Reviewer Guidelines

The peer review process is an important aspect of the publication process of an article. It enables authors to improve their manuscripts and aids editors in making decision on manuscripts. The Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Medicinal Research operates a single-blind review process in which reviewers know the identity of authors but the identities of the authors are hidden from the reviewers.

We strive to ensure that peer review is fair, unbiased and timely. Decisions to accept or reject a manuscript for publication are based on the manuscript’s importance, originality and clarity, and the study’s validity and its relevance to the remit of the journal. Therefore, reviewers’ evaluations play a major role in our decision as to whether to accept/revise/reject the submitted manuscript.

Important Note to Reviewers:

Before accepting to review a manuscript reviewers should ensure that:

  • the manuscript is within their area of expertise.
  • they can dedicate the appropriate time to conduct a critical review of the manuscript.

General Note to Reviewers:

  • Reviews should be conducted fairly and objectively. Personal criticism of the author is inappropriate. If the research reported in the manuscript is flawed, it criticize the science, not the scientist. Personal criticism is likely to lead an author to ignore useful comments, making your review less useful to your field. Criticisms should be objective, not merely differences of opinion, and intended to help the author improve his or her paper.
  • Respect the confidentiality of the manuscript, which is sent to you in confidence. You should not discuss unpublished manuscripts with colleagues or use the information in your own work. If you feel a colleague is more qualified than you to review the paper, do not pass the manuscript on to that person without first requesting permission to do so from the editor. Your review and your recommendation should also be considered confidential.
  • Fairness: Reviews should be honest and objective. Reviewers should not be influenced by:
    • the origin of the manuscript,
    • Religious, political or cultural viewpoint of the author,
    • Gender, race, ethnicity or citizenry of the author
  • If you choose to remain anonymous, ensure that you avoid comments to the authors that might serve as clues to your identity.

Comments to Editors:

Your Comments to the Editor will be submitted to the Handling Editor and the Editor-in-Chief only. These should include any possible conflicts of interest. Comments and constructive criticism of the manuscript should be placed in the Comments to the Author.

Comments to Author:

Your Comments to the Author will be submitted to the Editor-in-Chief. They are also communicated to the authors once the editor has made a decision.

Comments should be constructive and designed to enhance the manuscript. You should consider yourself the authors’ mentor. Make your comments as complete and detailed as possible. Express your views clearly with supporting arguments and references as necessary. Include clear opinions about the strengths, weaknesses and relevance of the manuscript, its originality and its importance to the field. Specific comments that cite line numbers are most helpful. If you feel unqualified to address certain aspects of the manuscript, please include a statement to identify these areas.

Begin by identifying the major contributions of the paper. What are its major strengths and weaknesses, and its suitability for publication? Please include both general and specific comments bearing on these questions, and emphasize your most significant points.

Support your general comments, positive or negative, with specific evidence.

Points to consider in your review include:

  • Is the topic of the manuscript appropriate for the Journal? Is the information of significant interest to the broad readership of the Journal?
  • Do the title, abstract, key words, introduction, and conclusions accurately and consistently reflect the major point(s) of the paper?
  • Is the writing concise, easy to follow, and interesting, without repetition?
  • Is the aim clearly stated?
  • Are the methods appropriate, scientifically sound, current, and described clearly enough that the work could be repeated by someone else?
  • Is the research ethical and have the appropriate approvals/consent been obtained?
  • Are appropriate statistical analyses used? Are they sufficiently justified and explained? Are statements of significance justified?
  • When results are stated in the text of the paper, are they supported by data? Can you verify them easily by examining tables and figures? Are any of the results counterintuitive?
  • Are all tables and figures necessary, clearly labelled, well designed, and readily interpretable? Is information in the tables and figures redundant? Is it repeated in the text?
  • Are the conclusions supported by the data presented?
  • Are the references cited the most appropriate to support the manuscript? Are citations provided for all assertions of fact not supported by the data in this paper? Are any key citations missing?
  • Consider the length of the manuscript, relative to the content. Should any portions of the paper should be expanded, condensed, combined, or deleted? (Please be specific in your advice, and don't simply advise overall shortening by x%).
  • Does the manuscript comply with the Instructions for Authors?

Please also comment on any possible research or publication misconduct, such as:

  • Does this manuscript report data or conclusions already published or in press? If so, please provide details.
  • Has the author plagiarised another publication?
  • Is there any indication that the data have been fabricated or inappropriately manipulated?
  • Have the authors declared all relevant competing interests?

Reviewer Feedback Form

Reviewer must fill and submit Reviewer Feedback Form while submitting review recommendation.

