Reviewer and Author Info

Interested in submitting an article for the Neurocritical Care journal? Learn more about our submission guidelines and follow the instructions below.


For questions related to manuscript submission or preparation, please contact the Editorial Office of Neurocritical Care: Michael Diringer, MD, at

For questions related to Neurocritical Care publication, please contact Springer Nature Publishing at

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Instructions for Authors

Online Manuscript Submission

Manuscripts must be submitted through the publisher’s online manuscript system Editorial Manager® that manages the entire workflow of all manuscripts. Careful attention to the submission process is critical. I recognize that the process may be cumbersome and appreciate your patience.

Editorial Manager supports a wide range of submission file formats. For manuscripts, use of Microsoft Word is preferred and will make submission easier. WordPerfect, RTF, TXT and LaTex are also acceptable. For figures, use TIFF, GIF, JPEG, EPS, PPT, or Postscript. PDF is not an acceptable file format.

Download Full Instructions

Overview of the Submission Process

  1. Cover letter that:
    1. Identifies the type of article and confirms that it complies with all instructions to authors
    2. Indicates that all components of the manuscript details page were completed appropriately
  2. Manuscript file that includes the title page, details page and abstract (Word format preferred)
  3. Separate files for each table and figure
  4. Comments to the editorial staff (if any)
  5. Supplemental files (optional)
  6. ICJME Conflict of Interest (COI) form for each author.

To submit: Go to and login as an author.

You will asked to complete the following steps:

  1. Begin submission with selection of an article type
  2. Upload your manuscript, preferably as a Word file. If you use a Word file, the system will attempt to pull out title, abstract, and author information, which you will be asked to verify.
  3. Enter keywords (MESH terms linked to the article to help find it in online searches)
  4. Select Classifications (used to match the manuscript with appropriate reviewers)
  5. Enter Author contributions (may be copied from manuscript file)
  6. Indicate if IRB approval was obtained, if applicable
  7. Provide clinical trial registration number, if applicable
  8. Provide any additional comments, if desired
  9. Review information and update as needed
  10. Provide funding information
  11. Create PDF for review
  12. Correct or approve the PDF for submission

Types of Articles

  • Original work (Clinical Investigation, Translational Science)
  • Brief communication
  • Review article 
  • Viewpoint
  • Editorial
  • Ethical matters
  • Take a closer look at trials
  • Take Notice: Technology
  • Neuro-images
  • Lessons Learned
  • Letters to the editor
  • Response to a Letter to the Editor
  • Invited commentary
  • Special article (require prior approval)
  • Proceedings (require prior approval)

General Requirements for All Submissions

Cover Letter

The cover letter should:

  • Identify the type of article and confirm that it complies with all instructions to authors
  • Indicate why the submission is appropriate for publication in Neurocritical Care

Title Page

The title page should contain the following information:

  1. Full Title without subtitles
  2. For each author name, highest degree and current institutional affiliation
  3. Word count (see below)
  4. Number of Figures and Tables
  5. Corresponding author contact information including e-mail address
  6. Key words for indexing, using terms from the Medical Subject Headings list of Index Medicus

Word Count

  • Word counts apply to the body of the manuscript
  • They do NOT include abstract, figure legends, table legends, references, acknowledgments, sources of funding, COI disclosures, ethical information or authors' contributions
  • See below for specific limit for each article type

Details Page

This should include statements that:

  1. Confirm that manuscript complies with all instructions to authors
  2. Confirm that authorship requirements (see below) have been met and the final manuscript was approved by all authors
  3. Confirm that this manuscript has not been published elsewhere and is not under consideration by another journal
  4. Confirm adherence to ethical guidelines and indicate ethical approvals (IRB) and use of informed consent, as appropriate (see below). Retrospective studies require a statement regarding IRB approval.
  5. Disclose Conflics of Interest statement for all authors
  6. Confirm the use of reporting checklist (see below), if appropriate
  7. List sources of funding for the study


It is mandatory to include at the end of the manuscript the appropriate EQUATOR checklist for your study. Please find the appropriate checklist at Equator Network.


