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Peer Review Process

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All material submitted to Rheumatology will be reviewed by the Editorial team. Papers may be rejected without full peer review, remaining papers will be sent for external peer review.

Rheumatology operates a single-blind peer review process and aims to provide rapid peer review with papers receiving a first decision within an average of 27 days.

During the online submission process, authors have the opportunity to name preferred or non-preferred referees, or both, but the Editor is under no obligation to act upon any suggestions.

Authors may be requested to produce the data on which their manuscript is based (or associated documents, e.g. ethical approval letter) by the Editor(s) or their assignee for examination. Authors must comply with such a request.

Peer review of articles submitted by the Editor/Associate Editor


All submitted manuscripts are treated as confidential documents. They may be reviewed by the Editors, Editorial Office staff and assigned peer reviewers unless otherwise permitted by the authors. By accepting to review a manuscript, referees agree to treat the material as confidential.

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We wish to provide our authors with fair and well-informed decisions. If you have significant reason to believe the editorial process has not achieved that, please e-mail the Editorial Office.

Authors must under no circumstances e-mail/telephone our Editorial Board with reference to their manuscripts. All appeals will be dealt with through the Editorial Office via e-mail.

The appeal should include:

  • Author name
  • Manuscript Title
  • Manuscript ID
  • Decision date
  • The reason you feel the decision has been unfair
  • Specific comments in response to the referees’ reports
  • Your e-mail contact details

The Editor will respond to all appeals as quickly as possible. In some instances, they may need to seek further advice and, therefore, we appreciate your patience. We will consider only one appeal per manuscript.

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To ensure original research submitted by the Editor/Associate Editors receives an unbiased evaluation, it is the Journal’s policy that their paper will be assigned to another Associate Editor (who is not at the same institute) to be overseen during the decision-making process.

For articles in which the Editor/Associate Editor has a conflict of interest, they are obliged to withdraw from the decision-making process.

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