EIM Reviewer Guidelines

Guidelines for EIM Reviews

 Quality peer reviews are critical for ensuring the quality and relevance of submissions to EIM. Your evaluation will be pivotal in our decision as to whether to accept a paper for the EIM conference.  We expect you to be fair, respect author rights, and to submit your review on time.  We trust that you will not use material from a manuscript you have reviewed, nor will you share material from a manuscript you have reviewed with others.  We also trust you to be thorough and professional in your review, providing guidance as to the merits and demerits of each submission so that we can accurately judge which papers will make for an excellent and useful conference on environmental information management.  The rest of this document provides guidelines for your review.  We are very grateful for the time and effort you spend in the review process.


Conflicts of Interest

If you might have difficulty writing an objective review, please return the paper immediately, unreviewed. If your prior contact with the author or their institution presents a potential conflict of interest, but you can still be objective about the work, please report the potential conflict in the confidential comments to the conference Director. Some potential conflicts that should be reported include co-authorship on papers or grants within the past 48 months, institutional affiliations such as working for the same university, and any advisor/advisee connections.


Review criteria

In your review's comments to the author, you should identify the major contributions of the paper to environmental information management.  Do the contributions represent new approaches to EIM, new mechanisms for deploying EIM technologies, or applications or EIM that shed light on best practices?  What are the papers major strengths and major weaknesses? Is the paper suitable for publication in the proceedings of the EIM? Is the paper of relevance to the EIM topically, and will it be of interest to EIM attendees?

General comments in your review should address the following:

    • Scientific and technical soundness
    • Originality of contributions
    • Generality of contribution across many EIM practitioners
    • Relevance to EIM attendees
    • Effectiveness of paper in organization and clarity
    • Degree to which conclusions are supported
    • Degree to which the paper is compared to prior related literature

Specific comments in the review should provide support for your general comments with specific evidence.  You should explain why you reached your general conclusions, whether positive or negative, with examples from the paper. Do the title, abstract, and keywords summarize the major points of the paper?  Is the writing coherent, concise, and effective?  Are there any errors in the cited facts, in approaches, in methodology, or in interpretation?  Are the conclusions appropriate for the paper, or do they make broad claims that are not supported by the results?  Are all relevant references to prior literature cited? Are all factual assertions backed up by an appropriate citation?


Tone of the review

If the research reported can be criticized, criticize the science, not the person. Generally, harsh and/or unsubstantiated criticism in a review will harden the author and make them unlikely to internalize your concerns.  The objective of your review should be to provide constructive criticism that explains the strengths and weaknesses of the paper and convinces the author that you have thought carefully about the content and context of the findings. Your criticisms should not be simply differences of opinion, but rather should address major technical or scientific deficiencies in the work, and should be supported by ample evidence from the paper. It is as important to be positive about the strengths of the paper as it is to identify the deficiencies.

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