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For Reviewers

The International Journal for First Aid Education (IJFAE) is an online, open access, peer reviewed scholarly and professional journal.

IJFAE currently employs a Web-based submission and review system called Digital Commons that is supported and operated by staff from University Libraries at Kent State University. Digital Commons offers online help, but you can contact Jeffrey Pellegrino, editor, if you encounter unresolvable questions.

Reviewer Responsibilities

After a manuscript is submitted, the editor does an initial review to determine whether it is within the scope of the journal (see Aims and Scope). Once we determine a manuscript is relevant to the journal mission, the appropriate number of expert reviewers (at least two) are identified and invited to perform reviews within 21 days. Digital Commons tracks the status of all manuscripts automatically and sends automated e-mails periodically to authors, accepted reviewers, and the editor. Once reviews are returned, the Editor uses them to make a decision about accepting, revising, or rejecting (or not) the manuscript.

As an expert volunteer reviewer, you will need to create a user account in Digital Commons. You can use the same user account to submit your own manuscripts. As part of your Digital Commons user account, we strongly encourage you to identify your areas of expertise in order to facilitate future appropriate review invitations. Without expert reviewers such as yourself, we would be unable to operate IJFAE as a double-blind peer reviewed scholarly journal. You are an invaluable member of our scholarly team.

For Reviewers

The following qualities are characteristics that can describe reviewers and represent reasons for which you have been requested to perform a review:

  • You have knowledge of the topic, the discipline, or the study methodology
  • You are able to devote sufficient time to a thorough review within the next month
  • You are willing to provide timely, specific feedback to authors to help to advance the field
  • You are able to offer objective constructive critiques to help authors improve the manuscript
  • You can offer feedback in a positive, tactful, and professional demeanour using the appropriate reviewer rubric

General guideline questions for empirical research manuscripts

Link to reviewer rubric for empirical research

  • Does the paper report important findings that add to the body of knowledge or have useful practical application in first aid education?
  • Have the main findings or applications not 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 method and analysis of results appropriate and sufficiently clear to allow replication by other scientists?
  • Are the discussion and conclusions justified and logically consistent with the purpose and hypotheses?
  • Are the references to existing studies timely, pertinent, complete, accurate, and in APA format?
  • Does the study align to one or more parts of the Chain of Survival Behavior, and is this explicit?

General guideline questions for descriptive manuscripts

(including clinical/field reviews; methods papers; pilot studies and project reports) are insights into a specific research area that has seen significant development or progress. They should include evaluation, critical assessment, and perspectives on current behaviour topics and issues related to learning those competencies (knowledge, skills, & behaviors). These articles may take the form of experiential reports, clinical and observational studies, curriculum reviews of literature, and longer editorial statements of opinion. These professional articles are reviewed for their potential contributions to a broader discussion and understanding of applied and practical knowledge and skills.

Papers submitted as descriptive manuscripts are usually subject to open peer review, and therefore your name and comments will be communicated to the author.

Link to reviewer rubric for descriptive manuscripts

  • Is the topic of the paper consistent with the mission of IJFAE?
  • Does the paper report important findings that add to the body of knowledge and/or have useful practical application in first aid education?
  • Are the practical applications of educational professional articles clear and concise?
  • Does the paper address the topic in an objective, evidenced-based manner?
  • Does the study align to one or more parts of the Chain of Survival Behavior, and is this explicit?

General guideline questions for Theory/model generating manuscripts

These submissions advance theory or application of theories through practice models

Link to reviewer rubric for Theory/model generating manuscripts

  • Does the paper present a point of view to generate theoretical or model approach to first aid education?
  • Does it explain a new theory or model, or a new application of a theory model which develops the body of knowledge for first aid education?
  • Does the paper address the topic in an objective, evidenced-based manner?
  • Does the study align to one or more parts of the Chain of Survival Behavior, and is this explicit?

Manuscript presentation applicable to all manuscripts, including commentary papers, letters, editorials and position statements

  • Do the paper title and abstract accurately reflect the contents and findings of the study?
  • Is the paper written concisely, clearly, and unambiguously, consistent in APA format?
  • Without rewriting the manuscript or imposing your own style, identify text that is verbose, ambiguous, or unclear.
  • Identify text that should be expanded or condensed by specific reference to sentences and paragraph as appropriate.
  • Are grammar, expression, and use of American English up to an acceptable standard?
  • Is each figure, table, photo, or video relevant and necessary?
  • Is duplication of results among figures, tables, and text kept to a minimum?
  • Is each figure and table properly prepared in accordance with the instructions for authors?

Ethical considerations (drawn from Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE))

  • The manuscript under review is a confidential document that should not be discussed with or shown to others without the permission of the editor.
  • In the rare situation that you discover a potential conflict of interest in relation to the authors or content of the manuscript, contact the editor, Jeffrey.Pellegrino@gmail.com, as soon as possible.
  • Is there any evidence of plagiarism, duplicate submission to another journal, or excessive fragmentation of results to achieve multiple publications of manuscripts? Please contact the 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 studies, including lack of IRB approval?
  • Given that the authors will carefully read your comments, we request that you avoid harsh, abrasive, or patronizing statements that might offend. Your comments and assessments should be logical, objective, systematic, and written in moderate, non-inflammatory language. Comments specifically for the editor can be written in more direct language. Reviewers should provide polite and constructive comments on the manuscript to authors.
  • Please give more specific rather than general comments. Comments and recommendations should be helpful for both the authors and the editor. Provide specific recommendations on how the manuscript could be improved, and where necessary refer to appropriate studies in the literature. Even if you recommend that the manuscript be rejected, it is still appropriate to provide recommendations on how the manuscript could be improved, if resubmitted.
  • 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 on Digital Commons.
  • Please submit your reviewer’s report within the specified 21-day time limit set by the IJFAE editor. If your circumstances change and you cannot complete the review in time, please contact the editor as soon as possible and perhaps an extension can be arranged.

Return of Reviewer’s Comments

  • Use Digital Commons to record your final recommendation, and complete all check boxes to rate various aspects of the submitted manuscript.
  • Use Digital Commons to provide brief confidential summary comments to the Editor.
  • Use Digital Commons to provide both general and specific comments for both authors and Editor.
  • Attach the appropriate, completed rubric to your response.

For specific comments:

  • Write out in full identifying each page and line number together with your comment in a review file.