Information for Reviewers

Information for Reviewers
Scripta Medica

Double-blind Review

Both the reviewer and the author remain anonymous.

Author anonymity prevents any reviewer bias based on, for example, an author’s country of origin or previous controversial work.

Articles written by prestigious or renowned authors are considered on the basis of the content of their papers, rather than on the author’s reputation.

Information for Reviewers

Purpose of peer review
A peer unbiased review is an essential step in the publication process. Acting as a filter, it ensures that only high-quality papers are published and thus improves the quality of research as such.

When you are asked to review
The first item that you have to consider when asked to review, is does the article you are being asked to review truly match your expertise? If you believe that the article is relevant, do you have time to review it?
If you feel inadequately qualified to judge the research reported in a manuscript, you should return it promptly to the editor.

Conducting the review
Reviewing needs to be conducted confidentially. The article you have been asked to review should not be disclosed to a third party. Let the editor know beforehand if you want to elicit opinion on the respective article from colleagues or students. You should not attempt to contact the author or ask the editor who the author is. You should respect the intellectual independence of the authors.
Both the reviewer and the author remain anonymous!
You will be asked to evaluate the article on a number of criteria. We provide detailed guidance below.
You will be expected to evaluate the article according to the following criteria:

    1. Is the article sufficiently novel and interesting to deserve publication?
    2. Does the article comply with the journal’s standards?
    3. Is the research question an important one?
    4. If the research has been reviewed previously pass on references to such works to the editor.
    1. Is the article clearly laid out?
    2. Are all the key elements present (abstract, introduction, materials and methods, results, conclusion)?
    • TITLE: Does it clearly describe the article?
      ABSTRACT: Does it reflect the content of the article?
      INTRODUCTION: The introduction is one to two paragraphs long, as a standard. It summarizes relevant research to provide context. It explains what findings of others, if any, are being challenged or extended.
      1. It should describe the experiment, hypothesis, general experimental design, or method.
      2. Does it describe what the author hoped to achieve accurately, and clearly state the problem under investigation?
      1. Is the methodology appropriate?
      2. Does it explain with sufficient accuracy how the data was collected?
      3. Is the design suitable for answering the question posed?
      4. Is there sufficient information present for you to replicate the research?
      5. Does the article identify the procedures followed?
      6. Are these procedures ordered in a meaningful way?
      7. If the methods are new, are they explained in sufficient detail?
      8. Was the collecting of samples appropriate?
      9. Have the equipment and materials been adequately described?
      10. Does the article make it clear what type of data was recorded?
      11. Has the author been precise in describing measurements?
      The results should be arranged clearly and in a logical sequence. Here the author should explain in words what (s)he discovered in the research; no interpretations should be included in this section.
      1. Are the statistics correct?
      2. Has appropriate analysis been conducted?
      If you are not comfortable with statistics, advise the editor when submitting your review.
      1. Are all statements in this section supported by the respective results?
      2. Do the statements seem reasonable?
      3. Have the authors indicated how the results relate to expectations and to earlier research?
      4. Does the article support or contradict previous theories?
      5. Does the conclusion explain the contribution of the research to the body of scientific knowledge?
      1. Are they an important part of the paper?
      2. Do the figures describe the data accurately?
      3. Are they consistent, e.g. bars in charts are the same width, the scales on the axis are logical, and the like.
    Correcting English in a paper is not the role of the reviewer.
    1. If the article builds upon previous research, does it refer to that work appropriately?
    2. Are there any essential works that have been omitted?
    3. Are the references accurate?
    1. Plagiarism – if you suspect that an article is a substantial copy of any previous work, let the editor know and please cite the respective previous work.
    2. Fraud – if you suspect that the results in an article are false, let the editor know explaining why you believe the results to be deceitful.
    3. Other ethical concerns – if the research is medical in nature, has confidentiality been maintained? If there has been any violation of accepted norms of ethical treatment of animal or human subjects, these should be identified. The paper should contain statement on written consent being available, if any corresponding experiments were conducted on humans.

You have completed your evaluation of the article. The next step is to write up your report. If you feel you might miss your deadline, please let the editor know.
You will complete a form checking individual points in it. This is a newly designed form for writing a detailed reviewer’s report to which you have to add all your comments. May we remind you that your report will only be considered complete when you have also included the comments.
When providing your commentary you should be courteous and constructive. It should not include any personal remarks. You should explain and support your judgment so that both editors and authors are better able to understand the basis of the comments. You should indicate whether your comments are your own opinion or reflected by the data provided.

When you make a recommendation regarding an article, it is worth considering the categories that an editor will be likely to use for the classification of the article.

  1. Reject (due to poor quality)
  2. Accept without revision
  3. Accept but needs revision. If you think the article needs to be revised, indicate it to the editor clearly identifying what revision is required and advise whether or not you would be pleased to review the revised article.
Document ID: 746 | Document visited: 1617 | Document created: 6. 3. 2009 11:26:28 | Last update: 6. 3. 2009 11:30:33
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