Ethical Responsibilties

Confidentiality Material under review is a privileged communication that should not be shared or discussed with anyone outside the designated review process unless necessary and approved by the editors-in-chief. Reviewers should not retain copies of submitted manuscripts and should not use the knowledge of manuscript content for any purpose unrelated to the peer-review process. Although it is expected that the editor and/or reviewers will have access to the submitted material, authors have a reasonable expectation that the review process will remain strictly confidential. The review process is conducted anonymously for all submissions.

Constructive Critique Besides providing authors with constructive criticism of submitted work, reviewer comments should acknowledge positive aspects of the material under review, present negative aspects constructively, and clearly indicate the improvements needed. The purpose of peer review is not to demonstrate the reviewer's proficiency in identifying flaws. Reviewers should identify strengths and provide constructive comments to help authors resolve weaknesses in the work. Reviewers should respect the intellectual independence of authors and avoid personal remarks in the review. Although reviews are confidential, all comments should be courteous and capable of withstanding public scrutiny. Reviewers should explain and support their judgment so that editors and authors may understand the basis of the comments.

Competence Reviewers who realize significant limitations in that their expertise in the subject of the article have a responsibility to make their degree of competence clear to the editor. Although reviewers need not be expert in every aspect of the content, the assignment should be accepted only if one has adequate expertise to provide an authoritative assessment.

Impartiality and Integrity Reviewer comments and conclusions should be based on an objective and impartial consideration of the facts, exclusive of personal or professional bias. All comments by reviewers should be based solely on the paper's scientific merit, originality, and quality of writing as well as on its relevance to the Gallaudet Chronicle of Psychology. A reviewer should not take scientific, financial, personal, or other advantage of material made available through the privileged communication of peer review, and should make every effort to avoid even the appearance of taking advantage of information obtained through the review process. Potential reviewers who are concerned that they have a conflict of interest should decline the request to review or discuss their concerns with the Editors-in-Chief.

Conflict of Interest To the extent possible, the peer-review process should minimize actual or perceived bias on the reviewer's part. If reviewers have any interest that might interfere with an objective review, they should either decline to review a paper or disclose the potential conflict of interest to the Editors-in-Chief.

Timeliness and Responsiveness Reviewers are responsible for acting promptly, adhering to the instructions for completing a review, and submitting it in a timely manner. Every effort should be made to complete the review within the requested time frame.  

Examples of Reviewer Impropriety

••       Misrepresenting facts in a review

••       Unreasonably delaying the review process

••       Unfairly criticizing a competitor's work

••       Breaching the confidentiality of the review

••       Proposing changes that appear to merely support the reviewer's own work or hypotheses7 ••       Making use of confidential information to achieve personal or professional gain

••       Using ideas or text from a manuscript under review

••       Including personal or ad hominem criticism of the author(s)

••       Failing to disclose a conflict of interest that would have excluded the reviewer from the process   These guidelines are adapted from the Council of Scientific Editors White Paper on Promoting Integrity in Scientific Journal Publications.