Duties of Reviewers
After the deletion of personal data of authors and co-authors, each submitted report was referred for a double, blank review. In situations of contradictory reviews, by decision of the editor-in-chief, the paper was sent for a ‘super’ third review. The edi-tors’ policy was to refer the paper to the reviewer from another institution and, if possible, from another city. Referral of the submitted paper to reviewers working in the same unit as the author was forbidden. It was seen as good practice to provide one reviewer for each paper, from a country other than that of the author’s. In situations of the third ‘super’ review, it was the decision of the Editor-in-Chief that the final choice be made by outright experts in a given field, often awarded with an honor-ary doctorate.
Contribution to editorial decisions
The Editor-in-Chief made decisions about the acceptance or rejection of a paper on the basis of two professional, blind reviews. In some cases the authors also recommended that the paper should be corrected, with the aim of protecting the best interests of the authors of individual papers as well as the good of the entire publication.
A professional computer system, the ‘Online Journal System’ was set up by the Editor-in-Chief prior to the planned work on the publication. This enabled each reviewer selected by the Editor to be granted a request for a review and receive information about the date of acceptance or rejection of the review, as well as a date for its completion. If it was impossible to completethe review within the time frame of the deadline set by the Editorial Board, the request was rejected and the decision requiredjustification. The designated reviewer had 5 days to agree to the review and then 14 days for its implementation. In the case of a reviewer’s request for an extension to the deadline, the Editor-in-Chief, taking into consideration the good of the author, decided to extend the deadline for the review to up to 21 days.
The reviewers were informed of the necessity to maintain confidentiality in the reviewing process and all dissemination of information about the report was forbidden. The reviewer could not show or consult the paper with anyone other than the Editor-in-Chief or the person indicated by him.
Standards of objectivity
Each paper was subject to an unbiased and objective review. No personal criticism of the reviewer was allowed. Every opinion, either positive or negative, had to be supported by arguments concerning the content of the paper. In the case of an unsatis-factory justification, the reviewer was requested to elaborate upon his comments so as to prevent any reservations of the Editor with regard the content and opinion of the review.
Acknowledgement of sources
In the interests of the highest good of science and its creators, reviewers were required to identify situations in which parts of the paper were taken from other sources without this being mentioned by the authors. Any use of the work of other authors should be accompanied by appropriate quotations, which the authors were informed about when completing the statement prepared by the Editorial Board. The reviewer was obliged to draw the Editor’s attention to significant similarity between the discussed paper and any other document or publication. It was seen as good practice to use the ‘random’ function in the database to draw a paper in a unbiased way, that would then be checked by the anti-plagiarism system.
Disclosure and conflict of interest
Each reviewer was obliged to immediately report any cases where the review could be related to the work of the reviewer, or give competitive advantage in any way associated with the reviewer or their work.