Peer Review

The IJDRP uses a single-blinded review process: authors are blinded to the identities of the editors and reviewers responsible for the independent peer review of their manuscripts, but not vice versa. The peer reviewers for The IJDRP are experts chosen by the Managing Editor to provide written objective assessments of the strengths and weaknesses of original research manuscripts, with the aim of improving the reporting of research and identifying the most appropriate, timely, and highest-quality research for each journal. Researchers are invited to review manuscripts submitted to the journals on the bases of their objectivity, scientific knowledge, and level of expertise.

The IJDRP seeks reviews that are professional, honest, courteous, prompt, and constructive. The desired major elements of a high-quality review, as outlined by the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), are as follows:

  • major strengths and weaknesses of study design and methodology
  • accurate and constructive comments on the quality of the author's interpretation of the data, including acknowledgment of its limitations
  • comments on major strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript as a written communication, independent of the design, methodology, results, and interpretation of the study
  • comments on any ethical concerns raised by the study, or any possible evidence of low standards of scientific conduct
  • useful suggestions for improvement of the manuscript
  • constructive and professional comments
  • proper context and perspective for an editor to make a decision on acceptance (and/or revision) of the manuscript

 

INFORMATION FOR IJDRP PEER REVIEWERS

Before you accept an invitation to review...

Does the manuscript fall into your area of expertise?

Peer reviewers should be experts in the field covering the topic of the manuscript and able to provide valuable written assessment of the work. Peer reviewers are selected by the journal’s editor, as suggested by WAME recommendations, based on their background in original research, publication of articles, formal training, and previous critical appraisal of manuscripts.

Do you have any conflicts of interest to report?

Competing interests could be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political, or religious in nature. COPE guidelines state that if you are currently employed at the same institution as any of the authors or have been recent (e.g., within the past 3 years) mentors, mentees, close collaborators, or joint grant holders, you should not agree to review. In addition, if you are currently preparing a manuscript very similar to the one you have been invited to review, you should decline the offer to review.

Do you have time to complete a thorough evaluation of the manuscript?

Timeliness is critical to the peer review process. Only agree to review if you can return the review within the proposed or mutually agreed-upon time frame. Always inform the journal promptly if you are unable to complete the review or if you will require an extension.

If you decline the invitation to review an article, provide the names and contact information for potential alternative reviewers.

Confidentiality

Manuscripts under review are strictly confidential. To protect the authors’ work as well as your anonymity, communications regarding the manuscript and its parts, including the abstract, may not be shared for any reason. Further, according to COPE guidelines, reviewers must refrain from using information obtained from the peer review process in any way and should not involve anyone else in the review of a manuscript without first obtaining permission from the journal.

The Evaluation

As an IJDRP peer reviewer, you will be asked to provide a percentage ranking for the manuscript based on study design, quality of research, and novel findings; a numbered rating for statistical analyses, conclusions, originality, clarity, and interest to the readership; and brief comment on the strength, weaknesses, and value of the work described.

Your assessment and recommendation to “accept,” “reject,” or “revise” will be reviewed carefully by the editor when making the final decision.

The IJDRP recommends a structured review. The following may be used as a guide to format your comments:

  1. Summary: Briefly summarize the key aspects and findings of the manuscript.
  2. Strengths: Using bulleted points, identify 3–5 strengths of the work described in the manuscript; briefly discuss each in 1–2 sentences.
  3. Weaknesses: Using bulleted points, identify 3–5 weaknesses of the work described in the manuscript; briefly discuss each in 1–2 sentences. Comments could include
  4. a) indication of potential flaws in study design, sample size, or data analyses
  5. b) whether the background literature is complete
  6. c) suggestions for improving tables or figures
  7. Overall value: Based on the above, provide your overall synthesis of the importance of the work described in the manuscript.
  8. Additional comments: Using bulleted points, provide constructive notes to help to improve the manuscript. Comments could include suggestions for revising sections to make them shorter and more succinct or suggestions for revising or omitting figures and/or tables.

Reviewers can provide confidential comments to the editor as well as anonymous comments to the authors of the manuscript.

Other considerations include whether you, as a reviewer of the manuscript, feel that readers of the journal could benefit from additional information in the form of a commentary to accompany the manuscript, as well as whether you would be willing to author such a piece.

Ethics concerns

If during your review, or at any time, you become concerned about potential misconduct (e.g., plagiarism, prior publication, data fabrication or manipulation) that may have occurred in the research, writing, or submission of a manuscript, please notify the editor immediately. Gather the pertinent information and notify the editor in confidence; do not share your concerns with other parties. In cases of possible scientific or publishing misconduct, the IJDRP will consult COPE’s 17 flowcharts that provide algorithms for editors to follow when they suspect publication misconduct. Cases that cannot be properly addressed by use of COPE’s algorithms will be investigated and addressed by the Editor-in-Chief, on a case-by-case basis.