These guidelines may help you to assess the article´s quality and provide the authors with
feedback. Please consider the guidelines as a recommendation how to proceed with your review.
A. General questions to the manuscript
1. Is the article sufficiently novel, original and interesting to warrant publication?
2. Does it add to the canon of knowledge?
3. Is the research question an important one?
B. Conducting the review
1. Structure: Is the article clearly laid out? Are all elements (see below) included?
Title: Does it clearly describe the article?
Abstract: Does it reflect the content of the article?
- Does it describe what the author(s) hoped to achieve accurately and does it clearly state the problem being
- investigated, research questions and/or hypothesis?
- Is the relevant research summarized to provide context?
- Do(es) the author(s) accurately explain how the data was collected or where information was derived from?
- Are the methodological procedures clearly identified, adequately described and ordered in a meaningful way?
- Are new methods explained in detail?
Analysis and Results:
- Do(es) the author(s) clearly and in a logical sense lay out what they discovered in research?
- Has an appropriate analysis been conducted?
- Are the arguments formulated clearly?
- Are the claims in this section supported by the results and do they seem reasonable?
- Have the author(s) indicated how the results relate to expectations and to earlier research?
- Are the conclusions plausible?
- If an article is poorly written, there is no need to correct the manuscript in detail but it would be helpful to bring it to the general attention to the editor. If some sentences or passages are incomprehensible please state the page and the exact line(s).
3. Figures and tables:
- Are they an important part of the article/ story/ research?
- Do the figures describe the data accurately? Are the statistics correct?
- Are there any important works that have been omitted? Are the references accurate?
5. Ethical issues:
If you might suspect that an article or parts of it are a substantial copy of another work, would you mind to let the editor know, citing the previous work in as much detail as possible.
C. Report to Authors
The editors would appreciate if your report would contain:
- A short summary of the article, summarizing the way you understood the article.
- Key elements of your review, which should address the points outlined in the preceding section.
- In case of revisions would you be so kind as to clearly identify what revision is required, if possible citation with
- direct indication of page and line(s).
- Please keep your comments courteous, constructive and without any personal remarks.
- Classification of the article:
- accept without revision
- accept but needs minor revision
- accept but needs major revision
- rejected due to poor quality or out of scope
You can download these guidelines here.
For more information on peer review please also visit the SpringerOpen Peer Review process page and the BMC blog.