Guidelines for Reviewers

Thank you for considering to review a manuscript for the Journal of Computer and Forensic Sciences. We rely upon the knowledge and commitment of our peer reviewers to ensure the academic integrity of our Journal. The points below provide general reviewing guidelines. If you have any questions, please contact us at

Before Reviewing

Before you accept our invitation to review a manuscript, please consider the following:

  • Timeliness: Please try to submit your reviews on time. If you cannot meet a given deadline, please let the editor know.
  • Reviewer qualifications: You have been invited to review the manuscript because the editor believes that your expertise covers the topic of the manuscript. However, if the manuscript is outside your expertise, you should decline to review it. If the manuscript is generally within your expertise but you do not feel confident assessing certain parts of it, please notify the editor.
  • Conflicts of interest: You should disclose potential conflicts of interest. If you recognize the author’s work, have a financial or commercial conflicting interest related to the reported results or have strong feelings about a controversial question considered in the manuscript, you should disqualify yourself. If you are unsure whether you have a conflict of interest, discuss your concerns with the editor.
  • Confidentiality: You should keep the content of the manuscript confidential. If you want to involve your students or postdocs in your review, you must obtain permission from the editor. If permitted, your assistants must be informed of the confidentiality requirement.
  • Anonymity: Our journal operates double-blind peer review, which means that the reviewers and authors are unaware of each other’s identities. You must not reveal your identity to the authors (e.g., in your comments, in metadata of submitted files, etc.).
  • Interactions: There is no open interaction between reviewers and no public commenting during formal peer review. After you have submitted your report, you will have access to other reviewers’ reports. We will also inform you on the final editorial decision of the paper. The reviewer reports, the author responses to reviews and the editor decision letters are not published.
  • Language: All review reports must be written in English.
  • Reviewer acknowledgment: Once a year we recognize our reviewers with annual listings in the journal. If you do not wish to have you name included in this list, please let us know.
  • Ethical guidelines: Please note that all reviewers for our Journal are expected to follow the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers[1].

Evaluating Manuscripts

Regarding your comments for authors

Start you review report by writing a paragraph or two in which you summarize the manuscript, emphasize its main contributions, and list its strengths and weaknesses. Then continue with the assessment of the individual sections of the manuscript. You should consider questions such as:

  • Is the manuscript relevant for the field and suitable for the Journal?
  • Is the research question original and well-defined?
  • Is the manuscript clear and well-structured? Does it contain all of the sections you would expect?
  • Are the cited references relevant and complete?
  • Is the methodology clearly explained? Are the methods appropriately selected?
  • Are the data underlying the research representative and balanced?
  • Is the manuscript scientifically and technically sound? Is the experimental design appropriate? Are the reported results reproducible?
  • Are the results analyzed and interpreted correctly? Are the conclusions supported by evidence? Is the manuscript statistically sound?
  • Does the theory fit the data?
  • Are the figures, tables, source codes, etc. appropriate?
  • Is the manuscript of interest to the scientific community and the Journal’s audience?
  • Do you think that the reported results may advance the field?
  • Is the English language of sufficient quality?

When preparing your review report, you should:

  • ensure that your identity is not disclosed,
  • be objective and constructive,
  • be detailed; your feedback should help the authors to improve their manuscript,
  • number each comment,
  • cite page numbers when referring to specific parts of the manuscript,
  • scrutinize the manuscript, not the authors; avoid any derogatory personal comments or unfounded accusations,
  • make sure to distinguish between the quality of writing and quality of ideas, especially for authors whose first language may not be English,
  • immediately report any suspected breaches of ethics, including scientific misconduct, fraud and plagiarism.

Regarding your comments for editors

Your comments for editors will not be revealed to the authors and other reviewers. These comments are optional. However, if provided, they should be consistent with your comments to the authors.

Regarding your final recommendation

To make a final recommendation on a manuscript, please choose one of the following options:

  • Accept in present form: The manuscript fulfills all of the requirements described above, although some small fixes may be required (e.g., typos or grammatical corrections, etc.). No additional action by the review is required.
  • Minor revision: The manuscript requires a small number of easily correctable errors or minor content correction or clarification. The article is in principle accepted after revision based on the reviewer’s comments.
  • Major revision: The manuscript offers relevance or value but contains significant deficiencies and requires a major rework. The acceptance of the manuscript depend on the revisions.
  • Reject: The manuscript has serious flaws or does not offer relevance or value.

Your final recommendation should match your comments for the authors. Please note that the final recommendation will be visible to editors and other reviewers, but not to the authors.