The text should be double-spaced, written in standard scientific English and carefully proofread. Include page numbers.

****Non-standard abbreviations should be avoided wherever possible*****; if used they should be defined on first use and be dissimilar from other abbreviations.


References in the narrative text should be superscript (like this1 and this2-3 ). The reference list should be numbered consecutively as they are cited. List all citation authors when there are six or fewer; when there are seven or more, list the first three, followed by et al. When in doubt, follow PubMed style. Include DOI and original link where available. Do not use any grouping or linking features for references. An Endnote template can be found here.

Figure and Tables

Provide titles, spell out all abbreviations (in alphabetical order), and number consecutively with Arabic numerals. See below for specific article type. Use a separate page for each; callouts (if any) should be in CAPITAL LETTERS.

Figure Captions

Figure captions should be placed in a separate section at the end of the manuscript. Define all abbreviations (in alphabetical order) and provide sufficient information to interpret the figure without reading the text.


Illustrations must be provided in professional-quality, finished form, ready for direct reproduction without revision (see below). Micrograph magnification should be given with scale bars defined in microns, not as “x magnification.”

Computer Graphics

If your submission includes Computer Graphics, acceptable software formats are Adobe Illustrator versions 5 and up, Adobe Photoshop versions 5 and up, and MS Office. Acceptable file formats are as follows: EPS (Encapsulated Postscript), TIFF, and those native software formats listed above. DPI specifications: line art should be no less than 1200 dpi; halftone scans should be 300 dpi.

Preferred file formats for graphics are as follows:

  • Vector graphics: EPS
  • Line art (black & white with no shading) and halftone art (photographs, drawings, or paintings with shading): TIFF

Preferred file formats for media: avi, wmv, mp4, mov, m2p, mp2, mpg, mpeg, flv, mxf, mts, m4v, 3gp. Resolution: 16:9 or 4:3. Maximum file size: 25 GB. Minimum video duration: 1 second

Current Springer art guidelines are available here.

Color Art

For color printed in the hardcopy version, there is a flat $1,150 fee. Color figures will be published online at no cost. If the fee represents a hardship, contact the editor. All color art must adhere to the guidelines under Computer Graphics. Color art must be prepared in RGB color mode.

Special Requirements for Submission Types

Brief Communication

  • Brief communications should consist of focused (or highly innovative preliminary) reports of clinical or translational interest.
  • No abstract
  • Maximum length is 1,500 words
  • Maximum 3 figures and tables


  • Editorials are always commissioned by the Editors and comment on one or more articles in the Journal and are by invitation only
  • Maximum number of authors: 3
  • No abstract
  • Maximum article length: 1,500 words (applies to the body of the manuscript only)
  • Up to 15 references
  • Inclusion of a table or figure is encouraged.

Ethical Matters

  • Submissions should provide a balanced discussion of an ethical issue of relevance to neurocritical care.
  • Maximum number of authors: 5
  • Abstract: unstructured, 300 words maximum
  • Maximum article length: 5,000 words (applies to the body of the manuscript only)

Invited Editorial Commentary

  • Invited only
  • No abstract
  • Commentaries will accompany selected papers.
  • The primary focus is on how to interpret the article.
  • The commentary could include: 1) discussion of the strengths and weakness of the paper that you identified in the review process, 2) placing the paper in the context of what is known about the topic, 3) clarifying what message the reader should take away from the paper, 4) how the findings should be (or not) integrated into practice.
  • 500-1,000 words
  • Cite the paper they discuss; other references are optional.

