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Peer-review process
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Last updated April 19, 2017

 

Peer-review process

Upon submission of any manuscript for consideration for publication in a journal published by the Baishideng Publishing Group (BPG), the scientific editor first performs a search of the Web of Science, Google and/or PubMed databases to determine the topical relevance and timeliness of the manuscript’s content as well as to make an initial assessment of potential academic misconduct related to the general features of the study and/or topical content. The results of this initial review are either approval to enter into the peer review process (Blind peer review) or rejection. The first step in the peer review process involves delivery of the manuscript to 1 to 3 external reviewers with expertise in the paper’s topic and/or field. The reviewers are allotted a period of 14 to 28 days in which to thoughtfully assess the manuscript and return comments to the editorial office, at which time the editorial director conducts a decision-making meeting to assess the reviewers’ comments. Manuscripts that have received positive comments and meet the general publication requirements of BPG and any specific requirements of the particular journal are forwarded directly to the editor-in-chief, who provides signatory approval recommending that the manuscript is “To Be Accepted”. If the manuscript fails to meet the high-quality standard assessed by the peer reviewers or does not meet the BPG and/or journal-specific criteria, it is rejected. All manuscripts recommended for acceptance must pass a final review by the editor-in-chief before they are officially accepted for publication and entered into the production phase.

The Editor-in-Chief is the final authority on all editorial decisions.

Guidelines for peer reviewers: The comments for each manuscript under peer review should be completed and returned to the editorial department within 14 days. A gentle reminder will be delivered by email when there are 7 days left before the deadline. Reviewers who frequently fail to meet the 14-day deadline may be placed on inactive status and removed from the list of reviewers acknowledged on the F6 Manuscript Publishing System (F6MPS) website.

 

CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT

All peer reviewers must maintain a strict and perpetual confidentiality for the content of all manuscripts under their review and for any related correspondences with BPG and/or the journal editorial team. Reviewers must not share any part of the manuscript with a third party or discuss its content with the authors of the manuscript or any other person. Reviewers must not plagiarize or cite any of the contents of a manuscript before the manuscript has been formally published. Reviewers will decline participation in the peer review process for any manuscript if a conflict of interest exists, including interests related to the manuscript’s authors, personal interests, or academic or economic interests. If a conflict of interest becomes apparent during the peer review process, the reviewer must inform the Editorial Office immediately.

 

FOUR MAJOR POINTS TO BE ADDRESSED BY THE GENERAL COMMENTS

(1) The importance of the research and the significance of the research findings;

(2) The novelty and innovative nature of the research;

(3) The quality of the manuscript’s presentation and readability;

(4) The ethics-related aspects of the research.

 

POINTS TO BE ADDRESSED BY THE SPECIFIC COMMENTS FOR THE VARIOUS ARTICLE SECTIONS

Title: (1) Do the main and short titles accurately reflect the major topic and content of the study?

Abstract: (1) Does the abstract provide a clear delineation between the research background, objectives, materials and methods, results (including important data), and conclusions?

(2) Does the abstract present the innovative and significant points related to the background, objectives, materials and methods, results (including important data), and conclusions?

Materials and Methods: (1) Are the materials and methods sufficiently described for the results and conclusions that are presented in the preceding sections? For example: Is the sample size defined? Is the study type and design defined (e.g. multicenter case-control study)? Are all sample subsets detailed (i.e. samples with special features, such as those from different cells or tissues or patients with distinguishing conditions)?

(2) Are the methods advanced and/or applied in an innovative way?

(3) Are sufficiently detailed descriptions provided for modified or novel methods used in the study, which will allow other investigators to reproduce or validate the study?

(4) Is the study design and use of controls rational and reliable?

(5) Are the statistical methods used appropriate?

Results: (1) Do the results provide sufficient experimental evidence or data to draw firm scientific conclusions?

(2) Are the sample size and statistical data ¾ especially graphical data that reflect the results ¾ adequate for a clinical study?

Discussion: (1) Is the section well organized?

(2) Are the conclusions drawn appropriately supported by the literature? If not, are reasoned explanations provided?

(3) Does the section describe findings based upon systematic theoretical analyses of the results and provide valuable conclusions, while not merely repeating the data presented in the Results section?

References: (1) Are the references appropriate, relevant, and up-to-date?

Tables and Figures: (1) Do the tables and/or figures reflect the major findings of the study?

(2) Are the tables and/or figures designed to present the maximal amount of information in the most concise and clear manner?

 

CLASSIFICATION OF THE MANUSCRIPT

Reviewers must classify the manuscript according to the following alphabetical grading system:

A: Excellent;

B: Very good;

C: Good;

D: Fair;

E: Poor;

Unsure: if the reviewer cannot decide on a specific grade.

 

LANGUAGE EVALUATION

The reviewer must also evaluate the quality of the written language/grammatical presentation of the manuscript, using the following alphabetical grading scale:

A: Priority publishing, without need for any language polishing;

B: Minor language polishing required;

C: A great deal of language polishing required;

D: Rejection.

When reviewing a revised manuscript, the quality must reach grades A or B for acceptance, and a C or D equates to rejection.

 

REASONS FOR REJECTION OF AN ARTICLE

The following reasons are adequate, alone or in combination, for rejection of a manuscript for publication:

(1) The scientific content does not correspond to the journal’s aims and scope;

(2) The data are inadequate to support proper explanations or conclusions;

(3) Related work has been previously published and only a few new points have been added;

(4) The article contains accumulated information that has been previously published, with only few technical improvements;

(5) The article is expected to attract only a very small portion of the journal’s readership audience;

(6) The article has been rejected previously and resubmitted without adding any new valuable content.

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF PEER REVIEWERS

Peer reviewers' comments are of critical values to the overall quality of a journal as well as the individual research works presented within. All peer-reviewers are acknowledged on the F6MPS website.

Peer reviewers can access their personal data on reviews (including ranks and records) as well as verify or update their names/affiliations at: http://www.f6publishing.com/highlyinfluentialpeerreviewers