The following guidelines specify the main criteria you may consider useful to assess the submitted manuscript.
1. Study Relevance. Consider if the study represents an original and relevant contribution to the field. You may judge if the relevance of the study has been solidly grounded on the “state of the art”.
2. The Abstract. Evaluate if the abstract includes all the most important aspects of the study.
3. Bibliographic Review. Consider if it is complete and up-to-date.
4. Aims. Assess if the aims have been clearly stated and have been closely related to the “state of the art”.
5. Hypotheses. Consider if the hypotheses have been clearly and neatly formulated; if the postulated relationships are testable and the variables are properly defined and operationalized. In addition, evaluate if the hypotheses are coherent with the aims of the study and are theoretically grounded.
6. Participants. Evaluate if the study population and the sample have been properly described and the most important characteristics of the participants have been reported. Please also consider if the sample recruitment procedure was correct and the sample size is sufficient to obtain reliable results.
7. Materials. Consider if the measurement and stimulation devices, questionnaires and psychological tests have been correctly described. In addition, evaluate if the psychometric properties of the instruments are suitable and if the instruments have been properly selected taking into account the hypotheses and the definition of the variables.
8. Procedure. Consider if a detailed description of the research process has been offered. Assess if the research design is suited to the aims and hypotheses of the study. Check if the names of all the variables and the variable levels have been included.
9. Statistical Analysis. Judge if the statistics are appropriate to the study design and the type of variables. Assess if the statistical analyses have been rigorously performed and the corresponding statistical assumptions have been considered.
10. The Results. Consider if the results are clearly and succinctly presented and it they are presented following a logical sequence. Evaluate if the interpretation of the results is correct and solidly grounded.
11. Discussion. Consider if the discussion is complete and no results have been omitted. Assess if the discussion is closely related to the introduction and the aims of the study and if the conclusions are justified by the results. In addition, check if the limitations of the study have been clearly indicated.
12. Tables and figures. Evaluate if the information is clearly displayed and does not duplicate the information in the text.
13. Ethical Standards. Consider if the ethical guidelines appropriate to the study population have been followed. In addition, evaluate if enough information has been provided to judge if the study meets ethical standards. Pay special attention to the presence of statements that could be damaging to any person or institution.
14. Writing and organization. Consider if the manuscript is clearly written, the contents are well-organized and the sections are appropriately connected. Assess if the manuscript is neatly prepared and follows the instructions to authors and the style guidelines of the American Psychological Association.