The Chiba Medical Society



Guidelines for Reviewers

1. Background

Peer review is a fundamental process in scientific publication and assists the editor in making a decision on the suitability of an article for publication. Peer review also provides authors with the opportunity to improve their manuscript. The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers ( ) state: “Peer reviewers play a central and critical part in the peer review process, but may come to the role without any guidance and be unaware of their ethical obligations. Journals have an obligation to provide transparent policies for peer review, and reviewers have an obligation to conduct reviews in an ethical and accountable manner.” Our notification is intended to conform to the COPE Guidelines and also to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals (ICMJE Recommendations) ( ).

2. Confidentiality

The review process is strictly confidential. Please do not discuss or share the manuscript with anyone outside the editorial office. Before publication, the paper under review cannot be referred to in the reviewer's own work. Please do not retain any copy of the reviewed manuscript.

3. Competency and timeliness

Reviewer candidates are expected to accept the appropriate manuscript in terms of their expertise and the specified deadline. If the reviewer cannot complete the evaluation for these or other reasons, we welcome suggestions for appropriate alternate reviewers.

4. Reviewer conflicts of interest

Please declare your own potential conflicts of interest that may bias your review, ideally prior to beginning the review. If required, the editor will ask you to decline the role of the reviewer. When reviewing, you should not suggest that the authors cite your own work in order to increase your citation count.

5. Anonymity

To guarantee rigorous reviews, the Chiba Medical Journal applies a single-blind review process wherein the reviewers’ identities are anonymous to authors but the authors’ identities are known to the reviewers. Although authors may suggest reviewer candidates in the cover letter, reviewer assignment is at the editor’s discretion. In order to maintain anonymity, please avoid contacting the authors directly.

6. Review process

The editor will assess whether or not a submitted manuscript is potentially suitable for publication. When a submission is found to be unsuitable, the editor will send a decision letter to the author. When a submission is found to be suitable, the editor will subject the manuscript to peer review typically by two reviewers selected from members of the Chiba Medical Society and/or external experts.
Based on the reviewers’ evaluation, the editor will make a decision as to whether the manuscript is to be accepted, revised or declined. The time to this first decision following review is usually 3-4 weeks after submission.
When revision is requested, authors are asked to submit the revised version before the date specified in the decision letter. The authors are required to supply a detailed point-by-point responses to the reviewers’ comments and editorial requests in a cover letter accompanying the revised version.
The Chiba Medical Journal is issued bimonthly, and the time to publication is usually 3-4 months after acceptance.

7. Criteria for evaluation of manuscripts

(1) When reviewing the assignment manuscript, please focus on the following points:
A. Suitability of the manuscript to readers of the Journal
B. Originality of the work
C. Methodological and technical soundness
D. Clarity of presentation
E. Compliance with publication ethics, research ethics, and related ethics
F. Adherence to the Journal’s Instructions for Authors

(2) Please avoid unjustified criticism, particularly that which is not related to the scientific and medical content.

8. Preparation of the report

(1) Comments for the authors
A. General comments
Please introduce your comments by providing a general view of the significance and interest of the manuscript, as well as shortcomings that need improvement in consideration of the points mentioned in “7. Criteria for the evaluation of manuscripts”. Please do not state whether the paper should be accepted or declined in your comments to the authors.
B. Specific comments
To facilitate communication among authors, the reviewers, and the editor, please assign serial numbers (e.g., 1, 2, 3, etc.) to points that pertain to specific aspects of the study.

(2) Comments for the editor
A. Overall evaluation
Please respond to the review form questions regarding:
a. Scientific soundness
b. Significance
c. Ethics
d. Suitability of length
e. Language skill and expression
B. Item evaluation
Please respond to the review form questions regarding:
a. Title
b. Abstract
c. Key words
d. Figures and tables
e. Accordance with the Journal’s Instructions for Authors
C. Please provide a recommendation about whether the manuscript should be accepted immediately, accepted after minor revision, reconsidered after major revision, or declined.
D. Please provide confidential comments that will not be sent to the author, and that are only available to the editor.
E. Please indicate your willingness to review a revised version of the manuscript if submitted.