Competing Interests

Invited reviewers are asked to disclose potential competing interests before agreeing to review a paper. Sources of possible competing interests are manifold: personal, social, professional, or financial  (e.g., mentor-mentee relationships, research collaborations, working at the same institution, business relationships, competition for funding). But also political, religious or ideological reasons might impair an unbiased evaluation of the research. Even if author names are blinded, reviewers possibly know or guess who is doing this research which in turn could result in competing interests.

Confidentiality and Trustworthiness

Reviewers must treat any document and information obtained through peer review strictly confidential and must respect the intellectual property of the authors.

Principles of Good Practice

  • Reliability. Reviewers should accept a reviewing request only if they are able to complete the review within the deadline set by the journal. If they need more time this should be clarified with the journal editors before accepting to review.
  • Competency. Reviewers should accept an reviewing request only if they have the required expertise. If they think that they are qualified to review only some (substantial) parts of the paper this should be clearly indicated in the review.
  • Respectfulness. Reviewer comments should be respectful, non-offensive, and focused on content. See the Reviewer Guidelines for suggestions on important aspects to consider when writing a review.