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Peer Review Guidelines
- 1. Objectives
- 2. About JoVE Submissions
- 3. Criteria for Publication
- 4. Reviewing for JoVE
- 5. Conflict of Interest
- 6. Anonymity
- 7. Confidentiality
- 8. Reviewer Selection and Timeliness
The Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) serves the research community as a scientific methods journal for efficient dissemination, reproduction and discussion of experimental approaches in biological, medical, chemical and physical research. Online video is used as a new and effective publication format as it ensures more efficient transfer of information than traditional text articles. JoVE publishes novel methods, innovative applications of existing techniques and gold standard protocols in a scholarly video and text format. Detailed text and representative results accompany every video description of the experimental technique.
Peer review is a vital component of the JoVE publishing process.
2. About JoVE Submissions
There are two main categories of JoVE submissions. The overwhelming majority of submissions fall into the JoVE-produced category; for these submissions, JoVE produces the video portion. When we produce a video, first we have the authors submit a written manuscript. This is sent out to reviewers; revised by the authors, incorporating reviewer and editor comments; and, if accepted, a script and storyboard are generated by JoVE based on the revised manuscript for filming. After filming and post-production, both the video and a final written protocol are published on our site. Since JoVE controls the content and production of these videos, they are not sent out for peer review.
Occasionally, authors have access to the tools necessary to produce their own videos. These author-produced videos are reviewed along with the author’s written manuscript. If revisions are necessary, authors may be asked to re-shoot and edit their video and text manuscript based on reviewer, editor, or video producer comments.
3. Criteria for Publication
We are interested in reviewers’ opinions on the clarity of presentation, scientific accuracy, usefulness, compliance with research standards, technical quality and efficiency, and general impact of each article submitted to JoVE. We want to publish articles that are detailed and thorough enough such that a researcher in the field could replicate the experiment. Our primary goal is to be a useful resource for researchers learning a new technique.
3.1 Some questions to consider when reviewing the manuscript:
- Are the title and abstract appropriate for this methods article?
- Are there any other potential applications for the method/protocol the authors could discuss?
- Are all the materials and equipment needed listed in the table? (Please note that any basic materials or equipment that a lab who might use this protocol would already have do not need to be listed, e.g., pipettes.)
- Do you think the steps listed in the procedure would lead to the described outcome?
- Are the steps listed in the procedure clearly explained?
- Are any important steps missing from the procedure?
- Are appropriate controls suggested?
- Are all the critical steps highlighted?
- Is there any additional information that would be useful to include?
- Are the anticipated results reasonable, and if so, are they useful to readers?
- Are any important references missing and are the included references useful?
Keep in mind:
- Manuscripts should be written in standard American English.
- Terminology and jargon should conform to community standards within the field of expertise.
- All animal research should comply with standard ethical guidelines. We send all articles containing animal research out for an independent veterinary review, but welcome additional comments.
- JoVE is a methods journal. Like other methods journals, we publish expanded descriptions of techniques that have previously appeared in results-based journals. We do not republish data or results without the express permission of the original publisher. If you are concerned about the novelty of a submission, please include this in your comments.
- Comments can be as general as suggesting, for example, that the discussion needs to be expanded, or as specific as pointing out a specific typographical error. Most reviewers provide a blend of general and specific comments.
3.2 Additional video criteria for video produced by author submissions only:
- Within the video, all voices should be audible and understandable.
- Like the text, the video by itself should provide enough detail so that the experiment can be replicated.
- All text appearing in the video should be easily read.
- All figures or images should be clear (e.g., not too small or pixelated) and properly labeled.
- Standard safety protocols and aseptic technique should be consistently adhered to throughout the video
4. Reviewing for JoVE
4.1 Accepting to Review
You will have received an email inviting you to review for JoVE. Click on the “Accept” link in the email if you agree to review the manuscript. This will direct you to our manuscript management system, Editorial Manager. You will see a confirmation message in Editorial Manager. To continue, click the “Pending Assignments” link. To view the full manuscript click “View Submission” under the “Action Links” heading (the manuscript should pop up as a downloadable PDF).
4.2 Reviewing the Submission
To submit your comments, click the “Submit Recommendation” link. Write your comments in the “Reviewer Blind Comments to Author” box. If you have confidential comments for the editor, write them in the “Reviewer Confidential Comments to Editor” box. If you would like to save your comments and complete them at a later time, click the “Save & Submit Later” button. If you are satisfied with your comments and would like to submit now, click the “Proceed” button. You will then have a chance to review your comments before you submit your final review.
4.3 For Submissions with Videos Produced by Author Only
Most submissions are JoVE-produced. JoVE produces the video for these submissions after peer review is complete. However, sometimes researchers have the resources to produce the video. If you are reviewing an author-produced submission, please comment on the clarity and accuracy of the video. (If you are reviewing an author-produced submission, we will provide a link to the video in the peer review invitation.) Make sure to include the specific time in the video associated with each comment.
5. Conflict of Interest
We ask that peer reviewers declare any financial or personal conflict of interest before accepting to review for JoVE. This includes conflicts such as financial interests or personal relationships. For more details regarding conflicts of interest, please see our Editorial Policies.
Referees and editors should exclude themselves from handling a submission if a conflict of interest affects their ability to make an impartial scientific judgment.
The final decision on potential conflicts of interest rests with JoVE. If you have any concerns regarding a specific conflict of interest, please contact email@example.com.
We prefer that reviewers remain anonymous throughout the entire publication process. We will not release reviewer names to authors or other reviewers, even upon request by the reviewer in question. Reviewers should keep in mind that revealing one’s identity may compromise one’s ability to provide an objective review. JoVE will not allow any attempt by authors to determine the identity of reviewers and we encourage reviewers to neither confirm nor deny any speculations as to their identity.
We ask reviewers to treat the review process as strictly confidential, and not to discuss the manuscript with anyone not directly involved in the review. It is acceptable to consult with laboratory colleagues, but please identify them to JoVE. Consulting with experts from outside the reviewer’s own laboratory may be acceptable, but please check with JoVE Peer Review before doing so, to avoid involving anyone who may have been excluded by the authors.
8. Reviewer Selection and Timeliness
In order to assure the timely and effective review of submissions, JoVE selects expert reviewers who have made contributions to a relevant field of research. In evaluating the quality of reviews we consider criteria such as attention to detail, conciseness, professionalism, and scientific accuracy.
We ask that reviewers submit their comments at their earliest convenience so as not to delay the publication process. If necessary, requests for deadline extensions should be made promptly. Such requests are approved solely at JoVE’s discretion.