Strict adherence to the following principles is important in order to guarantee the integrity of the reviewing process.
Confidentiality of the Submitted Article
The contents and the very existence of a submitted manuscript must be considered as confidential until the article is published. If the article is not accepted for the journal, then all aspects of its review in this journal are to be considered as confidential without time limit. Reviewers are requested to adhere to this important principle.
Anonymity of Reviewers
Authors will not know the identity of the reviewers, unless the reviewer herself chooses to divulge her identity. Reviewers know the identity of the authors. Reviewers normally get to see the other reviews of the same article after they have returned their own review, but will normally not know the identity of the other reviewers. Exceptions to the last rule are sometimes made in case of strongly conflicting reviews, where the reviewers may be invited to interact in order to find out whether this leads one of them to adopt the other one’s position on the paper.
Reviewers are of course free to divulge their identity to the authors if they should desire so.
Reviews that are returned as pdf or Word documents may be labelled with the identity of the author of that document in their data field. It is the responsibility of the reviewer to remove such information from the review document before it is returned to the editors, if she wishes to retain her anonymity vis-a-vis the author.
Confidentiality of Reviews
Reviewers are requested to consider all reviews as confidential. This applies both to the reviews they write themselves, and to those made by the other reviewers.
Definition of Confidentiality
The term ‘confidential’ as used above, implies (1) that the reviewer shall keep confidential material in a safe place where it can not be accessed by others, (2) that he shall not divulge the confidential material to any other person except if approved by an Associate Editor or Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, and (3) that any other person that obtains access to the material, after approval, shall also be informed about and accept the same rule.