Information for reviewers

Peer review

All submissions made to Spandidos Publications journals are peer reviewed prior to acceptance for publication. The Editorial Board assesses the suitability of each manuscript to ensure its suitability with respect to the scopes and aims of the journal. The manuscript is then critically reviewed by a minimum of two academic reviewers. During the peer review process, the Editor reserves the right to decline the manuscript for publication or to return it to the authors for additional changes prior to manuscript acceptance.

The reviewers are asked to provide constructive criticism for all original research articles and cases reports, according to the following guidelines:

(A) Provide an overview/summary of the manuscript

(B) Introduction and discussion
  1. Have any relevant previously published studies not been cited?
  2. Are the aims, significance and the novelty of the work clearly outlined in the manuscript?

(C) Materials and methods
  1. Are the experimental methods and statistical analyses appropriate? Should the authors use alternative methods or add additional experiments to their current work?
  2. Does the manuscript comply with relevant national or international ethics guidelines? Where applicable, has the study been approved by an ethics committee/has consent been obtained from patients?
  3. Have any mis-identified cell lines been used?
  4. Are there any limitations to the methods used by the authors? If so, have the authors appropriately discussed them?

(D) Results
  1. Can you comment on the quality of the data presented, including the reliability and validity of the results and the figures?
  2. Have the authors presented the relevant controls?
  3. Do the data support all the conclusions made by the authors?

(E) Quality of english language
  1. Can you  comment on the level of the English?
  2. Does the manuscript require further revisions by a language editing company or native English speaker?

Responsibility of reviewers

The peer review process for all Spandidos Publications journals is single-blinded. Reviewers are asked to objectively evaluate the merits of the reported research whilst respecting the authors’ own intellectual independence. Personal criticism is not appropriate under any circumstances. The reviewers must explain and provide evidence that supports their evaluation so that the authors can understand the reasoning behind the comments made.

The reviewers should mention any relevant, previously published studies that have not been cited in the manuscript. When commenting on any observations, deductions or arguments that have been previously reported, the reviewers should provide the relevant citation. If any substantial similarities are identified between the manuscript and any published article or any manuscript under consideration by another journal, this should be brought to the editor’s attention.

Spandidos Publications follows COPE’s Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. All manuscripts under review must be treated in strict confidence. The manuscript must not be shared or discussed with anyone, except in exceptional circumstances where additional expert advice is required from a specific individual. Where this is the case, the reviewers must disclose to the editor the identities of the individuals that have been consulted. Any unpublished information, argumentation or interpretation found in the manuscript under review must not be disclosed, unless consent from the authors is obtained.

If any competing interest is identified regarding a particular study, the reviewers are asked to notify Spandidos Publications and should decline to review the article if appropriate.

Decisions and appeals

The final decision to accept or decline a manuscript for publication is made by the Editor following consultation with the reviewers and the Editorial Board. For any manuscripts that do not meet the standards of Spandidos Publications journals, as outlined in our editorial policies, or that contain major scientific shortcomings, the reviewers will, to the best of their ability and wherever possible, advise the authors on how to further improve their work for publication.

The authors may be invited for reconsideration if a manuscript receives favorable comments from the reviewers but cannot be accepted immediately after the initial review. In such cases, the authors are expected to fully address the concerns and criticisms raised by the reviewers and/or the Editor. Manuscripts that are resubmitted after undergoing major revisions will be sent back for peer review. If the authors are not invited for resubmission by the Editor, the manuscript will not be reconsidered at any Spandidos Publications journal.

Spandidos Publications adheres to the COPE guidelines regarding appeals to editorial decisions and complaints. Authors who believe that the decision to decline their manuscript was made in error may submit an appeal. The authors should contact Spandidos Publications and submit an appeal letter, clearly stating the reasons for the appeal. The authors should explain why they consider the decision made by the Editor to be incorrect and provide a detailed and specific response to each and any comment that led to the rejection. Following the receipt of the appeal letter, Spandidos Publications will seek the advice of the journal’s external Editorial Advisory Panel in order to determine whether the manuscript can be reconsidered for re-review.