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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.

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.
  • 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.

BJPsych has key points to consider when writing a review:

  • Is the manuscript accessible to practitioners and researchers, written in clear, concise English for an international readership?
  • Does the manuscript address a clear, important research question?
  • Is a clear finding identified, which is original and a significant advance on existing knowledge?
  • Does the manuscript provide new insights and opportunities for treatment and prevention in clinical practice and/or impact on policy?
  • Is the methodology sound and is the discussion and interpretation appropriate for the data?
  • Are there elements of the manuscript that could be omitted or added, such as tables or figures or specific text?

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.