Lessons Learned

  • Articles should address focus on case presentations in which specific clinical problem arose and discuss lessons learned (clinical insights, tips, mistakes to avoid)
  • Maximum article length: 1,500 Words
  • No abstract
  • Maximum of 2 Figures or tables
  • Requires use of relevant reporting guideline and extension, if applicable
  • Requires information on research ethics and informed consent, and consent to disclose

Letter to the Editor

  • Submissions should express views related to articles previously published in Neurocritical Care.
  • Maximum number of authors: 5
  • Maximum article length: 1,500 words
  • No reference limit, the first reference must be the publication in question.
  • The authors of the commented original article will be invited to write a reply


  • Focus on unusual and informative images that impact clinical decision making
  • Submission under the Image section must be of high scientific quality and value as well as providing didactic and self-explanatory lessons. They must be unique and adhere to ethical standards with patient/relative approval when appropriate, protection of patient identity and privacy, and local ethics approval.
  • No abstract
  • No references
  • The section is not supposed for the publication of case-reports. The focus is on the images.
  • Include very brief description of the case
  • Figure legends/descriptions may be up to 250 words each
  • Images should be at least 300 dpi
  • Maximum number of authors 4
  • No section heading
  • Maximum article length: 1,000 words (applies to the body of the manuscript only)

Original Work

  • Original work submitted should consist of a scholarly clinical investigation, translational science or formal literature review that produces new knowledge.
  • There are no specific limits to number of authors, word count, or tables/figures; still authors are expected to communicate their message succinctly.
  • Abstract: Structured abstract, maximum of 300 words. The abstract should provide the context or background for the study and should state the study's purpose, basic procedures, main findings (include data values and their statistical and clinical significance, if appropriate, not just descriptive terms), and principal conclusions. It should emphasize new and important aspects of the study or observations, note important limitations, and not over interpret findings. It should include the following sections: Background/Objective, Methods, Results, and Conclusions.
  • Body of Manuscript: The text should be divided into the following sections: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusions.
    • Introduction: Provide a context or background for the study (that is, the nature of the problem and its significance). State the specific purpose or research objective of, or hypothesis tested by, the study or observation. Cite only directly pertinent references and do not include data or conclusions from the work being reported.
    • Methods: The guiding principle of the Methods section should be clarity about how and why a study was done in a particular way. Methods section should aim to be sufficiently detailed such that others with access to the data would be able to reproduce the results. It should include a statement indicating that the research was approved by an independent local, regional or national review body.
    • Results: Present your results in logical sequence in the text, tables, and figures, giving the main or most important findings first. Do not repeat all the data in the tables or figures in the text; emphasize or summarize only the most important observations. Provide data on all primary and secondary outcomes identified in the Methods section. Give numeric results not only as derivatives (e.g. percentages) but also as the absolute numbers from which the derivatives were calculated, and specify the statistical significance attached to them, if any.
    • Discussion: Begin the discussion by briefly summarizing the main findings, and explore possible mechanisms or explanations for these findings. Emphasize the new and important aspects of your study and put your findings in the context of the totality of the relevant evidence. State the limitations of your study and explore the implications of your findings for future research and for clinical practice or policy.
    • Conclusions: Link the conclusions with the goals of the study but avoid unqualified statements and conclusions not adequately supported by the data.


  • Report on presentations, panels, debates, and other work products of meetings
  • Prior approval required before submission.
  • No abstract.

Response to a Letter to the Editor

  • Maximum number of authors: 5
  • Maximum article length: 1,500 words
  • No reference limit, the first reference must be the publication in question.

Review Article

  • The journal is primarily interested in receiving systematic reviews and meta-analyses that use high-quality methodology (pre-registered, published protocol, systematic search, selection and reporting paper) and address relevant clinical questions not already or completely addressed in the literature. Reviews must comply with the PRISMA Statement and must be prospectively registered at Prospero.
  • Narrative/Scoping Reviews should only be submitted after prior consultation with the Editors and are subject to the peer-review process. They represent the state-of-the-art in a specific field of research and are prepared by senior authors with a broad knowledge of the field and should not simply restate the literature but rather interpret and integrate the findings to provide a framework for understanding a particular topic.
  • Submissions should be balanced, comprehensive, and up-to-date.
  • Abstract: unstructured, 300 words maximum
  • Maximum article length: 5,000 words (applies to the body of the manuscript only)
  • Supplementary information can be published in electronic supplements without limitation.

