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Guidelines for Referees

Sustaining and supporting quality publication

Guidelines for Referees - research articles

The following set of guidelines have been compiled to help guide referees who have been asked to comment on an article submitted to Internet Archaeology, but potential authors might also find it useful to read through this advice.

Internet Archaeology is interested in publishing high quality content that is accurate, original and rigorous. As a referee, you are essential to our existence as a quality journal of record. Without your valuable time and effort, archaeological reports and articles would not be adequately evaluated. We appreciate your help and always welcome suggestions for improvement of our peer-review process. We know that good refereeing is hard work and it is essential for us. Thank you for letting us impose on you.

Authors have been assured of the privacy and security of their submitted work, so we ask that you do not refer to the work that the draft describes before it has been published. We hope that you will adopt a positive, impartial attitude towards the article you are assessing but if you feel you are unable to judge a submission impartially, please inform us stating why. Deadlines for referee reports are arranged individually with the editor.

Referee comments should be returned to Internet Archaeology by email. Unless expressly labelled 'for the editor only', comments are shared with the authors. On occasion, the editor may sometimes need to balance your comments with those of other referees (whose opinions may differ) but we endeavour always to take a rigourous, balanced approach.

Your Report

Please prepare a free text report on the article you have been asked to assess (should you wish to use them, some topics to consider are suggested in the list below). Your comments should be straightforward, constructive and in sufficient detail for the author to follow your line of reasoning, and where applicable, suggestions for improvement and revision should be included.

If you are requesting revisions, please be as explicit as possible, and distinguish those you consider necessary from those you consider desirable but optional. If you deem it necessary, your report may be divided up into two sections: comments for transmission to the author and comments for the editor only. If you choose to do this, please mark your sections clearly. More specific detailed comments may be inserted using the Comment function in the document you are sent/given access to.

The draft you receive may not be in the journal housestyle, but you are not expected to correct basic language or grammatical errors. However, errors which a copy editor may not recognise e.g. misspellings of site names/species, incorrect or outmoded terminology etc. should be pointed out.

It is not a requirement but feel free to use the following questions to help you structure your report

Feel free to provide any further comments that may be of help to the author and/or editor.

Until you have been notified that we have received your comments, please retain a copy of your assessment and please contact the Editor at any stage in the process if you have any queries.

Other resources

Guidelines for Referees - data papers

A data paper is a short publication that is designed to raise awareness of a dataset and its re-use potential.

As a data paper referee, the statement you provide is published along with the data paper. As such, your statement should focus on potential areas of future research using the data being described, why the dataset is useful and how the data might now be taken forward by others. It needs only be a paragraph or two.

More information about data papers may be found here where there are also links to published examples.

Document last reviewed: August 2023

Internet Archaeology is an open access journal based in the Department of Archaeology, University of York. Except where otherwise noted, content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY) Unported licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that attribution to the author(s), the title of the work, the Internet Archaeology journal and the relevant URL/DOI are given.

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