Reviewer Orientation: Introduction

BACK: Reviewer Orientation < Introduction > NEXT: Criteria 1

I would like to take this brief opportunity to share my thoughts about the most effective way to review manuscripts submitted to the International Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics.  Having been a journal editor and manuscript reviewer for many years, I have come to believe that assessing the quality of submissions is an art form that requires answers to several key questions. Reviewers are critical to the journal’s success. Thank you for your service.

  • We want to ensure that the reviews we provide authors are:
    • Valuable
    • Thoughtful
    • Attentive to detail in the discussion
    • Constructive
    • Diplomatic
    • Provide specific feedback and suggestions
  • The purpose of this video is for us to share our thoughts about the best ways to write high-quality reviews that meet these objectives.
  • Please keep in mind: We are an international journal and are indexed in a wide range of online, offline and library holdings.  Reviewers must keep in mind that we receive manuscripts from authors in different countries and that there are international differences in the ways authors think about social work values and ethics.
  • We would like your reviews to focus especially on:
    • The principal strengths of the manuscript
    • Any major concerns you have, along with specific suggestions
    • Any minor concerns you have, along with specific suggestions
  • Your overall evaluation has 5 options:
    • Accept with no revision necessary
    • Accept with minor changes — Usually this option is used when the manuscript is well written with strong conceptualization, and, for example, there are relatively minor problems with citations or a specific point could use some clarification.  A large number of minor changes is categorized as a minor change.
    • Accept with major changes — Usually this option is used when the manuscript is nearly ready for publication but some revision is necessary, e.g., some reorganization to enhance the flow, adding a discussion of implications, updating references.  If you see serious but fixable problems, the manuscript falls into the category of major change.
    • Reject with an invitation to resubmit — Usually this option is used when the manuscript includes compelling content but falls significantly below the journal’s standards.  Common examples include the need to strengthen the conceptual discussion, review relevant literature, edit carefully, and reorganize to enhance clarity.
    • Reject and may not resubmit — Usually this option is used when the manuscript is very weak, perhaps due to poor conceptualization, poor writing quality, or the content is not consistent with the journal’s mission.