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Review Policy

Last modified March 25, 2021

Reviewer requirements

The review process is single-blind: the author does not know the identity of the reviewer. Authors have an opportunity to request the reveal of the reviewers and to publish transparent review reports. In case reviewers have any objections, reviews will remain disguised.

Reviewers should keep the content of the manuscript, including the abstract, confidential. Reviewers must inform the SBPReports if they would like a student or colleague to complete the review on their behalf.

At least two review reports are collected for each submitted article. Suggestions of reviewers can be made by the authors during submission. Alternatively, SBPReports editorial staff will use qualified Editorial Board Members, qualified reviewers from our database or new reviewers identified by web searches for related articles.

The following checks are applied to all reviewers:

  • Reviewers claim that no conflict of interest is present (e.g. reviewers have no common papers with the authors in the last 5 years);
  • Reviewers hold Ph.D. or MD;
  • Reviewers have experience in the field, confirmed by recently published papers and academic acceptance.


Manuscript acceptance criteria

A paper can only be accepted for publication by an academic editor with approval by the chief Editor based on the following criteria:

  • The suitability of selected reviewers;
  • Adequacy of reviewer comments and author response;
  • Overall scientific quality of the paper.

The paper review process is regulated strictly by the Editorial staff of SBPReports and no interference by the publisher staff is present. The editorial staff is not involved in publishing their work and cannot affect their paper processing in any way.

In case any sort of plagiarism is discovered during the paper processing by the editorial staff, the paper will be immediately rejected. Plagiarism in the accepted paper will result in paper recalls.


Review Process

Each manuscript is evaluated by the reviewers following these criteria:

  1. Reviewer receives a paper from the editor
  2. The reviewer evaluates the given paper using the set of criteria
  3. The novelty of the findings of the paper:
  4. The results of the paper completely repeat previous data
  5. The results of the paper confirm previous data, with the new approach
  6. The key results of the paper are not novel, however, some of the results are novel
  7. The main results and conclusions are novel, however, they are merely the development of the previously published works
  8. The key findings are novel
  9. Significance of the paper to the field
  10. The author findings do not make sense
  11. The results of the paper are, probably, not that valuable to the specific field of the authors
  12. The key conclusions of the authors could be of some interest to the researchers in the field or the general readership
  13. The key findings of the work should be of great interest to all the researchers of their field
  14. The work should be of significant interest to the general readership outside the field of the researchers
  15. Accuracy of the validation and confirmation of the results
  16. The results of the paper are validated neither experimentally, nor theoretically
  17. Some of the results are validated, however, the validation is lacking accuracy and credibility
  18. The key findings of the work are correctly validated, however, supporting results require strengthening
  19. Most of the results are correctly validated, however, references to previously published data or literature related results validation are required
  20. All of the results of the paper have been correctly validated both experimentally and theoretically
  21. Citation of the previous works and Results Discussion
  22. Neither background of the work, nor the discussion of the results are covered sufficiently
  23. While the discussion seems to cover the results nicely, the background has to be sufficiently modified
  24. The problem background is covered; however, the discussion lacks integrity and previous works are not cited well enough
  25. Both the discussion and the background cover the problem, however, corrections and more accurate citation of the previous work is required
  26. Background, discussion, and references are in order
  27. Overall technical rigor
  28. Most of the key results were observed in a sloppy and non-accurate manner or the number of repeats of the experiments is not sufficient for the achievement of the statistical significance. Major improvement of the technical rigor is required.
  29. Some of the supporting results were obtained non-accurately or the increase of the experimental statistics is required. Overall technical quality of the work is satisfactory.
  30. Mostly text corrections are needed to improve the technical side of the manuscript and overall understanding of the work
  31. The technical part of the manuscript is of sufficient quality and requires no improvements
  32. Quality of the figures
  33. One can poorly understand how authors base their conclusions on the referenced figures. The visual quality of the figures is not acceptable and does not suit the SBPR standards
  34. Key results are backed up correctly, however, figures with the supporting results are non-accurately. Some of the figures are clumsy and overloaded. Additional supplementary materials are required.
  35. Conclusions of the work are covered nicely, but the figures lack accuracy or technical quality
  36. The figures are of excellent quality
  37. Quality of the manuscript text and English Usage
  38. Authors should significantly improve their English usage, as it affects the understanding of the text. The manuscript text is overloaded with minor details and “watery” descriptions and should be generally reworded
  39. The English of the manuscript should be improved, although, the overall text quality is satisfactory. Some issues with the understanding of the authors' vision are required.
  40. Minor corrections might be needed, but the general quality is good.
  41. Based on the criteria above, the reviewer will see the number of potential modifications to the paper and the type of revision (if the reviewer finds the outcome non-suiting, he might correct his evaluation)
  42. Rejection
  43. Calculated by the criteria, or due to excessive modifications, required by the reviewer
  44. Major
  45. The number of additional studies should be calculated based on the evaluation criteria, as we want to overload neither reviewer nor authors
  46. If the reviewers insist on the number of modifications, exceeding the calculated number, the paper should be rejected
  47. Minor
  48. Mostly text corrections and clarifications
  49. Additionally, minor modeling calculations, not exceeding the reasonable limit (calculated based on our formulas)
  50. Accept


Open review

SBPReports publishing team supports the transparent review reports, as are major publishers in the field. Thus, SBPReports offers authors the possibility to publish review reports with their paper and for reviewers to sign their open review reports. This will only be done at publication with the permission of the reviewer and authors. In all other cases, review reports are considered confidential and will only be disclosed with the explicit permission of the reviewer.


Conflict of Interest

We ask reviewers to recognize potential competing interests that could lead them to be positively or negatively disposed towards an article. We follow the recommendations of the ICMJE and the guidance provided by PLOS. Reviewers should inform the editors or journal staff if they are close competitors or collaborators of the authors. Reviewers must recuse themselves if they feel that they are unable to offer an impartial review. Common reasons for editors and reviewers to recuse themselves from the peer-review process include but are not limited to:

  • Working at the same institution or organization as one or more of the authors, currently or in the past 2 years
  • Having collaborated with, or served as a mentor to, one or more of the authors during the past 2 years
  • Having held grants with one or more of the authors, currently or in the past 2 years
  • Having a personal relationship with an author that does not allow him or her to evaluate the manuscript objectively

We will make every effort to follow authors’ requests to exclude potential reviewers, provided that a specific reason is provided.


Review Timeline

Among the key features of SBPR is the strict publishing timeline:

  • Initial editorial consideration: less than 7 workdays
  • First review round: less than 21 days
  • Author response to reviewers: less than 21 days
  • Further review rounds: less than 14 days.

In case any of these time limits are violated by the SBPReports editorial team or reviewers, APC discounts up to 50% will be suggested to the authors.

Brief Scheme of the SBPReports publishing and review process:

 

The Review Policy has been developed on the best practices, implied by eLife, PLOS and MDPI