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Procedure of reviewing manuscripts submitted to the Marine Biological Journal

The Editorial Board sends submitted manuscripts of scientific reports for peer review to obtain independent opinions on the scientific level of the manuscripts. For each manuscript the Editorial Board invites two reviewers who are experts in the subject matter and have academic degrees of PhD or D. Sc. Reviewers should not be employees of the same organization where the authors of the reviewed manuscript work. The peer review is double-blind: information about the authorship of the manuscript under review is not sent to reviewers, and information about the reviewers is not reported to the authors. Submitted brief reports are sent by the Editorial Board for peer review to one reviewer; the reviewing is also blind.

Manuscripts prepared for the Historical Chronicles, Chronicle and Information, and Reviews sections are not reviewed, and decision on publication of these manuscripts is made by the Editorial Board.

The reviewer should review a submitted article within three weeks of its receipt and send the report or a reasoned refusal from reviewing to the Editorial Board.

Guided by the Editorial policy, the Declaration of publication ethics in the Marine Biological Journal, and the scientific level of the article, the reviewer must give an overall assessment of the manuscript and, on the basis of his/her assessment, a reasoned recommendation of acceptance, revision or rejection of the manuscript.

The reviewer's comments should contain exact wording that gives the author and the Editorial Board clear ideas about the reviewer's opinion on the degree to which the manuscript meets the requirements of the journal and on ways to eliminate identified inconsistencies and shortcomings of the manuscript.

If one negative review has been received, the Editorial Board sends the manuscript for an additional ("arbitral") reviewing. In case of receiving two negative opinions of reviewers, the Editorial Board at its meeting decides to reject the manuscript, and the author(s) is (are) notified about it on behalf of the Editor-in-Chief of the Marine Biological Journal with an enclosed copy of the reviews and the decision of the Editorial Board.

Reviewers’ responsibility

By the decision of the Editorial Board of the MBJ, all manuscripts submitted to the Editorial Office of the MBJ are sent to a mandatory double-blind review of two independent anonymous experts: the authors are not informed of the personal data of the reviewers, and the reviewers are not informed on the personal data of the authors.

Reviewing is performed by experts in those fields of science that include the subject matter of the peer-reviewed manuscripts. The reviewer must notify the Editorial Board if he/she does not have sufficient competence to evaluate the manuscript or cannot be objective, for example, in the event of a conflict of interest with the author or organization.

The reviewer should evaluate the manuscript within the timeframe established by the Editorial Board of the MBJ. If, for any reason, the reviewer cannot review the manuscript within the specified period, he/she must inform the Editorial Office about it.

The manuscripts sent to the reviewer are the intellectual property of the authors and are the information that cannot be disclosed. The reviewer shall not disclose to outsiders the information about manuscripts he/she received for review, or transfer manuscripts for review or discussion to third parties who do not have the authority of the Editorial Board of the MBJ. The reviewers are not allowed to make copies of manuscripts for their own needs.

When reviewing articles, reviewers should strive for maximum objectivity and reasonably state their point of view. The comments and suggestions of the reviewer should be objective and principled aiming at increasing the scientific level of the manuscript. The reviewer must make a decision on the basis of specific facts and substantiate his/her decision. Personal criticism of the authors is not allowed in reviews. The reviewer must give an objective and reasoned assessment of the results of the research and well-grounded recommendations. The reviewer must refrain from reviewing if, for any reason, he/she cannot honestly and impartially evaluate the manuscript.

If the material in the manuscript is found unaccompanied by references to the original source or if the manuscript is lacking references to provisions, conclusions or arguments previously published in other works of this or other authors, as well as in case of its considerable or partial resemblance to another manuscript or previously published article, the reviewer must notify the Editorial Board of the MBJ.

Until the publication of the article, the reviewer shall not use the information obtained during the review process for personal purposes. In the event of a conflict of interest arising from competition, cooperation or any other relationship with any of the authors, companies and institutions associated with the manuscript, the reviewer must notify the Editorial Board and refuse to review the manuscript.

When reviewing a manuscript, the reviewers must notify the Editorial Board of the MBJ of a conflict of interest if they know that it exists.