Assessment report review criteria

Referees are asked to evaluate how well the manuscript meets the following criteria, rated 1 (excellent) to 4 (poor):

  • Does the manuscript represent a novel contribution to scientific knowledge within the scope of the respective report (new information, new concepts, ideas, methods, or data)?
  • Are the scientific approach and applied methods valid? Are the results discussed in an appropriate and balanced way (consideration of related work, including appropriate references)?
  • Are the scientific results, best practices, and conclusions presented in a clear, concise, and well-structured way (number and quality of figures/tables, appropriate use of English language)?

Peer review process

Manuscripts submitted at first undergo a rapid access review by a selected editor (initial manuscript evaluation), which is not meant to be a full scientific review but to identify and sort out manuscripts with obvious major deficiencies in view of the above principal evaluation criteria. If they are not immediately rejected, they will be subject to full peer review.

During the full review and interactive discussion, the referees are asked to take into account all of the following aspects:

  1. Does the paper address relevant scientific questions within the scope of the report?
  2. Does the paper present novel concepts, ideas, tools, or data?
  3. Are new conclusions on the report topic reached?
  4. Are the scientific methods and assumptions valid and clearly outlined?
  5. Are the results sufficient to support the interpretations and conclusions?
  6. Is the description of experiments and calculations sufficiently complete and precise to allow their reproduction by fellow scientists (traceability of results)?
  7. Do the authors give proper credit to related work and clearly indicate their own new/original contribution?
  8. Does the title clearly reflect the contents of the paper?
  9. Does the abstract provide a concise and complete summary?
  10. Is the overall presentation well structured and clear?
  11. Is the language fluent and precise?
  12. Are mathematical formulae, symbols, abbreviations, and units correctly defined and used?
  13. Should any parts of the paper (text, formulae, figures, tables) be clarified, reduced, combined, or eliminated?
  14. Are the number and quality of references appropriate?
  15. Is the amount and quality of supplementary material appropriate?

Peer-review completion

At the end of the review process, the authors may make their final response and submit a revised manuscript. Based on the referee comments and the authors' response, the revised manuscript is re-evaluated and rated by the selected editor. If rated 1 (excellent) or 2 (good) in all of the principal criteria and specific aspects listed above, it will normally be accepted for publication. Additional advice from the referees in the evaluation and rating of the revised manuscript will be requested by the editor if the review discussion is not sufficiently conclusive.