Short guide to Apples reviewers

Peer review has two key functions:

  • To act as a filter, to ensure only good research is published.
  • To improve the quality of the research submitted for publication.

On being asked to review:
Does the article which you are being asked to review truly match your expertise?

If you believe that the article is relevant to your knowledge, do you have time to review it? The reviewers are generally expected to submit their review within six weeks. If you can not conduct the review let the editor know immediately, and if possible advise the editor of alternative reviewers.

Conducting the review:

You will be asked to evaluate the article at least on these criteria.

Is the article original & interesting? Does it fit the scope of Apples?
Is the article clearly structured and understandable?
Is the methodology coherent and appropriate for the topic?
Does the analysis support the findings and conclusions?
Do you have other (for instance, ethical) concerns?

Report to the editor:

Provide a quick summary of the article at the top of your report. It serves the dual purpose of reminding the editor of the details of the report and also reassuring the author and editor that you understood the article.

The report should contain the key elements of your review, addressing the points outlined in the preceding section. When providing commentary, please be courteous and constructive; consider, 'how would I react to receiving these suggestions'. You should explain and support your judgment so that both editors and authors are better able to understand the basis of the comments.

When you make a recommendation regarding an article, it is worth considering the categories the editors will use for the classifying the article.
a) Rejected due to poor quality, or out of scope of Apples - Journal of Applied Sciences, or because of ethical concerns (duplicate submission, plagiarism or self-plagiarim)
b) Accept without revision 
c) Accept but needs revision

  • major revision: major problems with for instance focus, framework; mismatch between research questions & data etc. 
  • minor revisions: relatively minor concerns, missing references, stylistic issues

Clearly identify what revision is required
If you think the article needs to be revised, you might want to indicate to the editor whether or not you would be happy to review the revised article.