Medical Education

Cover image for Vol. 51 Issue 8

Edited By: Kevin W. Eva

Impact Factor: 4.005

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 2/41 (Education Scientific Disciplines); 11/90 (Health Care Sciences & Services)

Online ISSN: 1365-2923

Associated Title(s): The Clinical Teacher

Really Good Stuff Guidelines for Reviewers


Guidelines for reviewers of ‘Really Good Stuff: Lessons learned through innovation in medical education’

At a glance:
Really Good Stuff: Lessons learned through innovation in medical education is a collection of short, structured reports, limited to 500 words and 1 reference. They are not intended to be research reports, but rather, are an opportunity to disseminate innovative educational scholarship, sharing new ideas in any relevant aspect of health professional education. Papers that contain evidence of an attempt to implement the idea are prioritized, but the focus should be more upon sharing the lessons learned through that implementation rather than the presentation of proof that the intervention was successful. All papers must be treated as confidential.

Full Description:
The review of a paper in this section should take 20-30 minutes to complete. Many of these articles are descriptions of new ideas in curriculum design, teaching practice, assessment or evaluation and some describe attempts at programme or curriculum change. The new ideas should be no more than three years old and have been implemented, although they may be pilot programmes. They should not have been reported elsewhere in the peer-reviewed literature though they may summarize subsequent phases of previously reported Really Good Stuff. The intended focus is not exclusively to have authors demonstrate their success. Rather, it is to have them share the insights they have gained (for better or worse) as a result of innovative educational scholarship. To that end, we have asked authors to address three questions in their reports: What problem was addressed? What was tried? What lessons were learned? A full-fledged research study is not expected as these reports are aimed more at sharing ideas rather than rigorously confirmed outcomes.

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 may be improved through amendment.
                  • The provision of constructive feedback is an important part of a reviewer’s skills.

                  • 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 conflict of interest that might bias your opinion of a paper. A conflict of 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.
                  • Please be objective and constructive in writing your report – it may be helpful to write as if you were giving feedback face to face with the author(s).
                  • Please do not indicate your opinion about acceptance/rejection in this report.
                  • 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.
                  • In the interest of focusing reviewers on the unique aspects of RGS the review form has been structured such that we ask reviewers to address specific questions (listed below as well as through hyperlinks on the scoresheet).

Other matters
                  • Please return your review within two weeks if possible. Automated reminders will be sent.
                  • If a delay is likely please inform the office by email ( The paper can then be allocated to another reviewer.
                  • 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 Really Good Stuff reviewers for the year are published in the November 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.

Hyperlinks provided on the scoresheet:
Overall Evaluation and General Comments
Did you learn anything from reading this paper that you would consider important for the field to know? Is the innovation described original in some meaningful way?
This is arguably the most important piece of the paper as it will determine whether or not a potential reader chooses to read the full text. Were you able to get a clear picture of the innovation from the title? Would you recommend any changes to the authors?
What problem was addressed?
Did the text in this section provide you with a clear understanding of the issue the authors were trying to address? Does the extent of the problem statement offer enough context to enable you to judge the applicability of the concerns raised to your own setting?
What was tried?
Have the authors conveyed a clear sense of what they did to attempt to solve the problem raised? Have they indicated how the solution was fit to the context of the problem, what resources were required, and whether or not the idea has been positioned to have a chance to succeed over the long term?
What lessons were learned?
This should be the main focus of the report. Have the authors shared their successes and failures in a way that highlights how their perspective has changed for better or worse? Are the lessons learned sufficiently novel and interesting? Do they seem valid?
Clarity and Length
Is the paper well written? 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).

Medical Education
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