Reviewer Guidelines

General Guidelines

  1. TCR welcomes all types of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methodologies, conceptual articles, as well as articles addressing, for example, program evaluation, and systematic literature review. 
  2. The TCR editorial team makes every effort to match manuscripts to your area of expertise. An email notification will be sent to you when a manuscript is assigned. Please respond as soon as possible and indicate whether you will accept or decline the review. 
    1. If you accept, you will receive an email with login information so you can complete the manuscript review form, which includes an evaluation rubric and space to provide qualitative feedback to the authors and the editor.
    2. If you decline, no further action is needed.
  3. The evaluation rubric portion of the review form contains the manuscript criteria and a rating scale (e.g., Strong, Moderate, Weak). 
    1. For research manuscripts, please complete all areas of the rubric. 
    2. For other manuscripts, please complete the relevant rubric items, using N/A, as appropriate.
  4. The manuscript review form includes a space for reviewers to provide qualitative feedback to the authors (Comments to the Author).
  5. The manuscript review form also includes a “Comments to the Editor” section. Any comments made in this section are confidential and will only be shared with the TCR editorial team. 
  6. Recommendations include: Accept without revisions, Minor revisions needed, Major revisions needed, and Reject
  7. Do not make a recommendation to reject or accept the manuscript for publication in the “Comments to the Author” section.
  8. If you identify a conflict of interest, such as having a personal relationship with the manuscript author(s), please inform the TCR editorial team as soon as possible. 
  9. You will be allotted six (6) weeks to complete your review. 
  10. The TCR review process is “double-blind.” In other words, reviewers will not know the identity of the author(s) and vice versa.

Communication and Tone of Reviewer Comments

  1. When providing qualitative feedback, please provide positive comments first, followed by constructive feedback. State what needs to be improved rather than what is wrong.
  2. Do not provide any feedback you would not want to receive as an author. Avoid judgmental and harsh commentary.
  3. Please be descriptive and specific and write your comments in a clear and organized way.
  4. When describing a specific concern, please offer examples directly from the manuscript.

Considerations for Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods Manuscripts

Does the manuscript follow the APA Style Journal Article Reporting Standards (JARS)?

  1. Quantitative:
    1. Please review the current JARS-Quant guidelines: https://apastyle.apa.org/jars/quantitative
    2. Please use Table 1 of the JARS-Quant guidelines when reviewing and providing feedback for quantitative manuscripts: https://apastyle.apa.org/jars/quant-table-1.pdf
  2.  Qualitative:
    1. Please review the current JARS-Qual guidelines: https://apastyle.apa.org/jars/qualitative
    2. Please use Table 1 of the JARS-Qual guidelines when reviewing and providing feedback for qualitative manuscripts: https://apastyle.apa.org/jars/qual-table-1.pdf
  3. Mixed Methods:
    1. Please review the current JARS-Mixed guidelines: https://apastyle.apa.org/jars/mixed-methods
    2. Please use Table 1 of the JARS-Mixed guidelines when reviewing and providing feedback for mixed methods manuscripts: https://apastyle.apa.org/jars/mixed-table-1.pdf

Considerations for Commentaries/Conceptual Manuscripts

  1. Conceptual articles are not literature reviews. While they do include a review of the scholarly literature, these articles also*:
    1. Provide new theoretical perspectives or integrate existing theoretical views
    2. Address innovative procedures or techniques
    3. Discuss current professional issues or professional development
    4. Offer well-reasoned responses to previously published articles
  2. All conceptual articles should include these elements*:
    1. Introduction
    2. Purpose Statement
    3. Review of the Literature
    4. Presentation of New Concepts or Positions
    5. Discussion
    6. Implications for Counseling
    7. Conclusion
  3. Evaluating conceptual articles is often more difficult than evaluating traditional empirical manuscripts, as conceptual articles do not follow the same structure as empirical studies (e.g., introduction and hypotheses, data collection, and analysis, etc.). When reviewing conceptual articles, please consider:
    1. The logic of the arguments made by the author(s)
    2. The value the article adds to the literature. In other words, does the article identify an important analytic issue?
    3. Whether the author(s) present clear implications
    4. The relevance, importance, and timeliness of the topic
  4. * Watts, R. (2011). Developing a Conceptual Article for Publication in Counseling Journals. Journal of Counseling & Development, 89. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1556-6678.2011.tb00094.x

    Considerations for Systematic Literature Reviews

    1. Systematic literature reviews (SLRs) include all literature associated with a study question. SLRs should include peer-reviewed publications, dissertations, white papers, industry/trade articles, and other sources.
    2. Authors should clearly and thoroughly describe their methods to ensure a comprehensive search of the literature was conducted. Inclusion and exclusion criteria should be provided.
    3. Please use the PRISMA 2020 Checklist when reviewing and providing feedback for SLRs: http://prisma-statement.org/prismastatement/checklist.aspx
    4. For additional guidance, please consider using the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions: https://training.cochrane.org/handbook/current

    *Pati, D. P., & Lorusso, L. N. (2018). How to write a systematic literature review. Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 11(1), 15-30.

