Policies of Peer Review

 | Post date: 2020/01/13 | 

Journal of Research & Health as a member of Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, co-published by Negah Institute for Scientific Communication in Cooperation with Negah Scientific Communication, is committed to apply double-blind peer reviewing process, based on the COPE’s Code of Conduct and Best Practices and ICMJE's Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals. You may find the journal’s Policies and Guidelines for Peer-reviewers, here.

Peer Review Process

All submissions to the JRH go through a double-blind peer-review process to ensure content quality. At the first stage, a technical editor checks the manuscript's format and style to ensure its compatibility with the authors' JRH guide. If authors have not considered the principles, the manuscript will be sent back to the authors for compatibility. The manuscript will be then assigned to section editors, based on the subject area and editor-in-chief decision, for a fast pre-review screening within seven days. Section editors check the manuscript for content quality (focusing on methodology, originality, contribution to knowledge and practice) and English use. At this stage, the decision is fast to reject, revise, and re-submit or assign to external reviewers for a detailed evaluation process. External reviewers' selection has been based on their scientific background and experience, previous works, authors' suggestion, and expertise. Every attempt is made at the JRH to obtain at least 2-3 strong reviews on each manuscript. The Editor-in-Chief and section editors will decide reviewers' comments. The decision will be sent as reviewers' comments with the corresponding author's decision letter; revise and reject. In the next step, the revised manuscript is received and checked by the Editor-in-Chief and section editors, and finally, if the revised manuscript is approved, it will be accepted.

During the peer-reviewing process, authors can check their manuscript's status via the Online Manuscript Submission System. The Journal will send notifications of the manuscript's receipt and editorial decisions by email. JRH adheres to a double-blind peer-review process that is rapid, fair, and ensures the high quality of published articles. JRH's reviewers must declare their conflict of interest and maintain confidentiality about the manuscripts they review. As JRH is a rapid response journal, the review process takes between 1 to 3 months.

  
JRH decision letter determines the status of the manuscript in three ways:
 
1. Acceptance:  The manuscript approved by the editor-in-chief is acceptance. Before electronic publication, the corresponding author should verify a proof copy of the paper.
2.  Revision: authors will receive comments on their manuscript. They will be asked to submit a revised copy (showing all changes they have made to the manuscript using comment) beside a reviewer file's response. They need to respond to every reviewer's comment one by one (for each reviewer separately). Authors should submit the revisions in four weeks after the decision letter.
3. Rejection: in most cases, methodological and scientific concerns are the main origins of rejection. The Journal will send causes of rejection to the authors to provide more chances for publication in other journals. 


You may find the journal’s article reviewing procedure, here.


Reviewers Role

Reviewers are the main members contributing for the benefit of the journal being a peer reviewed (double-blind referee) journal they are insisted not to disclose their identity in any form. 

A reviewer should immediately decline to review an article submitted if he/she feels that the article is technically unqualified or if the timely review cannot be done by him/her or if the article has a conflict of interest. 

All submissions should be treated as confidential, editorial approval might be given for any outside person’s advice received. 

No reviewer should pass on the article submitted to him/her for review to another reviewer in his own concern, it should be declined immediately. 

Reviewers being the base of the whole quality process should ensure that the articles published should be of high quality and original work. He may inform the editor if he finds the article submitted to him for review is under consideration in any other publication to his/her knowledge. 

There are no hard and fast rules to analysis an article, this can be done on case-to-case basis considering the worthiness, quality, and originality of the article submitted. 

In general, cases the following may be checked in a review 

  • Structure of the article submitted and its relevance to author guidelines 
  • Purpose and Objective of the article 
  • Method of using transitions in the article 
  • Introduction given and the conclusion/ suggestions provided 
  • References provided to substantiate the content 
  • Grammar, punctuation and spelling · Plagiarism issues 
  • Suitability of the article to the need 

A reviewer’s comment decides the acceptance or rejection of an article and they are one major element in a peer review process. All our reviewers are requested to go through the articles submitted to them for review in detail and give the review comments without any bias, which will increase the quality of our journals. 

Guidance for Peer Reviewers

All manuscripts are double-blind reviewed. At Journal of Research & Health we believe that peer review is the foundation for safeguarding the quality and integrity of scientific and scholarly research.

As a reviewer you will be advising the editors (Section Editor and Editor in Chief), who make the final decision (aided by an editorial committee for all research articles and most analysis articles). We will let you know our decision. Even if we do not accept an article we would like to pass on constructive comments that might help the author to improve it.

