Editors & Reviewers
Welcome to the Editor and Reviewer Resource Center
This resource center aims to provide helpful information and insight for editors and reviewers working with Human Kinetics. Human Kinetics recognizes the value of editors and reviewers, who take on the responsibility of assessing the quality and impact of research content.
Duties of Editors
Editors are the stewards of journals. Most editors provide direction for the journal and build a strong management team. They must consider and balance the interests of many constituents, including readers, authors, staff, publishers, and editorial board members. Editors have a responsibility to ensure an efficient, fair, and timely review process of manuscripts submitted for publication and to establish and maintain high standards of technical and professional quality. Editors should ensure that manuscript guidelines that accompany the journal specify that manuscripts must not be submitted to another journal at the same time. Guidelines should also outline the review process, including matters of confidentiality and time frame.
Editors’ decisions to accept or reject a paper for publication should be based on the paper’s importance, originality, and clarity, and the study’s relevance to the remit of the journal. Consideration should be given without regard to race, religion, ethnic origin, gender, seniority, citizenship, professional association, institutional affiliation, or political philosophy of the author(s).
Peer reviewers are external experts chosen by editors to provide written opinions, with the aim of improving the works submitted for publication. All original studies should be peer reviewed before publication, taking into full account possible bias due to related or conflicting interests. This requires that the editor seek advice from associate editors or others who are experts in a specific area and will send manuscripts submitted for publication to reviewers chosen for their expertise and good judgment to referee the quality and reliability of manuscripts. Manuscripts may be rejected without review if considered inappropriate for the journal.
Editors should consider manuscripts submitted for publication with reasonable speed. Editors should require that reviewers provide speedy, accurate, courteous, unbiased, and justifiable reports. Authors should be periodically informed of the status of the review process. In cases where reasonable speed cannot be accomplished because of unforeseen circumstances, the editor has an obligation to withdraw himself/herself from the process in a timely manner to avoid unduly affecting the author’s pursuit of publication.
Human Kinetics utilizes ScholarOne as its platform for facilitating the peer review process. Editors should ensure all peer reviewers are invited from within the ScholarOne system and that all reviews are returned and thus recorded within the system. Human Kinetics will gladly provide ScholarOne training to its editors (please contact the journal's managing editor to arrange training).
Editors must treat all submitted papers as confidential. The editor and editorial staff shall disclose no information about a manuscript under consideration to anyone other than those from whom professional advice regarding the publication of the manuscript is sought. Editors or editorial staff shall not release the names of reviewers.
Conflicts of Interest
Conflicts of interest arise when editors have interests that are not fully apparent and that may influence their judgments on what is published. Editors should avoid situations of real or perceived conflicts of interest, including, but not limited to, handling papers from present and former students, from colleagues with whom the editor has recently collaborated, and from those in the same institution. Editors should disclose relevant conflicts of interest (of their own or those of the teams, editorial boards, managers, or publishers) to their readers, authors, and reviewers.
The general principle confirming misconduct is the intention to cause others to regard as true that which is not true. The examination of misconduct must, therefore, focus not only on the particular act or omission, but also on the intention of the researcher or author. Editors should be alert to possible cases of plagiarism, duplication of previous published work, falsified data, misappropriation of intellectual property, duplicate submission of manuscripts, inappropriate attribution, or incorrect co-author listings.
In cases of other misconduct, such as redundant publication, deception over authorship, or failure to declare conflict of interest, editors may judge what is necessary in regard to involving authors’ employers. Where misconduct is suspected, the editor must write to the authors first before contacting the head of the institution concerned. Authors should be given the opportunity to respond to any charge of minor misconduct. The following sanctions are ranked in approximate ascending order of severity:
- A letter of explanation to the authors, where there appears to be a genuine misunderstanding of principles
- A letter of reprimand and warning as to future conduct
- A formal letter to the relevant head of the institution or funding body
- Refusal to accept future submissions from the individual, unit, or institution responsible for the misconduct, for a stated period
- Formal withdrawal or retraction of the paper from the scientific literature, informing other editors and the indexing authorities
Editors must recognize the necessity of adhering to the journal's publication schedule. Timely publication presents the journal in a positive light to readers, authors, and indexing agencies. In order to adhere to the journal's publication schedule, editors must transmit to Human Kinetics (the journal’s managing editor) the manuscripts accepted for publication no later than, but ideally before, 2 months ahead of the issue publication date.
Duties of Peer Reviewers
Peer reviewers are external experts chosen by editors to provide written opinions, with the aim of improving the works submitted for publication. The service of peer reviewing is necessary to ensure the publication of quality, responsible research.
