Guidelines for Reviewers

It is expected that reviews will be submitted within TWO (02) weeks of accepting the invitation.

Please consider the following review guidelines.

1. Reviewers should not only assess the subject, specialty, discipline, and related matter but also the epidemiological, statistical, and writing format of the manuscripts.

2. The comments should be added using the Track Changes option in the Review option of MS Word. Further comments may be added in the Review Box for the editor or the editor & the author.

3. Number the comments consecutively.

4. Do not include a recommendation for publication in your comments to authors.

5. Note that one-line reviews are not useful to the editor to make an informed decision.

6. If the manuscript is found difficult to review because of major flaws or poor writing, do offer brief comments to enable us to respond to the authors quickly.

7. Reviews must be constructive, courteous, and clear.

8. Comments should not contain personal attacks, discriminatory or defamatory content. (In line with COPE guidance, it is presumed for you to be ‘professional and refrain from being hostile or inflammatory and from making libellous or derogatory personal comments or unfounded accusations.’ (COPE 2017)

9. Confidential comments send to the editors should also not contain any personal attacks towards authors.

10. Comments send to the author should not include the recommendation.

When writing a review, the following must be considered:

1. Is the article manuscript comprehensible to professionals, practitioners and researchers, and written in clear, concise English for an international readership?

2. Does the manuscript address a clear, imperative research question?

3. Has a clear finding been identified, which is original and a significant development in existing knowledge?

4. Does the manuscript offer new insights and opportunities for treatment and prevention in clinical practice and/or have an effect on policy?

5. Is the research methodology sound, and is the following discussion and interpretation appropriate for the data?

6. Are there any components of the manuscript that could be omitted or added, such as tables, figures or specific text?

JPPS requests that all reviewers abide by our basic principles and standards during the peer-review process in research publication.
Please read them carefully before submitting a review, as, by agreeing to be a reviewer for JPPS, you acknowledge that you agree to follow and accept the set conditions. These considerations are based on the Committee on Publication Ethics Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers which also provides further information on how to be objective and constructive in your review.

It is important for peer reviewers to be mindful of the ethical impacts of the review process, and to consider them carefully when responding to a review invitation or completing a review. Reviewers can follow the comprehensive ethical guidelines for peer reviewers and the website of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

The ethical considerations for reviewing are here.

Bias & Conflicts of Interest

1. It is important to remain unbiased by considerations related to the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, origins of a manuscript or by commercial considerations. So be aware of unconscious bias, whether that's when you are deciding whether or not to review a particular proposal or paper, or when you are assessing the work and writing your report.

2. If you suspect the identity of the author, carefully ponder whether your impressions of the work are influenced in any way by the author's age, gender, institutional affiliation, or nationality - or indeed anything other than information that pertains to the quality and rigour of the research.

3. Rooting your review in evidence from the manuscript is critical in avoiding bias.

4. During the review process you are asked you to declare any possibly conflicting or competing interests (personal, financial, intellectual, professional, political or religious in nature) so that editors can assess these and factor them into their decisions. Please refer any major concerns over potentially competing interests to the editorial office before beginning your review. In addition, you should not agree to review a manuscript just to gain sight of it with no intention of submitting a review. These may become apparent at any point in the review process - when you are invited to review or after you have accepted the invitation to review and have received the entire paper. Whenever the conflict arises, it should be declared instantly.

Confidentiality

1. The double-blind peer review model being used requires the anonymity of the author(s) and/or reviewers. Thus, it is essential for the reviewer to understand our peer-review model and avoid including any identifying information in the documents you provide as part of the review process. This is to minimize the chance that this information is inadvertently passed on to the author(s).

2. Manuscripts that are sent for review are confidential documents and should not be shared or discussed with anyone other than those involved in the peer review process. Sharing with third-party tools such as ChatGPT would constitute a breach of confidentiality and be considered as a form of peer-review misconduct.

3. After you have completed your review, or if you have rejected the invitation to review, you must not share or discuss the work or any related information, even if the work is to be published.

4. While we encourage the mentorship of new reviewers by involving them in the review process, it is crucial to get the permission of the editor before sharing the details of any review activity with a colleague, or asking someone else to complete the review on your behalf.

5. JPPS provides the facility to make confidential comments to the editor that are not seen by the author(s). These comments can be useful for sharing concerns or viewpoints that would be inappropriate to raise directly in the review report.

Timeliness & Quality

1. If you believe that you have the expertise to evaluate a particular document, you should only accept the review request if you can complete it in the set time limit. However, if you are unable to review for any reason, please declare this to the editor as soon as it becomes apparent, even if you have accepted the invitation to review. It may also be beneficial to propose other reviewers if appropriate. These recommendations should be based solely on the reviewer's expertise and should not be influenced by personal preferences or the desire for the manuscript to be accepted or rejected.

2. Good and thorough reviews consume time, though active and experienced reviewers are more efficient than those who are less active or experienced. The academic community benefits greatly from quality evaluations since they assist scholars in improving their work both before and after publication.

3. The submitted review should be appropriately detailed and constructive, and the claims must be supported with specific evidence from the work you are reviewing.

4. Ensure that you are up-to-date with any reporting guidelines relevant to the discipline, and that you consider whether the article complies with these in your review.

Scientific Misconduct

During the review, if you have any concerns about author misconduct (e.g. plagiarism, fabrication, ghost author or duplicate publication), please immediately notify the editor about the concern(s).

Appropriate feedback

1. It is your responsibility as a reviewer to submit an objective, fair, and genuine evaluation of the manuscript's strengths and flaws. For instance, be precise in your criticism and back up broad assertions with relevant references and supporting data.

2. Be professional, avoid being harsh or inflammatory, and refrain from any offensive or derogatory personal comments. If the work lacks clarity due to incomplete analyses, the reviewer should provide an observation and elaborate what further studies might make the submission more understandable. Reviewers are not expected to take on tasks that go beyond the purview of the current scope.

AI use

Reviewers should declare in their reports, if they applied AI technology to enhance language and word processing. They should, however, protect the privacy of the peer review process by refraining from storing unpublished papers (or information about them) in publicly accessible AI systems where the security of the sensitive data cannot be ensured.

Review Usage

1. JPPS may request you to make additional confidential comments to the editor. Anonymised reviews are shared in full with authors and an editorial decision is made. Reviews must be civil and useful, and editors reserve the right to edit or remove any comments felt to be inappropriate.

2. If the reviewed article is selected for publication, your review will be shared with accreditation organisations when asked.

Restriction of Review Usage

1. As JPPS uses a double-blind peer review process, we request the reviewers do not disclose their review once the manuscript has been published.

2. Additionally, you may not post any details of the article which was reviewed, or any part of the review that would breach the confidentiality under which the article was provided to you for review.

*NOTE: Instructions for anonymous manuscript annotation

When submitting the reviewed documents, you can maintain the appropriate confidentiality of reviewers by changing a few settings in Microsoft Word.
Do not use your name in the filename of the review to maintain anonymity.

How to Anonymise Microsoft Word Files

To check for and remove personal information from Word 2010, 2013, and 2016 (.docx) files:

1. Click the File tab at the top-left corner of the window.

2. Click "Info" in the column at the left side of the window.

3. Click the "Check for Issues" drop-down menu, then click "Inspect Document."

4. Check the "Document Properties and Personal Information box" (you can uncheck the rest of the options), then click the "Inspect" button.

5. Click the "Remove All" button at the top of the window, then click the "Close" button. Be sure to save the document after making all of your changes.
Now the file is clear of your personal data and ready to submit.