Instructions to Reviewers
Overview of the JCR Editorial Review Process
The primary objective of the JCR editorial review process is to ensure that each submitted manuscript is evaluated rigorously, equitably, and in accordance with criteria that are appropriate for its source discipline, perspective, and method. JCR aspires to publish the highest quality scholarship relevant to consumption. The journal seeks to publish articles that speak to an interdisciplinary audience while exhibiting quality commensurate with the best research.
The future of JCR and the consumer behavior field depend on our reviewers, who consistently approach their volunteer duties in a wise, generous, respectful, helpful, and inspiring manner. A quality review requires a positive and scholarly attitude and a rigorous and punctual evaluation of the manuscript. The next section expands on these aspects of a quality review.
Roles in the Process
The review process at JCR has three levels. The role of the Editor is to assign the Associate Editor and the reviewers, and to make a final decision. The role of the Associate Editor is to mediate the review process by integrating and prioritizing reviewer comments. When making revisions, authors are encouraged to rely on the Associate Editor reports as their guides. The Associate Editor reports are themselves based on the rich and detailed insights of JCR's expert and professional reviewers. Hence, good reviews are foundational to the review process and JCR.
Conducting and Communicating a JCR Review
It is a substantial service to the field of consumer research, and to the authors especially, when a scholar conducts an exemplary manuscript review for JCR. The best reviews are careful, conducted without paradigmatic or other bias, clear, detailed, kind, and timely. Please consider the following specific suggestions in crafting your review:
Key Characteristics of a Quality Review
A quality review has several pivotal features. It is rigorous and thorough, anonymous and confidential, and prompt.
Components of a JCR Review
A review has four components. These include:
Confidential Summary to the Editor and Associate Editor
A confidential Summary Letter intended only for the Editor and Associate Editor is the forum where you can be completely honest. Rather than convey frustrations or strongly negative judgments directly to the authors, you should reserve these assessments for the confidential summary.
Confidential Recommendation for Disposition
Reviewer recommendations are advisory to the Editor and Associate Editor. Please make a recommendation only to the Editor and Associate Editor, but please be sure your recommendation matches the content of your review.
The overall recommendation has several options:
Accept Unconditionally. This rarely used category should be reserved for manuscripts that are virtually flawless in their content. In general, when you make this recommendation, you will be regarded as having signed off on the manuscript.
Accept Conditionally, Subject to Minor Revisions. This recommendation should be made when the manuscript is judged to be quite strong with the contribution in place subject to only minor and low risk additions, deletions, or corrections.
Invite Revision, According to Accompanying Comments. This recommendation should be used for manuscripts that have a high degree of potential for eventual publication, in addition to significant changes that must be made. This recommendation should be used when you believe that satisfactory resolution to your concerns is possible and that the achievement of successful resolution will result in an acceptable manuscript. Detailed Comments to the Authors are extremely important in support of this recommendation, so that the authors can respond to all the concerns in a single revision. A clear delineation of the major concerns that must be addressed for publication versus more minor and optional concerns is also important, again so that authors will have the necessary guidance. (A recommendation in this category should not be construed as a guarantee of eventual publication. In some cases, a promising manuscript will not be adequately revised to attain the quality and level of knowledge contribution required for publication in JCR.)
Invite Risky Revision. This recommendation should be used for manuscripts that seem promising but either a) the steps needed to achieve the contribution carry with them substantial risk or b) the steps to achieve the contribution are unclear (the problems are apparent but the means of solving them are not).
Recommend Rejection but Invite Submission of a New (Substantially Different) Manuscript. This recommendation should be used for manuscripts that are not publishable in their present form. Instead of simply rejecting a manuscript, this recommendation includes thoughtful advice for producing a potentially publishable, but different and new manuscript. Using this category means recommending rejection but also indicates that the authors have identified an element of the work that is worthy of further consideration (for example, a core idea, one of the study results, or the broad topic).
Reject Unconditionally, Because the Likelihood of Successful Revision Is Remote. This recommendation is appropriate for papers that are viewed as having virtually no chance of making a contribution, even after revision. For example, the topic may be of minor importance to the domain of consumer behavior, the basic conceptual development may be extremely weak or incorrect, or the empirical work may have uncorrectable defects. This category will be the modal category for JCR submissions, based on the overall historical rejection rate of approximately 90 percent. Comments to the Authors should be especially polite in explaining the nature of the concerns, but the Comments to the Authors need not be as lengthy as in the previous categories. It is permissible and efficient to articulate only the most serious concerns.
Comments to the Authors
The Comments to the Authors represent the most important component of the JCR review. They provide the rationale for your evaluation of the manuscript, as well as suggestions for the improvement of the paper.
Comments to the Authors are generally most useful to the authors and the Editors when they begin with an overall assessment of your reaction to the manuscript, including prominent strengths and weaknesses. This big picture is valuable in providing a context for the more detailed comments that follow. After the overall assessment, the detailed comments offer constructive, specific guidance for a revision or for future research efforts.
The Comments to the Authors should also not contain any semblance of a recommended rejection or acceptance of the manuscript. Such recommendations should be made only in the confidential Summary Letter to the Editor and Associate Editor. It is the Editor's responsibility to make the final decision. You should not reveal their identities in the Comments to the Authors.
Participation in the Manuscript Review Histories Project
JCR provides Manuscript Review Histories online as teaching materials for advisers and students. We ask that you agree to include your reviews in this project. The material used will be strictly confidential (blind), and published online no earlier than a year after receipt. Your participation will enhance JCR's efforts to provide educational opportunities for doctoral students.
Sending the Review
Please follow the instructions given in the review request for submitting your review.
We thank you for your dedicated service to JCR, and welcome any comments or suggestions.