Guidelines for Referees

Referees for Ovidius undertake to work objectively and independently, and to provide clear and thorough feedback on the submissions they are asked to consider for the journal. Reports for academic articles will typically include a concise summary of the main thesis of the paper, along with a brief description of its approach and a view on its importance and timeliness. Primarily, however, Referees are asked to comment on the following points: whether the paper is thoughtful, coherent and clearly written; whether it makes its case convincingly; whether the primary sources are handled with a competent and scholarly method; whether the bibliography is comprehensive; whether the manuscript makes a sufficiently substantial original contribution to scholarship to warrant publication; whether any parts of the paper should be expanded or cut; and whether the title is informative and effectively phrased.

Referee reports for other kinds of work (fiction and translations) should assess the work on its own merits, without presuming the need for a scholarly apparatus. 

The report should end with a clear recommendation, leading to one of four possible outcomes: 1. the paper is acceptable as is or with minor corrections; 2. the paper is acceptable with substantial revisions; 3. the paper might be acceptable with major revisions (a scenario that implies a second round of refereeing and no outright acceptance of the paper); 4. the paper is not acceptable. The report may be presented as a discursive text or as a set of answers to the questions listed in a template that is presented to the referees along with the invitation to review the manuscript. Normally, reader reports will not need to be more than two or three pages long.

Referees are required to respect the confidentiality of the review process at all times, and must avoid any references that might identify them. The report should be written in such a way that it may be sent directly to the contributor; the editors, in fact, encourage addressing the report to the contributor. Ad personam remarks are inappropriate. If Referees have additional comments for the Editors in confidence, they should clearly note them as such in private communications with the editors. In case the identity of the author(s) is known to them, or should they have already seen the paper, referees are asked to contact the Editors before starting their review. Referees are usually asked to produce their reports within eight weeks of receipt of the manuscript, although extensions may be arranged.