Conflicts of Interest:

  • Reviewer should decline to review request for the manuscripts in which they have conflicts of interest resulting from competitive, collaborative, or other relationships or connections with any of the authors, companies, or institutions connected to the papers, i.e. reviewers should not evaluate a manuscript authored or co-authored by a person with whom the reviewer has personal or professional relationships that might bias their judgment of the manuscript's scientific merits.
  • Reviewers should be sensitive to the appearance of potential conflicts of interest when the content of the manuscript relates directly to the reviewer's published or unpublished research. If in doubt, the reviewer should immediately notify the appropriate Editor and seek their advice on whether to proceed with the review. Reviewers should also be sensitive to the appearance of potential conflict of interest when the manuscript describes results from experiments using patented technologies, which are competitive with patented technologies invented by the reviewer or the reviewer's employer.
  • If your previous or present connection with the author(s) or an author's institution might be construed as creating a conflict of interest, but no actual conflict exists, please include this issue in your confidential comments to the editor. If in doubt, please contact the Editor who requested the review before accepting.

Expectation From Reviewers

1. Prior to Accepting Review Request

Peer reviewers should:

  • accept to review if the manuscript is within their area of expertise.
  • accept to review a manuscript only if you are fairly confident that you can return a review within the proposed or mutually agreed time-frame, informing the journal promptly if you require an extension.
  • not agree to review a manuscript just to gain sight of it with no intention of submitting a review.
  • decline to review if you feel unable to provide a fair and unbiased review.
  • decline to review if you have been involved with any of the work in the manuscript or its reporting.
  • decline to review if asked to review a manuscript that is very similar to one you have in preparation or under consideration at another journal.
  • decline to review if you have issues with the peer-review model used by TJOPAM
  • decline to review and suggest potential reviewer, ensure that suggestions for alternative reviewers are based on suitability and not influenced by personal considerations or made with the intention of the manuscript receiving a specific outcome (either positive or negative).
  • decline to review if you do not have the subject expertise required to carry out the review.
  • decline to review if you have any potentially conflicting or competing interests (which may, for example, be personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political or religious)

 2. During the peer review process

Peer reviewers should:

  • respond in a reasonable time-frame and inform editor without intentional delay if you cannot do the review after accepting the request.
  • notify the journal immediately and seek advice if you discover either a conflicting interest that wasn’t apparent when you agreed to the review or anything that might prevent you from providing a fair and unbiased review.
  • refrain from looking at the manuscript and associated material while awaiting instructions from a journal on issues that might cause the request to review to be rescinded.
  • read the manuscript, ancillary material (e.g. reviewer instructions, required ethics and policy statements, supplemental data files) and journal instructions thoroughly, getting back to the journal if anything is not clear and requesting any missing or incomplete items you need to carry out a full review.
  • notify the journal as soon as possible if you do not have the expertise to assess all aspects of the manuscript; you shouldn’t wait until submitting their review as this will unduly delay the review process.
  • not involve anyone else in the review of a manuscript, including junior researchers you are mentoring, without first obtaining permission from the journal; the names of any individuals who have helped them with the review should be included with the returned review so that you are associated with the manuscript in the journal’s records and can also receive due credit for their efforts.
  • keep all manuscript and review details confidential.
  • contact the journal if circumstances arise that will prevent you from submitting a timely review, providing an accurate estimate of the time you will need to do a review if still asked to do so.
  • notify the journal immediately if you come across any irregularities, have concerns about ethical aspects of the work, are aware of substantial similarity between the manuscript and a concurrent submission to another journal or a published article, or suspect that misconduct may have occurred during either the research or the writing and submission of the manuscript; reviewers should, however, keep their concerns confidential and not personally investigate further unless the journal asks for further information or advice.
  • not intentionally prolong the review process, either by delaying the submission of their review or by requesting unnecessary additional information from the journal or author.
  • ensure that review is based on the merits of the work and not influenced, either positively or negatively, by any personal, financial, or other conflicting considerations or by intellectual biases.
  • not contact the authors directly without the permission of the journal.

3. While Preparing Review Report

Peer reviewers should:

  • be objective and constructive in their reviews and provide feedback that will help the authors to improve their manuscript.
  • not make derogatory personal comments or unfounded accusations
  • be specific in their criticisms, and provide evidence with appropriate references to substantiate general statements such as, ‘this work has been done before’, to help editors in their evaluation and decision and in fairness to the authors.
  • remember it is the authors’ paper and not attempt to rewrite it to their own preferred style if it is basically sound and clear; suggestions for changes that improve clarity are, however, important.
  • make clear which suggested additional investigations are essential to support claims made in the manuscript under consideration and which will just strengthen or extend the work.
  • not prepare their report in a way that reflects badly or unfairly on another person.
  • not make unfair negative comments or include unjustified criticisms of any competitors’ work that is mentioned in the manuscript.
  • confidential comments to the editor should not be a place for denigration or false accusation, done in the knowledge that the authors will not see these comments.
  • not suggest that authors include citations to the reviewer’s (or their associates’) work merely to increase the reviewer’s (or their associates’) citation count or to enhance the visibility of their or their associates’ work; suggestions must be based on valid academic or technological reasons.

4. Post Review

Peer reviewers should:

  • continue to keep details of the manuscript and its review confidential.
  • respond promptly if contacted by a journal about matters related to their review of a manuscript and provide the information required.
  • contact the journal if anything relevant comes to light after you have submitted their review that might affect their original feedback and recommendations.
  • try to accommodate requests from journals to review revisions or resubmissions of manuscripts you have reviewed.

Resources:

COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers