|Instructions for Referees
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The review process is critically important for the editor's informed evaluation of articles and to assist authors in improving manuscripts. Acta Via Serica operates a blind peer review system. Before agreeing to review a manuscript, referees should ensure that the manuscript lies within their area of expertise and they can dedicate the time required to critically review the manuscript.
Conflict of Interest
According to the World Association of Medical Editors, "conflict of interest exists when there is a divergence between an individual's private (competing) interests and his/her responsibilities to scientific and publishing activities such that a reasonable observer might wonder if the individual's behavior or judgment was motivated by considerations of his or her competing interests." Referees have a responsibility to declare any conflicts of interest and recuse themselves from the peer-review process in cases of competing interests.
Acta Via Serica provides manuscripts as confidential material to reviewers for the sole purpose of critical evaluation. Referees must maintain the confidentiality of details of the manuscript during and after the review process.
It is unethical for referees to take information or ideas obtained during the peer-review process and pass them off as one's own or utilize them for self-gain.
Referees must aim to produce honest and objective reviews uninfluenced by the author's gender, race, ethnicity, and citizenry or religious, political or cultural perspective.
In evaluating a manuscript, referees should focus on the following:
• Contribution to the field
• Literature review
• Writing style
• Analysis and findings
Reports should be accurate, clear, objective, and constructive, backing arguments with evidence in relation to the content of the manuscript and devoid of hostile or derogatory language. Referees are welcome to request necessary corrections and provide suggestions for improvements.
Referees should reach one of the following assessments:
• Accept with minor revisions
• Accept with major revisions
Reviewer evaluation should be supported with constructive logic and evidence in reference to the content of the manuscript.