For Reviewers

I Want to Become a Reviewer

The Journal of Community Safety and Well-Being (CSWB) is always seeking qualified reviewers. Getting involved in the peer review process can be a highly rewarding experience that can also improve your own research and help to further your career. Reviewers play an integral role in ensuring the high standards of the Journal are met through evaluating manuscripts and providing constructive criticism to editors and authors.

I Have Already Registered as an Author or Reader

If you have previously registered with the Journal as an author or reader, you can login to your account at Once signed in, go to the very upper right-hand corner of the page and scroll over your username to select “View Profile” from the pull-down menu. On the profile page, go to the “Roles” tab. Select “Reviewer”, enter your reviewing interests, and save.

I Have Not Yet Registered with the Journal

To register as a reviewer ensure the “Yes, I would like to be contacted with requests to review submissions to this journal.” box is selected and reviewing interests are entered upon registering with the journal at: On this registration page you can also register as an author (to submit manuscripts in the future) and as a reader (to receive publication notifications and journal related news).

I’m Already a Reviewer

Thank you for volunteering to review manuscripts for the Journal of CSWB. Reviewing an article written by a fellow social scientist or community safety and well-being professional is a privilege. It is also an exciting and enjoyable educational experience. However, we also recognize that it can be a time-consuming responsibility. The Journal and its editors, authors, and readers therefore appreciate your willingness to accept this responsibility and we thank you for your dedication to advancing knowledge across our multi-disciplinary fields.

I Would Like to Add or Update My Reviewing Interests

Login to your account at Once signed in, go to the very upper right-hand corner of the page and scroll over your username to select “View Profile” from the pull-down menu. On the profile page, go to the “Roles” tab. Enter (or update) your reviewing interests, and save.

Reviewer Guidelines

Part I – General Policies and Procedures

A review form must be completed by all reviewers for the following article types:
(Please see our Author Guidelines for additional explanations of these categories)

  • Original Research Full Reports
  • Original Research Short Reports
  • Social Innovation Narratives
  • Practice Guidelines
  • Reviews

Authors submit their articles electronically via our Open Journal System (OJS) platform to the Journal of CSWB. Each article is reviewed by the Editor-in-Chief (EIC) for its relevance to the mission of the Journal. If retained, the article is assigned to a Section Editor, who in turn chooses two or more reviewers to review it. The Journal of CSWB applies a single-blind review process where authors’ identities are known to reviewers, but reviewers remain unknown to the authors.

On receipt of the invitation to review, you should immediately:

  • Read the editor's transmittal e-mail, which includes the article abstract, to determine whether the subject is within your area of expertise and whether you can complete the review in the stated time period.
  • Click the link in the e-mail or directly log on to OJS and either accept or decline the invitation to review.
  • If you decline the invitation to review:
    • Indicate why you are declining.
    • If possible, please suggest a colleague who may be able to review the article. If appropriate, the editor will send an invitation to review to that individual. You may not “transfer” your invitation to review the article to a colleague.
  • If you accept the invitation to review, you will have access to the article and any supplementary materials, and should immediately:
    • Double-check the article title page and the Acknowledgments section to determine whether there is any conflict of interest for you (with the authors, their institution, or their funding sources) and whether you can judge the article impartially.
    • Quickly skim the relevant portions of the article and verify that it fits within the scope of the Journal, in your view. If your cursory examination reveals that the article does not fit within the scope of the Journal, indicate that in the Confidential Comments to the Editor section of the review form. You will also need to click the appropriate button in each category in the Confidential Assessment for the Editor section (these are required fields; if none of the selections is appropriate, indicate in the Confidential Comments to the Editor section that the editor should ignore them).
  • If you have either a time problem or a conflict of interest, contact the editor for instructions. He/she may extend your deadline or cancel the review assignment as appropriate.
  • Do not discuss the paper with its authors either during or after the review process. Although it may seem natural and reasonable to discuss points of difficulty or disagreement directly with an author, especially if you are generally in favor of publication and do not mind revealing your identity, this practice is prohibited because the other reviewers and the editor may have different opinions, and the author may be misled by having "cleared things up" with the reviewer who contacted him/her directly.
  • Note that the article provided to you for review is a privileged document. Please protect it from any form of exploitation. Do not cite an article or refer to the work it describes before it has been published and do not use the information that it contains for the advancement of your own research or in discussions with colleagues. Details of an article and its review must remain confidential, before, during and after publication.
  • In your comments intended for the author, do not make statements about the acceptability of a paper; suggested revisions should be stated as such and not expressed as conditions of acceptance.
  • Organize your review so that an introductory paragraph summarizes the major findings of the article, gives your overall impression of the paper, and highlights the major shortcomings. This paragraph should be followed by specific, numbered comments, which, if appropriate, may be subdivided into major and minor points. (The numbering facilitates both the editor's letter to the author and evaluation of the author's rebuttal.)
  • Criticism should always be presented dispassionately; offensive remarks are not acceptable. Confidential remarks directed to the editor should be entered in the box so labeled.
  • Advise the editor of your recommendation for acceptance, modification, or rejection by making the appropriate selection in the dropdown menu. Note that the final decision regarding modification, acceptance, or rejection of an article rests solely with the editorial board, so do not state your recommendation in the portion of the review that will be sent to the author.
  • After completing your review, click the “Submit Review” button. After successful completion of your review, it will be saved in your own designated Past Reviews folder in the system.

