Guide for Reviewers

We express our sincere gratitude to scholars who generously contribute their time to peer-review the articles submitted to the Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences. Rigorous peer-review serves as the cornerstone of maintaining the highest standards for academic publishing.


1. Peer Review and Editorial Procedure:

Peer review is an integral aspect of our publication process, ensuring that the Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences upholds rigorous quality standards for all published papers. Upon submission, the Managing Editor conducts a technical pre-check of the manuscript. An academic editor is then informed of the submission, invited to perform an editorial pre-check, and recommend suitable reviewers. Academic editors may choose to proceed with peer review, reject a manuscript, or request revisions before initiating the peer-review process. If the peer review is continued, the Managing Editor or Academic Editor organizes the process, enlisting independent experts to provide at least two review reports for each manuscript. Authors are encouraged to make adequate revisions, with a second round of peer review when deemed necessary, before a final decision is reached. The ultimate decision rests with an academic editor, typically the Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Board Member, or Guest Editor for a Special Issue. Once accepted, manuscripts undergo internal copy-editing.


2. Reviewers’ Profile and Responsibilities


The role of the reviewer is paramount, carrying significant responsibility in upholding the scholarly integrity of the Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences. Reviewers are expected to evaluate manuscripts promptly, transparently, and ethically, adhering to the guidelines set forth by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), available here.


Reviewers should fulfill the following criteria:


2.1 No Conflicts of Interest


Reviewers must have no conflicts of interest with any of the authors.


2.2 Diversity of Institutions


Reviewers should not originate from the same institution as the authors.


2.3 Publication History


They should not have co-published with the authors in the last three years.


2.4 Educational Background


Holding a PhD or MD (for medical journals) is required.


2.5 Relevant Expertise


Reviewers need to possess relevant experience and a proven publication record in the field of the submitted paper, as evident on Scopus and ORCID.


2.6 Scholarly Proficiency


They should be seasoned scholars in the specific field of the submitted paper.


2.7 Official Affiliation


Reviewers are required to hold an official and recognized academic affiliation.


The Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences is committed to rigorous peer review, a fundamental task for our reviewers. When accepting to review a manuscript, reviewers are expected to:


  • Expertise: Have the necessary expertise to assess the scientific quality of the manuscript
  • Timeliness: Provide quality review reports and remain responsive throughout the peer review process
  • Professionalism: Uphold standards of professionalism and ethics.


3. Reviewers’ Benefits


Reviewing is an often-unseen yet crucial task. We acknowledge the invaluable contributions of our reviewers through the following benefits:


3.1 Discount on APC


For every reviewed manuscript, the reviewer receives a 25% discount, applicable to a future submission's Article Processing Charge (APC) to the Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences.


3.2 Certificate


Reviewers receive a personalized certificate to acknowledge their valuable contribution.


3.3 Outstanding Reviewer Awards


Reviewers are eligible for consideration for the "Outstanding Reviewer Awards."


3.4 Annual Acknowledgment


Reviewers, provided more than 100 assisted the journal in the preceding year, are included in the journal’s annual acknowledgment of reviewers.


3.5 Reviewer Board Membership


Excellent reviewers may be considered for promotion to Editorial Board Members, subject to approval by the Editor-in-Chief.


3.6 Web of Science Recognition


Reviewers can create a profile on the Web of Science Reviewer Recognition Service (formerly Publons), with their reviewing activity automatically documented for participating journals. These profiles can also be linked with ORCID.


4. Guidelines for Reviewers


4.1. Reviewer Invitation


Manuscripts submitted to the Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences undergo a comprehensive review process involving a minimum of two expert reviewers. Reviewers play a crucial role in evaluating manuscript quality and providing recommendations to the external editor, guiding decisions on acceptance, revision, or rejection.


Reviewers are kindly asked to:


  • Swiftly accept or decline invitations, based on the manuscript's title and abstract.Propose alternative reviewers if unable to accept the invitation.


  • Notify the Managing Editor promptly if more time is needed to provide a thorough assessment.


