Review Guidelines

Introduction to Reviewing Manuscripts for Majalah Obat Tradisional (Traditional Medicine Journal)

"The review process is an important aspect of the publication process of an article. It helps an editor in making decision on an article and also enables the author to improve the manuscript. Majalah Obat Tradisional (Traditional Medicine Journal) operates a double-blind peer review system." AJ

Reviewer’s role is to assist the Editor in making editorial decisions, making sure that the manuscript topic fits with the journal’s focus and scope, and, through the Editorial Board, provides the author with review results that may also assist the author in improving the paper.

Before accepting to review, the reviewer should ensure that:

  1. The manuscript is within their area of expertise. 
  2. They are able to dedicate the appropriate time to conduct a critical review of the manuscript.


Conflict of Interest

“Conflict of interest (COI) exists when there is a divergence between an individual’s private interests (competing interests) and his or her responsibilities to scientific and publishing activities such that a reasonable observer might wonder if the individual’s behavior or judgment was motivated by considerations of his or her competing interests” WAME.

”Reviewers should declare their conflicts of interest and recuse themselves from the peer-review process if a conflict exists”. ICMJE

Review process should be conducted objectively based on the intellectual content of the paper regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, citizenry nor political values of author(s). Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. Reviewer should express their views clearly with supporting arguments.



"Manuscripts are confidential materials given to a reviewer in trust for the sole purpose of critical evaluation. Reviewers should ensure that the review processes are confidential. Details of the manuscript and the review process should remain confidential during and after the review process." AJ

Any manuscripts received for review must be treated as confidential documents. They must not be shown to or discussed with others except as authorized by the editor. The submitted manuscript should not be retained or copied.

Privileged information or ideas obtained through review process must be kept confidential. Reviewers should not make any use of the data, arguments, or interpretations, unless they have the authors’ permission. Reviewers should not consider manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers. Any observed conflict of interest during the review process must be communicated to the Editor.



‘The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own’ Oxford Dictionaries

It is unethical for reviewers to “use information obtained during the peer-review process for their own or any other person’s or organization’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others” COPE

Reviewers should identify relevant published work that has not been cited by the authors. Any statement that an observation, derivation, or argument had been previously reported should be accompanied by the relevant citation. The references should be written using Harvard style. A reviewer should also call to the editor's attention any substantial similarity or overlap between the manuscript under consideration and any other published paper of which they have personal knowledge.


Review reports

In evaluating a manuscript, reviewers should focus on the following:

  • Contribution to the field 
  • Technical quality 
  • Clarity of presentation 
  • Depth of research
  • Observe that the author(s) have followed the instruction for authors, editorial policies and publication ethics. 
  • Observe that the appropriate journal’s reporting guidelines is followed 

The report should be accurate, objective, constructive and unambiguous. Comments should be backed by facts and constructive arguments with regards to the content of the manuscript. Reviewers should avoid using “hostile, derogatory and accusatory comments” PIE.

Reviewers should not rewrite the manuscript; however necessary corrections and suggestions for improvements should be made.



Reviewers should only accept manuscript that they are confident that they can dedicate appropriate time in reviewing. Reviewer who feels unqualified to review the manuscript should notify the editor and excuse themselves from the review process within the given deadline.

Thus, reviewers should review and return manuscripts in a timely manner.



Reviewers’ recommendation should be either:

  • Accept 
  • Accept with minor revision 
  • Accept with major revision 
  • Reject


Recommendation should be backed with constructive arguments and facts based on the content of the manuscript.