PEER REVIEW MODEL
The Australasian Journal of Plastic Surgery has adopted an independent double-blind peer review process. This involves an initial assessment by the relevant Section Editor and, if accepted for review, detailed assessment by two or more independent peer reviewers.
In double-blind peer review, all identifying information is removed from the submission so that author(s) remain anonymous to the reviewers and visa versa.
All manuscripts submitted to the journal are screened by the editorial team. Manuscripts are immediately rejected if they do not follow the author guidelines, are not in line with the aims of the journal, or are well short of the standard required for publication.
The Australasian Journal of Plastic Surgery follows the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors' ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals and the Committee on Publication Ethics COPE guidelines. Reviewers should be aware of the content of these documents.
Conflict of interest
Reviewers must declare any financial support or relationships that may pose a conflict of interest at the time of assessment/review such as any financial arrangements they may have with a company whose product figures prominently in a submitted manuscript or with a company making a competing product. Information for reviewers can be found here.
All unpublished manuscripts are confidential documents. If we invite you to review an article please do not discuss it even with a colleague. If you would like to pass it on to someone else to review, please email [email protected] first.
Reviewers are responsible for maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of the authors’ work while it is being evaluated for publication. Manuscripts sent for review are privileged communications and are the private property of the authors. Information gained through working with manuscripts must not be used for private gain in any way.
If plagiarism is identified, we will follow COPE guidelines. Authors whose work has been flagged as containing possible plagiarised content by AJOPS editors or reviewers will have an opportunity to respond to the journal's concerns. If no response is received the journal reserves the right to reject the submission, issue a correction or retraction (if the manuscript has already been published) and contact authors' institutions, funders or regulatory bodies as necessary.
Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to:
- copying, either verbatim or close, text from other sources without attribution/citation
- using illustrations (includes images, graphs or diagrams) from other sources without attribution
- significantly reusing your own text from previous publications without attribution or the agreement of the editor (read the COPE guidelines on text recycling)(note, there are exceptions relating to methods)
- using the original structure, argument or idea from another source as a major part of a new publication without attribution (where it is clear this has not been developed by the authors).
As a member of Crossref the Australasian Journal of Plastic Surgery uses Similarity Check for plagiarism checking.
Being invited to review a manuscript is an honour as it reflects your eminence in a particular aspect of surgery. We are indebted to you for ensuring that we continue to improve the standard of articles that appear in the Australasian Journal of Plastic Surgery.
It is the responsibility of reviewers to critically evaluate manuscripts. Nevertheless, it is important that reviewers adopt a positive and impartial attitude toward the manuscript under review with the aim of enhancing the quality of the manuscript. Reviewers are in a privileged position and must avoid using language that is either emotive or derogatory.
We appreciate that, while reviewing manuscripts has its own intrinsic rewards, it is an onerous task. No reviewer should be asked to comment on more than six manuscripts a year. At the end of each year, we express our gratitude by publishing a list of the reviewers for that year.
If you experience any adverse event arising from double-blind peer review, or would like to tell us your views, please email [email protected].
Reviewers should be aware of the requirements for the manuscript type they are being asked to review such as word count, abstract structure, number of figures and tables and references. See table below.
Likewise, reviewers should be aware of the requirements for reporting of clinical and randomised controlled trials outlined in the CONSORT Statement] (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials).
All meta-analyses of clinical and randomised controlled trials must adhere to the guidelines outlined in the PRISMA Statement which is designed to improve manuscript quality.
Summary of manuscript requirements
Manuscript type | Max. Word count | Abstract | Keywords | Max. Figures and Tables | Max. References
Original articles | 3000 | Structured | 5 MESH terms | 8 | unlimited
Systematic review articles | 4800 | Structured | 5 MESH terms | 8 | unlimited
Narrative review articles | 4800 | Unstructured | 5 MESH terms| 8 | unlimited
Case report | 1000 | Introduction | 3 MESH terms | 3 | 10
Case series | 1500 | Introduction | 3 MESH terms | 3 | 15
In the first section of the review form, reviewers are asked to rank manuscripts using a rating of 1-5 stars and to make a recommendation (Accept, Revise and resubmit or Reject). A blank text area is provided for reviewer’s to leave comments for the editor. Responses in this section are only visible to the editor.
ACCEPT | The submission is acceptable for publication. Minor corrections may need to be made.
REVISE AND RESUBMIT | The submission is not acceptable as submitted. Encourage the authors to revise the manuscript.
DECLINE | The submission does not meet standards for publication.
