This journal uses double-blind review, which means that both the reviewer and author identities are concealed from the reviewers, and vice versa, throughout the review process.
If you are reviewing a manuscript, please aim to complete your review within a week. If you need more time or are unable to perform the review, please notify us immediately so that we can keep the authors informed and assign alternate reviewers if necessary.
In conducting your review, please remember that the manuscript you have been invited to review is a privileged (confidential) communication. Therefore, you may not circulate, discuss, quote, cite, or refer to the unpublished work, nor may you use information from the manuscript to advance your own work or instruction. Manuscripts may not be given to students for educational purposes.
If you are invited to review a manuscript that you reviewed at another journal, please consider the manuscript as a new submission, taking into account that (a) it may have been revised since the last time you evaluated it, and (b) PLOS ONE’s criteria for publication may differ from those of the other journal.
When submitting your review, please note to the editor that you reviewed a previous version of the manuscript at another journal. The editors may ask you to provide your original review. Before doing so, please obtain permission from the previous journal.
Being critical whilst remaining sensitive to the author isn’t always easy and comments should be carefully constructed so that the author fully understands what actions they need to take to improve their paper. For example, generalized or vague statements should be avoided along with any negative comments which aren’t relevant or constructive.
Once you’ve read the paper and have assessed its quality, you need to make a recommendation to the editor regarding publication. The specific decision types used by a journal will vary but the key decisions are:
Reject – if the paper is not suitable for publication with this journal or if the revisions that would need to be undertaken are too fundamental for the submission to continue being considered in its current form.
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