The editors of the journal RZECZOZNAWCA / ENGINEERING EXPERT believe that reliable reviewing of scientific articles significantly affects the level of science practice, which is the basis of academic culture and the source of social authority of scientific communities. We are aware that the practice of reviewing and the procedures for reviewing scientific articles are exposed to various irregularities (e.g. conflict of interest, cronyism, nepotism, bias against the background of institutional and substantive disputes, carelessness and incompetence), we publish the principles of review procedures of our journal, which are consistent with the indications contained in the document “Good practices in review procedures in science”, published by the Ministry of Science and Education.
- Lidia BATOR-WIĘCŁAW
- Roman GIELETA
- Grzegorz KACPRZAK
- Wieslaw KRASOŃ
- Ryszard REKUCKI
Competence of reviewers
- A specialist receiving a proposal from the editorial office to prepare a review is obliged to carefully assess his substantive competence and practical possibilities of preparing a review within the prescribed time, and in case of doubt in this respect, to stop reviewing.
- The substantive competence of a specialist includes knowledge of the basic literature related to the research discipline to which the article belongs or refers and the current state of research in this discipline.
- By undertaking the preparation of a review, the expert assumes responsibility, which may be related to the vital interests of the author(s) of the articles subject to evaluation.
Fulfilling the formal obligations of reviewers
- A specialist who has undertaken to review an article should not withdraw from this decision if there are no special circumstances forcing him to take such a step, for example, random or related to the detection of a conflict of interest.
- In the event that the reviewer realizes that he is clearly incompetent to prepare a review only after signing the contract and reading the article, he can withdraw from the contract, explaining the situation in detail in such a way that there is no suspicion that the reason for refusal is the desire to write negative reviews.
- A reviewer’s statement that an article sent to him due to its low quality is not eligible for reviewing is tantamount to a negative conclusion, not a refusal to review. It cannot be the sole component of the review, and the review must contain an appropriate justification for the statement.
Independence of reviewers’ opinions
- The Editorial Board does not probe the reviewer’s opinion or consult with him the content of the reviewed article in the period preceding the conclusion of the review preparation agreement, as well as during its performance.
- The future reviewer has the opportunity each time before receiving the draft contract, and then the article itself, to notify the editors whether he will be able to undertake the review of the article and on what date.
- The basis for the decision of the future reviewer, whether he will be able to undertake to review the article within a specified period, is a short information about the content (table of contents, introduction, summary) and the volume of the article to be reviewed, provided earlier by the editors.
- A candidate for a reviewer has full freedom to decide whether to accept or reject an article for review.
- The Editorial Board does not send the reviewer the entire article at the time of submitting the proposal to conclude a contract for the performance of the review.
Review process The editors of the journal “Appraiser” believe that reliable reviewing of scientific articles significantly affects the level of science, which is the basis of academic culture and the source of social authority of scientific communities. We are aware that the practice of reviewing and the procedures for reviewing scientific articles are exposed to various irregularities (e.g. conflict of interest, cronyism, nepotism, bias against the background of institutional and substantive disputes, carelessness and incompetence), we publish the principles of review procedures of our journal, which are consistent with the indications contained in the document “Good practices in review procedures in science”, published by the Ministry of Science and Education and higher. Selection of reviewers
- Depending on the subject of the scientific article, the editors turn to selected reviewers guided primarily by their competence in a given field.
- The determinant of a potential reviewer’s competence is not only his knowledge, certified by significant scientific achievements, but also his reputation as a reliable reviewer.
- The presumption of a person’s gentleness or severity in judging is not taken into account at all, as well as any intention to retaliate for good services on their part to the editorial office or because of the desire to create earning opportunities for them.
- In a situation where there are strong substantive and institutional disputes in a given field, which may be related to the subject of the reviewed article or the activity of the evaluated person, the editors try to ensure that these disputes do not translate into bias in the review procedure.
The principle of double anonymity in review proceedings
- In order to maintain the reliability and objectivity of reviewed articles, the editors apply the principle of double anonymity in review proceedings.
- Author / Authors should send their works to the editorial office in two files: the first should contain information about the Author / Authors, while the second should be deprived of all identification data, as well as the list of literature and links to previous own works. In the second file, instead of the author’s name and the title of the work, enter: [Author].
Conflict of interest in review proceedings
- The reviewer and the author of the reviewed work should not have close personal or professional relationships. In addition, the reviewer may not remain in a business relationship or in close personal relations, and even more so in relations of kinship, with the author of the reviewed article.
- The supervisor should not review the work of his subordinate. A derogation from this rule is permissible only if the group of specialists in a given field is very narrow.
Confidentiality in review procedures
- During the review process – until the final review is prepared – the content and conclusions of the review remain secret to outsiders. The right to information is granted only to the editor-in-chief of the journal.
- After the editor-in-chief of the journal has collected and accepted a set of reviews, he will inform all persons who will be competent to make a decision as part of a given review procedure about the conclusions of the review, and especially about the significant allegations that appear in the reviews, including positive reviews.
- If the author of the review so wishes, he will have the right to keep his name for the information of the decision-making body.
