Guidelines for Reviewers
microPublications are single research findings with the report containing a brief textual description of the experiment, methods, and controls, usually containing a single figure and/or table. microPublication Biology accepts all experimental findings, independent of subjective evaluation of its perceived impact on the field. Peer review is employed by microPublication Biology to assess whether the microPublication is technically sound and the conclusions justified. Given these criteria, review by a scientist in the field is expected to require minimal time and effort.
Reviewers should evaluate the microPublication for the following:
- Are results technically sound and adhere to reporting guidelines and community standards?
- Do those data, and related information (e.g. statistical analysis) support the conclusions drawn?
- Are the experiments sufficiently explained/referenced so that the findings can be reproduced by other researchers?
- Is the microPublication presented in a logical progression, in standard English and with appropriate nomenclature?
The reviewer may choose from
– Accept, with minor modifications to figure and/or text
– Accept, with major modifications to figure and/or text
– Accept, with either an additional data/experiment or include a caveat concerning the conclusion given the missing information (as well as any additional minor or major modifications)
– Accept, with the addition of missing essential data; in the absence of this data, then Reject
Written comments should explain acceptance, rejection, or detail modifications that should be made. If modifications are requested, enumerate each point the author(s) should address.
It is not generally expected that the authors would need to perform additional experiments. However, on occasion important data/information that is necessary for solidifying a conclusion is missing from a submitted manuscript. In such a case, the reviewer should request the relevant information. Often, the authors have the data or will perform the relevant experiment. If the data/information is not available, the outcome depends on the nature of the missing data. If the data is viewed as essential for the authors to make the conclusion (e.g., control data missing) then the manuscript should be rejected. If the data is sound and a conclusion can be drawn, but the generality or extensibility of the result is not shown, then a qualification is required; for example, if a novel phenotype is observed in a single allele, but not examined in the reference allele, a qualification should be added to indicate that current data does not distinguish whether the result is specific for the allele tested or a general property of the gene. Here, microPublication Biologybelieves that getting findings rapidly out to the community assists in advancing the scientific mission, but that it is important to be transparent about limitations that make a conclusion preliminary.
In addition to comments addressed to the author, there are “Confidential comments to the editor”.
Comments could include concerns about the data quality, issues related to plagiarism, inappropriate figure manipulation, etc. These comments will not be shown to the author(s).
Reviewers are asked to declare any conflict of interest when they are asked to review an article and are encouraged to decline if they perceive a potential conflict, in which case they will be excluded from the review process for that article.
Peer-reviewers can choose open-acknowledgement — a new metric for researcher value in their field – which will be included at the end of the manuscript.
If a reviewer does not opt in for open acknowledgement they will be automatically listed as Anonymous.
Become a reviewer
Reviewing microPublications is intended to be quick -– as short as 15 minutes depending on the article.
If you are interested in becoming a reviewer for microPublication Biology- fill out this google form with your contact details.
Questions? Contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org)