Review Process

Peer-Review Process for Authors

Northwestern Medical Journal employs a double-blind peer review system, which ensures that the identities of both reviewers and authors remain anonymous. Each manuscript undergoes a thorough evaluation process, typically involving at least two external reviewers and editors from the Journal.

The following is an outline of the peer review process:

  1. The submitted manuscript is first reviewed by the editor-in-chief, who determines its suitability for further evaluation. A section editor is assigned to each manuscript deemed suitable for review. Preliminary review by the editor-in-chief includes adherence to the Journal's focus and scope, publication quality, language quality, ethical standards, and conflict of interest.
  2. Manuscripts that do not qualify for peer review, such as those that lack scientific merit, originality, or relevance to the target audience, may not be further reviewed.
  3. If the editor-in-chief and/or a section editor deem the manuscript suitable for evaluation, it is then sent to at least two independent reviewers for peer review.
  4. The section editor carefully reviews the evaluations provided by the reviewers and then makes a recommendation to the editor-in-chief.
  5. Ultimately, the final decision to accept or reject an article rest with the editor-in-chief.

Appeals and Complaints

The Journal follows Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) guidelines on appeals, and complaints about the peer review process. Appeals to editorial decisions are welcomed. However, authors must present strong evidence, additional information, and data in the appeal letter. Authors can send an appeal letter to editorial office e-mail address [email protected]. Appeal letters should include (if available)

  • the reasons for the appeal
  • details of the technical errors,
  • reasons of disagreements and disputes,
  • evidence regarding conflict of interest,
  • additional or new resources, evidence, information, and data

The editors will respond to the request within one month. Editors may reject or accept the manuscript, request a revision, or suggest initiating an additional review process. All decisions on appeals are final. For more information about the policy on appeals and complaints, please contact the editorial office.

Manuscript Withdrawal

Manuscripts that have submitted to the peer review process cannot be withdrawn. However, if further delays occur in the peer-review process, authors are entitled to withdraw their manuscripts. For manuscripts that have not yet begun the peer review process, the corresponding author may request withdrawal by sending an email to [email protected].

Peer-Review Process for Editors and Reviewers

Technical check is carried out by the editorial office including:

  • Similarity checks via Turnitin or iThenticate
  • Format requirements
  • Whether all the necessary information is provided or not
  • Completion of files, forms, documents, statements

Preliminary review by the editor-in-chief including adherence to:

  • Journal's aim, focus, and scope
  • Publication quality
  • Language quality
  • Ethical standards
  • Conflict of interest

Editor-in-chief either rejects the manuscript or forward it to section editors.

Reviews by the section editors include:

  • Objective errors
  • Language errors (grammar and spelling rules, and the related scientific literature)
  • Research quality
  • Compliance with ethical considerations and standards for the research.

Section editors either rejects the manuscript or forward it to peer-reviewers.

Review process by peer-reviewers includes:

  • Declaration of competing interests (If there is conflict of interests, the editorial office will evaluate the relationship and if deemed permissible, reviewers will be assigned. The editorial board will follow the COPE’s guideline on conflict of interests.)
  • Review of the manuscript thoroughly
  • Quality evaluations (Research question, hypothesis, theoretical background and relevance to the scientific literature, methodology, scientific standards, language and presentation.)
  • Providing feedback
  • Making one of four recommendations that are “accept for publication”, “minor revision”, “major revision” or “reject”.
  • Drafting a review report

Final Decision for Publication

  • Once the author(s) complete revisions and/or the final version of the manuscript, the section editors forward their recommendation for publication to the editor-in-chief. There may be more than one round of peer review before a final decision is made.
  • The editor-in-chief evaluates the recommendations of the section editors and make a final decision and share this decision with the authors. A manuscript can be either accepted for publication or rejected.
  • If the manuscript is accepted, production team will prepare the manuscript for publication.