Guidelines for Reviewers

Benefits to review articles for LIDSEN journals:

  • Recognition on review work from Publons;
  • An official certificate can be provided on request;
  • A discount on article processing charge for publishing a paper they have authored;
  • Further involvements in the journals if interested (e.g., join our reviewer bank and regularly review manuscripts, or join an advisory team when the journal is expanding).

Interested? Join Us as a volunteer reviewer now!

Peer review refers to the review of manuscripts by experts in the field submitted
to a journal. Peer review, though often critical, is a process in that reviewers and
authors equally share and discuss scientific opinions, which promotes the research
capabilities of both. The position of reviewer and author exchanges from time to time.

Peer review is one of the core procedures in scholarly publishing. Review comments
from independent reviewers call authors’ attention to missed zone, assist editors
to judge a paper comprehensively, and make an unbiased decision. A high-standard peer
review benefits both authors and journals.

Manuscripts submitted to LIDSEN journals for publication are reviewed by at least two
independent reviewers, who can be volunteer reviewers, members of the Reviewer Board,
or reviewers suggested by the academic editor. Single-blinded peer review is adopted
in our editorial process so that the identity of reviewers is not disclosed to authors.
Comments from carefully selected reviewers (like you) are an important guide for editors
in making decisions about a manuscript.

When selecting reviewers, we carefully check and make sure the reviewers should meet the following criteria:

  • (1) the reviewers’ expertise is suitable for the manuscript;
  • (2) the reviewers’ research background is qualified to review the manuscript, usually a PhD or MD degree is necessary;
  • (3) the reviewers should have publishing experience in the same field;
  • (4) there are no competing interests between reviewers and the authors.

Reviewers who accept to review a manuscript are expected to:

  • (1) Declare conflicts of interest before starting to review;
  • (2) If not available, decline an invitation in a timely fashion, and if possible, recommend alternative reviewers at the same time, the proposed candidates should meet the reviewers’ criteria;
  • (3) If having accepted an invitation, finish the review and submit the report within the expected timeframe. If an extension is needed or your circumstances have changed and you cannot review the manuscript, please inform the editorial office in time;
  • (4) Evaluate each manuscript submitted in an impartial manner and prepare the review report in-depth, detailing both your overall impression of the manuscript and specific comments about certain parts of the manuscript;
  • (5) Report any suspected misconduct to the editors for further investigation;
  • (6) Keep the assigned manuscripts confidential;
  • (7) If inviting a colleague to complete the review together, please obtain permission from the editorial office in advance and sign both names when submitting the review report.

To maintain an efficient and effective peer review as well as a fluent editorial service, we would appreciate reviewers taking a few minutes to read the following guidelines.

Guidelines for Peer Review and Editorial Process

The manuscript submitted to LIDSEN journals will be processed through Pre-Check, Peer Review, Revision, Revision Review (if necessary), Editor Decision, Production, Proofreading and Publication.

  • Pre-Check. Upon submission of a manuscript, the managing editor of the journal will perform a technical pre-check of the manuscript. A suitable academic editor will be notified of the manuscript submission and will be invited to see if the manuscript meets the scope of the journal and is suitable for peer review.
  • Peer Review and Revision Procedure. The manuscript considered suitable for further evaluation will be sent to independent reviewers for peer review. During the first peer review stage, at least two review reports were required for a manuscript. Reviewers who choose to review the revised manuscript will be contacted to evaluate the revision.
  • Editor Decision. When the reviewers have no further comments and the authors have made sufficient revisions to the manuscript, a final decision on the manuscript will be made by the academic editor (usually the Editor-in-Chief/Editorial Board member of the journal or the Guest Editor of the special issue or the Collection Editor of the collection). Throughout the publishing process, the editorial staff will carefully examine the academic editors’ competing interests with authors, and those who have competing interests with authors will not be asked to make decisions.
  • Production, Proofreading and Publication. The accepted manuscript will be sent to layout editing and language editing and then sent to the author for proofreading prior to publication. All manuscripts published by LIDSEN are evaluated by our academic editors and LIDSEN staff are not involved in the decision to accept the manuscript.

More detailed information regarding the peer review and editorial process is available here.

General and Ethical Guidelines for Reviewers

We strictly adhere to the criteria specified by COPE, OASPA, WAME and DOAJ for ethical scholarly publishing with maximum transparency. Therefore, we hope that reviewers who take review commitments would also follow the ethical requirements. We recommend reviewers refer to COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers when reviewing manuscripts that are submitted to LIDSEN journals.