4.2. Managing Conflicts of Interest


Reviewers are urged to openly disclose any potential conflicts of interest and contact the Managing Editor if there is uncertainty about a specific conflict. Possible conflicts include, but are not limited to:


  • Reviewers working in the same institute as any of the authors.

  • Reviewers being co-authors, collaborators, joint grant holders, or having any academic ties with the authors in the past five years.

  • Close personal relationships, rivalries, or antipathies with any of the authors.

  • Financial gains or losses tied to the publication of the paper.

  • Other non-financial conflicts of interest (political, personal, religious, ideological, academic, intellectual, commercial, or others) with any of the authors.


Reviewers are encouraged to disclose conflicts that may be perceived as introducing bias for or against the paper or its authors.


Importantly, the review of a manuscript previously evaluated for another journal is not considered a conflict of interest. In such cases, reviewers are invited to inform the Managing Editor about any improvements or lack thereof compared to the previous version.


Reviewers are also advised to familiarize themselves with the ethical guidelines outlined for peer reviewers by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).


4.3. Confidentiality Declaration


The Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences adheres to a single-blind review system. Reviewers are expected to maintain strict confidentiality regarding the manuscript content, including the Abstract, until the article is officially published. Additionally, reviewers should take precautionary measures to prevent the disclosure of their identity to the authors, both in comments and metadata within reports submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format.


In situations where a reviewer wishes for a colleague to conduct the review in their place, it is imperative to notify the Managing Editor of this arrangement.


4.4. Review Report Guidelines


Consider the following instructions for preparing a comprehensive review report for the Journal of Pioneering Medical Sciences:


4.4.1 Thorough Evaluation


Read the entire manuscript, including supplementary materials, meticulously examining figures, tables, data, and methods. Critically analyze the article as a whole and specific sections, focusing on key concepts.


4.4.2 Detailed Comments


Provide detailed comments to aid authors in understanding and addressing raised points. Avoid recommending unnecessary citations, especially from oneself or close colleagues, ensuring references improve manuscript quality.


4.4.3 Constructive Criticism


Maintain a neutral tone, delivering constructive criticism to help authors enhance their work. Derogatory comments are not acceptable.


4.4.4 AI Use Prohibition


Reviewers must refrain from using AI or AI-assisted tools (e.g., ChatGPT) for reviewing submissions, ensuring adherence to peer review confidentiality.


4.4.5 Standards and Guidelines


Familiarize yourself with standards from ICMJE, CONSORT, TOP, PRISMA, and ARRIVE, and report any concerns regarding their implementation.


4.4.6 Review Content


Reports should include a brief summary, general concept comments, and specific comments referring to line numbers, tables, or figures. Focus on scientific content, not language issues.


4.4.7 Critical Review Guidance


For additional guidance on critical reviews, refer to COPE Ethical Guidelines, "Peer Review and Manuscript Management in Scientific Journals" by Hames, and other resources mentioned in the document.


4.4.8 Key Questions for Research Articles


  • Clarity, relevance, and structure of the manuscript.

  • Appropriateness and recentness of cited references.

  • Scientific soundness and experimental design suitability.

  • Reproducibility of results based on provided details.

  • Appropriateness and interpretation of figures/tables/images/schemes.

  • Consistency of conclusions with presented evidence.


4.4.9 Key Questions for Review Articles


  • Clarity, comprehensiveness, and relevance of the review.

  • Identification of knowledge gaps.

  • Relevance of the review in comparison to recent publications.

  • Appropriateness and recentness of cited references.

  • Coherence of statements and conclusions with citations.

  • Appropriateness and interpretation of figures/tables/images/schemes.


4.5. Manuscript Evaluation Criteria


In the process of evaluating the manuscript, consider the following criteria:


4.5.1 Novelty


  • Is the research question original and well-defined?


  • Do the results contribute significantly to current knowledge?


4.5.2 Scope


  • Does the work align with the journal's scope?


4.5.3 Significance


  • Are results appropriately interpreted and significant?


  • Are conclusions justified and supported by results?


