Review Criteria 4: The manuscript’s presentation of a conceptual framework

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I am Steve Marson, the senior editor of the journal. I want to explain how to assess in a conceptual framework.  Most people think of a conceptual framework as a theory. Here, we need to assess if the manuscript is tied together with a unifying idea.  If the manuscript includes fragments of ideas, the presentation has a weak conceptual framework. Such a presentation is easy to identify and should receive a low score on this measure (i.e zero). Manuscripts that have a clear conceptual frame should receive a score of 5.  The most difficult manuscripts are those that fall in the middle. Here the reviewers must use their best professional judgment for scoring.