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Pediatrics Open Science Reviewer Instructions

Thank you for agreeing to review for Pediatrics Open Science. General guidelines for peer review are listed below.


Conducting the Review

The reviewer is tasked with providing a timely, balanced critique that assesses the quality of the manuscript and ensures the research that is published is sound. In determining a manuscript's suitability for publication, consider the following:

  • Originality and relevance: The study should add something new to the literature. It should deal with an important topic and be of interest to clinicians and scientists.
  • The article should be well written and well organized. It should include all relevant sections for the manuscript type (eg, abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion).
  • The methods should be clear and concise, and the statistics should be appropriate for the study design. The sample size should be adequate to address the study question. Please indicate in your review whether you feel that additional statistical review is warranted.
  • Clinical Trials: Clinical trials should be registered with or other primary registry. Please review the registration to ensure that the study follows what was proposed, including the study design, the inclusion and exclusion criteria, and whether the reported outcomes align with the trial registration.
  • The journal provides guidance to authors about the publication of trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses, and quality improvement reports. Please review the author guidelines to be aware of the journal requirements for these types of manuscripts.
  • Alternate journal: Would the manuscript be better suited to a different (eg, subspecialty) journal? If so, feel free to suggest a specific journal.


Writing the Review

Be specific in your comments and provide examples from the manuscript, including line numbers or page numbers to which you are referring. Begin by providing general comments on the manuscript. Next, provide specific comments on the individual sections of the manuscript.

  • Be collegial and constructive. Provide comments that will help to improve the quality of the manuscript.
  • Support your opinions with objective evidence of what is or is not in the manuscript (versus "I hate/love this paper").
  • Do not comment on the acceptability of a manuscript for publication in your comments to the author (eg, do not indicate that a manuscript will be accepted once suggested revisions are made). These comments will be removed from your review.
  • Convey the same overall message in your comments to the editor and author (while the confidential message to the editor may be more direct, the overall message to both the editor and author should be the same).



The manuscript is a privileged document and subject to an embargo. Do not discuss the manuscript with others (eg, colleagues, the author, the media) during or after the review process. Your role as a reviewer is also kept confidential from authors and other reviewers. Do not contact an author without the editor's permission. Do not sign your review; any signature will be removed from the review. Please note: Reviews submitted to Pediatrics Open Science are the property of the journal. To maintain confidentiality, reviewers may not share or republish reviews elsewhere without the permission of the journal.



Do not review if you have a conflict of interest. There are many types of conflict of interest, including intellectual (eg, having a strong belief that makes it difficult for you to evaluate the reported findings), financial (eg, gaining a financial benefit if the work is either published or not published), or personal (eg, having a personal or professional relationship with one or more of the authors that makes it difficult to fairly evaluate the work). If you are unsure about whether you should recuse yourself, please contact the editors to evaluate the situation.

Communicate any suspicions of a breach of ethics to the editorial office. Do not contact the author directly. Two common areas of ethical concern include the following:

  • Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the use of previously published content (text, figures, tables, concepts, data) without permission or attribution. Previously published content must be attributed to the source with a complete, correct reference.
  • Conflicts of interest: If you are aware of any author conflicts of interest (eg, commercial affiliations, consultancies) that are not already listed on the manuscript’s title page, contact the editorial office.


For additional guidance on peer reviewer ethics, see the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers.


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