Guideline for reviewers
Cuestiones de Fisioterapia is aware that peer-review is the fundamental axis of valid and quality scientific publications. The reviewers play a significant role in the editing process of the scientific articles submitted to our journal, as they evaluate them based on the requirements and criteria that we have established and the quality, integrity and precision of the research that supports them. The reviewers ensure the rigorous standards of the scientific process, collaborate in maintaining the integrity and quality of the journal, identify unsuitable investigations, and help prevent ethical infractions by identifying plagiarism, research fraud and other problems.
Peer Evaluation Model
Cuestiones de Fisioterapia applies the double-blind peer-review model, a process that involves the evaluation of manuscripts completely anonymously: the reviewers do not know the origin and authorship of the article they review and the authors do not know the identity of the reviewers. Consequently, to maintain the anonymity of authors and reviewers, the entire process is carried out by means of the editorial secretariat.
Types of articles to review
The peer-review process applies to Original Articles, Short Originals, Case Studies and Reviews. The reviewers will bear in mind the regulations of each format expressed in the instructions to the authors, since their comments and suggestions to the authors must always conform to the rules for each type of article.
When a manuscript is received in the editorial office, the editorial committee performs a preliminary evaluation of the works received, assessing: formal compliance with the instructions to the authors (structure, number of words, number of tables and figures, etc.), whether its content fits the subject matter covered by the magazine, and whether it may be of interest to readers. Manuscripts that pass this initial selection are submitted to an expert editor, considering the potential conflicts of interest that the editor might have with the article. The editor, after analyzing the manuscript, sends it to two external reviewers of the specialty. When deemed necessary, a third reviewer or a methodological reviewer may intervene.
Before starting the evaluation
The editor sends the reviewers a letter inviting them to review the attached manuscript, accompanied by a Valuation Protocol (also available on our website) in which they are asked to sign their acceptance or rejection before proceeding to the evaluation to be performed, taking into account the following considerations:
1. Be qualified as an expert to evaluate the matter discussed in the manuscript
2. Follow the attached protocol as a guide to elaborate the content, style and format of the review, specific aspects of the originals that must be evaluated and which be ignored, always respecting the authors.
3. Destroy the manuscript once the report has been read and issued.
4. Submit the report within a maximum period of 15 days.
5. Declare any conflict of personal, academic, research, economic or financial interests in relation to the manuscript
6. Preserve the confidentiality regarding the manuscript and revision
7. Know the magazine's compensation awards
8. Accept the final Acceptance or Rejection decision taken by the Editorial Board.
Reviewers are requested to respond to the invitation as soon as possible (even if it is to decline), so as not to slow down the review process. If a reviewer declines the invitation, it would be appreciated if they provided us with suggestions for alternative reviewers.
If the reviewer does not respond to the invitation, two reminders will be sent before it is withdrawn.
If the reviewer agrees to evaluate the manuscript but does not send his report on time, two reminders will be sent before the invitation is withdrawn.
Reviewers are requested to comply with the delivery times of the reports so as not to delay the editorial process and final notification to the authors.
During the evaluation. Aspects to Evaluate by the Reviewer
The reviewer who agrees to evaluate a manuscript must assess the following aspects:
• Originality. The reviewer will assess whether the manuscript provides something new that has not been previously or exhaustively discussed in literature. And whether this novel element is of real interest and may be useful.
• Methodology. The reviewer will assess whether the methodology responds to the objectives of the work, following a valid and appropriate scientific method. They will also assess if it complies with the ethical aspects derived from the study.
• Discussion and Conclusions. The reviewer will verify that it is not a summary of the results, but rather interprets them and analyzes their implications. They will also verify that the presentation is sincere and does not hide the limitations or possible biases of the study.
• References. The reviewer will verify that there are no malicious errors or omissions by the authors.
• They will also address the analysis of other issues such as coherence, the use of appropriate terminology, etc.
These aspects will be assessed using the Manuscript Assessment Protocol for External Reviewers form, adopted by Cuestiones de Fisioterapia, where the following items are included:
1 Originality and Relevance. The reviewer will determine whether these aspects are presented in the highest, average or lowest manner.
2 Technical Aspects of Structure and Style: The reviewer will assess whether the following aspects are adequate, if they are not and/or should be improved.
- The title, in Spanish and English, (whether it is clear, concise and informative).
- The Summary, in Spanish and English, is correct (clear, it includes the aims, design, methods, the variables considered, main results and the most relevant conclusions).
- The structure of the dissertation is adequate.
- The style is appropriate (clear, concise and follows a logical sequence).
3 Scientific Aspects: Basis, Methodology, Results and Discussion
- Is the general subject, issue or problem immediately and clearly identified?
