Reviewer Guidelines

Before You Begin
Publication Ethics Concerns For Reviewers
Writing the Peer-Review Report
After Submitting the Peer-Review Report
Additional Resources for Reviewers

The Journal of Spine Practice is thankful to the peer reviewers who donate their time to our peer review process, and volunteer their expertise to ensure that only high-quality papers are published in the journal.

A list of the journal’s peer reviewers will be published at the end of each year. A certificate of appreciation will be issued to our reviewers each year indicating the number of manuscripts reviewed by them.

High-performing peer reviewers are appreciated by being considered for Best Peer Reviewers Awards every year. The criteria for the awards include the promptness in sending the report and the comprehensiveness of their peer-review report.

Add your reviewing history to your CV, to enhance your professional career, not just with The Journal of Spine Practice, but all journals you review for, by creating a profile in Publons platform, making your contributions immediately available and recognizable.

We encourage you to attend the reviewer training courses to enhance your reviewing skills, with courses such as Publons Academy.

Before You Begin (When you receive the invitation)

Deciding to accept or reject the invitation to peer review

The journal editors assign manuscripts based on the expertise of the reviewers, their prior publications, and their experience with the peer-review process. The journal is thankful to you for considering the invitation. Your contribution as a reviewer is an integral part of promoting the highest quality standards of the journal.

We will ask you to decide whether to review an article by sending requests containing the title and abstract. Upon receiving the invitation to review, we request you consider the following conditions before deciding how to respond:

  • You have the experience in the subject area of the manuscript
  • You have the time to submit a complete peer-review report within two weeks
  • You do not have a potential conflict of interest with the manuscript topic
  • You agree to maintain the confidentiality of the manuscript and not to share its content with anyone apart from the editors during and after the peer-review process.

We would greatly appreciate receiving your responses to requests within two days of receipt, whether it is to agree or decline the invitation. Lack of response to review requests is one of the greatest factors in delaying the peer review process, and rapid response to our invitations will be a helpful contribution to our service to authors.

We encourage our reviewers to refine their skills with any of the multiple resources for peer reviewers at the bottom of this page, or by attending one of the peer reviewer workshops conducted by the Journal of Spine Practice.

Publication Ethics Concerns For Reviewers

The Journal of Spine Practice takes publication ethics very seriously. The journal strictly adheres to the core practices of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and makes multiple efforts through its editorial office policies to ensure that research and publication misconduct is detected prior to publication.

It is mandatory for our peer reviewers to be aware of the Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), to ensure our peer reviewers are equipped with current techniques to detect any potential publication ethical concerns. We encourage peer reviewers to participate in the free eLearning module of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) – Introduction to Publication Ethics.

Writing the Peer-Review Report

Your review should address the suitability of the article for publication as a significant contribution to the scientific literature and spine care subject area. To achieve this, we ask our reviewers to comment on the scientific soundness and methodology of the manuscripts and ensure that there are no ethical concerns.

Reviews submitted to The Journal of Spine Practice consist of four components:

  • Checklist: please use this checklist to decide the methodological and ethical aspects of the submitted manuscript.
  • Comments for the authors: please use this section to write constructive suggestions for the authors to clarify certain aspects of the manuscript or to request corrections or modifications. Ideally, the comments section should start with an overview of the manuscript, its strong points, and areas for improvement.
  • Confidential comments for the editors: please use this section to add, if any, confidential comments for the editors. The authors will not be able to view this section. In this section, you can add any concern regarding any ethical issues as listed below.
  • Your Decision: choose one of the following decisions:
    • Accept
    • Minor Revision
    • Major Revision
    • Reject

After Submitting the Peer-Review Report

The journal believes that peer reviewing is a demanding process. Hence, we have utilized multiple tools to show our appreciation of our reviewers’ efforts.

  • Publons: The Journal of Spine Practice encourages you to link your profile to Publons to get immediate recognition of your peer review. The Journal is an official partner of Publons, which is a website for peer reviewers. Upon completing the peer review, you will receive an automatic email stating that your profile on Publons has been updated to indicate that you have reviewed a manuscript for the Journal of Spine Practice.
    This is an excellent tool to make your contribution immediately available and recognizable. Publons also has annual awards for reviewers, and you could win one of these.
  • CME/CPD Hours: You can claim CME hours. We are negotiating with different CME providers around the world to secure this.
  • Published List of Peer Reviewers: Your name will be included in the list of peer reviewers at the end of the year.
  • Certificate of Appreciation: You will receive a certificate of appreciation at the end of the year indicating the number of manuscripts you reviewed.
  • Annual Awards: You might qualify for one of the annual awards for peer reviewers. Read more about these awards that are based on the quality of the reports and timeliness of responses.

Additional Resources for Reviewers

It is mandatory for each reviewer to complete the Online Publication Ethics course by the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). You can find the online course here. Following are some helpful resources around the publication ethics for peer reviewers:

These are some additional resources for reviewers: