Referee Information

General information
Avicenna Journal of Medical Biotechnology (AJMB) is a quarterly peer-reviewed journal which accepts the following types of contribution for publication: Original Articles, Review articles, Brief communications, and Letters to the Editor.
Questions about a specific manuscript should be directed to the editor of the journal.

The Peer-Review System, Policy and Confidentiality
An essential part of any publication process is the peer-review process. In this process the reviewers not only give their scientific view on an article, but also recommend points for improving the quality of the article. In this way the submitted articles are refined to such an extent that are published as a logical and scientifically approved article in a journal.
As a general view; it is the responsibility of the journals to offer an effective peer-review system. The aims of the AJMB for peer-reviewing are of high standard and quality. Peer-review process selects papers of significant scientific interest. AJMB expects referees to not only confirm the novelty of a manuscript but also to identify the bad features and mistakes. In addition, reviewers are encouraged to suggest points for improving the submitted article.
Detection of fraud and plagiarism is of utmost significance to the editors of AJMB. However, the editors do not expect reviewers to identify carefully hidden ideas and intentions of deceptions in a submitted manuscript. Whenever needed the submitted manuscripts are written once again. Through a team work the submitted manuscript is not only evaluated scientifically, its grammar, language and literature are also assessed. The goal of the AJMB is to publish a well written, scientifically approved manuscript which is of value for the scientific community and society.

As a peer-review policy, all reviewers are requested to keep the submitted manuscripts and any associated data confidential. However if a reviewer seeks advice while assessing a manuscript, he/she must ensure that confidentiality is maintained and that the names of any such colleagues must be provided to the journal as soon as possible. AJMB makes its utmost effort to keep the content of all submitted manuscripts confidential until they are published. Although the aim of the journal is to maintain referees’ confidentiality in regard to the submitted article, it is not responsible for the conduct of reviewers.
In addition to maintaining the confidentiality of the submitted articles the names of the selected reviewers are also confidential. The names of the referees are not disclosed to authors or anyone else. As a routine procedure, peer –review process of a submitted article is blind. However, if an author is felt offended by the offensive language of a comment given in the reviewers report and successful legal action has been taken on the author's behalf AJMB does not guarantee to maintain this confidentiality. Therefore we strongly request the reviewers to be very careful in writing their comments to the author and refrain from any kind of personal negative comments. Clear and to the point comments about the scientific content of the submitted manuscripts, however, are strongly recommended by the editors.

The policy of AJMB is to conceal the identity of reviewers' to authors or to other reviewers. Also the reviewers should remain anonymous throughout the review process. Identified reviewers find themselves in difficult ethical and professional limitations when requested to comment on the report of other reviewers.
AJMB editors request the reviewers to avoid identifying themselves to authors. However if they wish to do so, it must be with the editors knowledge. If the reviewers seek to identify themselves to the author during the peer-review process, it should be directly with the author. Any type of contact with the author on behalf of the reviewer is strongly resented.
Similarly any attempt by authors to identify or confront the reviewers is strongly prohibited and discouraged.

In addition to the technical review of a submitted manuscript, AJMB editors may seek advice on any aspect of a paper that might raise certain issues. These might be ethical and legal issues. Very rarely, social and cultural implication of a submitted manuscript ready for publication may be problematic. In such circumstances in addition to the usual peer-review process, additional advice will be sought simultaneously. The editors of the AJMB make the final decision in regard to the publication of a submitted manuscript.

Invitation for Reviewers
As a scientific journal the goal of the AJMB editorial system is to strengthen its peer-reviewer process. Therefore it welcomes anyone expert in the fields of AJMB as becoming one of its reviewers. The interested reviewers are requested to submit their information via our secure online system by following the link provided in the "Invitation for Referee" section.

Criteria for publication
In order to be published in AJMB, a submitted manuscript should have the following criteria:
  1. A manuscript should have novelty.
  2. The conclusion of the manuscript should be supported with sufficient evidence.
  3. It should be sufficiently interesting to scientists and researchers in the specific field.
  4. If reproduced, the method should be applicable.

In general, a manuscript could be acceptable, when represents an advance in a scientific field.