Special Article

  • Neurocritical Care Society guidelines, position statements, policy statements etc.
  • Prior approval required before submission.

Take a Closer Look at Trials

  • Submission should inform the reader about new, ongoing or recently completed trials. They may include trial protocols, reports of ongoing trials, or perspective on completed trials.
  • No limit on number of authors
  • Abstract: unstructured, 300 words maximum

Take Notice: Technology

  • The manuscript should focus on raising awareness of a new device or new application of an old device.
  • Maximum number of authors: 3
  • Abstract: optional, unstructured, 300 words maximum
  • Maximum article length: 2,500 words (applies to the body of the manuscript only)


  • Submissions for Viewpoints should raise an issue, provide a perspective, or make an argument about a topic relevant to neurocritical care.
  • Abstract optional: unstructured, 300 words maximum
  • Maximum article length: 2,500 words (applies to the body of the manuscript only)

What to Expect After Submission

The editorial staff will review your submission and determine whether the work meets our criteria for external peer review. Those that do not are rejected, and the authors are sent a brief description of the reasons.

We strive to have three blinded peer reviewers evaluate your submission. When complete, reviews are evaluated by the editors, and an initial decision is made using the following options:

  • Reject – there are major uncorrectable concerns about originality, relevance, validity or overall quality.
  • Revise and reconsider – the paper is not acceptable as it stands; suggestions are offered about how to improve it, and a second review will be required
  • Revisions needed – the manuscript is almost acceptable, but additional revisions are needed.
  • Accept as is

If a revision is requested, you will be provided with the reviewers’ and editor’s comments and asked to provide point-by-point responses along with a revised manuscript. Additional rounds of peer review and revision may be required.

Once accepted, the manuscript is sent for production, and page proofs are generated. This process usually takes about three weeks. The proofs will be sent to you for you to review. We ask that you complete your review within 48 hours so as to not delay posting your paper online. Later on, it will be incorporated into an issue of Neurocritical Care.


Include details about support for the work including Funder, Award Number, and Grant Recipient.

Disclosure of Potential Conflict of Interests (COI)

All authors must disclose all relationships or intereststhat could influence or bias the work. The corresponding author collects and stores the conflict of interest disclosure forms from all authors. In author collaborations where formal agreements for representation allow it, the corresponding author may sign the disclosure form on behalf of all authors. More information can be found on the ICMJE website here. The corresponding author will include a summary statement in the text of the manuscript in a separate section before the reference list that reflects what is recorded in the potential conflict of interest disclosure form(s).

Although an author may not feel there are conflicts, disclosure of relationships and interests that might appear to represent a potential conflict of interest affords a more transparent process, leading to an accurate and objective assessment of the work. Awareness of real or perceived conflicts of interests is a perspective to which the readers are entitled and is not meant to imply that a financial relationship with an organization thatsponsored the research or compensation for consultancy work is inappropriate. Examples of potential conflicts of intereststhat are directly or indirectly related to the research or manuscript may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Research grants from funding agencies (please give the research funder and the grant number)
  • Honoraria for speaking at symposia
  • Financial support for attending symposia
  • Financial support for educational programs
  • Employment or consultation
  • Support from a project sponsor
  • Position on advisory board or board of directors or other type of management relationships
  • Multiple affiliations
  • Financial relationships, for example equity ownership or investment interest
  • Intellectual property rights (e.g., patents, copyrights and royalties from such rights)
  • Holdings of spouse and/or children that may have financial interest in the work

In addition, interests that go beyond financial interests and compensation (non-financial interests) that may be important to readers should be disclosed. These may include but are not limited to personal relationships or competing interests directly or indirectly tied to this research or professional interests or personal beliefs that may influence your research.

