Purpose and rewards of peer review
The Neurology Letters strive to publish superb studies in clinical neurology. Peer reviewers' opinions of manuscripts are invaluable in assisting the Editor-in-Chief and Associate Editors in making their decisions. In addition to helping assess the value of a manuscript for the scientific literature and to the field of neurology, reviewers help authors improve their manuscripts by recommending areas for improvement.
In return for reviewing, you’ll keep up with the field and gain understanding that will improve the quality of your own studies and how you report them. You will provide a service to the readers by improving the published articles wherever they are published
The Neurology Letters is always looking for competent, enthusiastic reviewers. If you are interested in reviewing, contact us at [email protected] and include a series of keywords on topics in which you have expertise to help us determine appropriate papers for you to review. We will also ask that you make sure your profile is updated in the system.
The review process requires strict confidentiality. Please follow these guidelines:
Do not discuss the manuscript you are reviewing with anyone outside the editorial office unless you have consulted the editorial office. Any colleagues or mentoring relationships with junior colleagues should be identified before the review is performed (the editor may have had reasons for excluding those colleagues).
Do not copy, disseminate, or share information in the manuscript for any purpose, including classroom use, or use it for advancement of your own research.
Do not divulge to the authors that you are reviewing the manuscript, even if you need clarifications; those questions should be included in the comments for the authors in the review.
The Neurology Letters is committed to rapid editorial decisions and publication. To avoid delay in publication of important scientific work, we request that reviewers return their comments within the time indicated at invitation. If any unanticipated difficulties arise that may prevent you from submitting the review on time, contact the editorial office immediately.
Reviewer Conflicts of Interest
Publication ethics require that a reviewer reveal any potential conflicts of interest – financial or personal – that may bias their review with respect to the authors or the content. Disclosure is most appropriate at the time of acceptance of a review assignment. A reviewer should decline invitations to peer review papers authored by close colleagues unless they are sure they can remain absolutely objective. To ensure fairness and unbiased feedback, please let us know if you have a conflict of interest in any of the following ways:
If you have any financial interest in the publication or non-publication of the paper
If you have a recent or ongoing collaboration with the authors
If you have a history of dispute with the authors (more than normal competition)
We do not consider it a conflict of interest if you have reviewed the paper under consideration for another journal (this only confirms that you are probably well qualified). However, please let us know, in Confidential Comments to the Editor, whether the authors made the appropriate changes in the manuscript in response to your initial review.
Declining an Invitation to Review
Please let us know why you are declining. We welcome your suggestion of another colleague who might be able to review the manuscript. If you will be unavailable to accept review invitations for a specific period of time, please let us know; we will create a note in our database that will alert staff to your timeframe of unavailability.
A Good Peer Review: Assigning priority and choosing superb papers
A good peer review includes dependable information based on thoughtful assessment of the manuscript and relevant literature; objectivity is critical, with an appropriate degree of detail to communicate positive and negative aspects of a manuscript. Timeliness is imperative. Reviewers will want to consider the following aspects when reviewing a manuscript:
Suitability of the manuscript to the audience
Importance of the study (with respect to mechanism of disease or its treatment, diagnosis, or outcomes)
Reliability of the science
Originality and novelty of methods, analysis, or findings
Clarity of presentation
The Journal isinterested in 3-D or interactive figures. If you see figures that would be enhanced by this approach, please let the editors and authors know.
As you review the manuscript, keep in mind that the most helpful reviews state the reasons why the study is superb, why the paper is fatally flawed, or why you prioritize it somewhere along the acceptance-rejection spectrum. Substantiate your statements. Detailed comments will help the editors make a decision on a paper and will also help the authors improve it.
Comments for the Authors
Comments for the authors should first include a general paragraph stating:
The significance and interest of the paper to Neurology Letters readers
The originality and soundness of the scientific work
Major deficiencies or irreparable flaws
Specific numbered comments should include your impressions of the strengths and weaknesses of the following items. Numbered (1, 2, 3, etc.) comments will facilitate the editors’ communication with the authors, the authors’ responses to reviewers, and re-reviews.
General presentation: Is the writing concise, clear, and well organized? Do all sections of the manuscript consistently reflect the major point being made? Should the paper or parts of it be shortened or expanded? Are findings new, unique, convincing, interesting?
Abstract: Does it accurately reflect the paper?
Introduction: Is the research question or hypothesis clearly stated?
Methods and statistical design: Are the methods valid for the question asked? Are they current? Are they clearly presented so that the work can be replicated by other researchers? Are sample sizes adequate? Are the statistical analyses appropriate, correct?
Results and data: Are they clearly summarized? Are data in the text and tables/figures consistent? Are tables/figures included necessary? Is information needlessly repeated? Can some be placed online-only?
Discussion: Are the conclusions justified and interpretations sound? Are the limitations of the study noted?
Citations: Are the cited references pertinent and current? Do they support any assertions of fact not addressed by the data presented in this paper? Are they appropriate?
Figures: Are figures of high quality and clearly labeled? Are legends and titles clear?
Do not make a specific statement about whether you think the paper should be accepted or rejected in your comments to the authors. The Editors will make a decision based on the opinions of several reviewers and potentially misleading comments may need to be deleted before they are sent to the author.
Limit your comments to 300-600 words. Do not edit the paper for grammar, spelling, etc., although you may comment that these need improvement. All your comments should be objective and correct, intended to help the author improve the paper. Comments should be courteous, constructive, never personal or offensive.
Comments for the Editor
In addition to the information provided to the authors, the comments to the Editor should make a confidential recommendation to help guide the Editors in making a decision about the ultimate disposition of the paper. Candid advice paralleling the comments to the authors is welcomed.
Neurology Letters must ensure all content is respectful to all populations. Please include comments to the Editor if author(s) are showing bias toward or against a specific minority. Neurology can provide guidance to authors.
In your comments to the editor, state your opinion about whether the study is an important contribution to the literature and appropriate for the audience; whether it is controversial; or whether you think it needs an editorial to explain, expand, or highlight certain results. In addition to recommending that the paper be accepted, rejected, or revised for further consideration, we rely heavily on our reviewers to note whether there is any evidence of breach of publication or scientific ethics:
Overlap or duplicate publication: Have data from this paper been published previously? Do you see evidence of plagiarism?
Do you have concerns about scientific fraud or failure of the authors to disclose any conflicts of interest?
Do you have concerns about any violation of ethical treatment of human subjects?
We strive to provide all necessary materials for review. However, if you have concerns (e.g., you cannot open the PDF, figures are missing), please do not hesitate to contact the editorial office ([email protected]) for assistance.
Council of Science Editors. CSE’s white paper on promoting integrity in scientific journal publications. 2.3 Reviewer roles and responsibilities. Available at www.councilscienceeditors.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3356. Accessed November 12, 2010.
COPE Council. Ethical guidelines for peer reviewers. Available at https://publicationethics.org/files/Ethical_Guidelines_For_Peer_Reviewers_2.pdf. Accessed September 6, 2019.
Griggs, Robert C. To my peers in reviewing. Neurology 2006 67:2104-2109
World Association of Medical Editors. Conflict of interest in peer-reviewed medical journals. Available at www.wame.org/conflict-of-interest-in-peer-reviewed-medical-journals. Accessed November 12, 2010.