- Is the specific subject, issue or problem clearly defined and determined?
- Does the bibliographic review take into account the most important and recent works related to the subject of study?
- Are the aims of the work clearly shown?
- Are the methodology or techniques proposed adequate to achieve the objective of the study?
- Are the given data, materials, sources, etc., sufficient to replicate the study? • If so, are the statistical tests used appropriate for the analysis variables employed and respond to the hypotheses developed?
- If appropriate, are the sample, number of cases covered and/or follow-up of the tests or trials adequate?
- Are the results adequate and do they correspond to the data obtained in the work?
- Do the results provide relevant information regarding the objectives of the study?
- Are bibliographic references sufficient, appropriate and current?
- Do the conclusions interpret and correspond to the results obtained in the work?
- The illustrations (figures, photographs, etc.) and tables:
- are either sufficient and appropriate
- are excessive and redundant. Suppress the number
- they can be improved in the presentation and interpretation of number
4 Other aspects that you want to highlight.
5 Evaluation Comments. Comments are necessary to justify the decision of the editors and for them to send the pertinent explanations to the authors. In this section, the reviewer will write the comments they deem appropriate, explaining and supporting their judgment so that editors and authors can understand the reasoning behind them. It is recommended to follow the order established in the protocol. Comments should be courteous, constructive and do not include personal details.
Comments can be sent to the authors. The reviewers accept that the sending of their comments to the authors is at the discretion of the editors and that they can be edited to omit information that may affect the double-blind peer review process or that may be confusing or contradictory to the authors.
6 Confidential Comments. These are comments related to the acceptability of the manuscript and addressed only to the editor.
7 Global Assessment of Work Quality. To finalize the evaluation, the reviewers will make a global assessment of the quality of the work, qualifying it as High, Good, Average or Low.
8 Recommendation. Finally they will make one of the following recommendations: Accept, Accept with minor corrections, Accept with major corrections or Reject the manuscript for publication in Cuestiones de Fisioterapia.
Editorial decision about the manuscript.
The editor, based on the comments of the reviewers, at his own discretion, that of the Editorial Team, as well as the requirements and needs of Cuestiones de Fisioterapia, will reach a decision regarding the publication of the manuscript. The decision, which notifies the authors, can be:
- Accepted. In which case the manuscript will be subject to correction of style without resulting in changes in its intellectual content. Once the printing tests have been passed, the article will be ready for publication in the issue that the Editorial Board believes appropriate.
- Accepted with minor corrections. The editor will send the authors the comments of the reviewers so that they can make the suggested small modifications in order to improve the article and make it suitable for publication. When the authors submit the article with the corrections made, they will be sent back to the same reviewers who will decide whether to inform of their acceptance favorably for publication.
- Accepted with major corrections. The editor will send the authors the comments of the reviewers, so that they make the modifications that they consider necessary for the improvement of the article. If the authors agree to submit a new version, it must pass a new evaluation process, usually by the same reviewers, but not necessarily.
- Rejected. The editor will communicate to the authors the decision not to publish the manuscript. If deemed appropriate, even if it has been rejected, the editor will attach the comments of the reviewers with the idea of helping the authors improve their article.
Ethical Commitment assumed by the Reviewers
- Evaluate only articles from their area of expertise in which they are experts.
- Declare any conflict of interest they may incur in: personal, academic, research, economic or financial. If the reviewer detects conflicts of interest with the article itself, either before or during the evaluation, they will notify the editorial office as soon as possible. They will not review or read anything else in the article until they receive a response from the editorial office. The reviewer can declare their conflicts of interest in the box for comments to the Editor.
- The assessment of an article will be constructive and expressed in a correct and respectful language, taking into account that the objective is to help authors improve their article.
- Respect confidentiality. The reviewer will treat the manuscripts and the information they contain as strictly confidential. Third parties will not be involved in the evaluation, will not appropriate the ideas of the authors or discuss them publicly before the manuscript is published. The reviewer will not retain the manuscript for personal use; It will be destroyed once the report has been issued.
- Show consistency in the message to the authors. The comments to the editor and those addressed to the authors must be in the same line. If the editor is recommended a rejection, this must also be reflected or argued in the comments for the authors, to avoid discrepancies between the decision notified to the authors and the comments to the authors.
- Punctuality in the delivery of the evaluation. As a general rule, the reviewer must submit the evaluation report within fifteen days. Respecting this period is necessary for the proper functioning of Cuestiones de Fisioterapia.
COPE has compiled some guidelines that establish the basic principles and standards that all reviewers must meet during the peer review process in the publication of the research.
More information on ethical standards for Peer Reviewers is available at COPE