Guidelines for Reviewers

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. During the peer review process, Referee Report preparation, and after reviewing, the following principles should be considered by reviewers:

  1. Confidentiality
    • Reviewers should not discuss the manuscript they review with anyone without permission from the Editor to maintain the review process integrity.
    • Reviewers can ask for information from one or two colleagues in performing the review, if they get an explicit permission from the Editor. Then, such an involvement in the reviewing process should be mentioned (with names and affiliations of colleagues) in the Comments to Editors section of the Referee Report.
    • The reviewers have no rights to copy, extend, or share information, concerning the manuscript for any purpose (including advancement of their own research).
    • 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 they need any clarifications from the author/authors, the Comments section of the Referee Report can be used.
  2. Standards of objectivity
    • Reviewers of BEL journal should be objective during the peer review process. They must provide their comments and recommendations with relevant arguments.
  3. Timeliness
    • It is necessary to respond to an invitation to review the article within a definite time-frame.
    • If the reviewers agree to assess a particular manuscript, they should review it only in case of possibility to return a report within the proposed or agreed time-frame.
    • The reviews should be completed by the deadline agreed with Managing Editor. In case of any difficulties that may prevent from sending the Referee Report in time, the reviewers must contact Managing Editor immediately.
  4. Competing interests
    • 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).
    • If the reviewer works at the same institution as any of the authors or recently has been mentors, mentees, close collaborators or joint grant holders, the invitation to review the paper should be rejected.
    • The reviewers are not prohibited to review the manuscript because of previously reviewing its version for another journals since it can be changed between two submissions and journal’s criteria for evaluation and acceptance can also be different. 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 they are involved with another work in the manuscript or its reporting;
  • review if the article is close to own research that he/she is preparing or that is under consideration at another journal;
  • involve anyone else in the review of a manuscript;
  • prolong the review process by delaying the submission of their review or requesting unnecessary information from the journal;
  • 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 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.

If a manuscript does not meet our editorial criteria and standards for publication, or if any reviewer or editor raises concerns about peer review or research integrity the Editor(s)-in-Chief will investigate these concerns, regardless of peer review or acceptance stage.