The Peer-Review Process
As an initial step all submitted manuscripts are read by the editors. Since the aim of the AJMB is to save time and accelerate the editorial process and publication, only those papers that meet editorial criteria are sent for the initial review. As judged by the editors, those manuscripts that are of insufficient scientific interest or otherwise inappropriate are declined promptly without undergoing any form of review.
Only those manuscripts which are of significant interest to our readers are sent for formal review. As an editorial policy, the manuscript is sent to at least three reviewers. In certain circumstances however, if special advice is needed (e.g. in statistics or a particular method) help of additional reviewers and experts is sought. Based on the reviewers' comments and reports the editors then make a decision. The reviewed manuscript would undergo one of the several possibilities mentioned below:

  1. Accept without any kind of revisions
  2. The authors are requested to do minor revision(s) on their manuscripts
  3. The authors are requested to do major revision(s) on their manuscripts
  4. Reject: Manuscripts rejected after review usually lack scientific interest and novelty, have insufficient material and/or have interpretational problems

It is notable that majority of the submitted manuscripts require minor and/or major revisions before acceptance.
After reviewing the reviewers' reports, the editors convey their comments and views immediately to the author for necessary changes and implementation .Sometimes in certain cases such as misunderstanding and misinterpretation further additional advice is needed. In these circumstances reviewers are contacted once more for their advice. Therefore the editors request the reviewers to provide follow-up advice as requested.
AJMB believes that acceptance of manuscript review, brings commitment on reviewers behalf for subsequent revisions of the same paper.
AJMB encourages the authors to implement the required changes as mentioned by the reviewers. However if the authors do not make the essential changes in their paper, the editors will not send a resubmitted paper back to the reviewers.
Reviewers' criticisms and comments are considered seriously. When the publication of reviewed manuscript is opposed by one reviewer only, AJMB seeks the advice of other reviewers as to understand and clarify the logic of the opposition.

Selection of Reviewers
Selection of peer- reviewers is of utmost importance for AJMB. When selecting a reviewer factors such as level of knowledge in the related field, specialization and reputation are considered. In addition our own previous experience of a reviewer's characteristics is a very important point in the selection of a peer-reviewer. The language in which the reviewers' comments are expressed is also very significant for the editors of AJMB. Reviewers with harsh or offensive language are avoided. We usually do not choose reviewers who are irregular and do not respond on time. Also ignorant, slow or irresponsible reviewers are not chosen by AJMB editors. AJMB disregards and discourages any sort of breach of confidentiality in regard to a manuscript submitted for review.
As a contrary, those reviewers that take full responsibility of the article submitted to them for review are very much appreciated.
Manuscripts submitted to AJMB for publication are sent to at least three reviewers. Although the authors are welcomed to suggest any other suitable reviewer, the editor's decision on the choice of referee is final.

Reviewer's Comments and Report
The main aim and objective of any review process is to provide the essential required knowledge and information to the editors in order to help them reach a final decision in regard to a submitted manuscript. In addition to the point mentioned above, reviewers comment to the author could help them in noting the flaws of their manuscript. As a result the author would clarify any doubtful point and improve any weak point in his/her manuscript.
As a rule, the reviewers' reports and comments intended for the authors are transmitted as such. This is regardless to what the editors of the journal think. However in rare circumstances where the report contains offensive language or comments, it is edited or removed. AJMB editors recommend the reviewers to avoid any harsh or impertinent comments in their reports. On the other hand the authors should realize that the said criticisms are not offensive and/or unfair simply because they are delivered in a strong and determined report and statement.
If the reviewers find a manuscript unsuitable for publication, their report to the author should explain and clarify all those factors which have added up in reaching this decision. However AJMB strongly discourages harsh and offensive comments at all times.
AJMB understands that reviewers have a very busy schedule and that their acceptance of reviewing a submitted manuscript is very much appreciated and acknowledged.

Timing of a Review
The goal of the AJMB editorial process is the adoption of rapid editorial decisions based on reports of the peer-review system and publication. Therefore in case of agreeing to review a manuscript the reviewers are requested to respond promptly within the number of days quoted in their "letter of review". However if due to various reasons the reviewers need to extend the agreed time duration, they should notify the editors as soon as possible. When informed of such time delays, the editors can respond accordingly to the authors and prevent from any inconveniences.