Reviewers are asked to provide detailed, constructive comments to assist editors in the decision to publish and the author(s) to improve their manuscript. A key issue is whether the work has serious flaws that should preclude its publication, or whether there are additional experiments or data required to support the conclusions drawn. Whenever possible, reviewers should provide references to substantiate their comments.
Reviewers should address the points outlined below and indicate whether they consider any required revisions to be 'major required revisions', 'minor recommended revisions' or 'discretionary revisions'. In general, revisions are likely to be 'major required revisions' if additional controls are required to support the claims or the interpretations are not supported by the data, if further analysis is required that may change the conclusions, or if the methods used are inadequate or statistical errors have been made.
Is the study research question original, important and well defined?
The research question should be easily identifiable and understood in the manuscript, and reviewers should comment on the originality and importance of the study within the context of its field. If the research question is unoriginal because related work has been published previously, please provide references. Reviewers identify whether the manuscript brings new information and/or data to existing research and if there is a clear conclusion from the study.
Are the data sound and well controlled?
Reviewers should indicate if inappropriate controls were used in the study, and indicate reasons for concern. Reviewers are invited to suggest alternative controls where appropriate as well as recommend whether further is required to substantiate the results.
Is the interpretation (discussion and conclusion) well balanced and supported by the data?
The interpretation section of the manuscript should discuss the relevance of all results in an unbiased manner. Conclusions drawn from the study should be valid and result directly from the data shown, with reference to other relevant work as applicable.
Are the methods appropriate and well described, and are sufficient details provided to allow others to evaluate and/or replicate the work?
Reviewers should pay close attention to the suitability of the methods for the study, which should be clearly described and reproducible by peers in the field. If statistical analyses were completed, reviewers should specify whether or not these should be assessed by an additional reviewer with statistical expertise.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the methods?
Reviewers should provide recommendations for improvements to the study design to enhance the quality of the results. If any additional experiments are required, please provide details. Novel experimental techniques should be evaluated as to their reliability and validity.
Can the writing, organization, tables and/or figures be improved?
While the editorial team will also assess the overall quality of the language and visuals used, reviewers should evaluate manuscripts against standards generally expected for a scientific publication. If the manuscript structure is illogical or hard to understand, reviewers should provide recommendations for improvement.
Can revisions improve the manuscript?
Reviewers may recommend revisions for any or all of the following reasons: data need to be added to support the authors' conclusions; better justification is needed for the arguments based on existing data; or the clarity and/or coherence of the paper needs to be improved.
Are there any ethical or competing interests issues of concern?
The study should adhere to ethical standards of research and the authors should declare that they have received ethics approval and or patient consent for the study, where appropriate. Reviewers are not expected to research author's competing interests, however, any issues that reviewers are aware of and may be of concern should be addressed to JHEOR's editors.
Are the supplementary materials appropriate?
Online publishing enables the inclusion of additional files with published articles, including movies, tabular data, mini-websites, and files pertaining to original/raw data files to support the results reported in the manuscript. Reviewers are encouraged to comment on the appropriateness of the types of additional files included with the manuscript, but are not expected to reanalyze all supporting data as part of their peer review.
Reviewers are encouraged to complete their reviews in a timely manner by the deadline provided by JHEOR editors. If unable to meet the deadline, reviewers should notify JHEOR as soon as possible at manuscripts.
Reviewers are reminded that manuscripts sent for peer review are confidential until they are formally published.