Guidelines for Reviewer

  • Criteria for publication

    To be published in OMJ, a paper must be scientifically valid and technically sound in methodology and analysis. Manuscripts are not assessed based on their perceived importance, significance, or impact; that is something for the research community to judge after publication.

    • The Review Process

      Manuscripts that appear to be scientifically valid upon initial assessment will be sent for formal review.

      After considering the reviewer reports, the Editorial Board Members will make one of the following decisions:

  • Accept with provisions
    Request a minor revision, where authors revise their manuscript to address specific concerns. Request a major revision, where authors revise their manuscript to address significant concerns and perhaps undertake additional work. If the authors fail to address all the points in their revision, or the revisions then do not satisfy the criteria for publication there is a possibility that the paper will then be rejected.

    Upon submission of a revised manuscript, the Editorial Board Members may wish to ask the original reviewers for further advice. We therefore request that reviewers are willing to provide follow-up advice as requested. But, Editorial Board Members will not send resubmitted papers to referees if it seems that the authors have not made a serious attempt to address the reviewers' criticisms.
  • Reject outright
    Papers that do not fit within the scope of the journal, are poorly written, cover a topic outside of the scope of the journal, and are not scientifically sound or ethical are rejected outright.
    • Selecting Referees

      It is the responsibility of our Editorial Board Members to choose appropriate referees. Their choice is based on multiple factors, including expertise, specific recommendations, and previous experience. Invitations to review a manuscript are confidential. If invited, respond to the invitation as soon as you can – delay in your decision slows down the review process, whether you agree to review or not. If you decline the invitation, provide suggestions for alternative reviewers. Additionally, before accepting a review, reviewers should ask:

      • Does the article match my area of expertise?
        Only accept if you feel you can provide a high quality review.
      • Do I have a potential conflict of interest?
        If so, please disclose this to the editor when you respond.
      • Do I have time?
        Before you commit, make sure you can meet the deadline.
    • Writing the review

      The primary purpose of the review is to provide our Editorial Board Members with the information need to make a decision and should to instruct the authors on how they can strengthen their manuscript to the point where it may be acceptable for publication.

      Reviewers should assess the manuscript on technical soundness and scientific validity with regard to the methods and analysis: the methods must be appropriate and properly conducted, and the conclusions drawn must be fully supported by the data. We ask that referees do not assess the importance or significance of a paper.

  • The review should consider and comment on the following questions:
    • Is the paper technically sound?
    • Are the claims convincing? If not, what further evidence is needed?
    • Are the claims supported by the data?
    • Are the claims appropriately discussed in the context of previous literature?
    • Is the manuscript clearly written? If not, how could it be made more accessible?
    • Is the statistical analysis of the data sound?
    • Are they any special ethical concerns arising from the use of animals or human subjects?
  • In your report you should incorporate the following:
    • Summarize the article in a short paragraph and give your overall impression. This shows the editor you have read and understood the research.
    • Point out any journal-specific points – does it adhere to the journal’s standards?
    • If you suspect plagiarism, fraud or have other ethical concerns, raise your suspicions with the editor, in the comments for the editor section, providing as much detail as possible.
    • Give specific comments and suggestions, including about layout and format, Title, Abstract, Introduction, Graphical Abstracts and/or Highlights, Method, statistical errors, Results, Conclusion/Discussion, language and References.
    • If you have suggested that the paper be revised, please indicate if you are willing to look at the revision.
  • Confidentiality

    Reviewers must treat the review process as strictly confidential and not discuss the manuscript with anyone not directly involved in the review.

  • Timing

    We seek to provide rapid editorial decisions and publication. We therefore ask reviewers to provide a report within two week of accepting to review a manuscript, but this may be extended by prior arrangement. If referees anticipate a delay, we ask that they inform the editorial office.

  • Anonymity

    We do not release reviewers' identities to authors or to other reviewers. We prefer that reviewers remain anonymous throughout the review process and beyond.

    We also expect that referees not to identify themselves to authors without the knowledge of the editorial office.

  • Editing referees' reports

    We do not edit reviewer reports and any comments that were intended for the authors are transmitted and, therefore, we ask referees to avoid comments that may cause needless offence.

  • Competing interests

    While we try to not send papers to reviewers previously linked with the authors, we cannot be aware of all potential biases, so we ask referees to draw attention to anything that might affect their review, and to decline invitations to review in cases where they feel unable to be objective.

  • Online manuscript review

    Referees must submit their comments via Editorial Manager our online submission system by following the link provided in the invitation email.