Examples of disclosures:

  • Funding: This study was funded by X (grant number X).
  • Conflict of Interest: Author A has received research grants from Company A. Author B has received a speaker honorarium from Company X and owns stock in Company Y. Author C is a member of committee Z.
  • If no conflict exists, the authors should state: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Criteria for Authorship

The criteria for authorship adopted by Neurocritical Care are set by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors ( A discussion of role of authors and criteria for authorship can be found here.

Authorship credit should only be attributed to contributors that meet all these criteria:

  1. Substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data
  2. Drafting the article or revising it critically for important intellectual content
  3. Final approval of the version to be published
  4. Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

Acquisition of funding, the collection of data, feedback on the manuscript, or general supervision of the research group, by themselves, do not justify authorship. Two individuals may be designated a co-primary authors. The authors may add a study group name as an author in the byline and list the study group members in an appropriate footnote in the first page of the manuscript in order to have their names entered in PubMed as Collaborators.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)–Assisted Technology

Authors must disclose whether they used artificial intelligence (AI) – assisted technologies (such as Large Language Models [LLMs], chatbots, or image creators) in the production of submitted work. They should describe, in both the cover letter and the submitted work, how they used it. Chatbots (such as ChatGPT) should not be listed as authors because they cannot be responsible for the accuracy, integrity, and originality of the work, and these responsibilities are required for authorship. Therefore, humans are responsible for any submitted material that includes the use of AI-assisted technologies. Authors should carefully review and edit the result because AI can generate authoritative-sounding output that can be incorrect, incomplete, or biased. Authors should be able to assert that there is no plagiarism in their paper, including in text and images produced by the AI. Humans must ensure there is appropriate attribution of all quoted material, including full citations.

Ethical Responsibilities of Authors

This journal is committed to upholding the integrity of the scientific record. As a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics(COPE) the journal will follow the COPE guidelines on how to deal with potential acts of misconduct.

Authors should refrain from misrepresenting research results that could damage the trust in the journal and ultimately the entire scientific endeavor. Maintaining integrity of the research and its presentation can be achieved by following the rules of good scientific practice, which include:

  • The manuscript has not been submitted to more than one journal for simultaneous consideration.
  • The manuscript has not been published previously (partly or in full), unless the new work concerns an expansion of previous work (please provide transparency on the re-use of material to avoid the hint of text-recycling (“self- plagiarism”)).
  • A single study is notsplit up into several parts and submitted to various journals or to one journal over time to increase the number of submissions (e.g. “salamipublishing”).
  • No data have been fabricated or manipulated (including images) to support your conclusions.
  • No data, text, or theories by others are presented as if they were the authors’ own (“plagiarism”). Proper acknowledgements to other works must be given, including material that is closely copied (near verbatim), summarized and/or paraphrased). Quotation marks must be used for verbatim copying of material, and permissions secured for material that is copyrighted.
  • Important note: the journal may use software to screen for plagiarism.
  • Consent to submit has been received from all co-authors and responsible authorities at the institution/organization where the work has been carried out before the work is submitted.
  • Authors whose names appear on the submission have contributed sufficiently to the scientific work and therefore share collective responsibility and accountability for the results. • Changes of authorship or in the order of authors are not permitted after acceptance of a manuscript.
  • Requests to add or delete authors at revision stage or after publication is a serious matter and may be considered only after receipt of written approval from all authors and detailed explanation about the role/deletion of the new/deleted author. The decision on accepting the change rests with the Editor-in-Chief of the journal.
  • Upon request, authorsshould be prepared to send relevant documentation or data in order to verify the validity of the results. This could be in the form of raw data, samples, records, etc.
  • If there is a suspicion of misconduct,the journal will carry out an investigation following the COPE guidelines. If, after investigation, the allegation seemsto raise valid concerns, the accused author will be contacted and given an opportunity to addressthe issue. If misconduct has been proven, this may result in the Editor-in-Chief’simplementation of the following measures, including, but not limited to:
  • If the article is still under consideration, it may be rejected and returned to the author.
  • If the article has already been published online, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction, either an erratum will be placed with the article or in severe cases complete retraction of the article will occur. The reason must be given in the published erratum or retraction note. The author’sinstitution may be informed.

