General Provisions

1. The Reviewer Code located on this page is an integral part of RSUTS Publisher Standard (Policy) regarding an ethical behavior of the parties engaged in publication: authors, editors, reviewer, publisher. The below mentioned standards are based on the common and existing international practice of the policy of scientific journals and publishers, it applies to all materials of the scientific journals published by RSUTS Publisher.

2. Russian State University of Tourism and Service, as the founder and publisher of scientific journals Service and Tourism: Current Challenges, Service in Russia and Abroad, Service Plus, Universities for Tourism and Service Association Bulletin (hereinafter referred to as the Journal), assumes the obligation to control all stages of articles reviewing and recognizes its ethical and other obligations related to this process.

1. General rules of article peer-reviewing

1.1. RSUTS Publisher within a year shall accept scientific and scientific and practical articles on acute issues on service and tourism for publication. Materials not published previously and not intended for other journals are approved for publication.

1.2. The peer-reviewing principle accepted in the Journals is a bilateral “blind” peer-reviewing. The anonymity of the author avoids bias on the part of the reviewer. Articles shall be considered based on their content, and not based on the reputation of the author.

1.3. The Journal shall organize peer-reviewing of all materials submitted to the editor conforming to its subject matter for their expert evaluation. All reviewers are recognized specialists on the subject matter of the reviewed materials and have publications on the subject matter of the reviewed article for the last three years. Peer-reviews are stored at the Journal of RSUTS Publisher for 5 years.

1.4. A manuscript of the submitted scientific article shall be considered by the Editor-in-Chief and/or Scientific Editor of RSUST Publisher for compliance with the journal's profile, submission requirements, it is subject to Anti-Plagiarism program check. The volume of plagiarism shall not exceed 10% for PhD, 20% – for Graduate Students, 30% – for Students. In case the specified volume of plagiarism is exceeded, an article shall not be considered and returned to the author(s). If the indicator complies with the specified rate, the article shall be registered indicating the date of materials submission.

1.5. The Editor-in-Chief shall send the article for peer-reviewing to one or, if necessary, two experts (reviewers). For peer-reviewing of the article manuscripts we can engage the members of the Editors of the Journal as well as highly qualified scientist of the University and specialist of other organizations and higher education institutions with profound knowledge and work experience in the specific scientific field, as a rule, PhD, Associate Professors, Professors as experts (reviewers).

1.6. Payment of experts (reviewers) work, not being the members of the Editors, shall be made according to the applicable rules.

1.7. Any specialist engaged in the peer-reviewing shall adhere to the principle of confidentiality – it is necessary for the reviewer to treat the manuscripts received by for peer-reviewing as confidential documents. Reviewers shall be notified that the manuscripts sent to them is a private property of the authors and refer to the data not subject to disclosure. It is prohibited to show or discuss them with other persons except for the responsible persons on behalf of the editor. Unpublished materials contained in the transferred manuscript shall not be used in the individual research of the reviewer without a direct written consent of the author executed through the editor. Confidential information or ideas received during peer-reviewing shall not be disclosed and used by the reviewer for own benefit.

1.8. Peer-reviewing shall be performed based on the mutual confidentiality. The Editors of the journals shall adhere to the principle of anonymity, and confidentiality of peer-reviewing and they do not provide the details of the reviewer to the author and vice versa. The Editors shall send the author of the peer-reviewed publication a review without indicating the reviewer details. Violation of the confidentiality principle is possible only in case a reviewer informs about textual or ideological plagiarism, unreliability, or falsification of the materials presented in the article.

1.9. The Journal shall send the review copies or a reasoned refusal to the authors of the submitted materials, and also it shall send the review copies to the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (and/or their authorized structures) in case it received a respective request.

1.10. If the article review contains a note about the need to edit it, the article shall be sent to the author for correcting. In this case the date of submission to the editorship shall be the date the corrected work was returned.

1.11. The article sent to the author for correction shall be returned corrected within the specified time. It is necessary to attach to the corrected manuscript a letter from the author with response to all notes and explanations of the amendments and additions introduced to the article.

1.12. If according to the recommendation of the reviewer the article was subject to significant author revision, it shall be sent for a repeated peer-reviewing to the same reviewer who made critical notes.

