Reviewer Guidelines

Points to consider

Research Involvement and Engagement is a co-produced journal, with every article reviewed by at least one academic and one patient reviewer, with the reviews carrying equal weight in the editorial decision. Reviewers are asked to provide detailed, constructive comments that will help the editors make a decision on publication and the author(s) improve their manuscript.

Reviewers should consider the points below and indicate whether they consider any required revisions to be 'major compulsory revisions', 'minor essential revisions' or 'discretionary revisions'. Please note that the point points to consider below refer to the context of the article, which may not be the same as the context of the original piece of research. These are intended as guidance, and not meant to restrict your review in any way.

Is the rationale for what the author(s) have done clearly demonstrated?

Have they explained why they did what they did? e.g., what the reasons behind conducting the research were (in the context of improving health); why they used this specific method etc.

Have the author(s) explained their rationale for the composition of the research team (including advisors, contributors and consultees), taking into consideration roles, skills and experience (including lived experience of illness)?

Have all methods been described in sufficient detail to allow others to evaluate and/or reproduce the work in similar circumstances?

Have the roles, skills and contributions of all people in the research team (including advisors, contributors and consultees) been explained, with discussion of how they worked together?

Is it clear exactly what was done, at what stage and what the outcome was? If anything is not clear, please provide feedback as to what needs clarifying.

If there were any changes made to the methods during the course of the research, have the authors described these changes and the rationale for the change occurring?

Is the interpretation (discussion and conclusion) of the article, well balanced and supported by what was done and/or seen? 

Have the author(s) provided a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the methods?

Have the author(s) discussed what was already known and what this article adds?

Have the author(s) explained the relevance of what they have done in a wider context?

Has sufficient attention been given to ethical considerations and how these were managed?

Are there any discussions about the management of ethical issues (e.g. provision of adequate information about research tasks, peer supervision, formal ethical approval)?

What mention has been made of the equitable treatment of all members of the research team? (e.g., remuneration, accessibility, capacity etc)

Can the writing, organization, tables or images be improved?

Although the editorial team will also assess the quality of the written English, please do comment if you consider it to be unclear. In particular, please pay attention to the plain English summary, to check it is readable and an accurate representation of the article.

If the manuscript is organized in such a manner that it is illogical or not easily accessible to the reader please suggest improvements.

Please provide feedback on whether the data are presented in the most appropriate manner; for example, is a table being used where a graph would be better?

Are the included additional files (supplementary materials) appropriate?

Online publishing enables the inclusion of additional files with published articles. Additional files of many types can be submitted, including movies, tabular data and mini-websites. Reviewers are encouraged to comment on the appropriateness of the types of additional files, included with the manuscript, for publication with the final article. Additional files pertaining to original/raw data files that support the results reported in the manuscript can be included. It is not expected that reviewers should reanalyze all supporting data as part of their peer review, but the availability of supporting data enables more detailed investigation of particular aspects of the study if the reviewer or editor feels it is necessary.

When revisions are requested.

Reviewers may recommend revisions for any or all of the following reasons: data need to be added to support the authors' conclusions; better justification is needed for the arguments based on existing data; or the clarity and/or coherence of the paper needs to be improved.

Are there any ethical or competing interests issues you would like to raise?

The study should adhere to ethical standards of scientific/medical research and the authors should declare that they have received ethics approval and or patient consent for the study, where appropriate. While we do not expect reviewers to delve into authors' competing interests, if you are aware of any issues that you do not think have been adequately addressed, please inform the editorial office.

Reviewers are reminded of the importance of timely reviews.

If reviewers encounter or foresee any problems meeting the deadline for a report, they should contact researchinvolvement@biomedcentral.com.

Confidentiality

Any manuscript sent for peer review is a confidential document and should remain so until it is formally published.

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