Part II – The Review Process

At all times when reviewing any article submitted to the Journal of CSWB, we ask that you adopt a positive, impartial, but critical attitude toward the article under review, with the aim of promoting effective, accurate, and relevant social science, policy and practical knowledge and guidance, while continuing to encourage our broad community of contributing Authors.

You will be asked to consider the following aspects when reviewing an article:

  • Significance to the target scientific, policy and/or practitioner community
  • Originality of the research and/or propositions for social innovation in CSWB
  • Appropriateness of the approach to the subject matter, and/or to the experimental design and/or experimental techniques (if applicable)
  • Appropriateness of the statistical analyses (if applicable)
  • Appropriateness of figures and tables (if applicable)
  • Appropriateness of supplemental material intended for posting (if applicable)
  • Soundness of conclusions, interpretations and/or resulting assertions
  • Adherence to correct social science, public policy and practice nomenclature
  • Appropriate literature citations
  • Relevance of discussion
  • Organization
  • Adequacy and clarity of title and abstract
  • Length, general tone and readability
  • Adherence to the Journal of CSWB Guidelines for Authors including Ethical Policies (see Part III below)
  • Reviewer’s Summary Rating re Priority for Publication
  • Summary Comments to Author
  • Summary Comments to the Section Editor (Optional)

In addition to providing ratings based on the categories outlined, all reviewers are asked to enter comments explaining their ratings, so the author understands how to correct. There is a space to enter specific comments for each above category, and following all categories, spaces are provided for overall comments for the author, and comments specific for the Editor.

You are not required to correct deficiencies of style, syntax, or grammar, but any help you can give in clarifying meaning will be appreciated. Specifically, you can point out the use of scientific jargon, misspellings of names, use of outmoded terminology or incorrect nomenclature, and use of misspelled, incorrect, inappropriate, or outdated language.

Your criticisms, arguments, and suggestions concerning the paper will be most useful to the editor and to the author if they are carefully documented. Do not make dogmatic, dismissive statements, particularly about the novelty of the work. Substantiate your statements.

Final Step – Reviewer’s Recommendation

Reviewer's recommendations will be gratefully received by the editor. However, since editorial decisions are usually based on evaluations derived from several sources, reviewers should not expect the editor to honor every recommendation. You will be asked to suggest acceptability by making your selection (via a pull-down menu) in the final step of the review process.

Note that very few papers will qualify for an immediate, unconditional acceptance, and there may be many reasons to reject or request revisions to a paper. In general, if there are serious flaws in experimental design, incorrect interpretation of data, illogical conclusions, unsupported assertions about policy or practice, extensive additional experiments required, or any organizational or English usage flaws that prevent critical review of the article, then feel free to recommend that the article be rejected.

If you feel that the deficiencies can be corrected within a reasonable length of time, then recommend modification.

Note that the default decision options in OJS for our reviewers are:

  • Accept Submission: Accept paper in its present form, there is no need for author to submit a revision. Some minor copyediting may be necessary, but this can be caught at the copyediting stage.
  • Revisions Required: The manuscript requires minor content and/or editorial changes before it is suitable for publication. Revised manuscripts do not require a second round of review by the reviewers.
  • Resubmit for Review: The paper contains one or more serious problems, and if corrected might result in a generally acceptable manuscript. Resubmitted manuscripts typically are reviewed again by the section editors and reviewers.
  • Resubmit Elsewhere: The content of the manuscript does not fit the scope of the journal, but may be suited for another publication.
  • Decline Submission: The content, style, and/or preparation of the manuscript are flawed to the extent that it is unlikely that revisions can render the manuscript suitable for publication.
  • See Comments: If none of the above recommendations make sense, you can leave a comment for the editor detailing your concerns.

Part III – Journal of CSWB Ethical Policies

Although the Editorial Board of the Journal of CSWB may be able to note a breach of publication policy or ethical conduct after publication, we rely heavily on the reviewers to detect such problems before publication. Journal of CSWB publication policies are described in the Author Guidelines, which are available online. Some of the items you should be alert to during the review process include:

  • Plagiarism – Plagiarism is not limited to the Results and Discussion sections; it can involve any part of the article, including figures and tables, in which material is copied from another publication without attestation, reference, or permission. Note that wording does not have to be exact to be copyright infringement; use of very similar words in almost the same sequence can also be infringement. Data themselves are not copyrightable, but their presentation is.
  • Missing or incomplete attestation – Authors must give appropriate credit to ideas, concepts, and data that have been published previously. This is accomplished by the inclusion of references. Missing, incomplete, or incorrect references must be brought to the editor's attention.
  • Dual submission and/or publication – Be wary of attempts to submit/publish similar material more than once. This is often difficult to detect before the fact, but checking literature citations, as well as having a critical eye, is helpful.
  • Conflicts of interest – If you are aware of any commercial affiliations, consultancies, stock or equity interests, or patent-licensing arrangements on the part of the authors, bring them to the attention of the editor.

Note that similar conflicts of interest on your part must also be brought to the attention of the editor, who may, at his discretion, subsequently cancel your invitation to review the article. For example, if one of the article authors is at your institution or part of your organization, there could be a perceived conflict of interest, and you should immediately contact the editor so that another individual can be invited to review the article in your place.

In summary, you must communicate suspicions of policy or ethics problems directly to the Section Editor, who in turn will contact the Editor in Chief. Under no circumstance should you contact the author directly. The Journal of CSWB has policies for investigation and resolution of such problems and these must be followed.

Do You Need Assistance?

For assistance with creating an account, updating your profile, or submitting a review, please contact:

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