Statement of Human and Animal Rights

When reporting studies that involve human participants, authors should include a statement that the studies have been approved by the appropriate institutional and/or national research ethics committee and have been performed in accordance with the ethical standards as laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

If doubt exists whether the research was conducted in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration or comparable standards, the authors must explain the reasons for their approach, and demonstrate that the independent ethics committee or institutional review board explicitly approved the doubtful aspects of the study.

The welfare of animals used for research must be respected. When reporting experiments on animals, authors should indicate whether the institutional and/or national guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

For studies with animals, the following statement should be included: “All applicable institutional and/or national guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.”

If articles do not contain studies with human participants or animals by any of the authors, Springer recommends including the following sentence: “This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.”

For retrospective studies, please add the following sentence: “For this type of study, formal consent is not required.”

Informed Consent

All individuals have rights that are not to be infringed. For example, individualstudy participants have the right to decide what happensto the (identifiable) personal data gathered and to what they have said, e.g. during a study or an interview, as well as to any photograph that was taken. Hence it is important that all participants gave their informed consent in writing prior to inclusion in the study. Identifying details (names, dates of birth, identity numbers and other information) of the participants that were studied should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and genetic profiles unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the participant (or parent or guardian if the participantis incapable) has given written informed consentfor publication. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve in some cases, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of participantsis inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity,such as in genetic profiles, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning.

The following statementshould be included: “Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.”

If identifying information about participants is available in the article, the following statement should be included: “Additional informed consent was obtained from all individual participants for whom identifying information is included in this article.”

Reference Managers

For authors using EndNote, Springer provides an output style that supports the formatting of in-text citations and reference list here.

Authors preparing their manuscript in LaTeX can use the bibtex file spbasic.bst which is included in Springer’s LaTeX macro package (clicking this link downloads a file).


Reprints are available to authors at standard rates. Authors will receive reprint order forms with proofs of articles. Both paper and PDF reprints can be purchased. You will receive a free electronic offprint in PDF format after online publication.

English Language Support

Manuscripts that are accepted for publication will be checked by our copyeditors for spelling and formal style. This may not be sufficient if English is not your native language and substantial editing would be required. In that case, you may want to have your manuscript edited by a native speaker prior to submission. A clear and concise language will help editors and reviewers concentrate on the scientific content of your paper and thus smooth the peer review process.

Editing services provide language editing for scientific articles in all areas in which Springer publishes. Use of an editing service is neither a requirement nor a guarantee of acceptance for publication. Two available options are SpringerNature Author Services and American Journal Experts.

Please contact an editing service directly to make arrangements for editing and payment.

For Authors from China

文章在投稿前进行专业的语言润色将对作者的投稿进程有所帮助。作者可自愿选择使 用Springer推荐的编辑服务,使用与否并 不作为判断文章是否被录用的依据。提高文 章的语言质量将有助于审稿人理解文章的内容,通过对学术内容的判断来决定文章 的取舍,而不会因为语言问题导致直接退稿。作者需自行联系Springer推荐的编辑服务公司,协商编辑事宜。

• 理文编辑

For Authors from Japan

ジャーナルに論文を投稿する前に、ネイティブ・スピーカーによる英文校閲を希 望されている方 は、Edanz社をご紹介し ています。サービス内容、料金および申 込方法など、日本語による詳し 説明はエダンズグループジャパン株式会社の下記 サイトをご覧ください• エダンズグループジャパン

