Double-blinded peer review
Peer review plays a vital part in assuring the quality and value of each article that is published in EFORT Open Reviews. EOR follows a double-blinded review process – i.e. reviewers and authors are not informed of each other’s identities during or following the review process. This is intended to promote impartiality.
EFORT Open Reviews aims to publish high-quality instructional review articles across the whole field of orthopaedics and traumatology, summarising current knowledge and practice in orthopaedics.
When reviewing an article, reviewers should bear in mind the following questions:
- Does this article provide significant insight into, and critical analysis of, the literature for the topic under consideration?
- Is the discussion balanced? Have any controversies, gaps in literature or practice, and future directions been acknowledged?
- Has all of the key literature on the topic been referenced and cited?
- Does the review article provide a comprehensive summary of the current state of understanding for this topic?
- Is the content expressed clearly and succinctly, including a relevant title, a bulleted abstract, a conclusion detailing clear takehome messages, and ideally illustrative figures and/or tables?
- Is the language acceptable? (Although please do not spend time making corrections for grammar, spelling, and typos).
Please note that the journal does not aim to publish original research, and therefore originality is not one of the acceptance criteria – although, of course, the content of a review article must be expressed in the author’s own words and must not reproduce large sections of previously published literature (even where this concerns the author’s own work). All articles are screened by the Managing Editor using plagiarism checking software during the first stage of peer review.
You may also wish to familiarize yourself with the EFORT Open Reviews Instructions for Authors.
Requisites for reviewing
Before agreeing to review an article, please ensure that:
- You have sufficient knowledge and experience of the topic in hand to be able to review the article. If you are unsure about your suitability, please check with the Associate Editor who has invited you to review. If the article falls outside of your areas of interest, please decline to review.
- You are able to complete the review within 2–3 weeks of receiving the invitation. Timeliness is critical.
- You acknowledge any conflict of interest and make the Associate Editor aware of this. For example: you may know who the authors are; you may work (or have worked) with them; you may have a financial, professional, personal, intellectual, or political disagreement with the text). A conflict of interest does not necessarily exclude you from reviewing, but must be flagged.
- You fulfil your ethical responsibilities not to make use of material under your review prior to publication, nor to publicly discuss the submitted article.
Reviews must be returned in a timely manner. The Associate Editor will usually expect a response within 1 week of invitation. Your review must then be returned within 2 weeks of agreeing to review the article. Because the Associate Editor’s recommendation can only be made once all reviews are complete, a delay by a single reviewer slows down the entire editorial process.
Please agree to review a submitted article only if you are confident that you can meet the deadline.
Completing your review
When you agree to review an article for EOR, you will receive an automated email sent from our ScholarOne Manuscripts site, which contains a link to the article under review. Please click on this link to access the article directly – you should be directed to the scoresheet:
To view the article text, click on the ‘HTML’ or ‘PDF’ button towards the top of the screen. This will display the article in a pop-up window (if you have problems viewing the manuscript, please check your browser pop-up settings).
Please begin working through the article scoresheet once you have read the paper, ensuring that you do not include any identifying information in your review.
As well as completing the checkboxes and quantitative evaluations within the scoresheet, it is vital that reviewers provide detailed discursive feedback within the comments field(s). Where reviewers do not provide constructive comments, the Associate Editor may contact them again to request these. Authors will be asked to respond to reviewers’ feedback if they submit a revision.
Any comments included in the ‘Confidential Comments to the Editor’ field will be seen by the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editor, and Managing Editor only; any comments in the ‘Comments to the Author’ field will also be sent to the author via email. Please ensure that these comments are fair, unbiased, and courteous in tone. Constructive comments and suggestions should guide the author to improve the manuscript where necessary, ensuring that the material is presented clearly and concisely. Please indicate, using specific examples from the paper, the areas that are strong and those that require further attention. Should the paper be expanded or shortened (the guideline is around 4000 words)?
You may also, if you wish, attach an annotated file within the ‘Attach a file’ field. This file will be sent to the author along with the decision email – so once again, please ensure that it does not include information that might identify you. Please note that once you have chosen a file to upload, you must click the blue ’Attach’ button to attach this to the scoresheet.
When reviewers agree to assess a paper, they should also, as a rule, commit to reviewing subsequent revisions. If you are unwilling to review a revision, please state why.
Reviewers should bear in mind that their opinion may differ from those of the other reviewer(s) and/or the Associate Editor, and the Associate Editor/Editor-in-Chief may have to make a decision based on conflicting advice. Where a paper is eventually accepted for publication, each reviewer will receive an email containing blinded feedback from all other reviewers.
Once you are happy with your review, click the blue ‘Submit’ button at the bottom of the screen to send the scoresheet to the Associate Editor.
If you require any further guidance or have any technical issues, please contact the Managing Editor.