Reviewer Guidelines


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.

Once all editorial decisions have been finalized, 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.

For reviewers, we request that you use the following rubric to assist you in judging the merits and weaknesses of the manuscript. Your report should refer to the rubric criteria to justify the reason for your recommendation. While the report does not need to be very long, it should briefly explain why you scored some parts as relatively higher or lower, as well as what is needed to lift the quality of parts that you scored as mid-range. This will assist the editors’ judgement, as well as helping authors who have been asked to revise or resubmit to improve the weakest parts of their paper and to signpost the most important evidence and arguments.

The Committee on Publication Ethics provides a more detailed explanation of best practice in peer-reviewing.

1. Research

This rating should reflect the quality of research on the aspect of gambling under consideration.  The paper should aim to make a valuable contribution to existing knowledge in the field.

1 Insufficient research.

2 Very weak research, but some of value.

3 Adequate research but value to the field is not clear.

4 Much of the research is clearly of value to the field.

5 Most of the research clearly contributes to the field.

6 Overall the research makes an important contribution to the field.

7 Excellent research which makes a significant contribution to the field. 

2. Methodology

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

1 Absent methodology.

2 Incomplete methodology.

3 Methodology is present but lacks some important details.

4 Methodology is sufficient.

5 Methodology is well fleshed out.

6 Methodology is detailed and well applied.

7 Methodology is meticulously explained and skilfully applied. 

3. Argument

This rating reflects the extent to which the reader can follow and potentially be persuaded by the author/s argument in the context of existing arguments in the literature.  There should not be obvious contradictions, unfounded generalisations or other flaws in the argumentation.

1 Argument is difficult to discern.

2 Argument is broadly unconvincing.

3 Argument is persuasive in parts but its relevance to existing arguments is unclear.

4 Argument is somewhat convincing but fails to substantially engage with existing arguments.

5 Argument is fairly convincing and demonstrates a basic engagement with existing arguments. 

6 Argument is convincing and thoroughly engaged with existing arguments.

7 Argument is careful, clearly articulated and makes an important contribution to current arguments.

4. Use of qualitative and/or quantitative evidence

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

1 Evidence is barely used.

2 A little evidence is deployed to support the paper’s claim.

3 Evidence is adequate but does not convincingly support the claims made in the paper.

4 Evidence supports some of the paper’s claims.

5 Evidence is more than sufficient, but could be used better to support its claims.

6 Evidence supports most assertions and arguments in the paper.

7 Evidence is extensive and clearly supports all the claims and arguments in the paper.

5. Theoretical Frameworks

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

1 There is no theoretical foundation.

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

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

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

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

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

7 The theoretical framework used is detailed, and productively applied.

6. 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. Authors should avoid typographic errors, unnecessary field-specific terminology, poor sentence construction and over-reliance on the passive voice (eg. ‘it was demonstrated’ rather than ‘our team demonstrated’) 

1 Writing is extremely unclear.

2 Writing is mostly unclear.

3 Writing is unclear in several parts of the paper.

4 Writing is mostly adequate, but areas need significant revision.

5 Writing is mostly good, but some parts need editorial attention.

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

7 Writing is of very high quality throughout.

7. Originality

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?

1 There is nothing new in this paper.

2 There are very few new ideas in this paper.

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

4 While there is some originality in this paper, it is not significant, or needs to be made more explicit. 

5 This is an original piece of research. 

6 This is a significantly original piece of research.

7 This is an exceptionally original piece of research.

8. Organization and Structure

This rating should reflect the organisation and structure 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?

1 There is no structure to organise the paper.

2 The structure is difficult to discern.

3 There is a structure but it is sometimes unclear.

4 The paper’s structure is adequate but lacks signposting.

5 The structure is mostly clear throughout.

6 The structure provides a very strong support for the paper’s content.

7 The paper is organised exceptionally well.

9. Figures, tables and supplementary data (if relevant)

*Please note this question is for feedback only and should not be counted in the final score.

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?

1 The figures/tables/supplementary data are unnecessary.

2 The figures/ tables/ supplementary data seem tangential to the paper.

3 The figures/ tables/ supplementary data are not clearly relevant and/or poorly presented.

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

5 The figures/tables/supplementary data are important and adequately presented.

6 The figures/tables/supplementary data are necessary, clear and enhance the paper.

7 The figures/tables/supplementary data are important, clear and extremely well presented.

TOTAL OF 56 points (not including question 9)