First, always review the journal’s specific author submission guidelines. In general, the reviewer should evaluate the following:
- Does the paper report important findings that add to the body of scientific knowledge and have useful practical application in sport?
- Have the main findings or applications been published previously?
- Is the purpose of the study stated clearly and an adequate justification for the study provided?
- Is the experimental design sound and appropriate for the stated purpose of the study?
- Are the methods and analysis appropriate and sufficiently clear to be readily repeated by other scientists?
- Are the conclusions justified and logically consistent?
- Are the practical applications of the study clear and concise?
- Are the references to existing studies pertinent and complete?
In reviewing the presentation of the manuscript, appraise the following:
- Is the paper concise, consistent in format, and clearly written? Is the quality of the grammar, usage, and English at a high level?
- Does the typescript conform to requirements of the journal’s specified style?
- Are all the figures and tables relevant? Are there unnecessary duplications of results among figures, tables, and the text?
- Are the figures and tables properly prepared in accordance with submission guidelines?
- Do the title and abstract accurately reflect the contents and findings of the study?
- Is the written text clear and unambiguous? Without rewriting the manuscript or imposing your own style, identify text that is verbose and/or ambiguous. Please identify text that should be expanded or condensed by specific reference to sentences and/or paragraph as appropriate.
When reviewing a manuscript, evaluate the following statistical considerations as applicable:
- Have the authors clearly identified the experimental design and statistical methods?
- Are there any concerns with sampling bias or measurement bias?
- Have the authors quantified measurement imprecision with details on the typical or technical error of measurement?
- Has the sample variability been reported with standard deviation and uncertainty (or precision) of estimates indicated using confidence intervals?
- Have magnitudes of effects been reported and interpreted with established criteria? Reporting the clinical or practical significance in a sport setting will help readers determine the real-world value or application of the main findings.
- Are precise P values shown? Indirect indications such as P < .05 or P = NS make it difficult for other researchers undertaking meta-analyses. Results should be reported so the number of digits is scientifically relevant.
- Is the use of standard and nonstandard statistical terms, abbreviations, and symbols defined appropriately and are the details of computer software packages cited?
- Is there any notion of a reporting bias where underpowered studies and/or statistically nonsignificant results have been neglected or underemphasized? These results might have some practical (clinical) importance and could be useful for generating research questions and for researchers conducting meta-analyses.
Confidentiality and Ethical Considerations
The manuscript under review is a confidential document that should not be discussed or shown to others without the permission of the editor. The submitted manuscript should not be retained nor copied. In the rare situation that you as the reviewer discover a potential conflict of interest in relation to the authors or content of the manuscript you have been invited to review, please contact the associate editor or editor as soon as possible. If a reviewer suspects misconduct, they should write in confidence to the editor.
Is there any evidence of plagiarism, duplicate submission to another journal, or excessive fragmentation of results to achieve multiple publication of manuscripts? Please contact the associate editor or editor if you have any ethical concerns in this regard. Is there any suggestion of unethical practices with the experimental procedures involving the care, treatment, and management of human subjects?
Your anonymity as a reviewer will be preserved, and you are asked not to identify yourself to the authors without the permission of the editor. You can elect to be identified as the reviewer when your comments are posted online in the ScholarOne system.
Given that the authors will carefully read your comments, we request that you avoid harsh, abrasive, arrogant, or patronizing statements that might offend. Your comments and assessments should be logical, systematic, and written in moderate language. Comments specifically for the associate editors and editor can be written in more direct language. Reviewers should provide polite and constructive comments on the manuscript.
Please give specific rather than general comments. Comments and recommendations should be helpful for both the authors and the editorial team. Provide specific recommendations on how the manuscript could be improved, and, where necessary, refer to appropriate studies in the literature. Even if your recommendation is to reject the manuscript, it is still appropriate to provide recommendations on how it could be improved.
Returning Your Comments
Please submit your reviewer report within the specified time limit. If your circumstances change and you cannot complete the review in time, please contact the editorial office as soon as possible.
Use ScholarOne to give your final recommendation, and complete all check boxes to rate various aspects of the submitted manuscript. Also, use ScholarOne to provide brief, confidential summary comments to the associate editor, and to provide general comments for the author(s). For specific comments, do one of the following:
- Identify the page, paragraph, and line number together with your comment in the appropriate box in ScholarOne.
- Use Microsoft Word’s track changes directly on the manuscript and then upload this as an attached file (if you choose this option you should remove any identifying user information in MS Word to maintain anonymity).