Instructions for Reviewers

 Introduction and Timescale 

The Journal of Human Kinetics is a non-profit making scientific electronic journal for experimental reports, case studies and invited reviews in the fields of sports sciences. Only a fraction of the submitted papers can be accepted and it is necessary that a manuscript makes a substantial contribution to the canon of knowledge before it will be published. Reviewers usually evaluate the submitted manuscripts as among top 10%, among top 25%, among top 50% and low quality/impact manuscripts; and only the papers among top 25% are published. The paper must also meet all the technical guidelines for authors. Essentially descriptive studies or data reports that do not extend beyond a descriptive level will usually not be accepted.

We particularly wish that this journal achieves a reputation for the care, incisiveness and promptness of its refereeing. Please do not accept a paper for refereeing if you cannot commit yourself to completing a review within four weeks of receiving it. Despite the obvious need to avoid unreasonable delay, never sacrifice thoroughness for a swift response. If you cannot perform the review, do let the editor know immediately, and if possible advise the editor of alternative reviewers.

Please note that the Journal of Human Kinetics uses double blind refereeing. To help us protect your identity, please do not reveal your name within the text of your review. Please send your review in the completed reviewer’s form attached to an e-mail. Keep the copy of the manuscript, as you may be asked to review any revised versions, until the final decision on the paper has been made.

 Your Report 

On being asked to review, please consider whether the article truly matches your expertise as the editors may only be aware of your work in a broader context. Only accept an invitation if you are competent to review the article. Please also remember that you should keep manuscripts and the information they contain strictly confidential. Furthermore, in keeping with the Journal’s policy, all invited reviewers must declare any conflict of interest that might prevent them from providing an impartial evaluation.

Note that on some occasions it may not be necessary to dwell in detail in framing a report. These are generally cases where the paper is so badly prepared as to be almost incomprehensible. There may also be cases where the experimental design is irretrievably flawed. Where a contribution is too slight for acceptance yet does hold some interest, it may be worth gently encouraging the authors to perform some further work towards a more substantial paper.

Probably all manuscripts will be improved by some revision before their publication. Even when you wish to recommend acceptance,there will probably be various specific proposals that you can make towards improving the paper.

Please make sure that your critical comments and your recommendation about publication are congruent: authors are sometimes confused when receiving largely friendly comments or apparently mild criticism associated with a recommendation to reject. If you recommend rejection, please try to indicate sufficient grounds. Rejection of a paper is bound to disappoint the authors and no purpose is served by added offence or personal abuse from an anonymous reviewer. Rejection is most tolerable when it is clear that the reviewers have considered the paper with thoroughness compatible with the authors’ investment of time in their work.

Note that it is not necessary for reviewers to give their attention to the conformity of a paper with the Journal’s conventions on style. Nevertheless, minor alterations may be suggested.

Please type your comments on a form you have received along with the invitation to review. You may differentiate in your report between General and Specific Comments. Please point out in your report, which will be sent to the authors, the strengths and weaknesses of the paper. You should consider the overall assessment points on the summary sheet before framing your report.

Please proofread your review for typographical and grammatical errors and unclear abbreviations. Often, reviewers’ comments are sent to the authors as written. Please ensure your comments reflect the journal’s scholarly, professional image.

Please fill in the reviewer’s scores sheet and give the overall rating of the paper. In our 0 to 5 rating scale, according to the JHK’s policy, usually a paper to be recommended for acceptance or further processing needs to score at least 35 pts. Each of the 10 items listed for evaluation must be rated by the reviewer.

Please consider the following aspects of the reviewed manuscript and evaluate each one separately:

  • 1. Scope: Is the content of the paper within the scope of the JHK?
  • 2. Problem: Is the research problem clearly stated and fully justified?
  • 3. Uniqueness of the study: Does the paper advance the current canon of knowledge and is it sufficiently novel and interesting to warrant publication?
  • 4. Experimental design: Have the authors used a valid approach to the problem?
  • 5. Analytical techniques: Are the statistical analyses appropriate and clear?
  • 6. Presentation of results: Are the findings of this research clearly presented?
  • 7. Clarity of tables & figures: Are the data clearly illustrated? Are the tables & figures easily understood and necessary?
  • 8. Clarity of discussion: Have the authors incorporated previous research into the interpretation of results?
  • 9. Selection of references: Do the authors understand the relevance of previous research on this topic?
  • 10. Overall rating: What is the scientific impact of this paper?

Final score: (0-50 pts)


  • Accept
  • Minor revision
  • Major revision
  • Reject

We are very aware that referees perform a vital service without extrinsic reward. We would like to express our gratitude for your assistance in striving for the highest quality of the manuscripts published in our Journal.