The whole Editorial staff of the journal Business Ethics and Leadership understands the value of an effective peer review process. They sustain peer-review integrity on the journal and ensure that all reviewers have resources to perform their work effectively. The BEL journal has a system of double-blind peer review, i.e., reviewers and authors remain anonymous for each other. This guide includes instructions for those who become reviewers of the BEL journal.
All reviewers are recommended to follow COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. They should provide personal and professional information that is accurate and a fair representation of their expertise, including verifiable and accurate contact information. Moreover, reviewers should agree to review those papers the subject area of which coincide with their research interests.
Editorial Office of the BEL journal constantly increases the list of Reviewer Board. Members of Editorial Board and current reviewers are welcome to recommend colleagues to the Reviewer Board, whose authority in the scientific community is high and whose scientific interests directly correspond to the aims and scope of the journal. During the peer review process, Referee Report preparation, and after reviewing, the following principles should be considered by reviewers:
- Reviewers should not discuss the manuscript they review with anyone without permission from the Editor to maintain the review process integrity.
- The reviewers have no rights to copy, extend, or share information, concerning the manuscript for any purpose (including advancement of their own research).
- Standards of objectivity
- The reviewer should agree to review the manuscript if his professional and scientific background in this field of research is reasonably confirmed (scientific works, participation in research projects, etc.).
- If, during the process of reviewing the manuscript, the expert needs an additional expert opinion on some specific research questions, he can contact the chief editors with a request to involve additional scientists in the review process and provide the Editors-in-Chief with detailed information about the scientific qualifications of these researchers. After agreement with the Editors-in-Chief, these scientists can advise the reviewer on problematic issues, but the reviewer must mention their participation in the review process in the “Comments” section (with the names and positions of colleagues). At the same time, the anonymity of all experts must be preserved for the author of the article when he/she receives results of review.
- Reviewers must be ready to give the scientifically grounded answer to the author when he or she does not agree with recommendations and corrections.
- If the reviewers need some additional information from the authors to carry out a qualitative review (interim calculations, statistical base, clarification of individual provisions of the study, etc.), the reviewer can indicate this in the “Comments” section of the review.
- Reviewers of the BEL Journal must be objective during the review process. To confirm the objectivity of the comments and recommendations provided by the reviewer, they should be as well-argued as possible.
- Reviewers must be objective regarding all aspects covered in the research, even if individual opinions of the authors of the article are controversial or the text of the manuscript contains a number of issues related to national, religious or political aspects.
- The reviewer is obliged to respond by agreeing or refusing the invitation to review the article within a definite time-frame.
- If the reviewers agree to rate a particular manuscript, they must submit the review by the deadline agreed with the Editors-in-Chief.
- The reviews should be completed by the deadline agreed with the Editors-in-Chief. In case of any difficulties that may prevent from sending the Referee Report in time, the reviewers must contact the Editors-in-Chief immediately.
- Conflicts of interest
- Reviewers must remain unbiased in relation to the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender and/or other characteristics of the authors, origin of the article or commercial considerations.
- Reviewers are asked to reveal any competing interest that may affect the review of the submitted article, particularly, financial interest; a recent cooperation or a history of dispute with the authors).
- The reviewers are not prohibited to review the manuscript because of previously reviewing its version for other journals since it can be changed between two submissions and journal’s criteria for evaluation and acceptance can also be different. If the author states in the manuscript that it was previously submitted to other journals and was rejected and describes exactly what was revised and revised in the current version of the manuscript compared to the previous one. However, it should be pointed in the Comments to Editors section.
The Reviewers should not:
- violate the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers.
- agree to review the manuscript just to see it and with no intention of submitting a review;
- review if the article is close to his own research, which the reviewer is preparing for publication or has already submitted for consideration in any journal;
- involve anyone in reviewing the manuscript without the approval of the Editors-in-Chief;
- extend the review process without the approval of the Editor-in-Chiefs, unreasonably delay the review process;
- it is unreasonable to submit requests for additional information from the authors (interim calculations, statistical base, clarification of individual provisions of the study, etc.), if there is no critical need for this;
- make derogatory personal or unfair comments and accusations; propose authors of the manuscript to include citations to the reviewer’s or their colleagues’ work to increase the reviewer’s (or their colleagues’) citation rate or to increase the visibility of their research.
All involvement in peer review process of “Business Ethics and Leadership” will be terminated, and any pending submissions will be rejected, if a reviewer fails to disclose ongoing collaborations that would impair their ability to conduct an unbiased review, or if it is discovered that they have otherwise manipulated the peer-review process by using false identities, fictitious or misleading review reports, or a ring of members to speed up manuscript review. The institutions of the researchers will be contacted about the matter. Such actions may result in the removal of reviewers from Reviewer Board membership and assignments as part of our quality standards.