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Reviewer Guidelines

INVITATION TO REVIEW

As a reviewer, you will receive by mail an invitation to review a manuscript.

The email will contain your username and password, title and abstract of submission and links which will enable you to accept or decline the invitation to review. Should you accept the invitation you will have 30 days to submit your comments.

If you are unable to complete the review in time, please decline the invitation so we are able to invite an alternative reviewer. You are able to suggest someone to review the manuscript. If you do not respond to the email within 5 days, you will be "uninvited" automatically so we can expedite the review process.

There are five categories (Recommendation, Manuscript Rating, Comments for Authors, Priority Rating, and Confidential Comments to the Editor). The submission system requires information for the first four categories. Confidential Comments to the Editor are not mandatory but are appreciated.

Submitted manuscripts are normally sent out to a minimum of two reviewers and quite often more. Reviewers’ detailed comments and recommendations will enable Editors to make a decision on the submission, whether it should be accepted, revised with minor or major changes or rejected.

Reviewers’ comments are invaluable to authors as their suggestions will help improve their submission. Reviewers will highlight serious flaws in submissions that will impede publication, or whether there are additional trials or data available which support author conclusions. Should a manuscript be rejected, the comments supplied will enable the authors to improve their research.

Guidelines for submitting a quality review
If you feel a paper is really unacceptable be brief but offer constructive comments to the author. We prefer time is spent on papers which you plan to recommend for revision.

Be polite with the authors.
Authors may not be pleased with the rejection of their manuscript. Spend some time to offer constructive criticisms and please be polite with your comments; consider how you would feel reading your feedback as an author. 

Grammar and language issues
Many authors are writing in a second or even third language. The writing must be excellent when the paper is finalized, but we can review papers with poor writing as long as the science is understandable.

All accepted papers are subject to a thorough language editing supported by the publisher.

Content

  • Does the title describe the article?
  • Is the sample size adequate?
  • Does the article support or contradict previous theories?
  • Prospective is better than retrospective. Larger sample sizes are better than smaller. Longer follow up is better than shorter.
  • For all papers, it is important to explain inclusion and exclusion criteria. 
  • Is there IRB approval? Are there other ethical or regulatory issues? Conflict of interest issues?
  • Is the content in the correct sections of the manuscript? So, are discussion comments in the results section or are methods and results comments mixed up?
  • Are tables and figures as clear as they can be? Are they all needed? Material should not be duplicated. If the authors give data in a table, it need not be reiterated in the text or vice versa. 
  • References should include pertinent material and need not be encyclopedic. Did the authors select the appropriate material to cite? 

We will be happy to consider any comments you may have to improve the review process and we thank you very much for your efforts, dedication, time and advice. Good reviews help us to improve papers and provide the readers with better information and eventually, improve patients' care.

November 2014