Peer-review Process and Review Policy
Once a manuscript is submitted, it is assigned to an Editor most appropriate to handle it, based on the subject of the manuscript and the availability of the Editors. If the Editor determines that the manuscript is not of sufficient quality to go through the standard review process or if the manuscript's subject is not appropriate to the journal scope, the Editor rejects the manuscript with no further processing (desk rejection). This decision is made within 1-3 days.
If the Editor determines that the submitted manuscript is of sufficient quality and falls within the scope of the Journal, he/she assigns the manuscript to a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 3 external reviewers for peer review. The reviewers submit their reports on the manuscripts along with their recommendation of one of the following actions to the Editor:
- Accept submission (Publish with regular check)
- Revisions required (Consider after Minor Changes)
- Resubmit for review (Consider after Major Changes)
- Decline submission (Reject: Manuscript is flawed or not sufficiently novel)
When all reviewers have submitted their reports, the Editor can make one of the following decisions: Publish in the forthcoming issue, Consider after Minor Changes, Consider after Major Changes, and Reject. This decision is usually made within 4-6 weeks from the submission date.
If the Editor recommends "Publish in regular issue," the manuscript is accepted for publication. The manuscript is then assigned a DOI number and is published in the forthcoming issue.
If the Editor recommends "Consider after Minor Changes," the authors are notified to prepare and submit a final copy of their manuscript with the required minor changes suggested by the reviewers. The Editor reviews the revised manuscript after the authors have made the minor changes. Once the Editor is satisfied with the final manuscript, the manuscript can be accepted. The revised manuscript has to be submitted within two weeks. If you think you are unable to meet the deadline, please notify the Editorial Office.
If the Editor recommends "Consider after Major Changes," the recommendation is communicated to the authors. The authors are expected to revise their manuscripts according to the changes recommended by the reviewers and submit their revised manuscript within two months. Submission later than that will be regarded as a new submission that will go through the complete review process from the beginning. If you think you are unable to meet the deadline, please notify the Editorial Office.
If the Editor recommends rejecting the manuscript, the rejection is immediate. Also, if two of the reviewers recommend rejecting the manuscript, the rejection is immediate. The editorial workflow gives the Editors the authority to reject any manuscript because of the inappropriateness of its subject, lack of quality, or incorrectness of its results. The Editor cannot assign himself/herself as an external reviewer of the manuscript. This is to ensure a high-quality, fair, and unbiased peer-review process of every manuscript submitted to the Journal, since any manuscript must be recommended by one or more (usually two or more) external reviewers along with the Editor in charge of the manuscript in order for it to be accepted for publication in the Journal.
The peer-review process is double-blinded, i.e., the reviewers do not know who the authors of the manuscript are, and the authors do not have access to the information of who the peer-reviewers are. Without the significant contributions made by peer reviewers, the publication of the Journal would not be possible.
The Journal is committed to upholding the highest standards of publication ethics and takes all possible measures against any publication malpractices. Submitting research by all authors means that they assured their manuscripts are original and attest that the submitted papers represent their contributions and have not been copied or plagiarized in whole or in part from other works. All submissions will be checked by iThenticate before being sent to reviewers according to the Journal’s Zero Tolerance on the Plagiarism Policy.
Guidelines for Reviewers
The peer reviewer is responsible for critically reading and evaluating a manuscript in their specialty field, and then providing respectful, constructive, and honest feedback to authors about their submission. It is appropriate for the Peer Reviewer to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the article, ways to improve the strength and quality of the work and evaluate the relevance and originality of the manuscript.
Please consider the following:
- Does the article you are being asked to review match your expertise?
If you receive a manuscript that covers a topic that does not sufficiently match your area of expertise, please notify the editor as soon as possible. Please feel free to recommend an alternate reviewer.
- Do you have time to review the paper?
Finished reviews of an article should be completed within two weeks. If you do not think you can complete the review within this time frame, please let the editor know and if possible, suggest an alternate reviewer. If you have agreed to review a paper but will no longer be able to finish the work before the deadline, please contact the editor as soon as possible.
- Are there any potential conflicts of interest?
While conflicts of interest will not disqualify you from reviewing the manuscript, it is important to disclose all conflicts of interest to the editors before reviewing. If you have any questions about potential conflicts of interests, please do not hesitate to contact the receiving editorial office.
When reviewing the article, please keep the following in mind:
- Content Quality and Originality,
Is the article sufficiently novel and interesting to warrant publication? Does it add to the canon of knowledge? Does the article adhere to the journal's standards? Is the research question an important one? In order to determine its originality and appropriateness for the journal, it might be helpful to think of the research in terms of what percentile it is in? Is it in the top 25% of papers in this field? You might wish to do a quick literature search using tools such as Scopus to see if there are any reviews of the area. If the research has been covered previously, pass on references of those works to the editor.
- Organization and Clarity
- Title: Does it clearly describe the article?
- Abstract: Does it reflect the content of the article?
- Introduction: Does it describe what the author hoped to achieve accurately, and clearly state the problem being investigated? Normally, the introduction should summarize relevant research to provide context and explain what other authors' findings, if any, are being challenged or extended. It should describe the experiment, the hypothesis(es) and the general experimental design or method.
