Medical Education

Cover image for Vol. 48 Issue 10

Edited By: Kevin W. Eva

Impact Factor: 3.617

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 1/36 (Education Scientific Disciplines); 7/85 (Health Care Sciences & Services)

Online ISSN: 1365-2923

Associated Title(s): The Clinical Teacher

Guidelines for Reviewers


Guidelines for reviewers

The purpose of reviewing
• To assist the editor in making decisions about acceptance or rejection.
• To assist or advise authors on areas in which their paper/research may be improved.
• The provision of constructive feedback is an important part of a reviewer’s skills.

We would like you to advise on the originality, educational importance, and methodological rigour of the paper.
1. Originality: does the work add to what is already in the published literature? If so, what does it add?
2. Educational importance: is the work likely to be of interest to the daily practice of the general international readership of Medical Education? Will it make a difference?
3. Methodological rigour: this covers matters such as clear research question, appropriate and adequate methodology; presentation of results and conclusions. Check boxes are provided to help you look at reliability issues in detail.

All papers submitted to the journal are confidential. Please do not discuss your report or the paper you have been asked to review with anyone else. If you want to seek the views of a colleague, please contact the Editorial Office first.

Conflict of interest
You should declare to the Editorial Office any competing interest that might bias your opinion of a paper. A competing interest exists when professional judgement concerning a primary interest (such as patients’ welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by secondary interests (personal matters such as financial gain, personal relationships or professional rivalry).

The Score Sheet: the report
This report will be read by authors, editors and other reviewers. We will pass on your report to the author and the other reviewers will read it when a final decision is made, so please do not make any comments that you do not wish them to see.

We have structured the report form to elicit your opinion on specific aspects of the manuscript. You need not complete every box if every box is not relevant or if you have no comment on a particular aspect of the manuscript, but please use the boxes as a prompt to help you consider the type of information we desire. Hyperlinks have been provided should you want more information about the types of questions that might be addressed in completing each box. A complete list of the questions included in the hyperlinks can be found below.

Please be objective and constructive in writing your report – it may be helpful to write as if you were giving feedback to the author(s) face to face.

Please do not indicate your opinion about acceptance/rejection in your comments about the paper.

In the interests of more accountable review, you are encouraged to put your name at the foot of your comments to the authors - in which case they will be informed of your identity. If you prefer to remain anonymous, do not include your name.

Other matters
• Please return your review within two weeks. E-mail reminders will be sent.
• If a delay is likely please inform the office by email ( The paper can then be allocated to another reviewer.
• If you have any questions about your role, how the review process works, or if you seek to clarify something about the manuscript you have been asked to review, please email the editorial office.
• When a final decision on publication has been made, we will email you to let you know the outcome and enclose copies of the other reviewers’ reports, where these are available.
• The names of all reviewers for the year are published in the December issue of Medical Education.
• Manuscripts and reviews submitted to Medical Education may be used for teaching and research purposes with potential authors and reviewers. Authors and reviewers may be asked from time to time to take part in surveys. Every effort will be made to protect confidentiality.
• Concerns about ethical or serious scientific misconduct should be communicated, in confidence, to the Editor in Chief.

The hyperlinks provided on the scoresheet:

Overall Evaluation and General Comments
What do you consider to be the key messages in this paper? Did you learn anything from reading it that you would consider important for the field to know given existing understanding? Is the paper original?

Title and Abstract
These are arguably the most important pieces of a paper as they will determine whether or not a potential reader chooses to read the full text. Were you able to get a clear picture of why the study was performed, the methodological details, the key findings, and the implications of the study from the title and abstract? Would you recommend any changes to the authors?

Introduction and Conceptual Framework
Does the paper establish a clear conceptual framework, laying out what is already known on the topic, and identifying the gaps in the literature that this paper is an attempt to fill? Is it made clear that the work is original and relevant to a broad, international readership? Is the purpose of the study made clear by the inclusion of a research question or hypotheses?

Methodological Rigour
Has the development and design of the data collection methods (whether quantitative or qualitative) been outlined in a manner that would allow another researcher to replicate the study if one desired to do so? Are the methods appropriate for the stated research question? Is the data analysis appropriate given the problem the authors are trying to address and given the data available?

Are the results clearly presented? Are they consistent with both the methods used and the problem the authors are trying to address? Do they yield a clear answer to the research question?

Discussion and Conclusions
Are the conclusions clearly stated? Do they relate back to the conceptual framework presented in the introduction? Are they appropriate given the methods adopted and results found? Does the study add to the existing body of knowledge in a meaningful and important way? Are limitations in the study design acknowledged and discussed?

Clarity, Length, and Ethical approval
Is the paper well written? Have ethical issues been addressed appropriately with approval noted? Is the paper an appropriate length for the message it contains? Is there reason for concern about conflict of interest, duplicate publication, or "salami slicing" (i.e., submitting the smallest publishable unit from a larger study)? You may wish to include minor comments such as word change recommendations here, but keep in mind that copy-editing is not your responsibility.

Confidential comments to the editor
(NOTE: This box should be used only in rare circumstances as priority should be given to providing constructive feedback to the authors.)
Is there anything you think the editor should know that you would not want conveyed to the authors?

Conflict of Interest
(If you consider yourself to have a conflict of interest in reviewing this paper or to be unqualified to judge certain aspects of it please note those here) A competing interest exists when professional judgement concerning a primary interest (such as patients’ welfare or the validity of research) may be influenced by secondary interests (personal matters such as financial gain, personal relationships or professional rivalry).