All unpublished manuscripts are confidential documents. If we invite you to review an article, please do not discuss it even with a colleague. When you receive an invitation to peer review, you should fill the journal’s reviewing form. You should try to respond to every peer review invitation you receive. If you feel the paper is outside your area of expertise or you are unable to devote the necessary time, please let the editorial office know as soon as possible so that they can invite an alternative reviewer – it as at this stage you may like to nominate an appropriately qualified colleague. And please remember, if an author's manuscript is sitting with reviewers who have not responded to the peer-review request, the author will not get a timely decision.

Please read the Aims and Scope and the Author Instruction with care. Consideration should be given to whether the paper is suitable for the journal it is submitted to. The journals' aims and scope is available on “Journal Information” menu and pages.

The essential feature of any review is that it is helpful and constructive and we urge reviewers to be robust but polite when making comments to authors. The Peer reviewers should provide an objective critical evaluation of the paper in the broadest terms practicable. Reviewers need to make a recommendation to the Editor-in-Chief on deciding the manuscript. Your report must contain your detailed answers on the journal questions in the reviewing form. If you believe the paper needs revisions to be made before it is acceptable, please make suggestions on how to improve the paper. Likewise, if you feel that a paper is not good enough and has no real prospects of being improved sufficiently to be published you should recommend rejection. 

You should also:

  • Write clearly and so you can be understood by people whose first language is not English
  • Avoid complex or unusual words, especially ones that would even confuse native speakers
  • Number your points and refer to page and line numbers in the manuscript when making specific comments
  • If you have been asked to only comment on specific parts or aspects of the manuscript, you should indicate clearly which these are
  • Treat the author’s work the way you would like your own to be treated

Reviewer Score Sheet is seen by the editors only and the comments will be shared with the authors. You should also indicate if the manuscript requires its English grammar, punctuation or spelling to be corrected (there is a prompt for this). 

You may find the journal’s article reviewing procedure, here.

AWT IMAGE

Privacy and Confidentiality 

(Prepared Based on ICMJE's Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals)

In Journal of Research & Health, manuscripts must be reviewed with due respect for authors’ confidentiality. In submitting their manuscripts for review, authors entrust editors with the results of their scientific work and creative effort, on which their reputation and career may depend. Authors’ rights may be violated by disclosure of the confidential details during review of their manuscript. Reviewers also have rights to confidentiality, which must be respected by the editor. Confidentiality may have to be breached if dishonesty or fraud is alleged but otherwise must be honored. Editors must not disclose information about manuscripts (including their receipt, content, status in the reviewing process, criticism by reviewers, or ultimate fate) to anyone other than the authors and reviewers. This includes requests to use the materials for legal proceedings.

Editors must make clear to their reviewers that manuscripts sent for review are privileged communications and are the private property of the authors. Therefore, reviewers and members of the editorial staff must respect the authors’ rights by not publicly discussing the authors’ work or appropriating their ideas before the manuscript is published. Reviewers must not be allowed to make copies of the manuscript for their files and must be prohibited from sharing it with others, except with the editor’s permission. Reviewers should return or destroy copies of manuscripts after submitting reviews. Editors should not keep copies of rejected manuscripts. Reviewer comments should not be published or otherwise publicized without permission of the reviewer, author, and editor.

COPE’s Guidelines & Flowcharts

Journal of Research & Health is committed to follow and apply guidelines and flowcharts of Committee on Publication Ethics in its reviewing and publishing process and issues. For more information, please click here.

International Standards for Authors and Editors

Journal of Research & Health is committed to follow and apply International Standards for Authors and Editors of Committee on Publication Ethics in designing and leading the Journal’s reviewing and publishing process and dealing with their issues. You may find the International Standards for Authors, here. Also, you may find the International Standards for Editors, here.

Conflict of Interest in Reviewing Process

Although we are applying double bind peer review, research sphere can be a small world. It means many reviewers may know the author out of familiarity with their work. You can certainly give a fair assessment of an article that is written by a friend or competitor, but:

  • If there’s a significant conflict of interest, you should reveal this to the editor
  • If the conflict of interest causes a large positive or negative bias, then it is better to decline the review request
  • Avoid personal judgement and criticism at all times – judge the article. This is more likely to be well received by the author and lead to better work by them.
  • Every editor will appreciate honesty about conflicts of interest, even if they then have to look for a replacement reviewer.

Please email the Editorial Office at the journal formal email, if you have any concerns about conflict of interest or ethical issues with the paper.

The Publisher Principles: Codes of Conduct and Ethical Guidelines

Journal of Research & Health, as a member of Gonabad University of Medical Sciences, is committed to apply following codes and principles of conduct of the publisher, Negah Institute for Scientific Communication:


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