1.13. A decision on approval or rejection of the manuscript shall be made according to the discussion results of the editors or Editor-in-Chief of the journal. Before making a decision, the Editor-in-Chief shall analyze all reviews and can ask for an opinion of the journal's editors or third person, as well he can ask the author to correct and/or complete the material of the article. The Editors shall reserve the right to reject articles in case the author cannot or does not want to consider the comments of the Editor and/or Reviewer.

1.14. In case of negative reviews on the manuscript from two different reviewers, the article shall be rejected from publication without being considered by other members of the Editors.

1.15. In case the author does not agree with the opinion of the reviewer, he shall be entitled to submit in writing to the editor of the Journal a reasoned justification for the article publication. The article can be sent for approval to the Editorial Board.

1.16. Decision on viability of publication after peer-reviewing shall be made by the Editor-in-Chief, and, if necessary, – by the entire Editors. A final decision on approval or rejection of the manuscript shall be made by the Editor-in-Chief of the journal.

1.17. The author of the article shall be at all times notified about the decision made with regard to the manuscript on it (non) publication in the Journal.

1.18. The authors shall hold a personal liability for accuracy, completeness and reliability of all information, facts, data presented in the article. The Journal can sometimes disagree with the opinions and provisions expressed by the authors of the publications. Nevertheless, the Editorial Board provides a discussion opportunity on the pages of the Journal.

1.19. It is compulsory to include references to the Journal when citing the articles published in it.

1.20. These Peer-Reviewing Rules are based on the recommendations of the Committee on Publication Ethics – COPE, as well as the Guide for Elsevier Publisher reviewers.

2. Universal (basic) principles of scientific article peer-reviewing

2.1. Peer-reviewing is aimed at a strict selection of the author manuscripts for the Journal and provision of certain recommendation for their enhancement. A review shall objectively evaluate a scientific article and contain a thorough analysis of its scientific and methodological advantages and disadvantages.

2.2. Experts (reviewers) shall:

  • agree for peer-reviewing of only those manuscripts they have enough knowledge for and which they can review timely;
  • respect confidentiality of the review and not disclose any details of the manuscript or review during or after peer-reviewing to anyone except for the persons authorized for it by the journal;
  • not use the information received during peer-reviewing for own benefit or benefit of other persons or organization, or for harm to other persons, or discrimination of other persons;
  • claim about all possible conflicts of interests and ask for advice from the Journal if they are not sure whether the existing situation is subject to the conflict of interests;
  • not allow for the content of their review being influenced by the origin of the manuscript, nationality, religious affiliation, political and other views of its authors, or commercial considerations;
  • make a review in an objective and constructive manner, restricting from hostile or inflammatory statements, as well as defamatory or derogatory comments;
  • understand that being the researchers they need fair reviews of their colleagues, thus, fairly perform peer-reviewing;
  • submit to the Journal an accurate and reliable information about their personal and professional knowledge and experience;
  • be aware that trying to impersonate another person during peer reviewing is a serious violation of the appropriate behavior.

3. Peer-reviewing process of the scientific articles

3.1. When preparing for peer-reviewing an expert (reviewer) shall:

  • promptly respond to the offer to write a review, especially if he is not going to write it;
  • if he does not know the subject of the research for review, state it directly, and if he can evaluate only any part of the manuscript, specify the field margins he has enough knowledge of;
  • agree for peer-reviewing of the manuscript only if he is sure than he can make a review within the proposed or mutually agreed term, promptly notifying the Journal if he needs the term to be extended;
  • declare all possible conflicts of interest (related, for example, to personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political, or religious interests) and ask for advice from the Journal if he is not sure whether the current situation is subject to the conflict of interest or not;
  • review again any manuscript that he had previously reviewed for the Journal, since during this time its text could have changed in the process of correction and revision by the author;
  • make sure that an offer to act as an alternative reviewer was made without bias, not being the result of personal preferences and not made so that the manuscript receives a deliberately defined assessment (positive or negative);
  • not agree for peer-reviewing of the manuscript only to have an opportunity to read it without intentions to make its review;
  • refuse from review preparation if he feels he cannot make an unbiased and fair evaluation;
  • refuse from review preparation if he participated in any work related to the preparation of the manuscript or in the researched described therein;
  • refuse from review preparation if he does not agree with the peer-reviewing rules accepted by the Journal.