Timeliness of Response

Prompt communication between the journal and reviewers is critical to facilitate consistent, fair, and timely review of manuscripts. We would expect reviewer candidates to:

  • Accept or Decline an invitation to peer review based on the title and abstract in a timely manner.
  • Return a review within the proposed time frame. If your circumstances change and you cannot fulfill your original agreement or if you require an extension to submit a review, please notify the journal promptly.
  • If you cannot review, suggest some relevant alternative reviewers if possible.

Potential Competing Interests

It is critical that reviewers provide unbiased review comments. Prior to reviewing, reviewers should declare all competing interests related to the manuscript. Competing interests may be personal, economic, intellectual, professional, political, or religious in nature. If you are unsure of a competing interest that may prevent you from conducting the review, please notify the journal and seek advice.


Respect the confidentiality of the peer review process and information from the article should not be used or distributed in part or in whole until the article is published. Reviewers should also be careful not to reveal their identity to authors.

Reviewers are required to prepare their own reports, and they are not allowed to impersonate others during the review process. If you want to invite others to participate in the peer review process, you must seek permission in advance from the journal editorial office. The name of any individuals who have contributed to the review should be included in the signature of the review report.

Suspected Ethics Violations

Reviewers should report any suspected misconduct to the editorial office for further investigation. For example, you may notice a large number of similarities between the manuscript you are reviewing and a manuscript submitted to another journal at the same time or a published manuscript. For any ethical concerns, please contact the editorial office directly by email.

Evaluation Guidelines for Reviewers

For a systematical peer review, reviewers are asked to fill in an online review report form, which covers the following important points that need to be evaluated while reviewing a manuscript:

  • Originality and Novelty. The results reported in the manuscript must be the original work of the authors without any plagiarism or fabrication. Any part of the manuscript should not be published before elsewhere. The novelty of the manuscript should also be considered. Manuscripts indicating new insight, methods or findings are preferred.
  • Interests and Significance. The work should be of interest to a certain readership of the journal, benefit some research communities and provide an advance in current knowledge.
  • Scientific Soundness. The study should be designed correctly. Experiments and analyses should follow the recognized technical standards. The conclusion of the study must be supported by faithful, logical and reasonable evidence and data. The methods, tools, software, and reagents used in the manuscripts should be described in detail so that the result of the study can be reproduced. Anecdotal articles should not be accepted.
  • Research Ethics. The research involving human, animal, cell lines or plant subjects should be designed and conducted in an ethically acceptable manner. Any work that fails to comply with the Research Ethics Guidelines should be rejected.
  • Quality of Language. The manuscript should be written in English clearly and precisely, free from spelling and grammatical errors and other linguistic inconsistencies. If needed, authors would be advised to use a professional English editing service before acceptance.

After evaluating a manuscript in detail, reviewers are asked to provide an overall recommendation to editors:

  • Accept in the current form if the manuscript is presented clearly and accurately; the method is described sufficiently in detail; the conclusion is supported strongly by the data; the research makes a significant contribution to the field; and there are few grammatical mistakes or inaccurate expressions.
  • Minor revision if the manuscript is scientifically sound and acceptable but needs a number of simple corrections on expression, and supplement on details, which does not influence the method and conclusion logic compared to the current form. Reviewers should provide specific comments and suggestions item by item.
  • Major revision if the theme of the study could be important and constructive to the field but it needs to be re-evaluated and justified after missed details or explanations are provided. Reviewers are encouraged to separately provide specific comments on the key revisions besides other minor ones. Usually, a manuscript after major revisions will be sent back to the reviewers for a second review unless the reviewer is not available for another review.
  • Rejection if the manuscript contains any confirmed misconduct, methodological flow, or has no original contribution. If there is any suspected misconduct, we would appreciate it if reviewers raise the issue directly to the handling editor for a sooner investigation.

Reviewers are welcome to provide feedback after review. Please note, editors make decisions on manuscripts after careful consideration of all reviewers’ comments. Editors can make a decision that conflicts with reviewers’ suggestions. In this case, editors will provide justification to reviewers and authors.

Recognition of Review Work

An email receipt recognizing that the review has been completed will be sent to the reviewer after the reviewer submits the review comments. Simply forward that email to, and reviewers can get recognition for the review work from Web of Science Reviewer Recognition Service (formerly Publons).