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Peer review seems like a vigorous task but makes our journal survive. The reviewers voluntarily participate in this review process. We depend on the reviewer to help us. Acute and Critical Care aims to publish original, important, and reliable articles that will help our readers around the world to make better decisions about practice, policy, education, and research.

1. The role of reviewers

Peer-reviewer’s role is to advise editors on individual manuscript to revise, accept, or reject. Judgments should be objective and comments should be lucidly described. Scientific soundness is the most important value of the journal; therefore, logic and statistical analysis should be considered meticulously. The use of reporting guideline is recommended for review. Reviewers should have no conflict of interest. Reviewers should point out relevant published work which is not yet cited. Reviewed articles are managed confidentially. The editorial office is responsible for the final decision to accept or reject a manuscript based on the reviewers' recommendation.

2. Becoming a reviewer

Typically, reviewers are invited to conduct a review by a journal or books editor. Editors usually select researchers that are experts in the same subject area as the paper. However, if you think you would be a good reviewer for our journal you can always contact one of the journal's editors or editorial office.

There are great benefits to becoming a reviewer. You can establish your expertise in the field and expand your knowledge. You can improve your reputation and increase your exposure to key figures in the field and stay up to date with the latest literature, and have advanced access to research results. You also can develop critical thinking skills essential to research and advance in your career – peer review is an essential role for researchers.

3. Ethical guideline for reviewers

Any information acquired during the review process is confidential. If we invite you to review an article, please do not discuss it even with a colleague. If you would like to pass it on to someone else to review, please email acc@accjournal.org first.

Please inform the editor on any conflicts of interest as follows:

  • Reviewer is a competitor.
  • Reviewer may have an antipathy with the author(s).
  • Reviewer may profit financially from the work.

In case of any of the above conflicts of interest, the reviewer should decline to review. If the reviewer still wishes to review, the conflicts of interest should be specifically disclosed. A history of previous collaboration with the authors or any intimate relationship with the authors does not prohibit the review.

Reviewer should not use any material or data originated from the manuscript in review; however, it is possible to use open data of the manuscript after publication.

4. How to write review comments

First read the article and then take a break from it, giving you time to think. Consider the article from your own perspective. When you sit down to write the review, make sure you know what the journal is looking for, and have a copy of any specific reviewing criteria you need to consider.

Your review will help the editor decide whether or not to publish the article. Giving your overall opinion and general observations of the article is essential. Your comments should be courteous and constructive, and should not include any personal remarks or personal details including your name.

Providing insight into any deficiencies is important. You should explain and support your judgement so that both editors and authors are able to fully understand the reasoning behind your comments. You should indicate whether your comments are your own opinion or are reflected by the data. Please give detailed and constructive comments (with references, whenever possible) that will both help the editors to make a decision on the article and the authors to improve it. Summarize the article in a short paragraph. This shows the editor you have read and understood the research.
Review with several items for the reviewer’s convenience as follows:

  • 1) Originality
  • 2) Importance of the work to general readers
  • 3) Scientific reliability
  • 4) Research question
  • 5) Overall design of study: appropriate and adequate to answer the research question?
  • 6) Participants: adequately described, their conditions defined, inclusion and exclusion criteria described? How representative were they of patients whom this evidence might affect?
  • 7) Methods: adequately described? Main outcome measures clear? Is the study fully reported in line with the appropriate reporting statement? Was the study ethical (this may go beyond simply whether the study was approved by an ethics committee or IRB)?
  • 8) Results: answer the research question? Credible? Well presented?
  • 9) Interpretation and conclusions: warranted by and sufficiently derived from/focused on the data? Discussed in the light of previous evidence? Message clear?
  • 10) References: up to date and relevant? Any glaring omissions?
  • 11) Abstract, key messages

5. Comment to editor

When you make a recommendation, it is worth considering the categories the editor most likely uses for classifying the article:

  • Reject (explain reason in report)
  • Accept without revision
  • Revise – either major or minor (explain the revision that is required, and indicate to the editor whether or not you would be happy to review the revised article)

6. Post-review work by editorial office

The editor ultimately decides whether to accept or reject the article. The editor will weigh all views and may call for a third opinion or ask the author for a revised paper before making a decision. The online editorial system provides reviewers with a notification of the final decision.

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