One of the critical elements of scholarly articles for a standard journal like Space and Culture, India is the process of peer review. Peer review remains paramount because:
- Review process acts as a filter to ensure that the research has been adequately scrutinised (and edited) before publication.
- It also ensures to improve the quality of research as it increases the scope of the author to revise the manuscript and correct inadvertent errors (if any).
The reviewer needs to consider the following key points when being approached by the journal editor to review an article.
The Editors might sometimes fail to know your research intimately, and might only be aware of the broader context of your research. Hence, only accept an invitation if you are well competent to review the research article. If the occasion arises, where you are unable to review the article, please do find some potential alternative reviewers to review the same.
Maintaining anonymity while conducting a review
It is imperative to maintain anonymity while conducting a review of any research article. In any case, the article must not be disclosed to the third party. The journal strictly maintains that the identity of the reviewer too will not be disclosed to the author. Therefore, please do not disclose your identity within the text of your review. May we also kindly request you to check the properties of your computer(in case you review using track changes), so that your name is not disclosed.
Moreover, the journal maintains that in no case, the reviewer should contact the author. The reviewer should be very careful while submitting the review because any recommendations made by the reviewer might contribute the editor to make final decisions on the article. The reviewers might adhere to the following while evaluating an article:
Is the research question of the article interesting enough to publish in the journal? In what way does the article contribute to the existing knowledge: empirical/theoretical /and or policy? You may do a quick literature search using Google Scholar, SSRN, DOAJ, IDEAS, Repec in order to see if there are any reviews on that topic. If the research has been previously covered, please do pass on the references of the work to one of the Editors of the journal.
Structure of the article
Reviewers are kindly requested to see if the article is clearly laid out:
It should describe the article.
It should reflect the argument and the overall content of the article.
It should describe what the author(s) hope to achieve accurately, and write clearly the problem to be investigated explaining its aim(s)/objective(s) and hypothesis(es), if any.
Has the author been able to review the relevant literature, which underpins the research article?
Does the author describe accurately as to how the data was collected?
Are/is the design(s)/method(s) used are/is suitable for answering the research
question(s)/ its aim(s)/objective(s) and or hypothesis(es) posed? Is the sampling appropriate?
Interpretation and Findings
This is where the author(s) should explain what the key findings of the research are. Reviewers should identify if the appropriate analysis has been done by the author(s). The findings should be laid out clearly and in a logical sequence. The arguments /claims must be supported by the key results /theories (or previous research). Or do the findings contradict previous theories?
It should summarise and bring together the key points and future directions of the research.
If a particular article builds upon previous research, then the reviewers should consider whether the author has been able to refer the work appropriately. The reviewers must also see if any important research literature has been omitted. Are the references accurate? Any conflict of interest, suspicion of duplicate publication, fabrication of data must be reported to one of the Editors.
Plagiarism may not be intentional, but it remains a very serious problem. All ideas and quotes must be referenced appropriately. In case of suspicion, of any form of plagiarism, it must be reported to one of the Editors.
It is a difficult task to identify a fraudster, but in case fraudulence is suspected, it must be discussed with one of the Editors.