For Reviewers

Please visit CIE's Ethics Policy for specific ethical policies for reviewers.

General Guidelines for Providing Manuscript Feedback

Note: While we appreciate the use of track changes and Word comment, we encourage reviewers to use our approved reviewer guidelines (below) when preparing their manuscript reviews. If you wish to include track changes in a Word document, please ensure it is blinded.

Structure of the Review

  1. Begin with a short statement about the purpose of the study and whether the purpose is one that is important and relevant to the field.
  2. Consider and address the guiding questions outlined below.
  3. State your manuscript decision, using one of the four choices detailed below: accept submission, accept with revisions, resubmit for review, or decline submission.
  4. Provide a rationale for your decision/ feedback for the authors. Your rationale and feedback should outline your main reasons for making the recommendation and be substantiated by specific evidence to support your comments.

Feedback to the Author

  1. Provide the author with constructive suggestions addressing how the paper may be improved. Support general comments with specific evidence and substantiate all statements.
  2. Direct all criticism at the paper, not the author.
  3. Avoid personal comments about the author or biases about the subject matter.

Guiding Questions for Reviewers

General Considerations

  • How is the manuscript a timely and innovative contribution to the field of education?
  • What does this manuscript contribute to existing, relevant literature in its field?

Specific Considerations

  • Does the paper present a cohesive argument?
  • Are the ideas clearly presented?
  • What portions of the paper should be expanded, condensed, or removed?
  • How does the article address current and relevant literature?
  • Are the methods described clearly enough to facilitate replication (where applicable)?
  • Are the methods sound and appropriate?
  • Are the results clearly and accurately presented?
  • Are the discussion and conclusions made by the author supported by the data?
  • Does the writer understand the limitations of their work?
  • Is there enough breadth and depth in the implications of their study?  

Four Possible Manuscript Decisions

Accept Submission: This decision indicates that the manuscript will be accepted for publication in its present form, with only cosmetic changes (proofreading) required before publication. This decision is very rare.

Revisions Required: This decision indicates that the manuscript will be accepted for publication after recommended revisions are made.  Manuscripts that receive this decision WILL NOT UNDERGO ANOTHER ROUND OF PEER REVIEW. The  revisions suggested by the peer reviewers will not significantly change the methodology or content of the manuscript. Manuscripts in this category normally require minor revisions or revision of easily correctable flaws – the flaws usually being in concept, organization, support, or the expansion of research or citations.

Resubmit for Review: This decision indicates that the manuscript, IN ITS CURRENT FORM, IS NOT SUITABLE for publication. The material could be worthy of publication in the future following substantial revision. The needed revisions are extensive enough to warrant resubmission as a new manuscript. Manuscripts that receive this decision MUST UNDERGO ANOTHER ROUND OF PEER REVIEW. A resubmitted manuscript must go through peer review again and there is no guarantee that that Round 2 of peer review will offer automatic acceptance. 

Decline Submission: This decision indicates that the manuscript is not suitable for publication in the journal. Manuscripts are often rejected for reasons such as: serious flaws in experimental design, incorrect interpretation of data, inadequate data, inappropriateness for journal, lack of originality, treatment of an unimportant or trivial problem, and/or inadequate or inappropriate citations.  If a manuscript is more suitable for publication in another journal, a peer reviewer has the option to make this recommendation as well.  This is a final decision.  Manuscripts that receive this decision WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED FOR PUBLICATION AND WILL THEREFORE NOT UNDERGO ANOTHER ROUND OF PEER REVIEW.