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:
- How to peer review journal articles: a practical introduction to conducting peer reviews, especially for those who are new to the process
- Ethics in peer review
- Online peer review systems, and how to anonymously annotate manuscripts
- Peer review FAQs
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.
- 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 Bulletin 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.
BJPsych Advances peer review resources
BJPsych Advances has a number of articles to aide peer review. All links below are free to read and listen.
- 'Peer reviewing made easy' by Neel Halder, Rosalind Ramsay, Peter Tyrer, Patricia Casey
- 'Peer reviewing made easier: all your questions answered' by Neel Halder, Rosalind Ramsay, Peter Tyrer, Patricia Casey, August 2020
- 'Open versus blind peer review: is anonimity better than transparency?' by Natalie Shoham, Alexandra Pitman
- BJPsych Advances Podcast: Peer reviewing made easy
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.
- Committee of Publication Ethics Peer Review Processes
- Media Bias Fact Check (we recommend using this tool when reviewing opinion pieces for the journal)
- Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network
- Centre for Evidence Based Medicine
- Systematic reviews and meta-analyses: PRISMA checklist
- Top Tips for Peer Reviewers
- RCTs: CONSORT guidelines (1996, Journal of the American Medical Association, 276, 637-639)
- Cluster RCTs (2004, BMJ, 328, 702-708)
- Scholarly Kitchen Article on Peer Review