Information For Reviewers

The practice of peer review is to ensure that only good and novel research is published. It is an objective process of good scholarly publishing by all reputed scientific journals. Our referees play a vital role in maintaining the high standards Transport Policy and all manuscripts are peer reviewed following the specific procedure. All submitted manuscripts are read by the editorial staff to save the time for authors and peer-reviewers, only those papers that seem most likely to fulfill our editorial criteria are sent to reviewers. Those papers judged by the editors to be of insufficient general interest or otherwise inappropriate are rejected promptly without external review (although these decisions may be based on informal advice from specialists in the field).

Manuscripts judged to be of potential interest to our readership are sent for formal review, typically to two or three reviewers, but sometimes more whenever statistics or a particular technical advice is needed. The editors then make a decision based on the reviewers' advice, from among several possibilities:

  • Accept, with or without editorial revisions, rarely
  • Invite the authors to revise their manuscript to address specific concerns before a final decision is reached
  • Reject, but indicate to the authors that further work might justify a resubmission
  • Reject outright, typically on grounds of specialist interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems

Reviewers are welcome to recommend a particular course of action, but they should bear in mind that the other reviewers of a particular paper may have different technical expertise and/or views, and the editors may have to make a decision based on conflicting advice. The most useful reports, therefore, provide the editors with the information on which a decision should be based. Setting out the arguments for and against publication is often more helpful to the editors than a direct recommendation one way or the other.

Manuscript may be returned to reviewers for further advice, particularly in cases where they disagree with each other, or where the authors believe they have been misunderstood on facts. We therefore ask that reviewers should be willing to provide follow-up advice as requested. We are very aware, however, that reviewers are usually reluctant to be drawn into prolonged disputes, so we try to keep consultation to the minimum we judge necessary to provide a fair hearing for the authors.

When reviewers give their node to assess a paper, it is considered as a commitment to review subsequent revisions. However, editors will not send a resubmitted paper back to the reviewers if it seems that the authors have not made a serious attempt to address the criticisms.

Reviewers' criticisms are taken seriously; in particular, we are very reluctant to disregard technical criticisms. In cases where one reviewer alone opposes publication, the other reviewers may be consulted as to whether s/he is applying an unduly critical standard or to resolve disputes, but we prefer to avoid doing so unless there is a specific issue, for example a specialist technical point, on which we feel a need for further advice. In addition, issues of data manipulation or fraud, plagiarism, duplicate publications, or unethical treatment of animals or research subjects might be considered seriously.

We ask reviewers the following questions, to provide an assessment of the various aspects of a manuscript:

  • Kindly brief what you learnt to be the outstanding features of the work.
  • Does the manuscript have flaws which get the manuscript rejected? If so, please submit details.
  • If the conclusions and interpretations are not original, please make available relevant references.
  • Kindly put a comment on the validity of the approach, quality and quantum of the data and presentation.
  • All error bars should be mentioned including a specific comment on the appropriateness of any statistical tests and the accuracy.
  • Do you find that the conclusions and data interpretation are robust, valid and reliable?
  • Please list additional experiments or data that could help strengthening the work in a revision.
  • Previous literature should be referred in the manuscript, appropriately? If not, what references should be included or excluded?
  • Is the abstract clear, accessible? Are abstract, introduction and conclusions appropriate?
  • Please indicate any particular part of the manuscript, data, or analyses that you feel is outside the scope of your expertise, or that you were unable to assess fully.
  • Please address any other specific question asked by the editor via email.

Reports do not necessarily need to follow this specific order but should document the referees’ thought process. All statements should be justified and argued in detail, naming facts and citing supporting references, commenting on all aspects that are relevant to the manuscript and that the referees feel qualified commenting on. Not all of the above aspects will necessarily apply to every paper, due to discipline-specific standards. When in doubt about discipline-specific refereeing standards, reviewer can contact the editor for guidance.

Editorial decisions are not a matter of counting numerical rank assessments and the majority recommendation are not always followed. The strength of the arguments raised is tried to evaluate by each reviewer and by the authors, and we may also consider other information not available to either party. Our primary responsibilities are to serve best to our readers, the scientific community. We must weigh the claims of each paper against the many others also under consideration.

Final report: A final decision to accept or reject the manuscript will be sent to the author along with any recommendations or with precise comments made by the referees. 

Editor’s Decision is final: Referees advise the editor, who is responsible for the final decision to accept or reject the article.


Becoming a referee for the Journal

If you are not currently a referee for the Journal but would like to be considered as a referee, please contact the editorial office at: The benefits of refereeing for Journal of Agricultural Research Advances include the opportunity to read, see and evaluate the latest work in your research area and to contribute to the overall integrity of academic research and its published documentation. All reviewers who provide a review are rewarded for their contribution.