The ARES system is a user-friendly manuscript and peer review platform dedicated to optimizing the submission and review process for authors, editors, and reviewers and to providing a safe and efficient manuscript processing system for publishers. It consists of the ARES manuscript (ARES MS) system and the ARES review (ARES RE) system. The ARES MS system provides a platform for authors, editors, and journal managers jointly to manage manuscripts and conduct reviews. They can track the real-time status of manuscripts and communicate without any barriers. The ARES RE system is a peer review platform developed for reviewers to providea scientific and convenient manuscript review system and make the review more personalized and efficient. It brings together a group of ardent academic researchers in different fields worldwide to make contributions to peer review and the development of academic publishing. For reviewers, the ARES RE system enables them to set review status (available for review or not) and review preferences (interested fields), define review timelines, manage reviewed articles, maintain instant messaging with editors, check final decisions of reviewed articles, and obtain access to the final review report (including other reviewers' comments, review quality evaluation, and review efficiency report).
To thank the reviewers for their outstanding contributions to peer review, reviewers will benefit from the reward policy "points rewards" for the work they have completed. For editors, a list of matched reviewers will be recommended for each manuscript. Editors will be able to precisely differentiate conditions and check each reviewer's homepage to find the right candidates. They can also monitor every step of the review process and have instant communication with reviewers. These features will facilitate to improve the review efficiency and receive quality review reports. The ARES RE system is initially integrated with the ARES MS system. The integrations with other systems will be available soon.
All-in-One Review Process
The ARES RE system enables reviewers to manage all review activities, communicate with editors, maintain review records, and generate personal review files. Reviewers can promote themselves with the completed homepages and receive/redeem points for various activities.
Searching Reviewers: System Recommendation and Editor's Invitation
System recommendation of reviewers and the editor's invitation to reviewers ensure that the reviewers match manuscripts. The system's automatic recommendation of reviewers is based on the match of manuscript keywords and reviewers' research keywords. Editors specify conditions such as publication record, H index, and affiliation to exclude reviewers from the same affiliation, with fewer publications or lower H indices, providingmore accurate recommendations. In the recommendation list, editors can check each reviewer's profile to learn more about the reviewer's publications, projects, review history, average review speed, and review quality, and send review invitations to suitable reviewers selected from the list.
Self-Defined Review Schedule
Reviewers are free to set and update their available time for review according to their schedules and preset a review deadline to complete the review report. They are also free to close the review status to block review invitations if they are busy.
Points Reward Mechanism
Reviewers will earn points based ontheir review work, and they can redeem the points forcash. Reviewers will also earn points from other platforms, such as inviting peers or recommending reviewers to editors.
ARES system will only accept successfully registered and information verified users as qualified reviewers. Qualified reviewers should be scholars who have published peer-reviewed scientific articles in established international journals as the first or corresponding author.
The scoring mechanism of review quality means the manuscript's decision-making editor will score a reviewer's comments. It encourages well-performed reviewers and eliminates irresponsible reviewers.
The ARES system encourages editors to report review misconduct. Once misconduct is confirmed, the reviewer will be punished by clearing points, disqualification from review, or removal from the ARES system according to the severityof the case. For severe cases where reviewers have generated extremely pooroutcomes, the ARES system reserves the right to disclose the situation to the academic community. The purpose of disciplinary measures is to ensure that the ARES system provides reliable services for editors and maintains scientific and intellectual rigo.
Individuals fill in personal information, research areas, publications, research projects, and editorial board memberships. They define review status and review schedule to complete registration. Once registered, the system verifies the registered information and approves or disapproves the registered user as a reviewer. ARES system will only accept successfully registered and information verified users as qualified reviewers. Qualified reviewers should be scholars who have published peer-reviewed scientific articles in established international journals as the first or corresponding author.
Editors will receive recommended reviewers from the system based on the manuscript keywords. They may also specify conditions such as the number of publications and range of H index to search for junior or senior reviewers for different manuscripts or exclude reviewers from the author's affiliation or country to avoid potential conflicts of interest. In the recommendation list, editors can view reviewers' homepage information, including review quality rating, speed rating, research field, publications, review schedules, and review status, add the selected candidates as reviewers, and send review invitations with a click.
Reply to Review Invitation
Reviewers will check the manuscript abstract and necessary information and respond to editors to accept the review invitation within the specified time after receiving the invitation.The general rule is to reply within 24 hours.
Upon accepting the review invitation, reviewers will receive a link from the system to view the full manuscript and prepare the review report (format prescribed by the journal) within a preset period (2, 4, or 7 days). After reviewers successfully submit the review report in the system, editors will then check the review report and rate the review accordingly.
