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OSA Publishing

Author & Reviewer Resource Center

OSA is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Outstanding Reviewer recognition. For more information please go here.

Journal Review Criteria

Advances in Optics and Photonics Journal of the Optical Society of America B
Applied Optics Optics Letters
Biomedical Optics Express Optical Materials Express
Journal of Optical Communications and Networking (JOCN) Optics Express
Journal of the Optical Society of America A Photonics Research

Guidelines for Reviewers of Manuscripts

  1. Inasmuch as the reviewing of manuscripts is an essential step in the publication process, scientists have an obligation to do a fair share of reviewing.
  2. A reviewer should act promptly, submitting a report in a timely manner. Should a reviewer receive a manuscript at a time when circumstances preclude prompt attention to it, he or she should decline through the online peer review system immediately, and discard any hard copies of the manuscript that have been printed. Any suggestions for alternate reviewers at this time would be very helpful.
  3. A chosen reviewer who feels inadequately qualified to judge the research reported in a manuscript should do the same.
  4. A reviewer should recognize that a manuscript under review is a confidential document. Reviewers should not use or disseminate unpublished information, arguments, or interpretations contained in an unpublished manuscript, except with the consent of the author. During review, the manuscript should neither be shown to nor discussed with others except, in special cases, to persons from whom specific advice may be sought. In that event, the reviewer maintains responsibility for ensuring confidentiality. The reviewer should inform the editor of others who make significant contributions to a review.
  5. A reviewer of a manuscript should judge the quality of the manuscript objectively and respect the intellectual independence of the authors. A review should be as constructive and helpful as possible; in no case is subjective personalized criticism appropriate in a review.
  6. Reviewers should explain and support their judgment adequately so that editors and authors may understand the basis of their comments. Unsupported assertions by reviewers are of little value and should be avoided.
  7. A reviewer should be alert to failure on the author's part to cite relevant work by other scientists. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument has been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation.
  8. A reviewer should call to the editor's attention any substantial similarity between the manuscript under consideration and any paper submitted to or published in a journal or other widely accessible form of publication. The editor's attention should also be directed by the reviewer to perceived fragmentation of publication by the author(s).
  9. A reviewer should be sensitive to the appearance of conflict of interest when the manuscript under review is closely related to the reviewer's work in progress or published. If in doubt, the reviewer should decline promptly, advising the editor of the possible conflict of interest. Further, if the relationship between the reviewer and an author would bias judgment of a manuscript, then the reviewer should also decline. Again, any alternate reviewer suggestions would be most appreciated.
  10. After consulting with the editor, a reviewer may voluntarily reveal his or her identity to the author.

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