3.2. During peer-reviewing an expert (reviewer) shall:

  • promptly notify the Journal and ask for advice if he detects any conflict of interest overlooked at the time he agreed to make a review, or any other circumstances preventing him from making a fair and unbiased evaluation of the article;
  • carefully read the manuscript, supporting materials (for example, files with attachments), addressing the Journal if he has any questions and requesting the missing information necessary to make a high-quality review;
  • notify the Journal as soon as possible if he discovers that he does not have sufficient knowledge to evaluate all aspects of the manuscript, without waiting for the date of the review submission, as this will unduly delay the review process;
  • not engage anyone into review execution, including his assistants without consent of the Journal;
  • names of all persons assisting the reviewers in the review’s execution shall be included in the text so that the fact of their participation is registered in the Journal, and the Journal could express its gratitude;
  • not disclose any details of the manuscript and review;
  • inform the Journal if circumstances arise that prevent him from preparing a review in a timely manner, providing an accurate estimate of the time that will be required if the Journal does not appoint another reviewer instead;
  • in case of a “blind” peer-reviewing if he guesses about the name of the author(s) notify the Journal about it if such knowledge may cause the conflict of interests;
  • promptly notify the Journal if he finds any errors in the work, is worried about the ethics of the work, becomes aware of significant similarity of the manuscript and another document, or he suspects that the author acted unfairly (for example, sent the same manuscript to the other journals) during research or submission of the manuscript to the journal;
  • not drag on the peer-reviewing process holding back presentation of his review or requesting additional unnecessary information from the journal or author;
  • make sure that the evaluation included in the review is based on the properties of the works and it is not affected (neither positive or negative) by any personal, financial, or other considerations and scientific preferences;
  • not contact counselors directly without a prior consent of the Journal.

3.3. When making a review an expert (reviewer) shall:

  • remember that the editor expects him to have knowledge in the subject field, common sense, and also honest and fair evaluation of strong and weak sides of the work and manuscript;
  • if the review (upon request of the Journal) covers only certain aspects of the work, mention it at the beginning of the review and clearly state what aspects exactly;
  • follow the instructions of the journal regarding certain feedback required from him, and if there are no good reasons not to perform it, such relation shall be organized;
  • make an objective and constructive review which can help the authors improve their manuscript;
  • not allow offensive personal comments or evidence-free accusations;
  • be precise in his criticism, if necessary, confirm it with trustworthy evidence and respective references to his general conclusions to help the editor form correct evaluations and decisions following an objective relation to the authors;
  • remember that a manuscript is an author's work and not try to rewrite it in accordance with his stylistic preferences if in general it is good and clearly written; though proposals on improvement of cohesion are always welcome;
  • clearly state what proposed additional research can support the conclusions made in the reviewed manuscript and can enhance or extend the work;
  • not make a review in the way that there are grounds to assume that it has been written by another person;
  • not portray other people in a negative light or biased in his review;
  • not make unfair negative comments or unfair criticism regarding any works of the competitors specified or not specified in the manuscript;
  • make sure that the comments and recommendations for the editor agree with the text of the review for the authors;
  • the main part of the information shall be included in the report sent to the authors;
  • confidential comments sent to the editor shall not contain any defamation and false accusations against authors made in the belief that the authors will not see these comments;
  • not propose the authors to include the references to the works of the reviewer (or his colleagues) to the publication only so that increase citing or visibility of his own works; all proposals to the authors shall be made only based on their scientific or technological value;
  • be entitled to use the review form recommended by the Journal as the review. On request a reviewer can make a review in any form provided that he follows the obligatory points.

3.4. After making a review an expert (reviewer) shall:

  • continue keeping the details of the manuscript and its review confidential;
  • promptly reply if there are any questions from the Journal related to the manuscript and provide the necessary information;
  • contact the Journal if after submitting his review they became aware of any important facts which could influence its initial opinion and recommendations;
  • read reviews of other reviewers if they are provided by the Journal so that enhance his understanding of this subject or his conclusions on the work;
  • comply with the requests of the Journal on reviewing the changes introduced to the manuscript or its latest version.

Additional informational resources

1. What is peer-reviewing? (In Russ.).

2. Methodological recommendations for a reviewer (Translation of the Guides of the Committee on Publication Ethics – COPE and Elsevier Publisher) (In Russ.).

3. Review Guide of Elsevier Company (In Russ.).

4. Elsevier for Reviewers

5. Elsevier: What is peer review?

6. COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers

7. Peer Review Examples

8. Career advice: how to peer review a paper

9. Step by step guide to reviewing a manuscript

10. How to Write a Peer Review: 12 things you need to know