For Reviewers

1. Peer-Review and Editorial Process

The journal Materials Communications operates a single anonymized peer review whereby the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author. All manuscripts will be checked for plagiarism using the iThenticate to detect instances of overlapping and similar text by the in-house editor after submission. A brief summary of journal peer review process for each manuscript listed as below:

  • Preliminary review: Before peer review, the Editorial Office may preliminarily review all manuscripts and reject manuscripts that are not matched with the aims and scope of the specific journal or not novel.
  • Peer review: A manuscript will be reviewed by at least two reviewers. The peer review process will help editors make better decisions.
  • Author revision: After receiving sufficient review reports during the peer review process, the Editorial Office will request the authors for necessary revisions. If major revisions are required, the revised manuscript may return to the original reviewers for further evaluation. In cases where minor revisions are necessary, the Editorial Office will assess whether to send the revised manuscript back to the reviewers, depending on whether the reviewer requested to see the revised version and the wishes of the Academic Editor (Typically the Editor-in-Chief or a member of the Editorial Board without any conflict of interest with any of the authors). Apart from in exceptional circumstances, we allow a maximum of two rounds of major revision per manuscript.
  • Editor decision: Articles can only be accepted for publication by an Academic Editor. When making a decision, the academic editor is expected to check the following: 1) The overall scientific merit of the paper; 2) The appropriateness of the chosen reviewers; 3) The thoroughness of reviewer comments and author responses. Academic editors should also alert the Editorial Office to any potential conflicts of interest that may bias, or appear to bias, their decision-making process.

2. Reviewers’ Profile and Responsibilities

The role of reviewers is critical and has a major responsibility for ensuring the integrity of the academic record. Each reviewer is expected to conduct manuscript evaluations in a timely, transparent, and ethical manner.

Materials Communications strives to conduct rigorous peer review to ensure a thorough evaluation of every manuscript—an essential task for our reviewers. Reviewers who accept to review a manuscript are expected to:

  • Possess the necessary expertise to judge the scientific quality of a manuscript;
  • Provide quality review reports and remain responsive throughout the peer review process;
  • Maintain professional and ethical standards.

3. Review Reports

We have listed some general instructions about review reports below for your consideration.

Please consider the following guidelines:

  • Read the full text as well as supplementary material, if any, paying close attention to figures, tables, data, and methods.
  • Your report should critically analyze the entire article, but also the specific sections and key concepts presented in the article.
  • Please make sure your comments are detailed so that the author can properly understand and address the points you make.
  • Reviewers should not recommend work cited by themselves, close colleagues, other authors, or journals when it is not clearly necessary to improve review quality.
  • Reviewers must not suggest excessive citations of their work (self-citation), the work of other authors (honorary citations), or articles in submitting journals to increase reviewer/author/journal citations. You can provide references as needed, but they must significantly improve the quality of the manuscript being reviewed.
  • Please maintain a neutral tone and focus on providing constructive criticism that will help authors improve their work. Derogatory comments are not tolerated.

For further guidance on writing critical reviews, please refer to the following documents:

Review reports should contain the following:

  • A short summary (a small paragraph): outlining the purpose of the paper, its main contributions and strengths.
  • General concept comments
    Article: Emphasizes weaknesses, testability of assumptions, methodological inaccuracies, missing controls, etc.
    Review: Completeness of review topics covered by review, the relevance of review topics, identified knowledge gaps, appropriateness of references, etc.
    These comments focus on the scientific content of the manuscript and should be specific enough to allow the authors to respond.
  • Specific comments: Concrete notes are line numbers, tables, or figures in sentences that point out inaccuracies in the text or unclear sentences. These reviews should also focus on scientific content rather than spelling, formatting or English language issues, as our in-house editor can address these issues at a later stage.

General questions to help guide your review report for research articles:

  • Is the manuscript clear, relevant to the field, and presented in a well-structured manner?
  • Are the cited references mostly recent publications (within the past 5 years) and relevant? Does it contain too many self-citations?
  • Is the manuscript scientifically sound and is the experimental design suitable for testing hypotheses?
  • Are the results of the manuscript reproducible based on the details given in the Methods section?
  • Are figures/tables/images/schemes appropriate? Are they displaying the data correctly? Are they easy to explain and understand? Are data interpretations appropriate and consistent throughout the manuscript? Please provide details about statistical analysis or data obtained from a specific database.
  • Are the conclusions consistent with the evidence and arguments presented?
  • Please evaluate the ethics statement and data availability statement to ensure they are adequate.

General questions to help guide your review report for review articles:

  • Is the review clear, comprehensive and relevant to the field? Have knowledge gaps been identified?
  • Was a similar review been published recently, and if so, is the current review still relevant and of interest to the scientific community?
  • Are the cited references mostly recent publications (within the past 5 years) and relevant? Are relevant references omitted? Does it contain too many self-citations?
  • Are the statements and conclusions drawn coherent and supported by the citations listed?
  • Are figures/tables/images/schemes appropriate? Are they displaying the data correctly? Are they easy to explain and understand?

Academic Editors will grade your review report from a scientific standpoint and general usefulness for improving the manuscript.

4. Rating the Manuscript

During the review process, please rate the following areas:

  • Novelty: Is the question original and well-defined? Do the results provide an advance in current knowledge?
  • Scope: Is the work within the scope of the journal?
  • Significance: Are the results interpreted appropriately? Are they significant? Are all conclusions justified and supported by the results? Are hypotheses carefully identified as such?
  • Quality: Is the article written in an appropriate way? Are the data and analytics presented correctly? Are the highest standards of presentation of results used?
  • Scientific Soundness: Is the study properly designed and technically sound? Is the analysis carried out according to the highest technical standards? Are the data enough to draw conclusions? Are methods, tools, software, and reagents described in sufficient detail to allow other researchers to reproduce the results? Is the raw data available and correct (if applicable)?
  • Interest to the Readers: Are these conclusions interesting to readers of the journal? Will the paper appeal to a broad audience, or will only a few be interested?
  • Overall Merit: Is there an overall benefit to publishing this work? Does this work advance current knowledge? Did the authors address a long-standing and important question with smart experiments? Did the authors present negative results for valid scientific hypotheses?
  • English Level: Is the language appropriate and easy to understand?

If reviewers become aware of any scientific misconduct or fraud, plagiarism, or any other unethical conduct in relation to the manuscript, they should immediately raise these concerns with the in-house editor.

5. Overall Recommendation

Please provide an overall recommendation for the next processing stage of the manuscript as follows:

  • Accept in Present Form: The paper can be accepted without any further changes.
  • Accept after Minor Revisions: The paper can be acceptable in principle after revision according to the reviewer's comments.
  • Reconsider after Major Revisions: Acceptance of the manuscript will be contingent on revision. If part of the reviewer's comments cannot be revised, the author needs to reply or refute point-by-point. Typically, only one round of major revision is allowed.
  • Reject: The article has serious flaws, lacks of original contribution, and it may be rejected without an offer of resubmission to the journal.

Note that your recommendations are only visible to journal editors, not authors. Decisions on revision, acceptance, or rejection must always be well-founded.

Update in July 2026