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Lithosphere Reviewer Guidelines

Lithosphere publishes quality research across the breadth of earth, planetary and environmental sciences. Part of Lithosphere’s ethos is for the peer review process to feel constructive and cooperative. Editorial decision-making comprises two elements:

  1. An objective assessment of the scientific process (methods, analyses and ethics) to assess for high standards of scientific rigor and reproducibility.
  2. Discernment that the research represents a useful addition to the research literature. Does it advance the science by telling us something new?

Each manuscript needs to be considered in its own context to determine whether it is a useful addition to the research literature. Here are examples of how incremental advances, confirmatory results and null results can be valuable:

  • Where research has been conducted in a different region, the result doesn’t need to be novel, for it to tell us something new.
  • The second instances of minerals can be valuable information, particularly if the new instance was discovered in an unusual location.
  • An incremental advance might, when considered in the context of past and future research, have great impact.
  • A finding might be of importance and value to one community, without being of broad interest to the whole research community.
  • Where an experiment was tried and it did not work, a negative or null result is valuable for someone pursuing the same line of thought.

Acceptance criteria
Lithosphere uses the following criteria for publication:

  • Scientifically rigorous and valid, with observations separated from interpretations, and conclusions supported by data
  • A useful contribution, that tells us something new, and discussed in the context of existing literature
  • Ethically sound, previously unpublished and meeting all applicable research integrity standards
  • Reproducible with methods, analyses and statistics (as appropriate) detailed sufficiently to be followed
  • Written in clear and concise English, so the study cannot be misunderstood

Peer reviewer questions
Peer reviewers are asked to address the following in their report:

  • Is it a useful contribution, that tells us something new, discussed in the context of existing literature?
  • Are the aims of the research clearly defined?
  • Are the methods and analyses appropriate for the aims of the research?
  • Are the methods, analyses and statistics detailed enough to be followed, for example, to allow others to reproduce the work?
  • Are the conclusions supported by data?
  • Has the work been conducted in an ethically sound manner, meeting all applicable research integrity standards?
  • Is the work written in clear and concise English, so the study cannot be misunderstood?
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