Peer review


All manuscripts submitted to Dove Medical Press journals are subject to single-anonymous (previously referred to as single-blind) peer review. In this model reviewers know who the authors of the article are, but the authors do not know the identities of the reviewers. We believe this process is the best way to ensure the fairest reviews and opinions on papers. 

All submissions made to Dove Medical Press must return a minimum of two sets of peer reviews before the editorial decision-maker can reach a decision on the manuscript. Details of the peer review comments as well as the overall recommendations of the reviewer will be considered by the Editor when making a decision, but ultimate responsibility for acceptance or rejection lies with the Editor-in-Chief.

Our Editorial teams work very hard to progress papers through to peer review as quickly as possible. However, given the competing demands of research life, not all reviewers will accept every peer review invite they receive. It’s therefore not uncommon for a paper to go through several cycles of requests before our Editorial teams find reviewers who are both willing and able to accept. On some rare occasions, it may not be possible to obtain the required number of reviewers despite our extensive efforts and numerous peer review invites being sent. On these occasions, rather than delay your manuscript further, your submission will be withdrawn in order for you to approach another publisher who may have more success at finding suitable peer-reviewers.

When a Dove Medical Press journal receives a submission authored by either the Editor-in-Chief or one or more of the Associate Editors of that journal the following process will be used to evaluate the paper. The editorial team will assess the paper for suitability and assign an Associate Editor or Editorial Board Member, to act as the handling Editor for that paper. The editorial team will oversee the peer review process and the Editor-in-Chief or Associate Editor, who authored the paper, will not be involved in any part of the peer review or decision making process for that paper. The editorial team will only liaise with the corresponding author according to the standard editorial practice of communicating with authors regarding their submission.

Journals at Dove Medical Press do not permit authors to recommend peer reviewers.

Confidentiality of peer review

It is a requirement to maintain confidentiality and integrity of the peer review and editorial decision-making process at all stages, while complying with data protection regulations (including GDPR). The invited reviewer must declare any competing interest before submitting their report to the journal. If they wish to involve a colleague as a co-reviewer for an article, they should ask the journal’s editorial office before sharing the manuscript and include their names, affiliation and any relevant competing interests in the comments for Editors when they return their report.

Dove Medical Press requires peer reviewers not to contact authors directly. All peer reviewers should consider the COPE Ethical Guidelines for Peer Reviewers before accepting to review a manuscript and throughout the peer review process.

In the process of investigating an ethical query, the submitted manuscript, author, reviewer and any other person (including whistleblowers) involved will be treated in confidence. During an investigation it may be necessary for the Editor to share information with third parties, such as the ethics committee and/or the authors’ institution.

Portability of peer review

Dove Medical Press supports thorough and efficient peer review and has put in place streamlined processes to allow for rapid peer review and avoid unnecessary re-review of revised manuscripts. In cases where a manuscript reporting sound science does not reach the interest level set for a given Dove Medical Press journal and is rejected, the authors may be offered the option to transfer their manuscript to another Dove Medical Press journal provided it is in scope of that journal. In such cases, the peer reviewers’ reports are also transferred to the other journal.

Before the authors are contacted regarding a possible manuscript transfer, the Editor may share the manuscript with the Editor of other Dove Medical Press journals. Authors, who do not wish their manuscript to be shared with other Dove Medical Press journals should mention this in their cover letter. Peer reviewers, who do not wish to have their report shared with other Dove Medical Press journals should mention this in the confidential comments to the Editor section of their report.

Should authors agree to have their manuscript transferred to another Dove Medical Press journal for evaluation it does not imply that their manuscript will be accepted for publication by the other journal. On some occasions the Editor of the receiving journal may decide to conduct their own peer review and/or reject the manuscript.

Updated 6 April 2022