    Considerations for Program Evaluation Reviews

    1. Program evaluation review manuscripts include a structured report used to determine if a program has met its goals.
    2. Evaluation of program evaluations include both the type of evaluation that is being conducted (formative, summative, or both) and the evaluation model to support it. It is highly recommended to conduct an evaluation checklist to determine if the program needs to be evaluated or not (see https://wmich.edu/sites/default/files/attachments/u350/2014/program_metaeval_short.pdf for an example). Additionally, it is recommended to apply an evaluation model (see https://poorvucenter.yale.edu/CIPP for an example.) It should also include the following:
      1.     Clearly define the rationale for why the program is being evaluated (e.g., who wants to know? who are the stakeholders?) .
      2.     Clearly define the problem being evaluated.
      3.     Clearly state the purpose of the evaluation (e.g., why are you evaluating it?).
      4.     Identify the intended audience that will receive results and findings (e.g., stakeholders, decision-makers).
      5.     Describe the evaluator(s) and their role(s) (e.g., who is doing the evaluation?).
      6.     Describe the evaluation model used and why it is the best fit to answer the evaluation questions.
      7.     Describe the major characteristics of the program.
      8.     Describe any design constraints encountered (e.g., lack of access to necessary parties or information).
      9.     Describe the purpose of the selected data collection method (e.g., frequency and manner of data collection).
      10.     Describe how the data collection and analysis matches the evaluation model.
      11.     Provide step by step details regarding the data collection and analysis.
      12.     Describe the logic model used, if applicable.
      13.     Describe the sample size.
      14.     Identify the questions asked in the data collection.
      15.     Describe the results and recommendations based on the evaluation question. Include the importance of the findings, and their impact on stakeholders and on the profession.

    Adapted from: Journal of Public Health, https://www.jphsc.org/index.php/JPHSC/ReviewerGuidelines; Packer-Muti, B. (2020). Multiple considerations in program evaluation. Nova Southeastern University presentation.

    Manuscript Evaluation Rubric

    1.Contribution to the field ◊ Strong ◊ Moderate ◊ Weak ◊ Not Applicable
    2.Statement of problem ◊ Strong ◊ Moderate ◊ Weak ◊ Not Applicable
    3.Significance and/or originality of ideas ◊ Strong ◊ Moderate ◊ Weak ◊ Not Applicable
    4.Clarity of presentation ◊ Strong ◊ Moderate ◊ Weak ◊ Not Applicable
    5.Quality of organization ◊ Strong ◊ Moderate ◊ Weak ◊ Not Applicable
    6.Quality of concepts ◊ Strong ◊ Moderate ◊ Weak ◊ Not Applicable
    7.Relevant conclusions/summary ◊ Strong ◊ Moderate ◊ Weak ◊ Not Applicable
    8.Quality of research ◊ Strong ◊ Moderate ◊ Weak ◊ Not Applicable
    9. Appropriate analysis ◊ Strong ◊ Moderate ◊ Weak ◊ Not Applicable
    10. Technical accuracy ◊ Strong ◊ Moderate ◊ Weak ◊ Not Applicable
    11. Documentation of sources/references ◊ Strong ◊ Moderate ◊ Weak ◊ Not Applicable
    12. Quality of writing ◊ Strong ◊ Moderate ◊ Weak ◊ Not Applicable
    13. APA format ◊ Strong ◊ Moderate ◊ Weak ◊ Not Applicable
    Other Considerations/Comments:

    Publication Decision

    TCR will make the following decisions for submitted manuscripts:

    • Accept Submission (acceptance): TCR will publish the manuscript in its original form without any changes.
    • Accept Submission with minor revisions (conditional acceptance): TCR will publish the manuscript once the author has made minor corrections.
    • Major revisions required for acceptance (conditional rejection): TCR will reconsider the manuscript in another round of decision making once the authors have made major changes suggested by the reviewers and/or editors.
    • Reject the paper (outright rejection): TCR will not publish the manuscript or reconsider it.
    • Desk rejection (outright rejection): TCR will not review or publish the manuscript due to mechanical issues (e.g., lack of compliance with formatting requirements, evidence of authorship in blind copy.)