Peer review is the system used to assess the quality of a manuscript before it is published and is an integral part of scientific publishing confirming the validity of the manuscript. It is to ensure that only good science is published and is carried out by almost all reputable scientific journals, The RMJ being no different. Independent researchers in the relevant research area assess submitted manuscripts for originality, validity and significance to help editors determine whether a manuscript should be published in the journal or not. By undergoing peer review, manuscripts become more robust, easier to read and more useful.
How does it work?
When a manuscript is submitted to us, it is assessed to see if it meets the criteria for submission. If it does, our editorial team selects potential peer reviewers within the field of research to peer-review the manuscript and makes recommendations.
The Editor first evaluates all manuscripts. It is rare, but it is possible for an exceptional manuscript to be accepted at this stage. Manuscripts rejected at this stage are insufficiently original, have serious scientific flaws, have poor grammar or English language, or are outside the aims and scope of the journal. Those that meet the minimum criteria are normally passed on to at least 2 experts for review. The RMJ follows double-blind system where the reviewers do not know the names of the authors, and the authors do not know who reviewed their manuscript.
During the peer review process, we look for:
- Scope: Is the article appropriate for our publication?
- Novelty: Is this original material distinct from previous publications?
- Validity: Is the study well designed and executed?
- Data: Are the data reported, analyzed, and interpreted correctly?
- Clarity: Are the ideas expressed clearly, concisely, and logically?
- Compliance: Are all ethical and journal requirements met?
- Advancement: Is this a significant contribution to the field?
How long does the review process take?
The time required for the review process is dependent on the response of the reviewers. Should the reviewer’s reports contradict one another or a report is unnecessarily delayed, a further expert opinion is sought. In rare cases for which it is extremely difficult to find a second reviewer to review the manuscript, or when the one reviewer’s report has thoroughly convinced the Editor, decisions at this stage to accept, reject or ask the author for a revision are made on the basis of only one reviewer’s report. The Editor’s decision will be sent to the author with recommendations made by the reviewers, which usually includes verbatim comments by the reviewers. Revised manuscripts might be returned to the initial reviewers who may then request another revision of a manuscript.
A final decision to accept or reject the manuscript will be sent to the author along with any recommendations made by the reviewers, and may include verbatim comments by the reviewers. Editor’s decision is final. Reviewers advise the editor, who is responsible for the final decision to accept or reject the article.