Once the manuscript is fully processed, the reviewer will receive a final report from the system, including other reviewers' comments (anonymous), the editor's final decision of the manuscript, the review quality score, and review efficiency report. This will help reviewers to improve their workthrough peer comments andto allow editors to select reviewers by referring to reviewers' review quality and efficiency. In return, reviewers are encouraged to improve their review quality and efficiency to improve their scores.
Archive Review Report
Reviewers need to archive the review report and will receive points reward after successful archiving.
Peer review is the basis to guarantee the scientificintegrity of academic research, a pivotal approach to evaluating the validity, quality, and originality of manuscripts, and a critical tool to eliminate meaningless or poor-quality manuscripts. The review process helps to improve the manuscripts worth publishing and facilitate the development of scientific research. We hope the ARES platform will relieve review work pressure for reviewers and editors by optimizing the review process. The systemis expected to enhance reviewers' participation and experience in peer review, allowing reviewers to enjoy the review work and engage more actively with improvedreview speed and quality.
We now describe the ARES system's requirements for reviewers. We hope you will read the COPE guidelines for reviewers and each journal's review requirements carefully to understand the specifications you should follow to complete a high-quality review.
Conflicts of Interest
Reviewers are required to specify their potential conflicts of interest with the author or the sponsor when responding to review invitations, including but not limited to financial conflicts of interest such as employment, consultancy, equity or options, remuneration, patents, andnon-gratuitous expert testimony, as well as non-financial conflicts of interest such as personal relations, competition or cooperation, nationality, gender, and religious beliefs.
Please decline the review invitation if you cannot remain objective during the review because of the conflict of interest.
Please decline the review invitation if the manuscript is similar to the manuscript you are submitting or preparing.
Please specify the situation to journal editors even if you insist that you give fair and objective comments to the manuscript despite the conflict of interest. The editor will decide whether or not you should continue the review.
Instead of eliminating all conflicts of interest in peer review, our goal is to maintain a more transparent and standard review process through exposure and assessment of conflicts of interest.
We believe a highly efficient review process is essential to both authors and journals. Therefore, reviewers are requested to respond to the review invitation and submit review comments within the agreed intervalto avoid delayed processing of the manuscript. In cases of force majeure, reviewers should inform the editorial office of the delay so that the editors caninform the author and make alternative plans accordingly. It is essential to appropriate peer review that reviewers efficiency, replying to review invitations and completing reviews within agreed-upon time frames. The review efficiency will be recorded in the final report. The average review efficiency will be displayed on your homepage to select the reviewer as an indicator for editors. Ensuring efficiency means both supports to the editors and enhancement of your credibility.
Reviewers are requested to keep the manuscript contents confidential, without stealing the author's ideas or conclusions for their own interests. Please ask for the editor's permission before sharingthe manuscript withothers if the manuscript requires review comments. The participant will then have access to the manuscript and obtain recognition from the editor. Reviewers should not disclose personal information (name, affiliation, etc.) in their review reports when the journal adopts single-blind or double-blind review mode. Review reports should be sent to the editorial office instead of the author. Although reviewers are required to keep their identities confidential to the author during the review process, the editorial office's identity could be disclosed if the reviewer wishes to reveal the information in certain circumstances. In such cases, the reviewer should contact the editorial office. The editors (not the reviewer) will disclose the information if necessaryto enhance transparency in the process.
To guarantee the validity of the review comments, reviewers should ensure that their reviews are completed without bias. Their remarks are given for manuscripts' contents, without mixing factors such as the author's gender, nationality, religious belief, political standpoint, or origin of the manuscript.
Reviewers should promptly report to the editorial office in case of any potential breach of research ethics or publishing misconduct such as duplicate publication, plagiarism, or breach of research ethics. This would helpcombat academic misconduct and defend the impartiality and seriousness of academic publishing. Reviewers should contact the editorial office promptly and report the case when they identifymisconduct.
Prepare Review Reports
The primary purposes of peer review are to provide evaluation reports of the manuscript for editors to make the decision and to help authors improve their manuscripts to a publishable level. We hope the review comments will allow authors to improve their manuscript quality as much as possible. Therefore, reviewers are expected to provideobjective and unbiased comments on the manuscript contents and to specify the manuscript's flaws in details for negative comments instead of personal abuse and meaningless criticism. Please read through the full manuscript and provide improvement suggestions to the author even if you do not believe the manuscript is worth publishing. In so doing, authors understand the approach to improve their manuscripts and obtain a better chance of publishing their manuscripts in the future.
Please read the journal's aims and scope and review requirements before writing a report to clarify the article preferences of different journals, this will help you make reasonable recommendations for the editor.
