Peer review is the foundation of the scientific publication process. The peer review process ensures that research is objectively examined and evaluated, findings are validated, and that the quality of the research output is improved.
Through the peer review process and the time, dedication and collaboration of authors, reviewers, and Editor-in-Chief, quality of research is improved. At Thieme Group, we are grateful to our authors, reviewers, and editors who make this process possible.
An author submits a paper to a journal via an electronic submission system like ScholarOne or Editorial Manager. On occasion, some journals accept submissions via email, but be sure to check the journal’s Instructions for Authors for guidance.
Editorial Office Assessment
The journal’s Editorial Office conducts an initial check of the paper to make sure that it has been submitted according to the journal’s style and format requirements as listed in the journal’s Instructions for Authors page. Please note that the content of the submission is not evaluated at this stage.
The journal’s Editor-in-Chief conducts an initial review of the submission to make sure that the paper falls within the journal’s scope and publication priorities. Following this assessment, the Editor-in-Chief decides whether to send the paper out for peer review or to issue a desk reject decision if the paper is not suitable for the journal.
Handling Editor Assignment and Peer Review Invite
The Editor-in-Chief or an Associate Editor, appointed by the Editor-in-Chief, will be assigned as the Handling Editor for the submission and search for referees to conduct a formal peer review. The Handling Editor will invite reviewers who they deem to be suitable. The ideal referee is someone who is familiar with the content of the paper, perhaps an expert in that subject area, and, importantly, who has no conflicts of interest. The Handling Editor will send invitations to reviewers until the minimum number of reviewers that the journal requires have accepted. Most journals require between 1-3 peer reviewers.
Once a referee has accepted the invitation, they will conduct a review of the submission. The reviewer’s task is to validate the findings in the paper by ensuring the accuracy and verifiability of the research. The reviewer will read the paper a number of times, making comments throughout and issue a report at the end. It is through this process that the the reviewer enhances the quality of the research by bringing their unique perspective and experience to the paper by offering commentary and constructive criticism.
Handling Editor Assesses the Review
The Handling Editor will then assess the reviewer’s comments and make a decision recommendation.
Editor Assessment of Review / Final Decision Rendered
The Editor-in-Chief will examine the Handling Editor’s recommendation, while considering the review itself and issue a decision. Decisions include: accept, revise, and reject.
If the article is accepted, then the paper will move into production to be published on Thieme Connect. At that point, be on the lookout for an email from the Thieme production team with next steps. Some articles will receive reject decisions.
Many manuscripts will receive a minor or major revision decision. Minor or major revision decisions are rendered after the Editor has examined the comments and suggestions made by the peer reviewer. At this point an author can choose to incorporate the suggested revisions and resubmit the article for peer review within the journal or discontinue the submission process at that journal.
Traditional peer review
In traditional peer review, 1-3 experts review the manuscript independently from each other. They provide comments, remarks, and recommendations to accept, revise or reject the article (for details see below). The editor validates the comments and makes a consolidated decision on the manuscript.
In a single-anonymized peer review the author of the paper is not aware of the identity of the reviewers.
In a double-anonymized peer review the author is not aware of the identity of the reviewers and vice versa.
Select Crowd Review
Select Crowd Review (SCR) is a peer review process that we offer to our authors in some of our journals in addition to the "traditional" peer review process. When reviewing papers with SCR, we use the combined expertise of a pre-selected group of experts in the field (approximately 50-100 reviewers) and have them collaborate on a secure online platform (Filestage) to review that paper together. With SCR, we can offer a safe and faster alternative to traditional peer review.