- Method: Does the author accurately explain how the data was collected? Is the design suitable for answering the question posed? Is there sufficient information present for you to replicate the research? Does the article identify the procedures followed? Are these ordered in a meaningful way? If the methods are new, are they explained in detail? Was the sampling appropriate? Have the equipment and materials been adequately described? Does the article make it clear what type of data was recorded; has the author been precise in describing measurements?
- Results: This is where the author/s should explain in words what he/she discovered in the research. It should be clearly laid out and in a logical sequence. You will need to consider if the appropriate analysis has been conducted. Are the statistics correct? If you are not comfortable with statistics, please advise the editor when you submit your report. Interpretation of results should not be included in this section.
- Conclusion/Discussion: Are the claims in this section supported by the results, do they seem reasonable? Have the authors indicated how the results relate to expectations and to earlier research? Does the article support or contradict previous theories? Does the conclusion explain how the research has moved the body of scientific knowledge forward?
- Tables, Figures, Images: Are they appropriate? Do they properly show the data? Are they easy to interpret and understand?
- Scope- Is the article in line with the aims and scope of the journal?
Article Types Considered
The Leading Edge (Perspectives)
- The unique perspective that both describes the experience, and relates the situation to a public health issue, health policy issue, etc
Delivery Science (Original Research)
- Original Data and Trials
- Submissions should present data that offer novel approaches to improving the systems, processes, and tools involved with delivering care.
- Policy Research and Observational Analyses
- Submissions should describe the feasibility, cost-effectiveness, implementation of, or results of policy concerning the delivery of health care. This includes but is not limited to policy topics such as health care reform, health IT, delivery and payment regulation, quality improvement, and comparative delivery innovation.
Synthesis (Review Articles)
- Submissions should be a critical, systematic review of the literature concerning issues that are relevant to the delivery of health care. Reviews should be focused on one topic
Into Practice (case studies)
- Submissions should describe situations where individuals were faced with a challenge in health care delivery. The article should describe the challenge faced, the options, the thought process behind the decision made, and the lessons learned.
- First Person (Interviews)
- Book Reviews
- Technology Insight(Product Reviews)
In the News
- Submissions should be newsworthy pieces about topics including but not limited to medical innovation, policy, information technology, health care reform, delivery and payment innovation.
- Additional commentary evaluating and assessing the implications of the news story on health care delivery will also be considered.
- All submissions are confidential and please do not discuss any aspect of the submissions with a third party.
- If you would like to discuss the article with a colleague, please ask the editor first.
- Please do not contact the author directly.
- Ethical Issues:
- Plagiarism: If you suspect that an article is a substantial copy of another work, please let the editor know, citing the previous work in as much detail as possible
- Fraud: It is very difficult to detect the determined fraudster, but if you suspect the results in an article to be untrue, discuss it with the editor
- Other ethical concerns: For medical research, has confidentiality been maintained? Has there been a violation of the accepted norms in the ethical treatment of animal or human subjects? If so, then these should also be identified to the editor
Please complete the “Reviewer’s Comments” form by the due date to the receiving editorial office. Your recommendation regarding an article will be strongly considered when the editors make the final decision, and your thorough, honest feedback will be much appreciated.
When writing comments, please indicate the section of comments intended for only the editors and the section of comments that can be returned to the author(s). Please never hesitate to contact the receiving editorial office with any questions or concerns you may have.
Ensuring Blind Review
To ensure the integrity of the blind peer-review for submission to this press, every effort should be made to prevent the identities of the authors and reviewers from being known to each other. This involves the authors, editors, and reviewers (who upload documents as part of their review) checking to see if the following steps have been taken with regard to the text and the file properties:
- The authors of the document have deleted their names from the text, with "Author" and year used in the references and footnotes, instead of the authors' name, article title, etc.
- The authors of the document have removed personal information from the file properties by taking the following steps:
- Microsoft Word for Windows:
- Go to File
- Select Info
- Click on Check for Issues
- Click on Inspect Document
- In the Document Inspector dialog box, select the checkboxes to choose the type of hidden content that you want inspecting.
- Click Remove All
- Click Close
- Save the document
- Microsoft Word for macOS:
- Go to Tools
- Click Protect Document
- Select Remove personal information for this file on save
- Click OK and save the file
- Go to File
- Select Properties
- Remove any name in the author field
- Click OK
- Save the document
A competing interest — often called a conflict of interest — exists when professional judgment concerning a primary interest (such as the validity of research) may be influenced by a secondary interest (such as financial gain or personal rivalry). It may arise for the authors of an article in The IJRBS when they have a financial interest that may influence, probably without their knowing, their interpretation of their results or those of others.
We believe that, to make the best decision on how to deal with an article, we should know about any competing interests that authors may have, and that if we publish the article readers should know about them too. We are not aiming to eradicate such interests across all article types in the IJRBS. This means that authors whose financial conflicts of interest are judged to be relevant by the IJRBS team are not permitted to write these articles. We also ask our staff and reviewers to declare any competing interests.
A declaration of interests for all authors must be received before an article can be reviewed and accepted for publication. It should take one of three forms, depending on what type of article you are submitting.