Press Room » Micrograms » Instructions for Reviewers
INSTRUCTIONS FOR REVIEWERS

I) To Volunteer to be a Reviewer for Microgram Journal

II) General Instructions

III) Ethical Guidelines

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I) To Volunteer to be a Reviewer for Microgram Journal

Qualified reviewers are needed for Microgram Journal, and volunteers are requested from the forensic/analytical communities. Volunteers should provide the following information to the Microgram Editor at the email or mailing addresses detailed below:

  • Full Name and Title.
  • Office or Laboratory Name and Mailing Address.
  • Personal email Address (if none, so state).
  • Brief Summary of Experience (education level; number of years working in the field; number of articles published; previous reviewing experience (yes/no); etc.).
  • Topics the Volunteer is Qualified to Review (e.g., "All", "Instrumentation", "Botanicals","Clandestine Laboratories", "Safety", "Microscopy", etc.).

Addresses:

dea-microgram -at- usdoj.gov
Microgram Editor
Drug Enforcement Administration
Office of Forensic Sciences
8701 Morrissette Drive
Springfield, VA 22152

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II) General Instructions

One of the primary goals of Microgram Journal is rapid publication of quality manuscripts. In order to meet this goal, expeditious handling by both the Editor and the reviewers is required. In general, all manuscripts will be first subjected to an quick pre-review by the Editor in order to cull out submissions that either have inappropriate subject matter or otherwise do not meet the minimum standards for consideration. Following this editorial pre-review, wherever possible, manuscripts will be electronically forwarded to two reviewers (i.e., as attachments to emails). The reviewers will be selected based on their self-stated area(s) of expertise. Hard copy submissions (which should be rare) will be converted to .pdf format in order to facilitate rapid electronic redistribution to reviewers. The target goal for reviewers for turnaround is three weeks from the date of receipt; however, extended turnaround times will be specified for longer and/or more complex submissions, and will also be considered upon request by reviewers. In order to avoid extended delays due to reviewers not being present at their offices, reviewers should send a "Receipt Acknowledged" email to the Editor upon receipt of a manuscript for review. If no response is received within five business days, it will be assumed that the reviewer is out of their office or otherwise unavailable, and the manuscript will be forwarded to another reviewer. In such cases, the original (non-responding) reviewer will receive a second email informing them of the change, and relieving them of the responsibility of performing the requested review.

When conducting the review, the reviewer should be mindful that their primary goal is the enhancement of the manuscript's quality. The reviewer should objectively judge the organizational layout, the presented work, and the derived conclusions, and make suggestions where appropriate. In general, reviews can take one of two forms. If the write-up is essentially acceptable, needing only minor changes and/or "editorial" corrections of various typos, sentence structure, grammar, etc., those changes can be directly annotated on a hard copy of the manuscript (Note: Written annotations must be clear and legible!) However, if the write-up will require moderate to extensive rewriting, or moderate to extensive additional work, then the reviewer should type up a formal response which details the issues needing clarification, correction, and/or expansion. In the latter cases, the reviewer should not also perform the "editorial" markups, since many of those corrections will likely be rendered moot in the revision, and also to avoid overwhelming the principal issues with a host of minor corrections (however, general observations such as "The reference format is incorrect", "The manuscript should be double spaced", or "There are a large number of typos in the text" are acceptable and encouraged).

Typed responses from reviewers should clearly explain and support their judgments and suggestions, so that both the Editor and the authors can understand and act on them. Where appropriate, references to previously published work that is germane to the review should be cited in support of the reviewers' comments. However, unsupportable assertions should be avoided, and the intellectual independence of the author(s) should be respected.

Typed responses should be emailed to the Editor ( but not to the authors!) Annotated manuscripts should be converted to .pdf format and emailed to the Editor as an attachment to email. If this is not practical, then it should be faxed to the Editor at: 202 307-8851; in such cases, the cover letter should specify: "Attention: Microgram Editor".

The following list specifying the degree of acceptance/rejection should be used by the reviewer:

  • Accept As Is.
  • Accept With Minor Corrections As Noted.
  • Return to the Authors for Minor Changes.
  • Return to the Authors for Moderate Changes.
  • Willing to Do a Secondary Review?: Yes No
  • Return to the Authors for Major Changes.
  • Willing to Do a Secondary Review?: Yes No
  • Reject

In addition, as noted above, if the reviewer has selected a "Return to Authors for Moderate/Major Changes" option, they should also specify whether they would be willing to conduct a secondary review if/when the authors submit a revised manuscript.

Finally, if the reviewer feels that a submission would be more appropriately published in a different journal, they should so indicate, specifying the suggested journal(s).

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III) Ethical Guidelines

All manuscripts are confidential documents, and must be kept secure and private by the reviewer. Printoffs (and/or photocopies) should not be made except for purposes of the review itself (NOTE: If the reviewer has indicated a willingness to conduct a secondary review, they may retain a copy of their annotated copy of the manuscript for their future reference; otherwise, all electronic and/or hard copies should be destroyed upon completion of the review). If the reviewer feels that the topic is outside their area of expertise, or if they cannot complete the review in a timely fashion, or if they feel they have either a personal or professional conflict of interest that could possibly influence their impartiality and objectivity, they should discontinue the review and immediately notify the Editor. Manuscripts should be judged based on their relative merits alone, without regard to authorship or the country or professional affiliation of the author(s). Criticism (even harsh criticism) of the quality of the work and/or write-up is acceptable where merited; however, personal criticism of an author or authors is inappropriate, and must be avoided. Finally, if the reviewer is aware that the manuscript is essentially a duplicate of previously published or currently co-submitted work by the authors, or is highly similar to previously published work by different authors, they should immediately bring that fact to the attention of the Editor.

Questions should be directed to the Editor.


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