each submission being reviewed by at least two reviewers. In the case of disagreement between the reviewers’ recommendations, a third reviewer intervene.
Timing: The peer review process occurs before the publication of an article. The reviewers’ recommendations determine whether a manuscript is published. However, the editors might refrain from publishing a manuscript that violates SMT’s bylaws, guidelines, and policies or that engages in unethical behavior of any kind.
Mediation: To ensure that the double-blind process is secured, editors mediate all interactions between reviewers and authors.
Publication: Reviews are not published or otherwise made publicly available. However, they will be stored by the journal.
Facilitation: ITR will be responsible for facilitating the reviewers and for mediating between them and the authors.
Selection: ITR may select peer reviewers from both inside and outside its editorial board according to their availability and area of expertise.
- The reviewers should adhere to the SMT’s bylaws, guidelines, and policies when realizing their report. Particular attention should be paid to SMT’s policies on ethics and harassment. We also encourage reviewers to familiarize themselves with the Ethical Guidelines for Reviewers developed by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).
- Reviewers should let the editors know about any conflicts of interest prior to agreeing to review a submission. These may be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political, or religious in nature. If a reviewer is unsure about a potential conflict of interest, they should contact the editors immediately.
- Reviewers should refrain from sharing the manuscript or any other information regarding the review process. In the case that a reviewer needs help with a review, they should immediately contact the editors.
- Reviewers should let the editors know if they are not able to submit the review within the accorded timeframe. If this is the case, editors might rescind their invitation to review. Typically, ITR requests a review turnaround of 4–8 weeks, although this timeframe may be extended in mutual agreement between editor and reviewer, given reviewer availability, publication deadlines, or other circumstantial factors.
- Although the editors of ITR carefully select reviewers according to their areas of expertise, reviewers should let the editors know if they feel the manuscript to review is outside their area of expertise.
- If the reviewer suspects that the manuscript under review violates the SMT’s bylaws, guidelines, policies; or if the reviewer suspects that the author has incurred in unethical behavior, they should contact the editors immediately.
- The editors of ITR reserve the right to comment, edit, and rescind the review if they consider it to violate SMT’s bylaws, policies, and guidelines, or if they consider it incurs in unethical behavior of any kind.
- Reviewers should focus on constructive criticism, paying particular attention to the parts of the manuscript that can be improved.
- Criticism should always be specifically directed to the content of the manuscript and never towards the author. Hostile, inflammatory, or derogatory comments should be avoided.
- The reviewer may include comments directed specifically to the editors within the report. They should clearly note when they are doing so. These comments should adhere to ethical and professional principles as well.
- The reviewer’s recommendation should be consistent with the contents of the review.
- Criticism of the writing style is welcome when it helps improve the manuscript’s clarity. The reviewer should bear in mind that the manuscript might be submitted by a scholar whose primary language is not English, and the feedback should always be respectful and sensitive.
- If the reviewer considers that the article would benefit from further work, it should be clear how this work would support the author’s argument and improve the manuscript under revision.
- We encourage reviewers to adhere to the following structure when writing their reviews:
- Restate what the reviewer understands the author’s main argument to be and its most important contributions.
- State the major revisions the author should make to improve the manuscript.
- State minor revisions.
- Include a recommendation: accept without revisions, accept with minor revisions, revise and resubmit, or reject.
These guidelines were elaborated following the COPE’s Ethical Guideline for Reviewers, MTO’s Guidelines for Reviewers, and SMT’s bylaws, guidelines, and policies.