Instructions to Reviewers
It is the responsibility of each reviewer to ensure that the review process is carried out in a timely, fair and consistent manner. As an acknowledged expert in your relevant field, you are expected to provide an unbiased and critical assessment of the manuscript.
Papers accepted for publication should fall under the broad scope of the Journal (see Instructions to authors), be intelligible, be written using clear and concise English, and above all contain novel and important data. The following points should be considered whilst reviewing manuscripts.
- Does the paper merit publication in Human Reproduction?
The fact that there are no obvious flaws in a study doesn't necessitate its acceptance for publication. To be published it must satisfy all of the aforementioned criteria.
- Be mindful of your recommendation
Manuscripts that are provisionally accepted should require only minor revision. This usually does not entail the addition of new data. Manuscripts that require major revision should be rejected with an invitation to resubmit issued only if the work is of sufficient importance. In all other cases, the manuscript should be rejected outright.
- Pay special attention to the bibliography
This should be comprehensive but, at the same time, not contain redundant citations. Have key references been omitted?
- Be specific about the changes required to the manuscript
This will entail referring to the relevant section of the manuscript using the appropriate page, paragraph or line number.
- Do not list spelling and/or editorial changes unless they are required to ensure understanding of the manuscript
- For resubmitted manuscripts, ensure that the changes requested by both you and the other reviewers have been addressed appropriately by the authors
Consider that reviewers that had provisionally accepted these manuscripts may not be asked for a further decision. However, they may have raised valid points that the authors need to address.
- Adhere strictly to the time constraints requested by the Journal
The peer-review process contributes a significant proportion of the overall time taken for a manuscript to pass from the submission to the publication stage. It is the aim of the Journal to reduce these times as much as possible.
- Adhere to the standards of ethical peer review as set out in the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) Guidelines
The duty of confidentiality in the assessment of a manuscript must be maintained by expert reviewers, and this extends to reviewers' colleagues who may be asked (with the Editor’s permission) to give opinions on specific sections.
The submitted manuscript should not be retained or copied.
Reviewers should not make any use of the data, arguments, or interpretations, unless they have the authors’ permission.
If reviewers suspect misconduct, they should write in confidence to the editor.
We are extremely grateful for the expert advice of all our referees. Set out below are the Referees Recommendation Forms for each journal in different formats in order to assist you in returning your comments.