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Information for Reviewers

The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine uses the Editorial Manager peer review system. Login to your Editorial Manager account to access your current manuscript review assignments.

Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine Manuscript Review Criteria

A good review has two goals. One is to aid the editor in making a decision on whether or not to publish a manuscript, and the other is to help authors understand how they can improve their manuscript. Please keep these in mind when completing your review.

Your review should be honest and direct, but never snarky or derogatory in tone. All criticism should be constructive, and solutions to perceived flaws should be offered when possible. Your review should highlight the strengths of a manuscript just as much as it highlights weaknesses.

The review structure is broken up in two major fields on the review form: comments to the editor and comments to the authors. Please see below for field-specific guidelines.

Comments to the Editor

All comments to the editor are confidential and will not be shared with the authors of the manuscript. This field satisfies the aforementioned first goal of a good review. While we ask that you keep your comments brief in this section, they should nonetheless be complete and thoughtful.

The first requirement of this field is that you disclose the presence or absence of any conflicts of interest related to the manuscript, the manuscript’s authors, the manuscript’s authors’ affiliations, or any proprietary devices and/or manufacturers discussed in the manuscript. If you are not sure if your circumstance represents a conflict of interest, disclose it so that the editor can make the final call. If an obvious conflict of interest exists, please decline the review invitation.

The second requirement is to provide a brief summary of the article, its strengths and weaknesses, a comment on the novelty of the manuscript, and comments on the manuscript in relation to current knowledge in the field (ie, does it make an important or significant contribution in relation to what’s already out there?).

The final requirement is to provide your frank assessment of the manuscript, along with your opinion on whether the manuscript should be published in the journal, revised and resubmitted, or rejected.

Comments to the Authors

These comments are shared with the author at the discretion of the editor. While your name will be blinded as Reviewer #1, or Reviewer #2, etc., please keep in mind that anything entered in this field can be seen by the authors. This field satisfies the second aforementioned goal of a good review.

When completing this section, think of how you would like your own work reviewed. Make it your goal to find the strengths of a manuscript as well as the weaknesses so that the weaknesses can be addressed and the strengths can be expanded upon.

Organize your thoughts into general and specific comments to the authors; however, if there are certain issues that are of paramount importance (so-called “fatal flaws”), list these first. For example, “While a detailed review of the manuscript follows, if issue X is not adequately addressed, then I cannot recommend the publication of this manuscript.”

General Comments

These have to do with strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript that cannot be pinpointed to one or two locations. Examples of general comments are “The study design is not adequate, because of X” or “The manuscript is a novel addition to existing literature.” Some general areas to comment on include the manuscript’s:

  • relevance to the mission of the journal,
  • internal validity,
  • external validity,
  • level of evidence and
  • ethical conduct.
It is not a requirement of your review to comment on each of these areas; however, if the manuscript is particularly strong or weak in any of these areas, please comment appropriately. For more detail on these areas, see Rosenfeld RM. How to review journal manuscripts. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010;142(4):472-486. doi: 10.1016/j.otohns.2010.02.010.

Specific Comments

Specific comments are those that you can pinpoint to exact locations. One way to approach specific comments is to work through the manuscript by section (abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, figures, tables, supplemental material) and comment on each. If you find that you are repeating a specific comment in multiple sections or many times in one section, consider moving it to a general comment. If you find your list of specific comments growing to such a length that it is not likely to be helpful to the author or editor, consider editing the list down to only the most important comments.

Note that it is not the reviewer’s job to find spelling and grammar mistakes. If such mistakes are prevalent throughout the manuscript, please make a general comment as such. If specific instances of spelling/grammatical mistakes interfere with your ability to understand or interpret the manuscript, please do pinpoint these specific instances.

Further Recommended Reading

COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers. Committee on Publication Ethics website. https://publicationethics.org/resources/guidelines-new/cope-ethical-guidelines-peer-reviewers.

Peer Reviewing Tips. F1000 Research website. https://f1000research.com/for-referees/peer-reviewing-tips.

Rosenfeld RM. How to review journal manuscripts. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2010;142(4):472-486. doi: 10.1016/j.otohns.2010.02.010.

Earn CME by Reviewing Manuscripts

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