Peer review guidelines

Thank you for agreeing to review a paper submitted to RHM for publication.

As of January 2017, RHM’s submission and peer review system has moved to our new publishers, Taylor & Francis, editorial manager: http://zrhm.edmgr.com/. All requests for peer reviews, and the process of submitting reviews, will come through this system. We ask to receive all peer reviews within 2 weeks, unless otherwise agreed.


 

RHM operates a system of open peer review, in which authors and readers know each others’ names. Most reviewers and authors find this policy a positive experience; some even contact each other to share information. However, there are legitimate reasons why a review might better be done anonymously; if so, please let us know when you submit your review and we will honour your request. Unless you tell us otherwise, however, we will assume the review is open.

You should treat the contents of the paper as confidential. You must not copy it or show it to anyone else, quote from it or use the information in your own work.

Your peer review will have two sections: (1) comments to the editor; and (2) comments to the author(s). Please use the following guidelines when preparing your review:

Recommendation to the editor

Based on your review of the paper, please make one of the following recommendations as to whether you think we should – or should not – publish the paper. State here any reason for this recommendation that you want only the editors to see. Please do not repeat what you have said to the authors.

  1. Recommend publication of the paper with minor revisions.
  2. Recommend publication of the paper with substantial revisions.
  3. Recommend the authors revise and resubmit the paper, possibly for further review. State whether you are willing to re-review the paper if it is necessary.
  4. Recommend rejecting the paper for publication.

Please note that where a paper contains valuable data, ideas, perspectives and experiences but needs additional information, substantial editing or re-writing in order to be publishable, our policy is to try to work with the authors to achieve this, rather than to reject the paper. A good peer review is crucial for this process.

Finally, if there is something you feel you cannot say to the author directly, but think it ought to be said, tell the editor.

Peer review for the author(s)

These comments – as you have written them – will be sent on to the authors. Please write your review in as much depth as you yourself would find helpful if it was your own paper. Please be constructive, and if you think RHM should aim to accept the paper, give as much guidance as you can on how it can or should be improved.

Please include the following in your review:

  1. Your name, position, institution, country − and your email address if you are happy to be contacted by the author– at the top of the review.
  2. Say briefly what the strong points of the paper are.
  3. Overall remarks − How could the paper be better structured? What could be expanded upon or moved around? If it is too long, what might be omitted? How might the paper be improved?
  4. Specific aspects of each section of the paper, e.g. on what should be added, omitted or amended:

Methodology and findings – What more needs to be added or clarified?

Discussion – What value or significance do you think the data, issues or findings have which is not mentioned?

Conclusions and recommendations – What additional or different conclusions can be drawn? What else might be recommended based on the findings?

References – Note any assertions that are not backed up by evidence or adequately referenced. Provide some of the most important additional references or information that you think should be included, or give help on where to find these.

Very few papers are ready for publication when they are submitted. The more guidance you can give, the better. Praise only or one-line comments (e.g. “the paper could be better structured”) without specific suggestions for improvements are not useful. The purpose of your review is to help the author to bring the paper to a high standard and to make it ready for publication. Put yourself in the author’s shoes.

The process from start to finish

  1. Agree or decline to do the review as soon as possible on receiving the request.
  2. If you cannot do the review, suggest at least one other knowledgeable reviewer to approach, with their e-mail address.
  3. Submit your recommendation and review within two weeks of accepting to do the review, unless otherwise agreed. The exact date will be in the invitation to review you receive. Reviewers are all busy people, but we hope you can respond in the time agreed once you have received the paper. We will send you reminders to help you.

Peer review process for videos

As of 2013, RHM is accepting video submissions accompanied by narrative text discussing them for publication. If you have been asked to review a video submission, please see our specific video peer review guidelines.

Many thanks!

We very much appreciate your support. Your name will be included in the list of reviewers in the next journal issue.

In case of any queries, please contact:

Shirin Heidari, Editor, Reproductive Health Matters

E-mail: sheidari@rhmjournal.org.uk

 

Updated 16 January 2017

 

PDF file available for download here.