Conference on Laboratory Instruction Beyond the First Year of College Proceedings

Ethical Guidelines for Reviewers

Reviews should be constructive and courteous and the reviewer should respect the intellectual independence of the author. The reviewer should avoid personal comments.

If, as a reviewer, you believe that you are not qualified to evaluate a component of the research, you should inform the Editor in your review. You should complete the review as BFY Proceedings papers should generally be understandable to all members of the advanced lab community.

Conflict of Interest

A conflict of interest is a situation in which financial or other personal considerations have the potential to compromise or bias professional judgment and objectivity.1 Examples are if you work in the same department or institute as one of the authors; if you have worked on a paper previously with an author; or you have a professional or financial connection to the paper.

Reviews should be objective evaluations of the research. If you cannot judge a paper impartially, you should not accept it for review or you should notify the Editor as soon as you appreciate the situation. If you have any professional or financial affiliations that may be perceived as a conflict of interest in reviewing the paper, or a history of personal differences with the author(s), you should describe them in your confidential comments.

Reviewers should not consider papers in which they have a conflict of interest. In such a case, a reviewer should contact the Editor, describe the financial or professional affiliations that may be perceived as a conflict of interest in reviewing the paper and ask to be excused from the review process for that particular paper.


The review process is conducted anonymously; the BFY Proceedings Editors never reveal the identity of reviewers to authors. The privacy and anonymity provisions of this process extend to the reviewer, who should not reveal his or her identity to others. The review itself will be shared with the author and the other Editors as necessary.

It is your prerogative as a reviewer to open a constructive dialogue with the author(s). If you wish, you may contact the author(s) directly or simply include your name in the review itself.


The submitted paper is a privileged communication and must be treated as a confidential document. Please destroy all copies of the paper after review. Please do not share the paper with any colleagues without the explicit permission of the Editor. Reviewers should not make personal or professional use of the data or interpretations before publication without the authors' specific permission.

As a condition of agreeing to assess the paper, all reviewers undertake to keep submitted papers and associated data confidential, and not to redistribute them without permission from the Editors. If a reviewer seeks advice from colleagues while assessing a paper, he or she ensures that confidentiality is maintained and that the names of any such colleagues are provided to the Editor with the final report. By this and by other means, the Editors endeavor to keep the content of all submissions confidential until the publication date. Although we go to every effort to ensure reviewers honor their promise to ensure confidentiality, we are not responsible for the conduct of reviewers.

1 downloaded June 19, 2013.