Guidelines for Reviewers

In order to facilitate a speedy reviewing process, reviewers are requested to submit their assessment within 10 days. Reviews consist of the parts described below.

Overall recommendation

The review of a paper should suggest one of the following overall recommendations:

  • Accept. The article is accepted as is, or only minor problems must be addressed by the authors that do not require another round of reviewing but can be verified by the editorial and publication team.
  • Undecided. Authors must revise their manuscript to address specific concerns before a final decision is reached. A revised manuscript will be subject to second round of peer review in which the decision will be either Accept or Reject and no further review will be performed.
  • Reject. The work cannot be published based on the lack of interest, lack of novelty, insufficient conceptual advance or major technical and/or interpretational problems.

The review should evaluate the paper with respect to the following criteria.


  • Does the work address an important problem within the research fields covered by the journal?

Good-quality nanopublications, if provided, can also contribute to the significance.


  • Is the work appropriately based on and connected to the relevant related work?


  • For research papers: Does the work provide new insights or new methods of a substantial kind?
  • For position papers: Does the work provide a novel and potentially disruptive view on the given topic?
  • For survey papers: Does the work provide an overview that is unique in its scope or structure for the given topic?
  • For resource papers: Does the presented resource have significant unique features that can enable novel scientific work?

Good-quality nanopublications, if provided, can also contribute to the novelty.

Technical quality:

  • For research papers: Are the methods adequate for the addressed problem, are they correctly and thoroughly applied, and are their results interpreted in a sound manner?
  • For position papers: Is the advocated position supported by sound and thorough arguments?
  • For survey papers: Is the topic covered in a comprehensive and well balanced manner, are the covered approaches accurately described and compared, and are they placed in a convincing common framework?
  • For resource papers: Is the presented resource carefully designed and implemented following the relevant best practices, and does it provide sound evidence of its (potential for) reuse?


  • Are the text, figures, and tables of the work accessible, pleasant to read, clearly structured, and free of major errors in grammar or style?


  • Is the length of the manuscript appropriate for what it presents?

Data availability:

Summary and Comments

Finally, reviewers are asked to answer the following points:

  • Summary of paper in a few sentences
  • Reasons to accept
  • Reasons to reject
  • Further comments (optional)