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4. Initial Review

First Read

Purpose of the First Read

After reviewing the journal criteria, the next step is to skim the manuscript and clarify the main points of the paper in your own mind. Consider these questions:

  • Is the work an original contribution?
  • Is the technical content of the manuscript sufficient?
  • Is the author’s approach reasonable?
  • Are the conclusions adequately supported?
  • Is the manuscript appropriate for the journal?
  • Is the research interesting and important?
  • Does the manuscript advance the field in a substantive way?
  • Is the author’s use of the English language sufficient?
  • Overall, is the manuscript publishable?
    • If not, write a narrative with your reasoning, providing clear evidence to support it, and conclude your review here.
    • If so, continue with a detailed review. Your comments should convince the editor that the manuscript is worthy of publication.

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