Peer reviewers are requested to be aware of, and to follow, the Committee on Publication Ethics’ Ethical guidelines for peer reviewers. In summary, peer reviewers should:
- only agree to review manuscripts for which they have the subject expertise required 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.
- not use 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.
- declare all potential conflicting interests, seeking advice from the journal if they are unsure whether something constitutes a relevant interest.
- not allow their reviews to be in influenced by the origins of a manuscript, by the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, or by commercial considerations.
- be objective and constructive in their reviews, refraining from being hostile or in inflammatory and from making libellous 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 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 serious misconduct.