Ethical considerations


The NHBSS is concerned with maintaining the highest ethical practices of editors, reviewers and authors. The Honorary Editor takes responsibility for promoting and enforcing ethical behavior in the handling and publication of papers. Ethical considerations and recommendations are incorporated in the instructions to authors and reviewers.



Instructions for reviewers


Before agreeing to review a manuscript, the prospective reviewer must consider potential conflicts of interest. A person should decline to review a manuscript if he or she (1) knows the author well personally; (2) is a competitor of the author in research or in publishing; (3) has been a mentor or teacher of the author; or (4) has any academic or institutional relationship to the author that might preclude an objective and unbiased review.

Reviewers are not required to correct or rewrite the manuscript if the English is not up to acceptable standard. In such cases the reviewer may inform the editor-in-chief if the manuscript should be corrected and rewritten before it can be reviewed. However, the reviewer should attempt to correct mistakes or poor expressions if they are not too numerous or too much of a drain on the reviewer’s time.

It is not the responsibility of reviewers to correct the formatting of papers. This is the job of the editors.

Reviewers must evaluate manuscripts for originality, relevance, soundness of analysis and conclusions, and overall scientific value.

At the beginning of the review, the reviewer should briefly summarize the findings of the paper and state what its positive aspects are.

Reviewers should be tactful and polite and be encouraging, especially to inexperienced authors. They should offer constructive and helpful comments as well as critical ones. A reviewer must justify any negative judgments with supporting arguments to the editor and to the author.

If reviewers suspect plagiarism or other unethical practices they should indicate this in their confidential comments to the editor.

Reviewers should not indicate to the author whether the paper should be accepted or not; this is the decision of the editor based on all reviewers’ comments.

All information in the paper should be kept in confidence by the reviewers and the editors handling the papers.

If they wish, particularly in borderline cases of conflict-of-interest, reviewers may reveal their identity to the authors. Writing such open reviews encourages greater transparency and fairness to authors.