  • Are hypotheses clearly identified?


4.5.4 Quality


  • Is the article appropriately written?


  • Are data and analyses presented effectively?


  • Does the presentation meet the highest standards?


4.5.5 Scientific Soundness


  • Is the study well-designed and technically sound?


  • Are analyses conducted with high technical standards?


  • Is data robust enough for drawing conclusions?


  • Are methods, tools, and reagents described with sufficient detail for reproducibility?


  • Is raw data available and accurate (if applicable)?


4.5.6 Interest to Readers


  • Are conclusions appealing to the journal's readership?


  • Will the paper attract a wide audience or appeal to a limited group?


  • (Refer to the Aims and Scope of the journal.)


4.5.7 Overall Merit


  • Does publishing the work bring overall benefit?


  • Does the research advance current knowledge?


  • Do authors address an important question with intelligent experiments?


  • Do authors present negative results of a valid scientific hypothesis?


4.5.8 English Level


  • Is the English language suitable and easily understandable?


  • Ensure manuscripts adhere to the highest publication ethics standards:


Manuscripts should only report unpublished results.


  • Originality is crucial, avoiding text reuse without proper citation.


  • Studies should follow generally accepted ethical research standards.


If reviewers identify scientific misconduct, fraud, plagiarism, or other unethical behavior related to the manuscript, they should promptly notify the Managing Editor or Editor in Chief.


4.6. Comprehensive Manuscript Recommendation


Kindly furnish an overall recommendation for the manuscript's next processing stage, employing the following options:


4.6.1 Accept in Present Form


The paper can be accepted without necessitating further alterations.


4.6.2 Accept after Minor Revisions


The paper could be accepted post-revision based on the reviewer's feedback. Authors are allotted five days for minor adjustments.


4.6.3 Reconsider after Major Revisions


Manuscript acceptance is contingent on substantial revisions. Authors are expected to furnish a detailed response, addressing each point raised by the reviewer. A maximum of two rounds of major revision is typically allowed. Authors are required to resubmit the revised paper within ten days, and the revised version will be re-evaluated by the reviewer for additional comments. If the anticipated revision time exceeds two months, authors are encouraged to withdraw the manuscript before resubmission to ensure ample time for thorough revisions.


4.6.4 Reject


The article exhibits significant flaws, lacks original contribution, and may be rejected without the opportunity for resubmission.


Please note that your recommendation is exclusively visible to journal editors and not disclosed to the authors. Decisions regarding revisions, acceptance, or rejections must be substantiated thoroughly.


4.7. Reviewer Guidelines for Registered Reports Papers


The evaluation process for Registered Reports involves two distinct stages. In Stage 1, reviewers assess study proposals before data collection, while in Stage 2, the complete study, inclusive of results and interpretation, is considered.


4.7.1 Stage 1 Review


During the assessment of Stage 1 papers, it's important to note that no experimental data or results will be presented. Reviewers are tasked with evaluating the methodology, focusing on aspects such as:


  1. The significance and robustness of the proposed hypotheses.

  2. The appropriateness and viability of the experimental and analytical methodologies.

  3. The provision of adequate details to replicate the proposed experimental procedures and analyses.

  4. The inclusion of outcome-neutral tests for the hypotheses, encompassing positive controls and quality checks.


Manuscripts successfully passing Stage 1 peer review may be published promptly or after the satisfactory completion of Stage 2, as determined by the authors. Editorial decisions at this stage will not hinge on the significance or novelty of the results.


4.7.2 Stage 2 Review


For Stage 2 manuscripts, reviewers are called upon to evaluate:


  1. The adequacy of the data for testing the proposed hypotheses, ensuring compliance with approved outcome-neutral conditions (e.g., quality checks, positive controls).

  2. The alignment of the tested hypotheses with the approved Stage 1 submission.

  3. The precise adherence to registered experimental procedures or a satisfactory justification for any modifications.

  4. The methodological soundness and relevance of any new analyses (not specified at Stage 1).

  5. The justification of authors' conclusions in light of the presented data.
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