When a manuscript is received, an associate editor is appointed as an internal reviewer to decide on its suitability for peer review. If the manuscript is judged to be unsuitable for peer review, the editor will make a decision at this point to notify the author(s). Two suitably qualified professionals will externally review manuscripts, which are accepted for peer review. Authors whose submissions are accepted for external peer review will be notified of the outcome of reviews as soon as they are completed. The peer review process usually takes about 4 to 6 weeks from submission to final editing.
Contributions of a specific nature, which do not involve research (eg, editorials, conference and media reviews), are accepted without peer review. In this case, an associate editor will assess the suitability of those submissions before making recommendations to accept, revise or decline the submission.
Ethics of manuscript handling and external peer review
When manuscripts are circulated for external peer review, author details are not disclosed to reviewers, and equally, details of external reviewers are not disclosed to authors. Peer reviewers who have participated in the journal's peer review process, will be acknowledged annually by name, on the journal's website. Manuscripts to which peer reviewers have been assigned, will remain confidential.
Conflict of Interest
Public trust in the peer review process and the credibility of published articles depend in part on how well conflict of interest is handled during writing, peer review, and editorial decision making.
Every manuscript submitted to JEPHC will be assessed without bias. The editor will not participate in the assessment of any manuscript with which he/she has any conflict of interest.
Manuscripts which are received by the editor for publication in JEPHC; with respect to the following conditions, will be deemed as a conflict of interest:
- Any author who works at the Monash University Department of Commumity Emergency Health and Paramedic Practice.
- Any author who collaborates with the editor (past or present) in a professional capacity.
- Any author who is personally known to the editor.
- Any author who provides consultancy services to the editor (and vice versa).
Where a conflict of interest is present, the process of internal editorial evaluation will instead be given to an independent associate editor. All editorial decisions relating to peer reviewer selection and acceptance or rejection of the manuscript, will be undertaken by the designated associate editor.
In consideration of confidentiality and privacy, reviewers are asked to give priority to the following points:
All copies of manuscripts held by the peer reviewer, must be destroyed upon completion of the review.
Peer reviewers are requested not to discuss or disclose with any person, the content of manuscripts to which they have been assigned. If external assistance is required with the review, the editor should be notified prior to seeking assistance.
Peer reviewers are requested to disclose to the editor, any conflict of interest, which may influence objective assessment of a manuscript. This includes shared or competing interests in current research to which the peer reviewer has knowledge of the author by personal means or through other sources.
The Review Process
Peer reviewers are provided with an assessment form to record details and comments relating to the manuscript. Peer reviewers are required to evaluate the manuscript critically but constructively and to provide valid and informative comments to authors, which will facilitate improvement in their work.
The manuscript should be assessed for:
- Presence of a brief summary of the manuscript
- Originality and synthesis
- Significance and interest
- Technical and scientific soundness
- Quality of presentation
In making an assessment, reviewers should consider the following:
Does the manuscript have an organized structure?
Is there presence of a well-reasoned argument?
Does the structure of the manuscript reflect the title, abstract, introduction and conclusion?
Is the writing easy to follow, informative and interesting?
Measure of content
Could the manuscript or any part of it be extended, condensed, combined or deleted?
Are the methods used appropriate for the study?
Data and Presentation
Are the stated results verifiable from tables, figures etc. and if so, are they clearly identifiable and appropriate?
Design and Analysis
Is the design and analysis appropriate and correct?
Are measurements and observations clearly isolated and identifiable?
Are significant statements justified?
Are there any errors in fact, technique, calculation, interpretation or style?
Are all cited statements correctly referenced according to Author Guidelines?
Does the manuscript demonstrate adequate research of existing literature in support of the topic?
Are the findings of the manuscript already published?
Does the manuscript contain information in the conclusion, which is not covered in the body of the manuscript?
Does the conclusion summarise the scope and findings of the manuscript?
It is important to complete the review promptly and notify the editor as soon as possible if an extension of time is required to complete the evaluation.
Peer review decision
Manuscripts, which are sent out for external peer review, are often referred back to authors for revision. This is not a criticism of the manuscript, but a request to present and clarify information in a format that will deliver the best possible structure of information to the reader.
Authors should give priority to decisions that may involve changes to the manuscript, and understand that the journal requires a quick response regarding the author(s) intention to revise the manuscript.
A copy of the revised version should be returned to the editorial office as advised, highlighting areas where changes have been made. Detailed responses to reviewers' comments, in a covering letter, are necessary too.
Upon receipt of the revised manuscript, the associate editor who initiated the external review will decide whether manuscript revisions have been met according to the advice of peer reviewers. On occasions it may be necessary for the editor to return the manuscript to reviewers for further assessment, before accepting the manuscript for final editing.
No manuscript will be reconsidered for publication if it has not been revised in accordance with most of the peer reviewers' comments.
All rejected manuscripts will be destroyed.
It is the policy of the journal to deal with appeals of decision in a fair and objective manner.
If an appeal is made by an author to reconsider further review of a rejected manuscript, the editor will assess the grounds on which the appeal has been made. The editor reserves the right to decide the outcome of appeal.
In the event of a manuscript being resubmitted for peer review, the editor will select at least one of the original peer reviewers, and one or two peer reviewers who have not previously assessed the manuscript.
Our editorial staff will endeavour to provide authors and reviewers with advice or technical assistance that may be required to support the successful publication of manuscripts. Please contact for further information.
Information contained in the reviewer guidelines has been created in accordance with the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME) and the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.
Developed by editors for Annals of Emergency Medicine, 'An Instructional Guide for Peer Reviewers of Biomedical Manuscripts' is a web based resource, designed to orient and educate peer reviewers on how to perform their tasks. Content is based on a series of lectures, a sample manuscript for review, sample reviews, and supplementary web resources. Access to the guide is free for non-commercial use and contains no commercial or advertising material. http://www3.us.elsevierhealth.com/extractor/graphics/em-acep/index.html