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Instructions for reviewers

The instructions for reviewers include information about the online review process, ethical code and feedback to be expected from the Editor-in-Chief of Verbum et Ecclesia. Other relevant information about the journal's policies and the reviewing process can be found under the about section.

Please select the applicable link below:

Instructions on how to complete your review 

You can only submit a review if the Editor-in-Chief has requested your input on a manuscript.

After receiving the invitation email from the Editor-in-Chief, proceed to click on the secure URL provided in the email to take you directly to the manuscript. Alternatively, log into your journal’s personalised section and click on Reviewer. The active review table will have the article title that should be selected to go to Step 1 of the seven-step review process. The seven steps are:

  • Notify the Editor-in-Chief immediately whether you are able to perform the review or not. Click on the appropriate green envelope next to Response in Step 1, which opens a notification email to the Editor-in-Chief. Read, edit and approve the email and click on Send to notify the Editor-in-Chief. (Please do not skip the email.) By agreeing to review the manuscript, this notification will give you permission to download the manuscript listed in Step 3 and to proceed with your review.
  • If you accept to do the review, you will gain access to download the manuscript and supplementary files and save them to your computer. Click on the article file code (e.g. 288-1138-2-RV.DOC) and/or supplementary file(s) code(s) (e.g. 288-1138-2-SP.DOC) and save them to a file on your computer. You can exit the website now. Return to your journal’s personalised section to submit the review report by the due date by accessing this review page directly through the link provided in your invitation email. Alternatively, log into the journal website with your username and password, select Reviewer and click on the article title to link to this review page and allow you to proceed to Step 4−7.
  • Declaring any conflicts of interest is facilitated by typing your declaration in the provided field. Click on Save to save your declaration to the system.
  • It is important to pass constructive comments on to authors, even of rejected papers, so kindly provide detailed comments to the Editor-in-Chief.
  • Select the bubble () icon next to the word Review in Step 5 to complete a short electronic review form. Type your review report in the appropriate field and click on Save and then Close. Proceed to Step 6. It will be easiest to first do a thorough review on the manuscript in a Word document, thereafter copy the text from the Word file and paste the text in the appropriate field within the review form.
  • You can upload multiple files in this step; ensure that these files are applicable and valid to your review of the manuscript.
    • If you have used your own review report, you can upload it as a saved file from your computer in Step 6. To successfully upload the file, you have to click on Browse to access the folder where it is saved on you computer. Double click on the file icon or click on the icon and click Open to import the file. Press Upload next to the browser. The file name will now appear with a RV file code. Please check that you have uploaded the correct file or version by clicking on the RV file links. Delete the file if necessary and browse and upload the correct file again.
    • If you want to upload a review report and the manuscript with tracked changes: Simply click on the browser, double click on the manuscript icon where it is saved on you computer and click on Upload. Proceed to Step 7 to complete your review. 
  • Please make a recommendation regarding the manuscript in Step 7 after uploading the report in step 5 and/or Step 6 to the Editor-in-Chief. Click on Choose one, select you recommendation and click on Submit Reviewto Editor to complete your review. Send the email.

Support video: 

  • Click here to view a video on how to complete a review online.

The review process can be interrupted at any time; when you return to the site you can continue from where you left off. After completing the review, you will receive a confirmation via email. 

Ethical consideration and code 

  • All manuscripts undergo a double-blinded review process. Please ensure that the confidentiality of the peer review process and the propriety rights of those who have submitted the manuscripts are intact
  • Reviewers must decline a request to review manuscripts if they are aware of a conflict of interest or they should disclose the nature of the conflict of interest to the editor.
  • Reviewers may decline the request to review the work of others if they believe the process may be biased or if they have questions about the authenticity or integrity of the reported research.

We recognise the value and importance of the peer reviewer in the overall publication process – not only in shaping the individual manuscript, but also in shaping the credibility and reputation of Verbum et Ecclesia. We are committed to the timely publication of all original, innovative contributions submitted for publication. As such, the identification and selection of reviewers who have expertise and interest in the topics appropriate to each manuscript are essential elements in ensuring a timely, productive peer review process. If you would like to become a reviewer, please register with Verbum et Ecclesia and ensure that all your contact details are correct.

Peer reviewers are asked to make every reasonable effort to ensure that the following criteria are taken into account when evaluating a manuscript;

  • consider each manuscript unbiasedly, judging each manuscript on its merits without regard to the race, religion, nationality, sex, seniority or institutional affiliation of the author
  • keep to the timeframes set out by the publisher
  • judge the quality of the manuscript, its experimental and theoretical work, its interpretations and its exposition objectively.
  • declare potential conflict of interest to the Editor-in-Chief before undertaking any peer review
  • explain and support your judgements
  • ensure that any statement that an observation, derivation or argument has been previously reported is accompanied by the relevant citation
  • respect the confidentiality of the review process and the proprietary rights of those who have submitted manuscripts
  • decline the request to review the work of others if you:
    • believe the process may be biased
    • have questions about the authenticity or integrity of the reported research have a conflict of interest.

While the content of a manuscript may justify criticism, even severe criticism, under no circumstances is personal or malicious criticism of the author appropriate or acceptable. You may be asked to reappraise a manuscript that was referred back to the authors after a first-round review. In cases where reviewers provide substantively different ratings, a manuscript will be sent to an arbitrator for a final verdict.

Once you are a reviewer to Verbum et Ecclesia, ensure your personal details are updated regularly.

Outcome of the review process 

Following the review, the Editor-in-Chief will evaluate the review reports and make a final decision. The outcome will be categorised as one of the following:

  • Acceptable as is (apart from editorial changes).
  • Acceptable, but requires minor revision (to the satisfaction of the editor).
  • Requires major revision and reconsideration (requires to be reviewed again).
  • Reject, not acceptable for publication in the journal.

To keep you informed on the final decision on the manuscript, we are committed to:

  • Provide you with the review reports of other reviewers.
  • Give feedback on the outcome of a manuscript.


ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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