Instructions for Reviewers

Review process

All manuscripts are submitted electronically via the online manuscript submission and peer review system ( After primary screening by the editorial office, the received manuscript is sent to a senior editor, who is responsible for making a final decision on its acceptability. The senior editor chooses an associate editor who is in charge of sending the manuscript to at least two reviewers for evaluation and further communication with authors. While authors can suggest potential reviewers for their manuscript, the associate editor can decide whether or not to invite these candidates to review the manuscript. Microbes and Environments uses a single-blind review process. Reviewers can see the identities of the authors, whereas authors cannot see the identities of the reviewers.

Reviewer instruction

Once you receive the invitation to review, you should check the title, authors, and abstract of the manuscript to determine whether you have any conflict of interest with the authors and content, and whether the subject is within your area of expertise. Click the link in the e-mail to either accept or decline the invitation to review.

You should decline the invitation to review if:
(1) You have any conflict of interest with the authors and content (see below),
(2) You are directly competing with the authors regarding the research topics presented in the manuscript,
(3) The subject is outside your area of expertise, or
(4) You do not have enough time to complete the review in 3 weeks.

If you decline the invitation to review, please indicate why you are declining. If possible, please suggest colleagues who may be able to review the manuscript.

If you accept the invitation to review, you will have access to the manuscript. Please make sure once again if you do not have any conflict of interest with the authors by checking the title page and the acknowledgment section. Please let the editor know if you find potential conflict or competition.

Conflict of interest

Examples of conflict of interest may include:
(1) Family relationship with the author,
(2) Business or financial relationship with the author (e.g., own stock of the author’s company)
(3) Affiliation to the same research group as the author,
(4) Ongoing collaborative project with the author, or
(5) Publication history with the author in the last 24 months.
Please consult with the editors if you have questions about your eligibility as the reviewer.

Review report

The primary criteria for judging the acceptability of a manuscript are its originality and scientific importance. Microbes and Environments only publishes papers that significantly advance the research on microbial ecology and environmental microbiology.

Please write a report to help the editors to make a decision. The report should be also prepared to help the authors to improve their manuscript. When you write a review report, first summarize the major findings of the manuscript and provide your overall impression of their findings. List the major weaknesses if you find any. Please provide constructive comments to help the author improve their manuscript. It is also helpful for the author if you provide specific comments (please provide the line numbers to point the items you are referring to).

When you conduct a review, please keep in mind the following:
(1) Criticisms should be provided dispassionately. Do not write in offensive language.
(2)  Keep the manuscript information confidential. Do not share the manuscript with anyone not directly involved in the review process.

(3)  Evaluation should be solely based on the quality of work, not on the author’s name, race, gender, religion, nationality, geographic location, ethnicity, institution type, and other affiliations/classifications.

(4)  Provide your recommendation for acceptance, revision, or rejection by making the appropriate selection in the dropdown menu. Do not provide your recommendation in the Comments to the Authors section. If you have more specific comments regarding your recommendation, please provide them in the Confidential Comments to the Editor section.