​JOPA Reviewer Guidelines

Introduction

All manuscripts submitted to JOPA undergo peer review by the JOPA Editorial Board and peer reviewers. These groups consist of physician assistants and nurse practitioners who have demonstrated their willingness to perform timely and thorough manuscript reviews for JOPA.

The JOPA peer-review process is as follows:

  1. After an author submits a manuscript, the Editor reviews it and recommends, on the basis of manuscript quality and editorial priorities, to either "reject without review" or request peer review by the Editorial Board and peer reviewers.
  2. Peer reviewers evaluate the manuscript and send comments to the author in a double-blind fashion using an online submission program (Editorial Manager [EM]).
  3. The author revises the manuscript on the basis of the reviewers' comments and returns it through EM.
  4. The author's revised manuscript is sent back to the Editor, who makes a final decision based on editorial priorities, manuscript quality, and additional input from peer reviewers as indicated.
  5. The final decision letter is sent to the author by the JOPA office.

You will receive an invitation via e-mail stating that you have been chosen to review a particular manuscript—likely on an orthopaedic topic in your field of expertise or the subspecialty you chose when you registered to become a peer reviewer. If you decide to accept, please do so by the invitation response deadline provided in the e-mail. Occasionally declining to review a manuscript is understandable and is not viewed negatively by JOPA.

JOPA is indebted to you, our reviewers—without whom we could not function—and understands the time pressures that you face. However, in order to be considerate to our authors, we ask that you submit your review within the deadline (14 days for initial submissions and 10 for revised submissions). If a review has not been returned by the due date, you will receive an e-mail from JOPA as a reminder. You may also receive an e-mail reminder before your review is due.

Instructions for Reviewing Manuscripts

Make your review as objective and evidence-based as possible. Search the literature for systematic reviews on the same topic, using keywords and the title of the article, in MEDLINE, Google Scholar, PubMed, and/or OVID. The Cochrane Library is also a great resource for health-care interventions.

Always provide constructive criticism. Be cognizant of the large amount of time and energy that authors put into their work and never use disparaging or derogatory comments. Comments should focus on the manuscript and not on the individual(s) who wrote it.

Do not spend time correcting language, grammar, or spelling as the manuscript will be extensively copy-edited by the JOPA copy-editor staff. However, if such errors interfere with the overall message, make a general comment to this effect. If a specific error confuses a point, specifically note that.

The review process allows you to enter comments in two separate fields: one for comments that are likely to be sent to the corresponding author, and the other for comments intended primarily for the Editor that will not necessarily be transmitted to the author. There is also a space for you to enter your overall rating for the paper (1-100).

Manuscripts should be classified into one of four general categories, which appear in a pull -down menu in EM's reviewer recommendation screen:

  1. Accept: the manuscript is suitable for publication in JOPA without any revision.
  2. Revision – Minor: the manuscript needs minor revision prior to being published.
  3. Revision – Major: the manuscript needs major revision prior to being published.
  4. Reject: the manuscript should not be published in JOPA.

Recommended Reading

COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers