Guidelines and Expectations of Peer Reviewers


The responsibility of the reviewer is twofold: (1) to help the Associate Editor assess the quality of a submission and (2) to provide constructive feedback to authors, which in turn will strengthen the quality of JCAS and build community among people working in various fields represented in this journal. Keep in mind that JCAS accepts submissions from students and new professionals, as well as from those well-established in their fields. Your objective will be to read submissions with interest and review them in a way that promotes collegiality.

A good review offers intellectual criticism in a constructive way. Concrete suggestions for improvement are important whenever you recommend a submission be rejected, accepted with revisions, or accepted outright. Any feedback you can provide for a rejected submission will help an author lean from the process and may be of real benefit to a student or younger professional. If you recommend that a submission is accepted, your constructive comments will result in a stronger publication.

It is essential that you remain professional and courteous when writing your review. If you have serious reservations about a submission and only have negative comments to offer, please email your Associate Editor directly and discuss how best to proceed.

If you think you cannot provide a fair and constructive review of a submission, or if there is a particular conflict of interest, please email your Associate Editor to recuse yourself from reviewing a particular submission.


  • A clear recommendation of: Accept Submission, Accept Submission with minor revisions, Major revisions required for acceptance, or Reject Submission.
  • A substantive reader’s report (minimum two paragraphs) explaining the reasons for your recommendation and offering constructive feedback for how the submission may be strengthened. You are to remain totally anonymous in your reader’s report. Do not put your name on the report and be sure to remove any identifying metadata.

Important Note: All JCAS submissions undergo a separate copy editing process before publication. Please limit your review to an evaluation of the submission’s originality, relevancy, and methodology. You are only responsible for focusing on the content of assigned submissions rather than grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc.

  • If a submission is a MS Word document, you have the option of inserting tracked changes in addition to providing a reader’s report.
  • If you wish to address your assigned Associate Editor regarding the nuances of your publishing recommendations, you may also provide a confidential cover letter to your reader’s report. This cover letter will be read by your assigned Associate Editor and will not be made available to the author(s) of the submission.


  • Focus on the big picture. Consider the content of the manuscript: its originality and reasoning, structure, tone, and the soundness of the research rather than focusing on any problems with grammar or syntax. However, do mention poor quality writing that detracts from the content of the submission.
  • Respect the confidentiality of peer review. Do not reveal any details of a manuscript, or its review, during or after the peer review process, beyond those that are released by the journal.
  • Do not take advantage of inside (privileged) information. Do not use information obtained during the peer review process for your own or any other person’s or organization’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others.
  • Match your experience to the subject matter. Before you accept a manuscript for review, be sure your experience is a good fit with the topic of the article.
  • Meet your deadlines. Reports are due 21 days from the initial date of assignment. If you feel you cannot complete a report in the time allotted, do not accept the assignment. If your circumstances change during the review period, contact your assigned Associate Editor to either withdraw or see if an extension is possible.

Terms of Service

Peer reviewers shall serve a two-year term from their initial date of acceptance. The JCAS editorial board shall review the work of all peer reviewers on a continuous basis and determine whether they will be invited to serve an additional term once their term of service ends. If a peer reviewer can no longer serve during their assigned term of service they should notify the JCAS editorial board so their name can be removed from the master list.