Guidelines for referees

Referees or reviewers of manuscripts are an essential part of the editorial process of the journal. Using their reviews, referees contribute to the advancement of science thus contributing to ensuring the high quality of the studies before being published. Their work is altruistic and anonymous regarding the authors of the manuscripts they review.

The Editor and Associate Editors send manuscripts to at least two referees considered experts in the subject matter, thus the Editor Committee can consider multiple specialist opinions before masking a publication decision.

The referees' responsibility is to rigorously evaluate manuscripts within a timeframe of three weeks proposed by the journal. If referees are not able to complete their reviews promptly, then should decline the review. Alternatively, they should request additional time from the Editor if needed.

Referees should decline to review manuscripts when there are potential conflicts of interest or when they believe they cannot conduct a just and objective evaluation. A proper review of a manuscript includes strengths and weaknesses of the study, suggestions for improvement, and precise questions to authors so they can be answered efficiently and give orientation for quality improvement and high acceptance by the future audience.  

Referees must safeguard the confidentiality of the contents of manuscripts and never nor use disseminate data o information. Doing so is considered unethical. Referees must abstain from asking authors to include information unrelated to the study objectives as well as avoid requesting to cite their own published studies.  

When referees recommend not to publish a manuscript or publish after major revisions, they might receive a revised version of the manuscript for additional evaluation. The peer review process is an effective procedure to improve the quality of studies.

The Editor and/or Associate Editors might share anonymous evaluation reports among the referees to improve the quality and consistency of the evaluations, answer questions and improve the overall editorial process.

Referees will be informed of the publication decision regarding the manuscripts they review. As retribution for their valued time and effort, the Editor sends an acknowledgment letter/email to referees after each evaluation and publishes their names and affiliations during the first volume of the following year.