Peer review policy

Cochrane Incontinence operates a peer review process that is compliant with the Cochrane peer review policy (available from the Cochrane Editorial and Publishing Policy Resource (EPPR)). For general queries relating to the Cochrane policy on peer review, please contact the Editorial and Methods Department (ceu@cochrane.org). 

A full list of peer reviewers that have contributed to Cochrane Incontinence can be found here.

Process

In accordance with the Cochrane peer review policy, in addition to feedback from the editorial base all protocols and reviews are commented on by external peer reviewers in an open process. All protocols and reviews are peer reviewed by a clinician, methodologist, statistician and consumer. Where appropriate, we also invite health economists to act as peer-reviewers. Peer reviewers can include Cochrane Incontinence Editors and external specialists.

Cochrane Incontinence’s Managing Editor is responsible for the peer review process, in collaboration with the Editorial Assistant. The Managing Editor and Editorial Assistant manage the process, which includes asking for participants in the peer review process, providing peer reviewers with comment forms, collating all comments for presentation to authors and ensuring that the contributions of peer reviewers are acknowledged. The Co-ordinating Editor is responsible for ensuring that peer review comments are fully implemented into protocols and reviews.

Consumers are invited to participate in the process to give comments on reviews and protocols from a patient or carer perspective. This can include ensuring that backgrounds and plain language summaries are comprehensible to lay-people (e.g. by ensuring there is no jargon or that acronyms are fully explained), and making sure that outcomes and objectives are of importance to patients. Cochrane Training and Cochrane Consumer Network both have resources tailored to assisting consumers.

All peer reviewers are asked to fill out comment forms tailored to their specialism. Cochrane Incontinence’s peer review forms for consumers also contain additional guidance where appropriate. These forms also contain conflict of interest declarations and ask for affirmation that they can be acknowledged in published reviews and protocols, as well as on the Cochrane Incontinence website.

Peer reviewers will usually be asked to return comments on a protocol within two to three weeks and return comments for reviews within four weeks. Cochrane Incontinence aims to return all peer review comments for protocols to authors within one to two months, while for reviews we aim to return comments within three to four months.

Ethical guidelines

Peer reviewers should be aware of, and follow, the Committee on Publication Ethics’ Ethical guidelines for peer reviewers. In summary, peer reviewers should:

  • only agree to review manuscripts for which they have the subject expertise required to carry out a proper assessment and which they can assess in a timely manner; 
  • respect the confidentiality of peer review and not reveal any details of a manuscript or its review, during or after the peer review process, beyond those that are released by the journal; 
  • not use information obtained during the peer review process for their own or any other person’s or organisation’s advantage, or to disadvantage or discredit others; 
  • declare all potential conflicting interests, seeking advice from the journal if they are unsure whether something constitutes a relevant interest; 
  • not allow their reviews to be in influenced by the origins of a manuscript, by the nationality, religious or political beliefs, gender or other characteristics of the authors, or by commercial considerations; 
  • be objective and constructive in their reviews, refraining from being hostile or in inflammatory and from making libellous or derogatory personal comments; 
  • acknowledge that peer review is largely a reciprocal endeavour and undertake to carry out their fair share of reviewing and in a timely manner; 
  • provide personal and professional information that is accurate and a true representation of their expertise; 
  • recognise that impersonation of another individual during the review process is considered serious misconduct.   

If you have any reason to suspect that there may have been misconduct in the peer review process, please contact the Managing Editor.

Permission is granted by peer reviewers and translators to be acknowledged in published reviews and protocols, as well as on the Cochrane Incontinence website.  

Resources

Below are some other resources that you may find helpful when peer reviewing a protocol or review for Cochrane Incontinence.

If you have any further queries about Cochrane Incontinence’s peer review policy, please contact us.