For Authors from Korea

영어 논문 투고에 앞서 원어민에게 영문 교정을 받고자 하시는 분들께 Edanz 회사를 소개해 드립니다. 서비스 내용, 가격 및 신청 방법 등에 대한 자세한 사항은 저희 Edanz Editing Global 웹사이트를 조해 주시면 감사하겠습니다.• Edanz Editing Global


Neurocritical Care Reviewers' Instructions

Download Reviewer's Guide

Elements to assess

Overall considerations:

  • Is the content appropriate for Neurocritical Care?
  • For original articles, are the results novel?
  • Does the title accurately reflects the content of the manuscript?
  • Is the manuscript is clearly and concisely written and is free of jargon
  • Is there appropriate reporting of conflicts of interest
  • Are there too many authors?
  • Is language editing needing?

Does the manuscript follow relevant guidelines?

  • Observational studies – STROBE
  • Systematic review, meta-analysis - PRISMA
  • Diagnostic accuracy – STARD
  • Quality improvement studies - SQUIRE

Does the abstract:

  • State the question to be addressed?
  • Accurately describes the study design?
  • Present data not just trends for main results?
  • Present conclusions that are based on the data NOT speculation?

Does the introduction:

  • Introduce and put into perspective the purpose of the study?
  • Summarize what has already been done (with proper primary citations), indicate a gap, raise a research question, or challenge prior work?
  • Outline the purpose and goal of the project and clearly indicate what is novel and why it is significant?

Do the methods:

  • Provide sufficient detail?
  • Clearly describe study design; is it appropriate?
  • Describe patients selection and randomization (if appropriate)
  • Include a detailed description of intervention (if appropriate)
  • Define a primary outcome measure
  • Provide a detailed description of statistical approach

Do the results:

  1. Present the data in a clear logical order
  2. Make appropriate use of tables and figures
  3. Repeat the data presented in tables in the text?
  4. Are there better ways to present the data?


  • Are the results compared to those in the literature?
  • Does it discuss the importance, validity and generalizability of the conclusions?
  • Are limitations discussed?
  • Are alternative explanations for the data offered?
  • Are the conclusions (must be supported by the data) clearly distinguished from speculation?
  • Are there unjustified claims and generalizations?

Figures and tables

  • Does the legend describe everything in the figure or table, draw attention to its important features, and define all abbreviations? (Can the reader understand the figure without referring to the text?)
  • Are the scales in graphs appropriate?
  • Are estimates of error included?
  • Are tables designed to easily find specific data?
  • Are graphs used to display trends and make comparisons?


  • Reject – there are major uncorrectable concerns about originality, relevance, validity or overall quality.
  • Revise and reconsider – the paper is not acceptable as it stands but if the authors respond appropriately to the comments it could be.
  • Revisions needed – the manuscript is acceptable but needs some cleaning up.
  • Accept as is.

How to format the review

  • Comments to editor (Not seen by author)
    • VERY IMPORTANT: State succinctly what you really think about suitability for publication and why
    • Tell me if there are aspects of the paper you don’t feel qualified to evaluate
  • Comments to authors
    • Start by briefly summarizing what questions was addressed and how the study was done.
    • Identify major issues– these are usually issues that need to be addressed to determine if the paper is suitable for publication. Focus on overall originality, relevance, validity and the overall quality of the presentation
    • List minor issues that need to be addressed that are not as critical to the decision to accept or not.

Review pointers

  • Space is no longer a concern. Encourage tables and figures when appropriate.
  • Never make any comment to the authors on whether or not you think the paper should be accepted
  • Make sure the comments reflect your recommendation; if you recommend rejection, your comments should identify some major concerns.
  • Where possible, be constructive in your comments. Your work should serve to educate the authors in how to improve their work.
  • With each point, make it clear to the authors what they need to do
  • Do not worry about errors of syntax or spelling