We all realize that the quality of a journal, and thus its prestige, depends on the quality of the published material, which in turn, largely depends on the feedback that authors obtain from reviewers. Therefore, no journal can be good without the dedicated work of reviewers. We all want to publish in good journals. We all want to shorten the time between submission and publication of our papers. All of this depends on reviewers. We are both potential authors and potential reviewers. If we want to obtain fast and useful feedback on our own papers, we should also provide the same type of feedback on other authors’ papers.
Manuscripts submitted to SPB are sent to three anonymous reviewers (double-blind peer-review) - the decision is made by the handling editor on the basis of at least two reviews. Reviewers may be scholars with, at a minimum, a doctoral degree, who are involved in research in social psychology and related domains. A request for a review is sent to the potential reviewer by the action editor via e-mail - we ask to confirm within 5 days whether one is willing or not to prepare the review.
The editorial team of SPB pays great attention to the quality of reviews. We ask our reviewers if they can suggest passages that need revision, deletion or expansion?
Most of us have probably had not only good but also bad experiences with reviews of our own papers. The most problematic are:
- reviews that are evaluative without any informative content,
- opinionated and unkind reviews,
- reviews whose contents suggest that the reviewer has not read the paper.
In order to avoid those problems, we kindly ask our reviewers to follow specific questions below.
Suggestions for improvement
Detailed suggestions for improvement are very welcome! The more specific questions, that may help to construct the review, are:
Concerning the introduction:
- Is the reference made to the current literature adequate?
- Is adequate reference made to existing theory/ies?
- Are proposed hypotheses plausible? Are the aims and hypotheses of the study clearly stated? Can the hypotheses be derived from theoretical introduction?
- Is the overall structure of the report clear and appropriate? Is it in line with APA style?
- Is the language of sufficient quality?
Concerning the methodology:
- Are the technical details of the method and analyses clearly represented? Would the clarity and degree of methodological detail be sufficient to exactly replicate the proposed experimental procedures and analysis?
- Do the authors declare that they have pre-registered the hypothesis and methods to test it? Are they disclosing all methodological decisions that have a bearing on the reported findings including the handling of missing data and outliers (perhaps in supplemental materials)?
- Are the methods used in the article congruent with the current state of the art?
- Are descriptive statistics for the main variables (raw and transformed) reported and presented appropriately for the full sample (e.g., N, means, standard deviations, standard errors, confidence intervals, first-order correlations, frequencies)?
- Are the tables, figures, and photos or illustrations informative? Would you recommend any additional ones or recommend any of them to be removed or moved to supplementary materials?
- Are effect sizes reported (not always required, but very desirable in most empirical studies)? Are significance levels reported using precise p-values rather than cutoffs (such as < .01 and < .05)?
- Are the total number of excluded observations and the reasons for making these exclusions reported in the Method section?
- Are all independent variables or manipulations, whether successful or failed, reported in the Method section?
- Are all dependent variables or measures that were analyzed for this article’s target research question reported in the Methods section?
- Is how sample size was determined reported in the Method section?
- Does the analysis support the hypotheses?
Concerning the results' discussion section:
- How well are the paper's original objectives achieved?
- Are conclusions supported by the data presented?
- Are the implications of the findings for the hypotheses and theory clearly indicated and appropriately discussed?
- What is the nature and magnitude of the contribution made by the report to the field?