Every participant in the peer-review and publication process—including, authors, editors, editorial board members, and reviewers—must consider their conflicts of interest when participating in the process of article review and publication and must disclose all relationships that could be viewed as potential conflicts of interest.

Editors who make final decisions about manuscripts should recuse themselves from editorial decisions if they have conflicts of interest or relationships that pose potential conflicts related to articles under consideration.


Types of Conflicts of Interest

Personal Conflicts

Editors should avoid making decisions on manuscripts submitted from their own institution, or by research collaborators, or co-authors, or competitors. To avoid the possibility of bias, editors should recuse themselves if they have published with, have collaborated with, or have been in a mentoring relationship with any author or contributor of the manuscript within the past three years.

Financial Conflicts

The most apparent type of conflict of financial interest occurs when an editor or affiliated organization may benefit financially from a decision to publish or to reject a manuscript. All financial interests of authors should be disclosed. In addition to national and international research funding bodies, these include:

- the name of granting bodies

- the source of commissioned research

- past and current investments in gambling and problem gambling treatment businesses

Non-financial Conflicts

Other nonfinancial conflicts of interest should also be avoided or disclosed. Editorial decisions should be based on an objective and impartial consideration of the suitability and quality of the manuscript, exclusive of personal or professional bias. Non-financial conflicts involve consideration of:

Whether the reviewer has a history of research collaboration with the author/s  

Whether the reviewer has a history of public or private conflict with the author/s

Specific Conflict of Interest Policies

One challenge for editors is to recognize the potential for conflicts of interest and to take appropriate action when biases are likely. These are the policies we follow to address potential conflicts of interest.

Submission by an Editor

A paper submitted by an editor will be handled by a member of the editorial board who does not have a conflict with the review and who is not at the same institution as the submitting editor. The nominated editor will select referees and make all decisions on the paper. In such circumstances, full masking of the process must be ensured so that the anonymity of the peer reviewers is maintained. Therefore, the editor submitting the paper will not have access to the review records of their own manuscript.

Submission From the Same Institution

A paper submitted by author at the same institution as one of the editors will be handled by a member of the editorial board who is at another institution. The nominated editor will select referees and make all decisions on the paper.


We encourage all reviewers to identify themselves to the author of manuscripts reviewed and to the readers of the journal through acknowledgement in the manuscript. However, we recognise that in some circumstances this is not possible and this will not prejudice our choice of reviewers.


For Authors

You may nominate up to three authors in the field of gambling studies who you do not wish to review the manuscript.

You may also nominate up to three authors in the field of gambling studies you judge to have relevant expertise in the topic your manuscript addresses.


For Reviewers

Do you have financial interests that are related to the topic or viewpoint expressed in this manuscript? (eg. you have received funding from related business or agencies or invested in businesses that deliver gambling or treatment for problem gambling)


Do you have non-financial interests that are related to the author, topic or viewpoint expressed in this manuscript (eg. you have collaborated professionally or have a history of public or private conflict with the author). 


In order to make the reviewing process as transparent as possible, you should know that your paper will be reviewed according to the following standards.  These standards can also be used as a checklist for authors prior to submission. 

Quality of Research

This rating should reflect how thorough the research is in relation to the aspect of gambling under consideration.

-3 Extremely weak research.

-2 Very weak research, but a little of value.

-1 Weak research, but with some potential value.

0 Parts of the research are valuable .

1 Worthwhile research, but needs work.

2 Some or much of the research is very good.

3 Strong research which makes a meaningful contribution to existing scholarship on the topic. 


Clarity of Methodology

This rating should reflect how clearly the author(s) convey the methodology behind the research, keeping in mind that people from many disciplines – as well as potentially an interested public – might be reading the paper.

-3 Extremely unclear or absent methodology.

-2 Unclear or seriously incomplete methodology.

-1 Methodology lacking some clarity or detail.

