Reviewers

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Guide for Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmacognosy Research Reviewers

This guide for reviewers contains information about basic considerations that should be applied when reviewing a manuscript that has been submitted to Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmacognosy Research (JPPRes), and about the editorial standards of the journal. Other relevant information about the journal’s aims and scope and editorial policies can be found at ‘About JPPRes‘.

Submitted manuscripts are usually reviewed by two or more experts. Peer reviewers will be asked to recommend whether a manuscript should be accepted, revised or rejected. They should also alert the editors of any issues relating to author misconduct such as plagiarism and unethical behavior.

Publication of research articles by JPPRes is dependent primarily on their validity and coherence, as judged by peer reviewers and editors. The reviewers may also be asked whether the writing is comprehensible and how interesting they consider the article to be. Submitted manuscripts will be sent to peer reviewers, unless they are out of scope or below the interest threshold of JPPRes, or if the presentation or written Spanish or English is of an unacceptably low standard.

Points to consider

Reviewers are asked to provide detailed, constructive comments that will help the editors make a decision on publication and the author(s) improve their manuscript. A key issue is whether the work has serious flaws that should preclude its publication, or whether there are additional experiments or data required to support the conclusions drawn. Where possible, reviewers should provide references to substantiate their comments.

  1. Is the question posed original, important and well defined?

    The research question posed by the authors should be easily identifiable and understood.
    It is useful to both the editors and authors if reviewers comment on the originality and importance of the study within the context of its field. If the research question is unoriginal because related work has been published previously, please give references.
    Reviewers should ask themselves after reading the manuscript if they have learnt something new and if there is a clear conclusion from the study.

  2. Are the data sound and well controlled?

    If you feel that inappropriate controls have been used please say so, indicating the reasons for your concerns, and suggesting alternative controls where appropriate. If you feel that further experimental/clinical evidence is required to substantiate the results, please provide details.

  3. Is the interpretation (discussion and conclusion) well balanced and supported by the data?

    The interpretation should discuss the relevance of all the results in an unbiased manner. Are the interpretations overly positive or negative?
    Conclusions drawn from the study should be valid and result directly from the data shown, with reference to other relevant work as applicable. Have the authors provided references wherever necessary?

  4. Are the methods appropriate and well described, and are sufficient details provided to allow others to evaluate and/or replicate the work?

    Please remark on the suitability of the methods for the study, which should be clearly described and reproducible by peers in the field.
    If statistical analyses have been carried out, specify whether or not they need to be assessed specifically by an additional reviewer with statistical expertise.

  5. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the methods?

    Please comment on any improvements that could be made to the study design to enhance the quality of the results. If any additional experiments are required, please give details.
    If novel experimental techniques were used please pay special attention to their reliability and validity.

  6. Can the writing, organization, tables and figures be improved?

    Although the editorial team may also assess the quality of the written English, please do comment if you consider the standard is below that expected for a scientific publication.
    If the manuscript is organized in such a manner that it is illogical or not easily accessible to the reader please suggest improvements.
    Please provide feedback on whether the data are presented in the most appropriate manner; for example, is a table being used where a graph would give increased clarity? Are the figures of a high enough quality to be published in their present form?

  7. When revisions are requested

    Reviewers may recommend revisions for any or all of the following reasons: data need to be added to support the authors’ conclusions; better justification is needed for the arguments based on existing data; or the clarity and/or coherence of the paper needs to be improved.

  8. Are there any ethical or competing interests issues you would like to raise?

    The study should adhere to ethical standards of scientific/medical research and the authors should declare that they have received ethics approval and or patient consent for the study, where appropriate.
    Whilst we do not expect reviewers to delve into authors’ competing interests, if you are aware of any issues that you do not think have been adequately addressed, please inform the editorial office.

  9. Reviewers are reminded of the importance of timely reviews

    If reviewers encounter or foresee any problems meeting the deadline for a report, they should contact editor@jppres.com.

  10. Confidentiality

    Any manuscript sent for peer review is a confidential document and should remain so until it is formally published.

Reviewer Guidelines

Reviewers are requested to produce a report on the paper (which will be sent in an anonymised form to the authors) and also make a recommendation regarding acceptance (see the Assessment Form in PDF here).

  • Minor revision: recommended when the paper reports good research but there are a few minor issues that require expansion or clarification.
  • Major revision: recommended either when the methods and/or results need clarification to confirm that the study was well executed, or when there are multiple small comments to be addressed.
  • Rejection: used for a study that is fundamentally flawed, extremely small, adds no new knowledge and/or is likely to be of little interest to the JPPR readership.
  • Resubmission as short communication: small studies reporting pilot data or novel ideas, or studies from developing countries that are not original but indicate good work, may be suitable for resubmission as short communications
Report length

The length of the report is a matter for the reviewer to decide. However, it is JPPR policy to give authors as much feedback as possible, even where publication is not being recommended. The average length of a reviewer’s report is one A4 page, but may be longer if major revisions are recommended (see the Assessment Form in PDF here).

Report structure

Reviewers are requested to give a general assessment of the paper, with a brief summary of their recommendation about publication, and identify major points (either positive or negative) and/or strengths and weaknesses (see the Assessment Form in PDF here). This should be followed by detailed constructive comments under specific headings of the paper. Authors find it helpful when reviewers suggest specific ways in which the paper should be revised.

Points to consider

Reviewers sometimes identify major flaws in the study design and this may be the reason why a paper is rejected. Detailed comments can be very helpful to the authors in ensuring that future studies do not repeat the same errors.
Comments on the authors’ interpretation of data and of the implications for practice and/or policy are also helpful. Occasionally, while a study design cannot support the authors’ conclusions, it may be that some important or valuable messages can still be derived from the data. Reviewers sometimes suggest that a paper might be rewritten in these circumstances.
Reviewers are asked to comment on whether the paper is suitable for an international audience and, if not, what changes might be needed.
Reviewers are also invited to comment on manuscript length where appropriate.

Language

Many of our papers come from authors for whom Spanish or English are a second language and reviewers should try not to let language be a barrier to their assessment of the paper.
Reviewers are not expected to correct the spelling and grammar of the manuscript; if accepted, the paper will be professionally copyedited.

Consulting colleagues

Reviewers may ask a junior colleague for their opinion on the article as part of academic development. The Editorial Office should always be advised of this when the report is returned. Reviewers are encouraged to suggest colleagues that may be invited to review future submissions.

Deadlines

JPPRes aims to reply to authors within 8 weeks of submission. Reviewer extensions can normally be granted but it is appreciated if requests are sent to the Editorial Office as early as possible.

Last Update: July 7, 2016