Information for Reviewers

The following guidelines are applicable to the Journal of Natural Science Collections. To download these guidelines as a PDF, please click here.

You can download of copy of the Peer Review Report form here.

Before you begin

Before deciding whether to accept a peer review request, please consider the following:

  • Does the paper fit your area of expertise?
  • Do you have enough time to provide a thorough review?
  • Do you have any potential conflicts of interest? Conflicts must be declared to the Editor. If you think that you cannot provide an impartial review, you should decline the request.

Potential conflicts of interest include:

  • Financial interests.
  • Competing interests (e.g. if you have recently/are currently working on a paper in the same research area).
  • Personal relationship with/antipathy towards an author.
  • Current/prior collaboration with an author on a project/paper.

You might also want to refer to this flowchart when deciding whether to review a manuscript:

All reviewers are expected to follow the Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers published by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

If you cannot review the manuscript for any reason, please let us know as soon as possible. It is helpful if you can recommend other potential reviewers.

Each manuscript is assessed by two reviewers, using single-blind review (reviewers are anonymous to authors, but not vice versa). If you wish to be identified to the authors, please inform the Editor.

All documents you receive are confidential. You may not share them, or information about the review, with anyone without the permission of the Editor. This includes showing the manuscript to colleagues, or involving anyone else in the review. 

Your review

Review reports should consist of a completed Peer Review Report form (available here), accompanied by an annotated copy of the manuscript with more detailed comments. You might find it helpful to read the Peer Review Form before you begin your assessment, and keep the questions in mind when reading the paper.

The review should contain recommendations for changes that would improve the quality/clarity/readability of the manuscript. You can also request clarification or elaboration from the authors. Your comments should be polite and professional, and not include any personal remarks.

It is not necessary to comment on grammar and spelling, as all papers will be proof-read by the Editor. However, if you would like to do so, we appreciate your help.

Please use ‘track changes’ when making any changes to the text of the manuscript. All personal information (reviewers’ names, etc.) will be removed before documents are returned to the authors.

Returning the report

Please return the Review Report Form and an annotated copy of the manuscript to the Editor via email (

The form requests a recommendation on the suitability of the manuscript for publication in the Journal:

  • Accept (publish without revision).
  • Accept with minor revision (minor changes to content or structure required.
  • Major revision (substantial changes to content or structure required before publication).
  • Reject – not suitable this publication, or would require revisions too substantial to be considered in its current form).

The reasoning should be detailed in your report. The reviewers’ recommendations will advise the Editor, who will make the final decision on publication.

If you suspect plagiarism, misconduct, or have other ethical concerns, please inform the Editor.

Revised manuscripts

After revision by the authors, a manuscript may be returned to both reviewers for approval. Please check you are satisfied with the changes, and inform the Editor. If required, further revision can be requested of the authors.

Notes on Journal staff

The Editor will not review any submitted manuscripts, as their connection to the Journal presents a conflict of interest that might bias their opinion. Members of the Editorial Board can be called upon to provide review of papers within their specialism.

Neither the Editor nor members of the Editorial Board will be involved in the review of any manuscript in which they are listed as an author. Review will be co-ordinated by another member of the Board. Such manuscripts will undergo the same process as articles submitted by any other author.