About Report Format
Please check the specific format requirements of review reports in journal websites before preparing review reports, and prepare your reports accordingly. The report should be written in informaland easy-to-understand language, avoiding rarely-used words. It shouldbe easy for non-native English speakers to understand. When making specific comments, please number the comments in sequence and refer to the corresponding pages and lines when describing particular comments, doing so will help the author to revise accordingly.
About Report Contents
Reviewers should provide impartial and unbiased reviews of the merits and flaws of the manuscript, point out improvement suggestions to the author when raising questions, and indicate additional analyses to improve the manuscripts. These suggestions must be based on reasonable academic or technical reasons. They should not be extended beyond the existing scope of the manuscript. We encourage reviewers to suggest citations of essential articles to clarify ideas inthe manuscript and expand the discussion process for readers. Yet, we oppose suggestion of citations that are irrelevant to the manuscript contents, or for the sole purpose of increasing reviewers' or their colleagues' citations.
Reviewers should not try to change the author's language style into their own if the language is clear and does not affect astatement's accuracy. Nevertheless, not every manuscript is written in understandable language. Please do not try to fix the language or format problems in case of such issues in the manuscript. These concerns should be raised in the report, and the author should fix the language problem. The formatting problems will be fixed in the copyediting stage.
Report All Doubts
In case of suspicion of misconduct in the manuscript, including plagiarism, self-plagiarism, falsification of data, falsification of a figure, duplicate publication, orexperimental ethical issues, please elaborate the case in comments the editor, including similar articles and reference information you noticed. Editors will verify the misconduct after receiving your comments and report you the verification and punishment measures. Identifying misconduct in time before publication will help avoid waste of resources and defend the scientific integrityand seriousness of academic research. Reviewers are expected to cooperate with editors to prevent misconduct.
Points Reward Rules
Newly-registered and verified reviewers to the platform will receive a 20-point registration reward. Reviewers will then receive points reward for activities such as reviewing manuscripts, inviting peers to join the ARES system, and recommending reviewers to editors. Reviewers are free to redeem the points for cash when they achieve a certain amount. The redeemed points will be eliminated once they are redeemed successfully.
Points reward rules are as follows:
Successfully registered and verified reviewers will receive a 20-point reward. Reviewers who accept the editor's invitation will receive registration rewards directly after completing the information. If the invited reviewers directly review the manuscript without completing the report, the review will be awarded after the review is completed.
Reviewers will receive 0–10 point rewards for each manuscript reviewed based on the scores of review quality and efficiency.
Reward for Recommending Reviewers
Reviewers, who reject review invitations, are encouraged to recommend alternatives to the editor. Once the alternatives are adopted by the editor, the reviewers will be rewarded with points.
Reward for Inviting Peers
Reviewers are encouraged to invite their peers to join ARES. They will receive 5 points if the invited peer registered successfully and verified as a reviewer.
Receive the points once verified
0-10 points/per manuscript
Based on the scores of review quality
1 point/per recommendation
Recommended reviewer is invited by the
The recommended peer is verified as a
Scores are based on the following indicators (full score: 5)
Familiarity with the field
Full and accurate comments
Proper and unbiased opinion
Facilitation to the manuscript
Overall Review Quality
The overall review quality means the average score of the above five indicators calculated by the system.
Scores are based on the following table (full score: 5)
Scenarios of submitting a review report
One day delayed
Two days delayed
Three days delayed
Delayed more than three days
No review report submitted before AE recommendation
Starting from 50 points. One point for 1US dollar. The redeemed points shall be eliminated once they are redeemed successfully.
The platform's annual rewards include the maximum number of reviews reward, the fastest reviewer reward, and the best review quality reward. The winners will receive a certificate accordingly.
Disciplinary measures refer to the following table.
These scenarios will be verified before punishment
Falsification of resumes or personal information
Cancel review qualification
Remove from the review pool
Ø Unethical review
Ø Violate the rules of conflicts of interest
Ø Violate the rules of confidentiality
Ø Interrupt review process
Ø Steal author’s work
Ø Seek inappropriate interest
Ø Other review misconduct
Ø First time:
Ø Second time:
Cancel review qualification
Remove from the review pool
Reported no reply to the review
invitation without explanation to editor
Half-year review ban
Reported no response after
accepting review invitation
Half-year review ban
Ø Plagiarism or falsification of data
Ø Misappropriation of the ideas of others
Ø Improprieties of authorship
Ø Material failure to comply with legislative
Ø Regulatory requirements affecting
Ø Duplicate publication or lack of declaration
Ø Inappropriate behavior concerning
Remove from the review pool