0 A methodology which is minimally sufficient.

1 Methodology with more than minimal detail.

2 A fairly detailed and fleshed-out methodology.

3 A very detailed methodology with few if any omissions. 


Persuasiveness of Argument

This rating reflects the extent to which the reader can follow and potentially be persuaded by the author/s argument.  There should not be obvious gaps, omissions, or flaws in the argument).

-3 Argument is entirely or almost entirely unconvincing.

-2 Argument is broadly unconvincing.

-1 Argument does not fully convince, but is persuasive in parts.

0 Argument just about convinces, but leaves some important gaps.

1 Argument is fairly convincing, but needs more work.

2 Argument is convincing, with few gaps.

3 Argument is highly convincing, with no or minor gaps.


Use of qualitative and/or quantitative evidence

This rating should reflect how the evidence marshalled supports and informs the assertions and arguments of the paper.

-3 Evidence is barely used or does not support the paper in any real way.

-2 Little evidence is deployed or hardly supports the paper.

-1 There is evidence, but too little, or it fails to support the paper.

0 Evidence is just about sufficient to support the paper.

1 Evidence is more than minimally sufficient, but could be used better.

2 Evidence supports most assertions and arguments in the paper.

3 Evidence amply supports all the assertions and arguments in the paper.


Theoretical Frameworks

This rating should reflect the detail and relevance of the theoretical frameworks used, with a particular focus on providing a comprehensive and convincing grounding for the rest of the paper.

-3 There is no theoretical foundation.

-2 There are only a handful of ideas in lieu of a full theoretical background.

-1 There is some theory, but it is poorly developed or applied.

0 Theoretical foundation just about makes clear the paper’s orientation.

1 Theoretical foundation is convincing, but needs a lot more detail.

2 The theoretical foundation is strong, but needs a little more detail.

3 The theoretical framework used is comprehensive, detailed, and productively applied.


Quality of writing and intelligibility

This rating should reflect the clarity and quality of the writing, keeping in mind a diverse range of disciplinary readers.

-3 Writing is extremely unclear.

-2 Writing is very unclear.

-1 Writing is unclear, but could be improved with work.

0 Writing is adequate, but needs serious attention in a revision.

1 Writing is good, but needs more attention.

2 Writing is  strong throughout, with a few typos or unclear passages.

3 Writing is of very high quality throughout.



This rating should reflect the originality of the research – to what extent is this a genuinely new contribution to our critical understanding of gambling and related phenomena?

-3 There is nothing or almost nothing new in this paper.

-2 There are only a small number of new ideas in this paper.

-1 This paper has some new ideas, but not enough for a complete paper.

0 There is some originality in this paper, but it is not significant, or needs to be made more explicit.

1 This is a piece of research with some originality.

2 This definitely an original piece of research.

3 This is a highly original piece of research.



This rating should reflect the organisation of the paper – how well are the elements of the paper (argument, methodology, theoretical framework and supporting evidence) tied together, from the introduction through to the conclusion?

-3 There is no structure to organise the paper.

-2 The structure is difficult to discern.

-1 There is a structure but it is somewhat unclear.

0 The paper’s structure is adequate.

1 The structure is sound but lacks signposting.

2 The structure is strong and supports the paper’s content well.

3 The paper is organised very well and flows clearly throughout.


Figures, tables and supplementary data (if relevant)

This rating should reflect how well figures, tables and supplementary data is presented.  Are these clear, easy to read, and an important aspect of the paper as a whole?

-3 The figures/tables/supplementary data are unnecessary

-2 The figures/ tables/ supplementary data are tangential to the paper

-1 The figures/ tables/ supplementary data are not clearly relevant and/or poorly presented

0 The figures/tables/supplementary data are relevant but inadequately or poorly presented

1 The figures/tables/supplementary data are important but work is needed on presentation/ clarity

2 The figures/tables/supplementary data are clear and enhance the paper

3 The figures/tables/supplementary data are clear and extremely well presented