Peer review seems like a vigorous task but makes our journal survive. Reviewers voluntarily participate in this review process; we depend on them to help us. Acute and Critical Care aims to publish original, important, and reliable articles that will help readers around the world to make better decisions about practice, policy, education, and research.
1. The role of reviewers
A peer-reviewer’s role is to advise editors on the revision, acceptance, or rejection of individual manuscripts. Judgments should be objective and comments should be lucidly described. Scientific soundness is the most important value of the Journal; therefore, logic and statistical analysis should be considered meticulously. The use of reporting guidelines is recommended for reviews. Reviewers should have no conflicts of interest. Reviewers should point out relevant published works that have not been cited in the manuscript. Reviewed articles are managed confidentially. The editorial office is responsible for the final decision of the acceptance or rejection of a manuscript based on the reviewer’s recommendation.
2. Becoming a reviewer
Typically, reviewers are invited to conduct reviews by journal or book editors. Editors usually select researchers that are experts in the same subject area as the paper. However, if you think you would be a good reviewer for our journal, you can always contact one of the Journal's editors or editorial office.
There are great benefits to becoming a reviewer. Reviewers are able to establish their expertise in the field and expand their own knowledge. They can improve their reputations, increase their exposure to key figures in the field, stay up-to-date with the latest literature, and have advanced access to research results. Reviewers can also develop critical thinking skills essential to research and advancements in their careers – peer review is an essential role for researchers.
Free online course for busy peer reviewers from Nature MasterClasses.
3. Ethical guideline for reviewers
Any information acquired during the review process is confidential. If we invite you to review an article, please do not discuss this invitation or the article, even with colleagues. If you would like to pass it on to someone else to review, please firstname.lastname@example.org first.
Please inform the editor of any conflicts of interest as follows:
- • The reviewer is a competitor.
- • The reviewer may have an antipathy with the author(s).
- • The reviewer may profit financially from the work.
In case of any of the above conflicts of interest, the reviewer should decline engaging in the review process. If the reviewer still wishes to conduct the review, the conflicts of interest should be specifically disclosed. A history of previous collaborations with the authors or any intimate relationship with the authors does not prohibit the review.
Reviewers should not use any material or data that has originated from the manuscript in review; however, it is possible to use open data from the manuscript after its publication.
4. How to write review comments
As a reviewer, you should first read the article and then take a break from it, giving yourself time to think. Consider the article from your own perspective. When you sit down to write the review, make sure that you know what the Journal is looking for, and have a copy of any specific reviewing criteria you must consider.
Your review will help the editor decide whether or not to publish the article. Giving your overall opinion and general observations of the article is essential. Your comments should be courteous and constructive, and should not include any personal remarks or personal details including your name.
Providing insight into any deficiencies is important. You should explain and support your judgement so that both editors and authors are able to fully understand the reasoning behind your comments. You should indicate whether your comments are your own opinion or are reflected by the data. Please give detailed and constructive comments (with references, whenever possible) that will both help the editors make a decision on the article and the authors to improve it. Summarize the article in a short paragraph. This shows the editor that you have read and understood the research.
Reviewers should consider several items for their convenience, as follows:
- 1) Originality
- 2) Importance of the work to general readers
- 3) Scientific reliability
- 4) Research question
- 5) Overall design of study: appropriate and adequate to answer the research question?
- 6) Participants: adequately described, their conditions defined, inclusion and exclusion criteria described? How representative were they of patients whom this evidence might affect?
- 7) Methods: adequately described? Main outcome measures clear? Is the study fully reported in line with the appropriate reporting statement? Was the study ethical (this may go beyond simply whether the study was approved by an ethics committee or IRB)?
- 8) Results: answer the research question? Credible? Well presented?
- 9) Interpretation and conclusions: warranted by and sufficiently derived from/focused on the data? Discussed in the light of previous evidence? Message clear?
- 10) References: up-to-date and relevant? Any glaring omissions?
- 11) Abstract, key messages
5. Comment to editor
When reviewers make recommendations, it is worth considering the categories the editor most likely uses for classifying the article:
- Reject (explain reason in report)
- Accept without revision
- Revise – either major or minor (explain the revision that is required, and indicate to the editor whether or not you would be happy to review the revised article)
6. Post-review work by editorial office
The editor ultimately decides whether to accept or reject the article. The editor will weigh all views and may call for a third opinion or ask the author for a revised paper before making a decision. The online editorial system provides reviewers with a notification of the final decision.