Rating scale questions
In the second section of the review form, reviewers are asked to rate questions using a 1-5 scale (Strongly disagree, Disagree, Neutral, Agree, Strongly Agree). All questions are required (use ‘Neutral’ if they are not relevant to the manuscript under review, for example, questions on meta-analysis if the manuscript is a case report). All responses in this section are visible to the editor and author(s) and concern:
- Statement of purpose
- Relevance to the journal
- Contribution to the literature
- Research methodology
- Literature review
- Relevance to scholarship
- Organisation of ideas and supporting evidence
- Conclusion with justification from evidence presented
- Errors in usage, spelling, punctuation, and reference formatting.
The last section of the reviewer form provides a blank text area for reviewers to respond to specific questions. All questions are required. All responses are visible to the editor and author(s) and concern:
- accuracy of the title
- adequacy of the abstract
- quality of the statistics
- relevance of the tables/figures
- interest of the topic to the journal’s readership.
- additional comments (the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript)
- competing interests (reviewers)
- willingness to review revisions.
Additional comments provide a valuable insight into the reviewer's assessment of the manuscript and assist the section editors to make final recommendations as well as authors to improve their manuscripts.
Spelling and grammar
Reviewers should not submit corrections for spelling and grammatical errors; if a manuscript is poorly written but contains important information, reviewers should suggest referral to a professional editing service at the author's expense. Accepted manuscripts go through a rigorous editing process; it is not the role of the reviewer to undertake this work.
Your willingness to review revised manuscripts is greatly appreciated but not required. You will be asked whether you are available or willing to do so. Suggested revisions should be stated as such and not expressed as conditions of acceptance.
Submitting your form
Timeliness is important. Reviews should be completed within 21 days. If this is not possible, or the submission is not in your area of expertise, please notify the Managing Editor so alternative arrangements can be made. You will be notified of the outcome of the editorial process when a final recommendation is made.
You may submit your form online or via email. For assistance, please contact our editorial office on email: [email protected]
What are your impressions of the overall quality of the manuscript? Consider the manuscripts:
- Are the authors’ objectives clearly stated?
- Does the abstract accurately reflect the stated aims of the paper?
- Are the methods adequately described?
- Are the main outcome measures clear?
- Are the participants adequately described, their conditions defined, inclusion and exclusion criteria described?
- How representative are they of patients for whom this evidence might affect?
- Is there sufficient detail for an interested reader to replicate the study?
- Do the statistics need to be reviewed by a biostatistician?
- Was the study ethical?
- Are the results concise?
- Do they answer the research question?
- Are they credible and well presented?
- Do they contain appropriate statistical analysis?
- Does the discussion start with an overall comment about the findings and then critically evaluate the main issues raised by the study (for original and review articles)?
- Does the discussion flow clearly from one paragraph to another?
- Does the discussion end with conclusions that are relevant and consistent with the data presented?
- Manuscripts that end with vague comments such as “further research is needed in this area” are not acceptable.
- Are the references up-to-date and relevant?
- Are they appropriate in number?
- Have the author(s) included citations to similar work?
- Are there any glaring omissions?
Figures and tables
- Are all of the tables/figures essential?
- re they self-contained and complement, not duplicate, information in the text?
- Are they captioned with definitions and statistical measures of variation identified?
PEER REVIEW AND EDITORIAL PROCESS
- When an author submits their manuscript it is downloaded by journal staff and checked to ensure that all the submission requirements have been met. Once the submission is complete it is forwarded to the appropriate section editor for initial assessment.
- Section editors assess manuscripts for their originality, educational value and scientific validity. If accepted for review, the section editor recommends three external reviewers.
- Manuscripts have all identifying information removed before undergoing detailed assessment by two or more independent reviewers. Depending on the reviewers' recommendation, revised submissions may be accepted for publication or undergo a further round of review. Recommendations regarding revisions or corrections may be offered to help authors re-write their submission. If revisions are required, authors are given four weeks to re-submit their work.
- A paper may go through more than one round of peer review before a recommendation is reached. The reviewers’ recommendation is sent back to the section editor for endorsement before final approval is sought from the editors-in-chief.
- The editors-in-chief may accept or decline a submission. Once accepted, the manuscript is ready for editing.
- After a manuscript has been through peer review and is accepted for publication it is edited for language and style. When this is complete it is returned to the corresponding author for feedback. Once the author feedback is received, the manuscript undergoes a second round of corrections before the final edited manuscript is returned to the corresponding author for sign off. The final manuscript and associated figures and tables are then sent to typesetting.
Members of the editorial team can submit their own papers to the journal or appear as a co-author on a paper. When this occurs they are removed from all editorial tasks associated with the paper and another member of the editorial team is assigned responsibility for overseeing the peer review. A competing interest must be declared with the submission and any resulting publication.
The Editors-in-Chief may invite editorials and features. Features are identified as invited and not subject to peer review unless stated. Letters to the editor, media reviews, perspectives and video content are reviewed by the editors-in-chief.