What Happens to a Manuscript Going Through Review?
Randi Y. Zung, Editorial Assistant
Most unsolicited submissions to Obstetrics & Gynecology
are sent for peer review. Most article types (Original Research, Systematic Reviews, Current Commentaries, Clinical Expert Series, and Personal Perspectives), are reviewed by two experts and one of the journal’s Editorial Board members. Case Reports are reviewed by one expert and one Editorial Board member. As explained in last week’s blog
, the editors select reviewers based on factors like classification matches and past reviewer performance. Expert reviewers are given 14 days to complete the review. The journal’s Editorial Board member is given 21 days to complete a batch of 8 reviews per month. Per journal policy, the identities of the reviewers are not shared with the author.
When a reviewer is ready to submit his/her recommendation and comments in Editorial Manager, reviewers complete a form that contains several questions that the editors use to determine whether or not a submission is suitable for publication.
Reviewers are asked to complete five items on the review form:
- A recommendation (Accept, Minor Revision, Major Revision, or Reject)
- A manuscript Rating number (on a scale of 1-100)
- Answers to five Likert scale questions to evaluate the submission’s fitness for the journal
- Comments to the Author (which are shared with the author)
- Comments to the Editor (which are confidential and are not shared with the author).
After a manuscript has been through review, the editors use the reviewers’ comments, as well as their own evaluation, to arrive at an initial decision. This entire process can take up to 6 weeks, depending on factors such as reviewer availability, holidays, requests for extensions, or statistical review.
Manuscripts that the editors believe could be made suitable for publication are sent back to the corresponding author for revision with all of the reviewers’ Comments to the Author. Manuscripts that are considered for rejection following the peer review process are reviewed by all three of the journal’s editors before a final decision is made (and then discussed during a weekly conference call). The reviewers’ Comments to Author are included in all rejection notifications.