For Reviewers

The International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education (IJARE) is an online, open access, peer reviewed, scholarly and professional publication. We seek to publish manuscripts reporting original empirical research as well as educational articles focusing on a wide variety of noncompetitive aquatic topics including but not limited to water safety, drowning prevention, water competence, lifesaving/lifeguarding, aquatic exercise, fitness and therapy, aquatic facility design and operation, aquatic legal and risk management, aquatic recreation, and the learning and teaching of aquatic knowledge and skills. The journal typically does not publish articles about nonhuman aspects of aquatics or on issues concerned primarily with improving performance in competitive aquatic sports such as swimming, diving, water polo, and sailing.

IJARE currently employs a Web-based submission and review system called bepress ScholarWorks that is supported and operated by staff from University Libraries at Bowling Green State University. ScholarWorks offers online help, but you can contact , IJARE editor, if you encounter unresolvable questions. Because of BGSU’s support for bepress ScholarWorks, authors and readers no longer have to subscribe to gain access to IJARE and there are no publication fees.

Review Process in Brief

After a manuscript is submitted, the editor does a quick review to determine whether it is within the scope of the journal (see About this Journal). 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 30 days. ScholarWorks 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 bepress ScholarWorks (see URL in 2nd paragraph above). You can use the same user account to submit your own manuscripts. As part of your ScholarWorks 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 IJARE as a double-blind peer reviewed scholarly journal. You are an invaluable member of our scholarly team.

Reviewer Characteristics

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 in demeanor

General Guideline Questions For Original Research Manuscripts

  • Does the paper report important findings that add to the body of knowledge or have useful practical application in aquatics?
  • 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?

General Guideline Questions For Educational Manuscripts

  • Is the topic of the paper consistent with the mission of IJARE?
  • Does the paper report important findings that add to the body of knowledge and/or have useful practical application in aquatics?
  • Are the practical applications of educational professional articles clear and concise?
  • Does the paper address the topic in an objective, evidenced-based manner?

Manuscript Presentation

  • 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?

Statistical Considerations

  • Have the authors clearly identified the experimental design and statistical methods?
  • Are there concerns with sampling bias or validity and reliability of measures?
  • Have the authors addressed the typical or technical measurement error?
  • Has the sample variability been reported with standard deviation and uncertainty (or precision) of estimates indicated using confidence intervals?
  • Have magnitudes of effects been reported and interpreted with established criteria such as statistical power?
  • Will report of the clinical or practical significance in sport and aquatic settings help readers determine the real-world value or application of the main findings?
  • Are precise p values shown? Indirect indications such as p < .05 or p = NS make it difficult for other researchers undertaking meta-analyses. Results should be reported so the number of digits is scientifically relevant.
  • Is the use of standard and nonstandard statistical terms, abbreviations, and symbols defined appropriately, and are the details of computer software packages cited?
  • Has reporting of bias where underpowered studies or statistically insignificant results exist been addressed explicitly? These results might have some practical (clinical) importance and could be useful for generating research questions and for researchers conducting meta-analyses.

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, , 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 at Manuscript Central.
  • Please submit your reviewer’s report within the specified 30-day time limit set by the IJARE 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 bepress ScholarWorks to record your final recommendation, and complete all check boxes to rate various aspects of the submitted manuscript.
  • Use ScholarWorks to provide brief confidential summary comments to the Editor.
  • Use ScholarWorks to provide both general and specific comments for both authors and Editor.
  • For specific comments,

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