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Instructions for peer reviewers

Peer review is the foundation of quality in research for both books and journals, ensuring that published research is rigorous and ethical. Peer reviewers can access a number of resources to assist them with their peer reviewing duties:

The journal administrator is also happy to help with any queries regarding undertaking peer review assignments. Please contact the Editorial Office with any questions.

We typically expect that reviews are returned within 2 weeks of accepting the invitation.

Guidelines for peer reviewers

If you are invited to peer review for the journal, you will be asked to declare any potential competing interest to the Editor. See the journal's Publishing ethics page and Ethics in Peer Review for further information.

Note that peer reviewers are asked to return their review within two weeks.

  • Reviews should be constructive, courteous and clear. Reviews should not contain personal attacks, discriminatory or defamatory content. In line with COPE guidance, we expect you to be ‘professional and refrain from being hostile or inflammatory and from making libellous or derogatory personal comments or unfounded accusations.’ (COPE, 2017)
  • Confidential comments to the editors should also not be used to make personal attacks on the authors.
  • Comments to the author should not include the recommendation.

Writing a review

All BJPsych journals have general guidelines when constructing a review. Please consider the following.

Review guidelines:

  • Please number your comments consecutively.
  • Please do not include a recommendation for publication in your comments to authors.
  • Review supplemental files by navigating from the 'Proofs' tab to the 'Files' tab.
  • Please check authors have followed the registered protocol for RCTs and systematic reviews, noting unexplained changes.
  • Please note that one-line reviews do not help the editor to reach informed decisions.
  • If you find the manuscript is difficult to review in detail because of major flaws or poor writing, please offer brief comments to enable us to respond to the authors quickly.

BJPsych International has key points to consider when writing a review:

  • Is this paper suitable for publication and of interest to College members worldwide?
  • Is it scientifically/factually sound?
  • If amendments need to be made, which areas should the authors focus on?
  • Some papers we receive need to be reduced in length substantially. We would value your comments on any sections that could be removed or condensed.
Useful external resources for peer reviewers

There are a number of resources available for peer reviewers online for free. Below we have highlighted a list of useful resources our peer reviewers might be interested in.