Peer review: Guidance for reviewers

What is peer review?

All SB Communications Group journals are subject to external double-blind peer review by clinical experts in their fields. "Double-blind" denotes that any given manuscript is reviewed by two reviewers, that neither reviewer knows the identity of the author(s), and that the author(s) do not know the identity of the reviewers.

Peer review is designed to inform us on the quality, factual accuracy, topicality and relevance to our readership of submitted manuscripts, and to help us decide whether the manuscript is suitable for publication either in its present state, after minor revisions, after major revisions, or if the manuscript should be rejected. Peer review is often the backbone for ensuring journal content quality, accuracy and validity, and its main aim is to improve what we publish.

Automated manuscript management

At SB Communications Group we use an automated online peer-review system called "epress", which tracks all manuscripts submitted to the journal. If you are a peer-reviewer for the journal, then this is the system through which you will be submitting your reviews. All emails sent to you from epress are automated, and allow us to log and track the progression of each manuscript through the peer-review process. Epress automatically invites you to undertake a peer review, it then acknowledges when you have submitted your review, and informs you of the decision made regarding publication of the manuscript. This allows you to be fully informed of the outcome of all manuscripts you have reviewed.

General points for peer review

When we invite you to peer review a manuscript, epress will email you a link that you can click on and download the manuscript. In this email, epress will then ask you to submit two sets of comments: one set for us (the editorial team), and one set specifically for the authors.

When undertaking the peer review on epress, there are a few areas that we would like you to consider. In general, we ask that all comments are detailed and constructive (with references, whenever possible), which will both help the editorial team to make a decision on the manuscript and the authors to improve it. Below is a set of general points to consider when undertaking your peer review:

At the end of your peer review, we ask you to indicate your final decision on the manuscript, by selecting one of the following recommendations:

If you would like to be a peer-reviewer for the journal, or for more detailed guidance regarding the peer-review process, please contact the journal at: bjo@sbcommunicationsgroup.com.