Reviewer Guidelines & Editorial Manager Tutorial

The following tutorial and guidelines are intended as a reference tool for reviewers of The AAPS Journal, an electronic journal of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.


  • Conscientious peer review of manuscripts requires careful consideration and is essential to assure high-quality content for the e-journals of AAPS.
  • Reviewer comments are blinded, and their identities are not known by the Author(s) of the manuscript.
  • Reviewer comments should be as complete and detailed as possible and contain clear opinions about strengths, weaknesses, relevance, and importance to the field.
  • Specific comments that cite manuscript sections, pages, paragraphs, or lines are exceptionally useful.
  • Reviewers should consider themselves mentors of the Author(s). Reviewer comments should, therefore, be constructive and be offered for purposes of enhancing the manuscript.
  • Reviewers may find it helpful to complete their review in a word processing program and copy and paste the information into the comments box during their review submission.
  • Reviewers should NOT contact Authors to discuss a manuscript.
  • Reviewers should NOT reveal, cite, or in any way disclose information about a manuscript prior to its publication.
  • Reviewers should NOT agree to review a manuscript if there is an actual or perceived conflict of interest.


  • Is the information presented of significant interest to the readership of the AAPS e-journals?
  • Is the title of the manuscript accurate, and does it sufficiently describe the content of the manuscript?
  • Is the purpose or objective of the manuscript clearly stated?
  • Are the methods appropriate and scientifically sound?
  • If the manuscript is based on data, do the data represent an adequate population? Is a valid statistical justification included to support the conclusions?
  • Are appropriate statistical tests used?
  • Are the tables and figures well designed? Do they add to the understanding of the text? Is the information presented in the tables and figures redundant?
  • Are the references cited the most appropriate to support the manuscript?


  • Reviewers are invited either at the discretion of the Editor or at the request of the Author(s). Reviewers will receive an invitation to review via email and will be asked to log on to Editorial Manager to accept or decline the invitation.
  • Follow the link to Editorial Manager from your email invitation. If the link does not work, type in to access Editorial Manager.
  • Login to Editorial Manager with your Username and Password and be sure to click ‘Reviewer Login’ after you enter your login information.
  • On the ‘Reviewer Main Menu,’ click ‘New Reviewer Invitation’ to view details about the manuscript, and to accept or decline the invitation to review.
  • Click ‘View Submission’ once you are in your ‘New Reviewer Invitations’ folder. This will open a PDF version of the manuscript, where you can view the full text of the paper in addition to the abstract and keywords.
  • If you would like to review the manuscript, click ‘Agree to Review.’ If you decide not to review the manuscript, click ‘Decline to Review.’ There will be a space for comments when you decline an assignment and, while these comments are helpful for our Editors, they are not mandatory.


  • After carefully considering the manuscript, Reviewers have the option of submitting a recommendation for decision to the Editor. Reviewers should give as many details as possible to support their recommendation.
  • Submitting a recommendation of Accept indicates the Reviewer believes the manuscript should be published in its current iteration.
  • Submitting a recommendation of Revise indicates the Reviewer believes the Author(s) need to revise the manuscript, either substantially or insubstantially, before it can be considered for publication. AAPS Editors may issue decisions of Revise Major and Revise Minor; Reviewers should indicate their preferred revision level by elaborating on a Revise recommendation in the comments section.
  • Submitting a recommendation of Reject indicates the Reviewer believes the manuscript should NOT be published.


  • Once you agree to review a manuscript, the assignment will move into your ‘Pending Assignments’ folder on the Reviewer Main Menu. From this folder, you may ‘View Submission’ as many times as necessary before submitting your recommendation to the Editor.
  • When you are ready to submit your comments, click ‘Submit Recommendation.’ Again, it may be helpful to complete your review in a word processing program and copy and paste the information into the comments box during review submission. After clicking ‘Submit Recommendation,’ you will be taken to the ‘Reviewer Recommendation and Comments’ screen.
  • Choose a recommendation of Accept, Reject, or Revise from the pull-down menu, and then give the manuscript an overall rating between 1 and 100.
  • You may also be given a series of Manuscript Rating Questions, and you’ll be asked to rate the manuscript on a scale of 1 to 5 based on those questions.
  • You must now enter text into the ‘Reviewer Blind Comments to Author’ box and the ‘Reviewer Confidential Comments to Editor’ box. The Author(s) of the manuscript WILL be able to view the comments placed in the ‘Reviewer Blind Comments to Author’ box, but those comments will be blinded and not in any way affiliated with Reviewer contact information. Comments placed in the ‘Reviewer Confidential Comments to Editor’ box will only be viewed by the Editor. This box is also where Reviewers must indicate any potential conflicts of interest.
  • Reviewers always have the option to save their review and submit it later, and to proof and/or print their review.
  • When you are ready to submit your comments, click ‘Proceed.’ This is your final opportunity to edit your comments. Click ‘Submit Review to Journal Office’ when you are ready to complete your assignment.
  • Reviewers will always be able to view previously submitted recommendations. Once they are submitted, all reviews are moved into the ‘Completed Assignments’ folder on the Reviewer Main Menu, where they can be accessed at any time.

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