Peer Reviewers Respect the Double-Blind Process

JVIB utilizes a double-blind peer review process. Peer reviewers do not know the authors and authors do not know the peer reviewers who reviewed their work.

Peer Reviewers Notify JVIB about Any Conflicts of Interest

Sometimes a peer reviewer may feel he or she knows who authored the manuscript the peer reviewer was asked to review. When this situation arises, the peer reviewer notifies the office of the editor in chief so it can be determined whether the reviewer's suspicions are correct and whether he or she can review the article or if a new reviewer needs to be assigned to the article.

Peer Reviewers Find the Time to Do the Work

JVIB's international cadre of peer reviewers are all extremely busy professionals working in every aspect of the field of visual impairment, yet they agree to review articles despite having numerous commitments and priorities.

Peer Reviewers Respect Time Lines and Meet Deadlines

The journal's goal is for the peer review process to take only three months' time from submission to decision. As such, the editor in chief or associate editor managing an article establishes a time line for the peer review of the article that is designed to provide the reviewer enough time to complete and submit the review while also providing the editor managing the article enough time to make a decision based on the peer reviews within the three-month timeline.

The majority of peer reviewers submit their reviews by the deadline they are provided. The journal's editors appreciate timely reviews and so do the authors. When the time line is respected, the decision regarding whether the article is accepted or if it needs to be revised reaches authors within three months of submission.

Peer Reviewers Communicate with JVIB When They Cannot Meet Deadlines

If something gets in the way of a peer reviewer completing a review on time, he or she contacts JVIB to alert the editor managing the article. Such communication is important, because it allows the editor to notify the author that there might be a delay in the decision about the article.

Peer Reviewers Follow JVIB's Procedures to the Letter

JVIB's peer reviewers write their recommendations on the forms provided to them, and they include article numbers and titles in their reviews. Peer reviewers trust the double-blind nature of the peer review process, so they are comfortable including their names and recommend decisions (accept; reject; accept with revisions; and reject, with an invitation to resubmit) in the appropriate place along with their peer reviews. Reviewers' decisions and names are not conveyed to the authors, but this information is important for the journal's editors for record-keeping and decision-making purposes. When the editor is having a difficult time making a decision on an article, she or he relies on the reviewer's recommendations.

Even peer reviewers have difficulties making decisions sometimes. If a peer reviewer finds herself waffling on a decision, she lets the editor know. The journal's editors appreciate knowing about circumstances in which peer reviewers cannot arrive at a specific decision, since even the rationale behind such waffling helps inform acceptance or rejection decisions.

Peer Reviewers Examine the Content Carefully, But Do Not Act as Copyeditors

JVIB's reviewers use their content expertise to read articles carefully. Reviewers continually refer to the articles when they are preparing their reviews to ensure their comments accurately reflect what was written in the manuscripts.

Effective peer reviewers train themselves to see past language, grammatical, semantic, syntactical, or style errors, and instead focus on answering questions in their reviews that are related to the importance of the articles. Peer reviewers know that they can trust JVIB's copyeditors to catch errors in grammar and syntax, and to correct other usage problems like insensitive language or inappropriate terms.

Because it can be difficult to ignore glaring problems in the language used to express the ideas in an article, peer reviewers also have the option of making lists of the errors they identified, and these recommendations will be passed on to the copyeditors. Such lists need to be put at the end of reviews, because the primary focus of peer reviewers is to examine the content and ideas of articles. Peer reviewers may also recommend that the authors have native English speakers proofread their articles for grammar and syntax.

Peer Reviewers Know What Makes a Sound Article

Peer reviewers are familiar with JVIB's Guidelines for Contributors. When a reviewer notices something in an article that does not meet with the journal's guidelines, he or she comments on it in the review.

A reviewer provides comments that identify the strengths of an article, its weaknesses, and identifies areas that need to be revised. Peer reviewers know they are not the authors of the articles they are reviewing, so they do not use "track changes" to indicate the corrections they would like to be made in the manuscript. For recommended revisions, peer reviewers make concrete suggestions within their reviews, and they often refer to page numbers in the manuscript, when appropriate, to assist the editors and authors in locating the areas that need to be revised.

Peer reviewers know the literature of the field of visual impairment, and, when it is appropriate, they mention additional literature or research that needs to be included or referenced in the articles they are reviewing. For an article that includes a statistical analysis, including single-subject methodology, JVIB's consulting editor for research provides an additional review so the journal's peer reviewers do not have to spend time worrying about the statistics.

Peer Reviewers Know That Tone Is Important and Use Appropriate Language

All of JVIB's peer reviewers have published their own writing in one way or another, so they are mindful of the sometimes uncomfortable experience of receiving criticism of their own work. An effective peer reviewer tempers his or her comments, perhaps pretending the author is a close colleague, and avoids using overly harsh language in a review.

For instances in which peer reviewers have something they really want to say about the article, but are unsure if their comments are appropriate to be shared with authors, or maybe they just need to vent about a particularly vexing issue with the writing, they contain such reactions in the "Comments For the Editor Only" section at the end of their reviews. Comments included in the "for the editor only" area are only shared with authors if peer reviewers give permission.

Peer Reviewers Know the Editors Make the Final Decisions

Although the editors appreciate peer reviewers who are able to clearly communicate their opinions regarding whether an article should be accepted or rejected, peer reviewers know better than to indicate their specific decisions within the body of their reviews. It probably will seem obvious to an author what the reviewer's decision was, based on what the reviewer has written in his or her review, but the editor has the final call, and the only appropriate place for the terms "accept" or "reject" is in the decision letter, which is signed by the editor who managed the article.

Additional guidance is available for peer reviewers in the Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. If you are interested in becoming a JVIB peer reviewer, please send an e-mail message that details your qualifications and areas of interest to the journal's editor in chief at: