Journal of Plant Cell Development
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An editor of a journal has the responsibility to maintain guidelines for selecting and accepting papers submitted to that journal. We believe that most of the guidelines offered are already understood and subscribed to by experienced researchers and academics. They may, however, be of substantial help to those who are relatively new to editorial duties.
Manuscript Evaluation Checklist
(during evaluation please check for these qualifications for maintaining the quality of the manuscript)
Title: Should be readily understood, clear and concise, informative and related to the content.
- It should be checked for the hypothesis to be clear and concise along with stating the problem(The hypothesis, or purpose, should be included in the first paragraph, usually in the last sentence. Word limit can be negotiable if really necessary in abstracts)
- Methodology is to be clearly identified and described briefly.
- Results must be summarized; also data and statistics should be included where necessary.
- Conclusions and findings should be stated.
Introduction is to be checked for the following:
- Early introduction of the general problem
- Precisely stated questions that are to be answered
- Clear and concise hypothesis
- Reachability of the problem
- Preciseness of the hypothesis
- Identification of the assumption of the study
- Operational identification of pertinent terms
- Significance of the problem discussed
- Justification of the research
- Brief summary of relevant literature and its implications for the research problem under study
- Relevance of the citation and its pertinence to the research problem including the time factor.
- Citations must provide rationale for research and should also be a primary source.
- Relationship of the problem to previous research should also be made clear.
Methods and Materials
- The subject population should be described.
- If the subjects are humans or the sample was drawn from humans it is mandatory to obtain an informed consent or institutional review board approval. Please check for the necessary.
- If the subjects were animals, were appropriate standards of human care followed, with animal care review committee approval?
- The following statement must be contained if animals were utilized:
- All animals received care in compliance with the “Guide for the Care and
- Use of Laboratory Animals” published by the National Institutes of Health
- (NIH Publication 85-23, revised 1985.)
- Justification of the sampling method.
- Method of data collection must permit sufficiently for the judgment of their appropriateness for the study presented.
- Appropriate design to study the hypothesis or questions.
- Inclusion of proper controls where appropriate.
- Variables should be mentioned unambiguously and identified.
- Replication of the design should be explicit enough to be replicated.
- Appropriateness of the statistical tests used. Appropriateness of the tests to the design.
- (If you are unsure of the adequacy of statistical test selection please make note of it on the ‘Comments by Editor’ form and a statistical consult will be made.)
Results must contain:
- Clear and precise and logically organized output.
- Sufficient information to answer the research question.
- Statistics reports with values. (where applicable)
- Statistics relevant to the research hypothesis.
- Complete, easily understandable tables and figures.
Data reported either in table format or in a figure. (If data is listed in the table, then a figure with the same data should not be included and vice versa. if there is significant data consider asking the authors to include the descriptive data in table format in an addendum to the paper.)
Discussion must contain:
- Clearly stated conclusions.
- Substantial evidence for the conclusion presented.
- Revisited hypothesis.
- Discussion of the implicated findings.
- Proper generalization of the research with respect to the population studied. (ex: results from laboratory study cannot be used for clinical practice)
- Description of possible sources of sampling bias or errors.
- Relevance and reliability of the previous research data presented.
- Valid data and its report of pertinence to the present study.
- Identification of problems and limitations of the study and their discussion.
- Suggestion of future research recommendation.
Conclusion: An end paragraph of the discussion section. A summary paragraph can also be added before the conclusion paragraph if necessary.
References: They must be organized and in the required style of the journal. Primary sources (journals) are more preferable than the secondary sources (text books) for the citations.
As a general rule, manuscripts should contain significant reference to previously published work to support the discussion.
Although no standard is set, it is generally accepted that the reference numbers meet the style of the paper. Please refer to the chart below for reference number. These are ‘general’ guidelines.
Tables and figures:
Tables and Figures should represent the results in a clear and concise format. Good pictographically representation is expected. Use of the advanced technology and the available 2D and 3D formats can enhance the readability of the figures. But in no way the pictures should be manipulated just to match the results without relevance. Histograms and bar diagrams are also to be presented in an interesting manner. Even a video clip of limited size can also be included if it provides a stronger base.
Form and Style:
- Report must be clear.
- Report must be logically organized.
- Tone should be impartial, unbiased and scientific.
- Follow instructions for author format (else can be sent for revision unto the required format)
- Must contain key words.
Few important guidelines:
The above are the necessary steps that are to be taken care of and are to be strictly considered while evaluating a manuscript. Note down the errors or comments with respect to the line numbers in the page and present both the error and the correction; subheading in case of comments.
Please do not hesitate to give an impartial review. Number of revisions can be addressed until the desired quality is achieved.
Please reject the manuscripts which do not fall under the scope of the journal without a review.
In case of rejection please state the reason clearly and guide them for further action if required. (Ex: if the rejection is due to the improper language and good subject you can suggest them for language editing. If the rejection is due to the subject which is out of scope state it. Etc..,)
Adhere to the quality of language. It must be understandable by the readers all over the world.
An editor should give unbiased consideration to all manuscripts offered for publication, judging each on its merits without regard to race, religion, nationality, sex, seniority, or institutional affiliation of the author(s).
An editor should consider manuscripts submitted for publication with all reasonable speed and attention. The sole responsibility for acceptance or rejection of a manuscript rests with the editor. Manuscripts may be rejected without review if considered inappropriate for the journal.
The editor and members of the editorial team should not disclose information about a manuscript under consideration to anyone other than those from whom professional advice is sought. After a decision the editor may disclose manuscript titles and authors’ names of papers that have been accepted for publication.
An editor should respect the intellectual independence of authors.
Editorial responsibility and authority for any manuscript authored by an editor and submitted to the editor’s journal should be delegated to some other qualified person. Editorial consideration of the manuscript in any way or form by the author-editor would constitute a conflict of interest.
Unpublished information, or interpretations disclosed in a submitted manuscript should not be used in an editor’s own research except with the consent of the author.
When a manuscript is so closely related to the research of an editor as to create a conflict of interest, the editor should arrange for some other qualified person to take editorial responsibility for that manuscript.
If an editor is presented with convincing evidence that the main substance or conclusions of a report published in an editor’s journal are erroneous, the editor should facilitate publication of an appropriate report or note pointing out the error and, if possible, correcting it.
An author may request the editor not use certain reviewers in consideration of a manuscript.
An Editor should ideally send a PDF rather than Microsoft Word or other electronic file to reviewers and request that comments not be made to the electronic copy of the manuscript.
These are the general and ethical guidelines you need to adhere to achieve the quality output of a research paper.