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Peer Reviewers

At the European Medical Journal (EMJ) we are always seeking to enhance the quality of our journals, and we aim to publish the most influential and worthy manuscripts of the highest standard. We seek papers with the most current, interesting, and relevant information in each therapeutic area. Peer reviewing is an essential aspect of this and we appreciate our Peer Reviewers’ assistance in this process.

For each manuscript, the Editorial team invites two or more referees, who are unpaid and who remain anonymous to the authors, to read and assess the manuscript. We invite reviews through our online submission website, Editorial Manager, at http://www.editorialmanager.com/e-m-j/

If you would like to become a member of the Peer Review Panel for one of our journals, please contact us.

Peer Review Guidance Notes

As a Peer Review Panel member, please keep in mind that EMJ favours papers with the most current, interesting and relevant information. Our primary aim is to keep medical professionals updated, informed and engaged. When reviewing please consider the word limit restrictions (2000-3000) facing the authors when writing on a topic which we believe is appropriate for publication.

Before agreeing to review you should consider the following:

  • Does the article you are being asked to review match your expertise?
  • Do you have time to review the paper? If not, please let us know promptly and if possible suggest alternative reviewers.
  • Potential conflicts of interest e.g. you may have worked on the paper or research previously, although peer review is double blind, you may recognise the authors or work, or have a professional or financial connection to the paper.

We will ask our reviewers to score the paper against the following Manuscript Rating questions:

  • Impartiality and breadth of coverage
  • Substantiation of all claims through referenced primary literature
  • Scientific validity
  • Originality, significance and importance
  • Any omissions which need to be added or areas of the paper which can be removed.

After providing comments on the paper, we ask Peer Reviewers to recommend one of the four following actions:

  1. Accept without revision
  2. Accept subject to minor modification
  3. Accept subject to major modification
  4. Reject

The scores and the recommendation are a guide only, we ask peer reviewers to comment fully on all aspects of the paper in the Reviewer Blind Comments to Author text box to help us make our decision. If you believe the manuscript should be rejected or requires substantial revision, it is important to include the relevant criticisms here. Please number your criticisms consecutively.  Please note that you are not required to correct style, grammar or spelling as this will be done if the paper is accepted, but any help you can give in clarifying the meaning is appreciated.

Questions to ask yourself when reviewing the paper:

  • If a research paper, is the research question important? What significance does it add to the knowledge?
  • Title and abstract – does it describe the paper adequately and does it reflect the content of the paper?
  • Introduction – does it describe what the author hopes to achieve? It should summarise the relevant current research and literature to provide context.
  • Literature cited – is important work omitted? Are there missing citations? Authors must give credit to ideas, concepts and data published previously. Do the authors over self-cite? Are the references current or does more recent research supersede them.
  • Methodology – if a research paper, has the authors used appropriate experimental design. Does the author accurately explain how the data was collected? Is the design suitable for answering the question posed? Is there sufficient information for others to replicate the research? Have equipment and materials been adequately described? Has ethical approval been obtained?
  • Literature reviews – if a literature review, has the authors described their search criteria, search terms, why papers were included or omitted from the review.
  • Has the authors used the following tools to ensure good practice in reporting their work? CONSORT checklist when reporting randomised trials; STARD checklist when reporting studies on diagnostic accuracy; PRISMA checklist for systematic reviews and meta-analyses.
  • Are any statistical analyses used appropriate?
  • Conclusion/Discussion – are the claims supported by the results or literature reviewed? Does the paper/author support or contradict previous theories. Have the authors discussed any limitations to their paper?
  • Tables/figures – are they appropriate to the paper. Do they inform the reader? Are they all necessary? Would additional ones be useful (limit is 3 display items).

The Editor collates the peer review comments with their own, and the author is invited to resubmit a revised manuscript (if required) to the Editor, whose decision to publish is final. We may ask the Peer Reviewers to look at the paper again if major revisions were requested.

Note: Peer reviewers can provide confidential comments to the Editorial Team in addition to their comments to the authors.

Conflicts of Interest and Confidentiality

Peer Reviewers must disclose any conflicts of interest that could bias opinions of the manuscript and should recuse themselves from reviewing specific manuscripts if the potential for bias exists.

Manuscripts sent for review are privileged communications and are the private property of the authors. Therefore, reviewers must respect the author’s rights by not publicly discussing the author’s work or appropriating their ideas before the manuscript is published.

Reviewers must not make copies of the manuscript and are prohibited from sharing them with others, except with the permission of the Editor.

Reviewers should return or destroy copies of manuscripts after submitting reviews.