- Scientific reviews in the area under the supervision of public authorities shall be public. However, this does not mean that all elements of the qualification procedure are public. All persons taking part in it are obliged to be discreet with regard to the confidential information to which they have gained access and any other information that could become the subject of distorting rumors and excitement in the scientific community.
Conflict of interest of the parties to the review proceedings
- A specialist may not assume the role of a reviewer in conditions of a conflict of interest or circumstances that make such a conflict of interest the parties to the proceedings may be suspected.
- A derogation from this rule is possible only due to the narrow group of specialists in the field to which the reviewed article belongs.
Reliability and honesty in preparing reviews
- The basic requirement of fairness is the impartiality of the reviewer in the formulation of assessments.
- The reviewer must carefully read the reviewed article and make every effort to reliably and honestly assess its professional and cognitive value, independence and innovation, in accordance with the current state of the discipline of science he represents and the requirements – resulting from the law, the concluded contract and academic customs, set for reviewers as part of the journal’s review procedure.
- The reviewer is required to have a good knowledge of the current state of research in a given discipline, to have his own achievements in its scope and to properly understand the requirements set by the author of the reviewed article by the procedure to which it is the subject.
- When preparing a review, the reviewer is guided by the letter of the contract with the entity that ordered it, as well as by law, if such specify the reviewer’s obligations.
- The reviewer should issue an opinion on the novelty of the article presented to him for evaluation, and may not avoid expressing his opinion on this matter and a possible negative conclusion when he does not find the original contribution to scientific knowledge required by law in the reviewed article.
- The reviewer should determine the degree of independence of the evaluated work, including determining possible implicit borrowings and so-called plagiarism from other works. At the same time, it is assumed that the reviewer’s responsibility for demonstrating abuse of someone else’s intellectual property, including plagiarism, is not complete.
- Detection and disclosure of implicit borrowing and plagiarism from another work should take place primarily when it is related to the work of well-known specialists in a given field or recently created works that constitute an important contribution to the current state of research in this field.
- Disclosure of plagiarism or any other abuse, such as falsification of data, should result in a negative review conclusion.
- At the request of the editors, it is permissible to use a review procedure in which the task of one of the reviewers is only to criticize the work presented to him, and the other to indicate only its advantages. In this case, impartiality will not be required of the reviewers, although they are still bound by honesty, which excludes malice and bad faith accusations, as well as unfounded praise.
- The degree of insight of the review, its volume, as well as some of its formal and stylistic features may be determined by the academic customs prevailing in a given scientific discipline. However, they should be carefully distinguished from widespread bad practices (e.g. downplaying language defects in peer-reviewed works).
Consistency and factuality of reviews
- The review prepared for the journal should be logically consistent and maintained in a factual tone. It cannot be perfunctory, and its conclusions should be clear and unambiguous.
- The review should reliably report on the content and conclusions of the article.
- In terms of volume, the review should be within the standards adopted for this type of procedure, additionally specified by the editors of the journal.
- It is allowed to prepare conditionally positive reviews. In this case, the reviewer has the right to demand appropriate amendments to the article. The use of a conditionally positive review is tantamount to the obligation to re-verify the reviewed article.
- It is unacceptable to issue reviews consisting mainly of allegations, but crowned with a positive conclusion. Similarly, reviews maintained in an emotional tone, openly biased, and especially malicious or composed of unsupported praise are unacceptable.
Conscientiousness and discretion of reviewers
- A review of an article should be prepared in a timely and discreet manner, without consulting other reviewers or providing them with information about your opinions and intentions.
- The review should be performed and handed over to the editors within the time limit specified in the contract, and if the deadline cannot be met, the reviewer is obliged to contact the editor-in-chief of the journal and set a new, possibly not distant date for the review.
- During the preparation of the review, the reviewer should not learn about the personalities of other reviewers in the same proceedings, and if nevertheless knowledge on this subject becomes his share, he should not in any way consult his work with other reviewers, and especially ask them about the expected conclusions of their review.
Irregularities and abuses in review procedures
- In the event of any suspicions regarding possible irregularities or abuses, the editorial office will take steps to clarify them before the end of the review procedure.
- In the event of scientific unrepeasivity, the review procedure will be terminated with a negative conclusion in relation to the guilty persons.
- If, during the review process, there are slanders and slanders harming the author of the reviewed article, the editorial board will take all possible steps to clear the victim of the wrongly charged charges, making it public.
Disputed cases in review proceedings
- In disputed or complicated cases, the editorial board will appoint additional reviewers and will duly respect the opinions of all reviewers.
- Receiving negative reviews in the number constituting the majority of ordered reviews will result in disqualification of the subject of the review. However, if the number of negative reviews is half of all reviews obtained at a given stage or constitute a minority, but there is more than one of them – the editors will appoint an additional reviewer.
- In the event that reviews have been accepted, their conclusions will not be ignored. However, it is permissible for the author of the reviewed article to defend his theses if he manages to convincingly demonstrate the unfoundedness of the reviewer’s main objections.
- The recommendations of the reviewer(s) that the article subject to review should be corrected in a specific way will be considered by the editors and consulted with the author of the article. When it comes to recommending the author to make corrections, all reviewers have the right to re-verify the article.