Peer review in all its form plays an important role in ensuring the integrity of the scholarly record. The process depends to a large extent on trust and requires that everyone involved should be ethically responsible. In the peer-review process, the role of the peer reviewers is highly critical and inevitable; however, due to inadequate guidance, the peer reviewers are often unaware of their ethical obligations. Academy of Education and Social Sciences Review (AESSR) adopts a double-blind peer review policy, following the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers that has set out the basic principles and standards to which all peer reviewers should adhere during the peer-review process.
Basic principles to which peer reviewers should adhere To:
- Agree to review manuscripts for which they have the subject expertise to carry out a proper assessment and which they can assess in a timely manner
- Respect the confidentiality of peer review and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer-review process, beyond those that are released by the journal.
- Refrain from using information obtained during the peer-review process for their own or any other person’s or organization’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others
- Reviews should not be influenced by the origins of a manuscript, nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, or by commercial considerations.
- Be objective and constructive in their reviews, refrain from being hostile or inflammatory and making slanderous or derogatory personal comments
- Acknowledge that peer review is largely a reciprocal endeavour and undertake to carry out their fair share of reviewing and in a timely manner.
- Provide journals with personal and professional information that is accurate and a true representation of their expertise.
- Recognize that impersonation of another individual during the review process is considered as serious misconduct.