The following guidelines specify the main criteria you may consider useful to assess the submitted manuscript. Please use the corresponding guidelines for theoretical and review articles or meta-analysis.
Please, consider the following guidelines if the submitted manuscript is a meta-analysis study which quantitatively integrates the results of different investigations on a specific research problem.
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 and the expected results have been clearly stated and have been closely related to the “state of the art”. In addition, evaluate if the constructs and variables are clearly and accurately defined.
5. Procedure. Consider if the authors offer a detailed description of the criteria for including or excluding the studies; the procedures for literature searches, indicating the bibliographical sources (formal and informal); keywords employed and the result of the search (number of studies included and final simple size). In addition, evaluate the appropriateness of the procedure for study coding and check if the authors indicate the study characteristic coded to test its possible influence on the effect size.
6. Statistical Analysis. Judge if the statistical model (fixed effects, random and/or mixed) and the techniques used for data analysis are appropriate.
7. The Results. Consider if the results are clearly and succinctly presented and follow a logical sequence. Evaluate if the interpretation of the results is correct and solidly grounded.
8. Discussion. Consider if the discussion is complete and no results have been omitted. Assess if the discussion is closely related to the postulates presented in the introduction and if the implications of the results are discussed, suggesting future developments both for research and applications. In addition, check if the limitations of the study have been clearly indicated.
9. Tables and figures. Evaluate if the information is clearly displayed and does not duplicate the information in the text.
10. Ethical Standards. Consider if the ethical guidelines appropriate to this type of study 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.
11. 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.
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